Yves Rossy

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Yves Rossy
Full name Yves Rossy
Born (1959-08-27) 27 August 1959 (age 55)
Nationality Swiss
Aviation career
Known for First person to fly a jet engine-powered wing
Air force Swiss Air Force

Yves Rossy (born 27 August 1959) is a Swiss pilot and aviation enthusiast. He is known as the inventor of an individual jet pack which uses carbon-fiber wings for flight.

Early life and career[edit]

Rossy was born in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel in 1959. He served as a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force, where he flew Dassault Mirage IIIs, Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs, and Hawker Hunters. He piloted Boeing 747s for Swissair, and later for Swiss International Air Lines.[1]


Rossy developed and built a wing-suit system comprising a backpack equipped with semi-rigid aeroplane-type carbon-fiber wings—with a span of about 2.4 metres (7.9 ft)—powered by four Jet-Cat P200 jet engines modified from large kerosene-fueled model aircraft engines. This has led to him being referred to in the press by various monikers, such as The Airman, Jetman, Rocketman, and Fusionman.[2]

Developmental flights[edit]

Rossy's jet-powered wing

In 2008, Rossy made a flight over the Alps Mountain Range, reaching a top descent speed of 304 kilometres per hour (189 mph), and an average speed of 200 kilometres per hour (120 mph).[3][4]

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 and headed in the direction of Atlanterra, Spain. The flight was expected to take about a quarter of an hour. Due to strong winds and cloud banks, Rossy was forced to ditch into the sea; picked up (ten minutes later) by his support helicopter—just three miles from the Spanish coast. He was flown to a hospital in Jerez, and soon released unhurt. The Spanish Coast Guard retrieved the jetpack (which had a parachute and a float).[5][6]

On 5 November 2010, Rossy flew a new version of his jet-powered flight system and successfully performed two aerial loops before landing via parachute. He had launched from a hot air balloon piloted by Brian Jones at 2,400 meters (7,900 feet). [7]

Since 2007 one of his training sites is in Spain, in the private airfield in Empuriabrava (Girona, Costa Brava).[8][9] On 7 May 2011, Rossy reportedly flew above the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had classified his flight system as an aircraft. When it finally granted him a license, the FAA waived the normal 25 to 40 hours of flight testing time, and Rossy acted quickly to complete his flight. Reporters, who had been waiting nearby since the cancellation of the original scheduled flight—on the day before—were not informed. There were, therefore, no independent witnesses to document his flight. [10][11]

Latest media and event appearances[edit]

Rossy was featured on an episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans.[12] He has appeared on the BBC's Top Gear, where he raced Richard Hammond and Toni Gardemeister. He was a main attraction at the 2013 Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Fly-In, America's largest fly-in.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jet Man Flies Across Channel On a Wing; 26 September 2008; article; James Randerson; Guardian; accessed ???.
  2. ^ Jet Man; Jetman Official website; accessed March 2014.
  3. ^ Rocketman Flies Over Alps with Jet-Pack Strapped to his Back; 15 May 2008; article with picture; "Mail Online;" accessed March 2014.
  4. ^ Swiss 'Fusion Man' Flies Over the Alps With Jet-Propelled Wings; 15 May 2008 Fox News; accessed ???
  5. ^ "Yves Rossy, 'Jetman,' Falls Into Sea Trying To Fly Between Continents". Huffingtonpost.com. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "BC News: Jetman Yves Rossy fails in Africa-Europe flight attempt". BBC News. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Découvrez les Vidéos de l Exploit de «Jetman»!; 11 November 2010; 20 Minutes Online; retrieved .
  8. ^ "Yves Rossy, "Jet Man", l'home a reacció". TV3 Catalonia. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Entrevistamos a Yves Rossy, el hombre pájaro en Skydive Empuriabrava". Vanity Fair. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  10. ^ 'JetMan' Pulls off Grand Canyon flight—Quietly
  11. ^ FAA: JetMan Can Fly over Arizona's Grand Canyon; Deseret News; accessed March 2014.
  12. ^ Rocket Man—Stan Lee's Superhumans
  13. ^ Caulfield, Phillip. "Swiss ‘Jetman’ Yves Rossy flies above Wisconsin alongside B-17 bomber". New York Daily News. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Good Day Wisconsin". 31 July 2013. WLUK.

External links[edit]

External images
image1= Yves Rossy image2= In flight image3= Wing suit