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back to article Swiss jetwing backpack-birdman flies the Grand Canyon

Swiss aerial daredevil Yves Rossy, aka "Jetman" has completed his latest feat successfully, leaping from a helicopter to hurtle across the Grand Canyon using his unique strap-on, jet-powered personal aeroplane before descending to land by parachute. Rossy's previous feats have included a flight across the English Channel and …

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Happy

Cool

Very cool:) Of course - you'd have to be crazy to fly something like that but still:)

I also love the use of duct-tape and cardboard(?) or something taped to the underside of the wings - can be seen at end of the video.

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Re: Cool

Yes, I think he's going to die doing that! Mind you I wouldn't even jump out of a plane with a parachute, much less use that as my backup!

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that guy may be crazy...

...But he's a serious badass. The world needs more like him.

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Go

I love this guy.

Have done since i saw a video of him a few years back.

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Rockets? Meh...

When he starts at ground level on one side of the Grand Canyon and safely lands on the other, *then* I might consider it a crossing. Starting way up in the air and flying a bit sideways? Nah. Better yet, do it without the motor.

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Anonymous Coward

He spends his time

pushing controlled flight to new limits and you spend yours trolling the internet.

Still, it's good to have a hobby, eh?

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Re: He spends his time

No, he spends his time falling out of aircrafts, being given big kick up the backside then falling down a few kilometres away. It's not even falling gracefully.

Would you have considered it controlled flying if the Wright brothers had jumped out of a tree and flapped their arms about?

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@Chris W

His ungraceful falling hobby will get him quite throughly laid. Rightly so. I am sure the women come a running to "my hobby is trolling on t'internets."

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@thecakeis(not)alie

WTF are you on about, if all you care about is getting laid I can think of easier ways, just asking has a rather high success rate, although, to use an acronym I detest, YMMV. You should come out from under your bridge from time to time.

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@Chris W

Sore spot?

Sorry dude, but I do vote "jetwing backpack-birdman" as a significantly more awesome hobby that "complaining on t'internets." For that matter, more awesome than most of my hobbies, too.

Using the internet to run down people who do things that are more exciting than anything you undertake is so 1990s. Posting cats was the 2000s. How about we work on something more productive for the 2010s, eh?

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@thecake

Come on, anybody who needs to jump out of aircraft to pull the birds must be rather dull.

Personally, a mug of horlicks and the latest Biggles is more than enough excitement for me.

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@Chris W

I'd argue that anyone willing to jump out of an Aircraft doesn't need any help "pulling the birds." The jetpack, aircraft jumping otherwise being a spectular example of dudeness simply ensures that the birds he's going home with are of the "top notch" variety.

Probably all at once.

Love to see the side-by-side against using "I complain on t'internets" as your bait.

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Re: spectular example of dudeness

Why don't you just come out and admit it, you want to sleep with the guy!

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@Chris W

Nah...but I want him as my wingman!

And that's for picking up chicks IRL, not on t'internets.

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Coffee/keyboard

Thank you, Lewis

"Strap-on thrust equipment conquers mighty cleft"

Made my day.

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Ditto

As title!

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Stop

Meep - Meep !

It's not clear in the video or the article; did he actually manage to catch the Road Runner?

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Happy

title required

According to the t-shirt I'm wearing he did.. and in a very carnal way too.

Beep Beep

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Ah, there's the IT angle!

I trust El Reg will make flameproof trousers standard uniform for its writers.

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Alert

Thrust-to-weight

"the current machine on its own boasts a thrust-to-weight ratio of greater than one, but not once the weight of the pilot is added."

...and an even worse thrust-to-weight ratio when you consider his enormous, clanking brass balls.

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What a guy

And I'll bet one other thing - that he's not a socialist either.

(For one thing, we'd have been up to the gills for 18 months with his soliciting donations for some big charidee...)

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Black Helicopters

When will he try the Snake River

So, when will he be trying the Snake River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_Knievel#Snake_River_Canyon)?

@Neil Barnes - IF he starts out on the North Rim and heads south, he stands a chance, as the North Rim is higher than the South Rim. If/When he can start at the South Rim and head North successfully - that's when I'll be impressed.

General: You don't need a thrust to weight ratio > 1 to climb - after all, your average Cessna 182 can manage that quite nicely. You just need to have more positive wing lift than your weight with less drag than your thrust.

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Point Cessna prop upwards and see what happens...

To climb you need more lift than weight, in forward flight then your statement is correct but to achieve controlled VTOL you need thrust to be greater than weight and drag as both of these forces will be acting downwards and with 0 airspeed your wing will be generating no lift.

Peronally I'd like to see this guy strap on some roller skates, crank it up to about 60 knots on the tarmac and then rotate...

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Ace McCloud

Who remembers Centurions, Saturday morning cartoon in the 80s?

I'm surprised this guy needs 4 jets when a cruise missile can get by with one, but then I haven't put as much thought into strap-on jet wings as him so must defer to his judgement.

How about folding wings so he can be fired from a canon then ignite jettisonable booster rockets for take-off, and a more pointy helmet and canard gauntlets (with guns in them)?

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Troll

This is a title

And how do you know he is the only man alive who can fly it? Has anybody else tried? I'd give it a go :) It could be that it's easy and all the mishaps are pilot error, who'd know?

Ps where are the women that flock to "my hobby is tolling the internet"???

The landing looked particularly uncomfortable!

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Coffee/keyboard

Dammit Lewis!

You owe me a new keyboard for "Strap-on thrust equipment conquers mighty cleft"!

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Flame

Me? Accused of Trolling?

Well, there's a first time for everything...

My point was that this fellow is being feted not for the feat of crossing the GC - he didn't, from the reports I read: he landed on the canyon floor - but for strapping a rocket to his arseparts and donning a wing-suit.

He did something essentially similar over the English Channel - a high altitude takeoff to ensure that his glide angle was sufficient to get him across. The motor is moving him along at a pretty quick lick, but so what? It's hardly a useful aircraft if the only way is down...

Were it not for the fact that para and hang-gliders are excluded from the Grand Canyon airspace, he could have achieved exactly the same flight - though slower - with an unpowered paraglider. He could probably have done a rim-rim flight unpowered, too, and certainly with a powered paraglider.

Fair play to the guy, but he's achieved no great aeronautical feat here beyond lots of coverage for a watch manufacturer.

<I'm going to get zapped for this one, too...>

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WTF?

Toy Story

"That wasn't flying! That was falling... with style!" - Woody.

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