Switzerland's 'Jetman' pulls another aerial stunt
Yves Rossy, the Swiss adventurer who has already flown across the English Channel using a winged jet-pack, pulled off another exploit Friday, flying two aerial loops in a new version of his invention.
Rossy, who was testing a new, more aerodynamic model of the jet-pack, jumped from a hot-air balloon at 2,400 metres (7,900 feet) and performed the stunt during an 18-minute flight before making a parachute landing.
"He flew a few minutes to stabilise his wing and find the optimal angle to begin two loopings," said a statement on his website, www.jetman.com.
Rossy, 51, said his new model of the jet-pack, which has a two-metre wingspan instead of the 2.5-metre model and no unfoldable parts, was both more aerodynamic and stable.
He designed it along with Swiss collaborators, the RUAG Company.
"It was fantastic," Rossy said in comments posted on the website after the test flight, which was carried out in the skies above the Swiss canton of Vaud.
"The flight went well, despite a little problem when starting my engines. I was able to do my two loopings and I am very happy."
The Swiss newspaper 20 Minutes reported that Rossy had not however gone through with an initial plan to fly a complete circuit of the hot-air balloon for "technical and security reasons".
In September 2008 Rossy, whose jet-pack can reach speeds of around 200 kilometres (124 miles) an hour, gained international attention when he became the first winged person to make a successful crossing of the Channel.
He covered the 35 kilometres in around 10 minutes.
© 2010 AFP