Renowned Swiss birdman Yves Rossy has, after several weather-related setbacks, finally flown over the English Channel using his unique backpack jetplane. Leaping from a plane 8,000 feet above Calais, Rossy extended his wings, fired up his four mini jet engines and zoomed across the Channel in less than ten minutes, following the …
He didn't take off, or land, under the (self contained) power of his 'aircraft'.
Much better video on BBC News!
So, was he flying?
Or just falling with style?
Wake me up when someone tries to do this with the aid of a giant cannon.
Seriously though, if you start thinking about it, it does take balls to do something like that, you can't just apply the brakes and get off if it gets too scary.
If I tried it, I would only get so far until I generated enough Poo ballast to make me too heavy to fly and plummet into the water.
the size of a diamond elephant
Oh, who cares exactly how he took off or landed?
Not me... I want one.
"I only have one word, thank you, to all the people who did it with me."
So who's the stupid knob-end at the BBC who decided to write "thankyou" as two words?
would a paper dart in a following wind do better?
So he hitches a lift to 8000 feet or 1.5 miles altitude, then merely preserves a glide ratio of better than 1.5 / 23 = 15.3::1 (slightly worse than a 747) and claims a success.
There's a fine line between daring and stupidity - the only real difference is if you live to talk about it afterwards
> If I tried it, I would only get so far until I generated enough Poo ballast
> to make me too heavy to fly
Er, no you wouldn't... because your overall weight wouldn't change, no matter what comes out. The aerodynamics might, though.
Damn, next you will be picking holes in the design of my wind turbine powered flying machine...
> > "I only have one word, thank you, to all the people who did it with me."
> So who's the stupid knob-end at the BBC who decided to write "thankyou" as two words?
Probably a literate one who KNOWS that "Thank You" is (are?) two words!
But if his native language is French, then "Merci" is just one word. N'est ce pas?
Thank you Bez
In the UK at least, 'thank you' *is* two words ...
> the former Swiss airforce fighter pilot will be sticking to his day job as an airline pilot
Please tell us which airline. I do not want someone who would do that as my pilot, thank you very much.
Thank you all
@Bez (Not Simon)
Damn, can't even copy and paste properly.
I'd agree with the beeb.
As a verb: Thank you, eg. "Thank you for coming today"
As a noun: Thankyou, eg. "He gave a great big thankyou"
As an adjective: Thankyou, eg. "He gave a thankyou card"
In fact my Firefox spell check (Real English) doesn't even like thankyou.
Mine's the one with the Shortcut Keys crib list in it
@ Tim Bergel
I disagree. He is the man I very much DO want flying the plane I'm in.
Most of the time it really won't matter, but when the engines are falling off and the landing gear won't come down, he'll be the one with the sheer determination to do whatever it takes to get the plane down in one piece.
I want one!
Can I have one please? Thats freakin awesome!
All he needs to do now is perfect launching from a run up and perhaps a smoother landing system, and he'd sell millions. Obviously this guy is a qualified pilot, but what are the rules and regulations regarding this sort of thing?
No Big deal :(
It has been done before but without engines
Thank you for the article, Lewis.
Paris, 'cos she knows how to say thank you properly.
Forget about flying car!
One jet power, carbon fiber fly wing to go please.
@Simon @James Marten
Doesn't matter, I laughed anyway. Glad I didn't have to send you the bill for a new monitor.
What I want to know is: did he have his passport or was he picked up for illegally entering the country?
Weird. Beeb article says 9000 feet...
@ Tim Bergel
Umm Tim, just to avoid any confusion: he does not fly plane or use a jetpack simultaneously - it's one or the other. That wing is a b*tch to fit in the pilot seat..
I sat through the full 90mins of this programme on NatGeo and the tw*t didnt die. The only reason worth watching it was to see him crash and burn.
I will be moderatley impressed when someone flies an unpowered handglider over the channel, til then its utter bollox.
