26 Sep: Yves Rossy: Rocketman

Pushing the boundaries of human flight to hitherto unknown extremes, Swiss aviator Yves Rossy entered the record books on 26th September, 2008, becoming the first person ever to cross the English channel using a jet-propelled wing strapped to his back, equipped with four kerosene-fueled turbine engines. 

To embark on his flight, Rossy first ascended to 2,500 feet over Calais in a support plane. From there, he tumbled out, and, after free-falling and stabilizing, jetpacked over the White Cliffs of Dover in under ten minutes: the result of years of work and multiple prior attempts.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why, despite being a popular movie trope, jet-packs have yet to catch on; consider whether Rossy’s crash-landing ruined the aesthetics of his bird-like descent; and reminisce about Michael Jackson’s rocket-powered exit from the Dangerous world tour…

Further Reading:

• ’Jet Man flies across Channel on a wing’ (The Guardian, 2008): https://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/sep/26/aeronautics

‘The Great American Jet Pack – The Quest for the Ultimate Individual Lift Device, By Steve Lehto’ (Chicago Review Press, 2013): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/The_Great_American_Jet_Pack/ycr1HSRzRuIC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=yves+rossy&pg=PA169&printsec=frontcover

#00s #Switzerland #Inventions #Strange