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'Jetman' Rossy Flies Above the Grand Canyon 90

cylonlover writes "Yves Rossy, the former Swiss jet fighter pilot better known as Jetman, flew over the Grand Canyon last Saturday (May 7th) using his wearable jet-propelled wing. It was the first time he has flown with the device in North America, having previously used it to cross the English Channel, perform an aerial loop, fly in formation with stunt planes, and to unsuccessfully attempt traversing a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between Morocco and Spain."
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'Jetman' Rossy Flies Above the Grand Canyon

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  • It's a boring fluff piece montage with horrible editing.. The flight doesn't start before half way in... and with dull music instead of ambient audio

  • by e9th ( 652576 ) <`e9th' `at' `'> on Thursday May 12, 2011 @11:17PM (#36114816)
    TFA says he started from a helicopter then parachuted to the canyon floor. I was expecting something cool, like he started standing on one side of the canyon, flew across it, then landed safely on the other side.
    • I was expecting something cool, like he started standing on one side of the canyon

      You should expect less from the guy using half a model airplane as a back pack. His thing is cool, I want one and all, but it's consistently oversold.

    • With a helicopter and a parachute, of course! (you answered your own question!)

    • Agreed...the key word in the title is "above". Not "across" not "through" but above. I mean, the wingsuit is cool and all, but I don't see this as any more interesting as "Jetman flies above Canadian Tundra". Actually the latter might be more interesting if they included data on the perfomance of the suit in cold vs warmer climates.
      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        The use of "above" is inadequate. He did in fact fly below the rim. And he landed at a point within the canyon.

    • TFA says he started from a helicopter then parachuted to the canyon floor.

      That's how he's always done it. Like Buzz Lightyear, it's just "falling with style". I still prefer the flying squirrel guys, now that's stylish.

  • how 1950s and 1960s. I'm almost 50 and this kind of shit was done long before I was born.
  • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) * on Thursday May 12, 2011 @11:31PM (#36114870) Homepage

    This is funny, I was just watching an old documentary about him. Just before he flew across the English channel, he realized in a wind tunnel that his wings were unbalanced so he would always starts an endless looping that leads to a crash on the same side. He learned to recuperate from this anyways. Amazingly, he said that he didn't have time to rebalance his wings before the English channel crossing so he did it as is.

    This guy is serious business. Another poster was unsatisfied because he needs to be launched from a plane or helicopter. Believe me, it is a must with his setup. Also, he can't land and he uses a parachute to land. His setup involves only a wing set and a turbine. There is no other controls but the turbine speed. All directional control is done with his body.

    • I thought it was kind of underwhelming when compared to the elegant awesomeness that is wingsuit flying []. No turbine needed. Those videos always give me the chills.

      • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

        The guy is former jet fighter pilot and he deals with speeds well above what you reference in your link. If I remember right, it took him less than 10 minutes to cross the English channel while you can multiply that time by about 10 with your suggested setup.

        If you do not care about speed then, of course, you are right.

        I wrote that the guy meant serious business. I will put more emphasis on this by saying the guy is crazy. Out of reach of common mortals.


      • by mijelh ( 1111411 )
        The turbines are needed if you want to achieve level flight.
        Besides Wingsuits have glide ratios of less than 3:1 (they advance 1 unit of distance for every unit they descend) and even when attached with jets they've never been able to keep a level flight path for more 30 seconds.Rossy's setup has a glide ratio of more than twice that, and is the only of such devices to have achieved sustained flight.
        That being said, the sense of freedom that I guess a wingsuit provides is probably unmatched.
      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        The fact that nobody can follow him around with a helmet-mounted camera means you don't get the same shots. But, seriously, there never has been anything at all that's nearly as cool as what this guy is doing. Never anything.

    • Ne, he's a serious NUTTER. This "technology" is no more "useful" than any of the crap every other "daredevil" cobbles together to put on their personal brand of Freak Show.
      • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

        Agreed, read my reply to another poster about him being crazy, out of reach of common mortals. So, no use for common mortals planned. He does it just because he can. This is why this is his first stunt in USA. No profits at reach with his product.

        Still, it is interesting to see what he knows about aerodynamics. He knows enough to implement aerodynamic principles with his own body at a time where computer assisted stealth flying is more popular.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Meh. You want real Serious Business, watch this film Devil at Your Heels [], a documentary shot in 1981. Screw jetpacks, this guy had a ROCKET CAR. He was going to jump a river from Canada to America with a TEN-STORY RAMP. For real! If you have a spare 100 minutes, I highly recommend the film. At least watch the first five minutes about the rose bushes. If you have an engineering background, the opening shot of the ramp plus an unaerodynamic car going 250mph...make your predictions about how the film en
      • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

        This does count against somebody being to implement directional control with his body.

