Friday, September 26, 2008

Jet-Pack Man Zips Across English Channel At 120 MPH

A Swiss pilot, Yves Rossy - who goes by the name Fusion Man, has become the first person to cross the English Channel using a jet-pack. Rossy leapt from a plane with four kerosene-burning jet turbines mounted on a wing on his back. Moving at up to 120mph it took him thirteen minutes to cross the 22 miles between the UK and France.

The jet-pack wing was designed by Rossy himself, and is constructed from a lightweight carbon composite; despite measuring eight feet across, even with fuel it weighs a mere 55kg (120lb). Since having four jet turbines blaring next to your legs will do more than strip the hair from them, Rossy had to wear a flameproof suit for the attempt.

Landing is courtesy of a parachute and crossing your fingers for somewhere relatively soft and tree-free. Next on the cards is flying over the Grand Canyon, taking off from a standing position on the ground and performing acrobatics.

"Everything was perfect," he said afterwards. "I showed that it is possible to fly a little bit like a bird."

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