Jetman, aka adventurer Yves Rossy, hit 190 m.p.h. Saturday as he flew with a jet-pack above the Grand Canyon. Where some see self-promotional stunt man, others see a boundary-breaker.Harnessed into a six-foot-wide, 45-pound carbon-fiber wingpack shaped like a boomerang with a raised fin, Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy pulled off his first escapade in the United States on Saturday, shooting along the rim of the Grand Canyon for about eight minutes before opening his parachute and wafting down to the canyon floor.It was a spectacle, to be sure – and the ride will definitely end up on YouTube. But whether Jetman’s performance qualifies as a publicity-seeking stunt of the “balloon boy” variety or a quest to expand the limits of human endeavor, well, that depends on the beholder. – Yves Rossy (born 27 August 1959 in Neuchâtel) is a Swiss pilot, inventor and aviation enthusiast. He is the first person to achieve sustained human flight using a jet-powered fixed wing strapped to his back. This jet pack has led to his being nicknamed Jet Man, Rocket Man and Fusion Man. Rossy developed and built a system comprising
a back pack with semi-rigid aeroplane-type carbon-fiber wings with a span of about 2.4 metres (7.9 ft), powered by four attached jet engines modified from model aircraft engines. His first flight occurred in November 2006 in Bex, lasting nearly six minutes and nine seconds. Yves later successfully flew across the English Channel on 26 September 2008 in 9 minutes 7 seconds, reaching a speed of 299 km/h (186 mph) during the crossing. Later in 2008, he made a flight over the Alps, reaching a top descent speed of 304 km/h (189 mph) and a top average speed of 124 mph. In November 2009, Rossy attempted a crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar, hoping to be the first person to fly between two continents using a jetpack. He leapt from a small plane about 1,950 m (6,500 ft) above Tangier in Morocco in the direction of Atlanterra in Spain. The flight was expected to take about a quarter of an hour but, due to strong winds and banks of cloud, Rossy ditched into the sea, to be picked up ten minutes later by his support helicopter 3 miles from the Spanish coast. He was flown to a hospital in Jerez, and later released unhurt. The Spanish Coast Guard later retrieved the jetpack (which had a parachute and a float).On 5 November 2010, he flew a new version of his jet-powered flight system and successfully performed 2 aerial loops before landing via parachute. He launched from a hot air balloon piloted by Brian Jones at 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) and flew a total of 18 minutes before landing. The wingspan of Rossy’s latest craft has been reduced to 2m. On 7 May 2011, Rossy flew across the Grand Canyon in Arizona, after the United States Federal Aviation Administration classified his flight system as an aircraft, waived the normal 25 to 40 hours of flight testing time, and granted him permission to perform the flight. Yves served as a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force, flying Dassault Mirage IIIs, Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs and Hawker Hunters. He flew Boeing 747s for Swissair and now pilots an Airbus A320 for Swiss International Air Lines.
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