        By the way I have already watched the reference you provided in the early days. Not the the same at all, in my scale at least.

        • by ls671 ( 1122017 ) *

          This doesn't count against somebody being able to implement directional control with his body

    • This guy is a complete moron. The idea is stupid, and frankly suprised the FAA would allow such a atrocity to be in US Airspace. (Then again, they let Southwest Airlines fly)....almost the same idea, people hanging onto a wing with jet engines strapped to it......cabin optional. This has GOT to be the STUPIDEST application of OZONE depleting gas I have seen. Why not fire the moron from a cannon, same aerodynamics involved there. (frankly I don't believe in Ozone layer depletion, that was a nod to our l
  • fucking doo. this is nice and all, but call us when he can actully strap on a pair of skates or something and takeoff from the ground
  • may be old but I still say that it is cool as hell!
    • Agree 100%. Worthy of an ex-fighter pilot. (As long as he doesn't dive off NY skyscrapers and try to fight crime. Maybe do aerial traffic reports, but then he'd still move faster than anybody.)

  • Here's a different wingsuit guy: []

    I wonder if Rossy and Jean-Albert know each other.

  • traversing a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between Morocco and Spain."

    umm.. what is the straits of gibraltar? I'll take geography for 500. Daily double!

    • umm.. I'll take geography for 500. Daily double!! what is the straits of gibraltar?

      There, that's better. I love that show.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @12:28AM (#36115116)

    Doesn't the National Park Service have to approve this? I remember when Evel Knievel was trying to jump the Grand Canyon, they gave him a lot of grief then he went to Snake Canyon instead. [] He failed but still would you strap yourself into a steam powered rocket that had never been tested? Later on Knievel blamed the engineer. Typical.. but he still made money on the deal by selling the TV rights and charging spectators a lot for admission and for concessions. ABC Sports had the rights to the event and it was a national thing. This was before the Internet and ABC had always had deals with Knievel.

    Then a few years ago his son, Robbie, got permission to jump. Why? I don't know, maybe they weren't selling enough National Park coffee table books at the gift shop? I realize that the national parks are public lands but they're there to be preserved, not to be used for circus attractions. There wasn't the huge hype and once he did it everything was ho-hum.

    It seems that every time one of these daredevils actually does something, we raise that bar and consider something similar to be mundane. " Fly over the grand canyon with your little jet pack? Pffft. I saw a guy do it in a hang glider 30 years ago. " I guess that's sad in a way and says something that as society we're becoming bored with things more quickly. We have to be constantly entertained and have the attention spans of two-year-olds.

    Now, this guy launched himself from a helicopter. I'd prefer him to try
    it like those old time aeronautical pioneers and jump off a rock or a bridge with his wings. Think of the Drama! What if he tripped over a rock or some shit like that? The jet fuel could have exploded or maybe he could have set himself on fire when he launched himself? he'd be like the human torch! Now that would be cool.

    Or he could have launched himself like the old "Sky Car" bouncing around.. []

    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      Pretty sure he had approvals. And the park service doesn't own the whole canyon. Some of it belongs to the Hualapai indians.

  • Where do I get mine? Seriously this is as close as we're getting to jet packs right now, so how long until this is commercialized or I'm not interested.
    • You can buy a real jetpack here : []

      They are about 100 grand and fly for a good half hour.

      • Well I'll get saving then, I hope by the time I can afford one they're not still the size of smart cars.
        • How do you propose to make one smaller? Certain physics and engineering constraints are very hard to overcome without technology radically more advanced than anything humans can make today. Right now, hydrocarbon fuels are the most dense fuel sources we have for small high energy output systems (nuclear doesn't work on a small scale). And right now, it's much more efficient to use a high bypass turbofan instead of a pure hot exhaust jet. Once you pick an engine powerful enough to pick up the jetpack use

          • Well I can only assume the Martin Jetpack is somewhat of a prototype of this sort of technology as advanced as it may be, but If/once we would be able to customize something like this then I could purchase something more suitable to my jet-packing needs, the "useful pilot" load for this is 280lbs, so being around 160lbs I should be able to theoretically either use the weight gap to my advantage in terms of need for thrust or acceleration speeds, etc. And surely there's should be somewhat of a sport model, p
  • Anyone else accidentally pronounce that site's name with the first g soft, as in magic?

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