Swiss pilot to attempt Africa-Europe flight

25th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Yves Rossy aims to fly from Africa to Europe using a jet-powered wing on Wednesday.

Rabat -- A Swiss man will attempt to fly from Africa to Europe using a jet-powered wing attached to his back on Wednesday, his technical team announced Tuesday.

Yves Rossy, 50, plans to fly 38 kilometres (23.6 miles) across the Strait of Gibraltar from Tangier in Morocco to Atlanterra in southern Spain, reaching an altitude of 2,000 metres and a cruising speed of 220 km/h (138 mph).

Take-off is planned for 14:00 CET, and the former fighter pilot plans to cut his engines 13 minutes later, open his parachute and land in Spain.

Rossy, known as "Fusionman", earned media attention in September 2008 when he became the first person to cross the English Channel between France and Britain using a jet-powered wing.

His team said Wednesday's Africa-to-Europe attempt was the logical development from this.

The carbon fibre wing, two metres across, is powered by four jet engines and steered by the pilot's body movements.

During the flight a helicopter will follow Rossy to film the attempt and to help in case of accident.

Rossy said the main dangers were engine failure and losing control of the wing.

"But there's always plan B. I can ditch the wing and open the parachute. If I land in the water, there are people to come and get me," he told AFP by telephone.

AFP / Expatica

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