/paris cos shes supersonic.
Earlier flights are more impressive
I don't have the links but you can track this guy down on you tube.
Este hombre tienes cojones grande.
Stark staring mad :)
Brilliant stunt, though.
If you actually *watch* the video you can see that when he jumps out of the plane, he goes straight down for a couple of thousand feet while the wings are extending and the jets fire up. He is probably more like 5-6,000 feet when he heads off - and is still pretty high when he cuts the engines and pops the chute. I'd say the glide path was more like 3,000 feet in 23 miles, or more like 45:1, which is quite respectable, particularly when you look at the wingspan. He is certainly not just gliding - looked like straight and level flight to me.
IIRC from older videos of him, he can actually climb with it. It probably isn't done here to reach the distance needed or simply because it wasn't the goal in this this one.
Last one out please turn out the lights
I know things are getting desperate for the UK now. Just imagine your life being ruined enough to make it worth trying to leave the country by strapping a bomb to your back!
Booby prize - a night out with Paris. Total losers prize - two nights out with Paris.
@James and Simon
Poo would not have changed overall mass, but it would have moved the COG backwards.
Poo induced stall perhaps?
The BBCs version is using NuLabour feet. 1000 of their 9000 feet are actually included in the original 8000 feet, but have been re-announced as part of a new extra feet initiative this week.
The real question
Did he remove his shoes, and buy all his drinks on the inside of the security barrier, and prove to a goon with overdeveloped muscles and underdeveloped brain, that "no, I do not intend to hijack this plane"?
Wanna bet this will be introduced as a means to keep the population docile, as soon as they find a way?
But, when all that is behind us, I applaud the daring swissman. It took some courage flying a wing he knew (from the windtunnel test) had a neasty tendency of stalling out, and sending him into a flat spin, as he did. He has my respect for his bravery.
@ Will Godfrey
"Most of the time it really won't matter, but when the engines are falling off and the landing gear won't come down, he'll be the one with the sheer determination to do whatever it takes to get the plane down in one piece."
No, he'll be the one with an exit strategy.
We Write English
Baz: "So who's the stupid knob-end at the BBC who decided to write "thankyou" as two words?"
Someone who knows that "thank you" is two words in English. The writer at the BBC is not stupid, a "knob-end" or ignorant of the English language. The Swiss gentleman may be excused this error as it is not his first language.
All that aside, I think this is a great achievement.
And I love the line that goes "I'm not afraid of risk. I manage risk."
Would it be possible..
..to get a radio-controlled version of this twat? The Self-Aggrandiser 2000 - now available in carnage red.
So next he wants to build one that can do a vertical take off, instead of having to jump from a plane. Oh yea, I've seen that before, and it didn't work out so well for the coyote!
Mine's the one with the birdseed and numerous receipts from ACME in the pockets.
Lateral control is by...
...shifting the weight of his extremely large ones.
Impressed, but not standing in line for an opportunity to try it.
That's not a stunt. This is a stunt.
Why jump out and use this gizmo to fly the rest of the way when he was ALREADY in a plane capable of flying him there? Just showing off, that's all that is... What do you mean 'I'm just jealous 'cos I don't have one'? I'm not jealous. I'll show you jealous. *grumble grumble...*
Re: Earlier flights are more impressive
(I feel like the Roman soldier in Life of Brian) This man you (familiar) have balls (pl.) big (sing.)?
Lose the 's' off tienes and stick it on the end of grande...
Spelling pedantry in foreign FTW!
After a rather exciting trip from up to down, I wonder if he will celebrate as usual, or whether it will be a single glass of Carver in the back of Land Rover 4x8 plus a polo?
After all that, one wonders if he will ever be able to lead anything approaching a normal life. He may not yet fully realise what he has done. Thrill seakers do not always realise the danger they are in. Stupidity can be a saving grace which can come too late.
Duty Free Allowance?
Where's the an in-flight movie, salty snacks and duty free cart?
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