back to article Swiss birdman in Alpine backpack-jetplane stunt flight

Famous backpack-jetplane pilot Yves Rossy has given his most daring public performance yet, leaping from an ordinary aeroplane to perform a variety of stunts above the Swiss Alps. He says he will fly his four-engined strapon flying wing across the English Channel later this year. Yves Rossy soars to glory Only the most …


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  1. Steve Evans


    Now that looks like fun!

    Certainly would beat waiting for the ferry/chunnel on a cross channel trip... How much cheap booze and fags can you carry?

  2. Insane Reindeer

    And who said the Swiss were boring?

    This is completely brilliant, totally awesome AND I WANT ONE! I don't care how many times I crash, I want to learn to fly one of these!

    Great man and true inspiration to us all!

  3. Kevin Johnston

    Launch problem?

    I wonder if you could get enough height from a catapault launch, good old-fashioned trebuchet or similar. Once he has that sorted I'm in the queue to buy one

  4. BoldMan

    Coming to Bond movie near you soon

    Anyone else thinks we'll be "seeing" Bond strapped to one of these in a movie in the near future? Seems perfect for the sort of stunts they like...

  5. Steve
    Thumb Up


    Some sort of skateboard like launch platform could be implemented.

    Lay flat on the device (which isn't stearable), activate jets and zoom down road, achieve speed, lift off, ???, profit.

    Either have the device strapped on, so it goes with you, or leave it on the floor.

    Maybe he needs to add some aerofoils though to give him a bit more control than just using his body.

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Space Cadets 'r' Us for Icarus Drivers?

    Yes, well, what more can one say than .... We are not alone. Bravo, monsieur.

    ""I'm not married any more," says the 47-year-old Rossy, in a Hublot promo video. ®" ... Yes, well, that we can all appreciate and fully understand.

    Put all that into the Binary Melting Pot ...... add a few spicey herbs and simmer over a Hot Stove Pipe in a Summer of 69 CodeXXXX and Google Control Head Quarters and have a Ticket 42 Ride Everything ....... with Information just being Tricked out of and Trickled into Searching Universal IntelAIgent Virtualised Engines,

    And Yes that is NeuReal World Order ProgramMIng Speak from a Lot Higher than the Cloud and a lot dDeeper than any mountainous Vault. What Price immaculate Source and who is SMART enough to Invest....... are always two Pertinent Impertinent and therefore Apposite Quantum Questions.

  7. Derek Bez


    Surely the steam catapult on any reasonable carrier should do the job. Whether he'd cope with the acceleration is another story.

    Wonder what licence he would need to fly? Don't R/C planes over a certain weight need permission from <insert government dept / deity / celeb here> to get airborne?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Given a choice

    between understanding/interpreting/deciphering amanfromMars and learning to jet fly

    all i can say is give me the wings. Gotta be easier.

  9. Peter


    Mines the one with the wings on it. No, real wings.

  10. Graham Marsden

    But when he jumps...

    ... Does he proclaim "Power Xtreme!" (tm)

  11. Andy G

    @ Graham Marsden

    yeah but i bet he don't hover in mid air while his wings are strapped to him

  12. Ash
    Thumb Up

    @Graham Marsden

    Thank you so very, very much for reminding me of one of the best cartoons of my childhood.

    I'm off to find a DVD collection of Centurions now. MASK as well.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    How come...

    He's done it for roughly $1/4 million when the likes of Boeing or Lockhead would of need about 1000x times that (and still only end up with a plastic model on the desk)?

    Sod the flying car, this is the future.....

  14. Luther Blissett


    > "Put all that into the Binary Melting Pot ...... add a few spicey herbs and simmer over a Hot Stove Pipe in a Summer of 69 CodeXXXX and Google Control Head Quarters and have a Ticket 42 Ride Everything ......"

    Including Swiss mountain goats ;-). Mind the horns (just mind? or just just?). Klaxxxons XXXtra, that is the decision to be made, but I recommend disengaging them 1st so not to wake the sleepers, tho if discovered few would suspect amanfromMars and attribute alien visitation, such are the Infernal IntelAIgent Engines. amfM wants to know what I know about the Godisagodess Program? The Sun Also Rises. 2xChange is 2xForm.

    ".... with Information just being Tricked out of and Trickled into Searching Universal IntelAIgent Virtualised Engines,"

    A logical non sequitur, but doubtless a celebratory rhetorical flourish (AFAIK) to invert cause and effect to see if anyone is still awake and listening. Would that Fat Old Sun in the Sky be affecting the DialecticK of the capacITors at EarthObsAtenshunStation by any chance?

  15. Peyton

    Boeing et al can't do it for that

    Because they'd be doing it for the US government most likely, so it would have to be ADA compliant and have airbags and all manner of other tidbits that are useless to things rocket propelled.

  16. Kenneth Chan

    FusionMan(R) vs. Raptor!

    Totally public school childishness, but when the Machines takes over the earth, who will win in a dog fight? My money is on the Swiss for shear coolness....

    (!) Because the Machine better look out! KC

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Very nice, but.

    When's the supersonic version coming out?

    I don't need the jacket for this, but I think that I'll be wanting my brown trousers.

  18. Luke

    Learn to Fly!

    Here i am sat at work with my ipod plugged in and listening to iTunes, when the playlist rolls on to 'Learn to Fly' by the Foo Fighters (seriously!) - it's a sign....i'm off to my shed to build me an even better jet plane jackety type thing with foldable wings with bigger jets and 'go faster/safer stripes', with a big'ol parachute mind.

    Flame? because you'll see it streaking across the sky as i fly over screaming Learn to Fly by the Foo Fighters.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Graham Marsden, Kenneth Chan

    That video is almost as cool as the Centurions lunch box I had at junior school.

    If machines did take over the earth, would Swiss machines and/or people remain neutral I wonder?

  20. Graham Bartlett

    @Insane Reindeer

    "And who said the Swiss were boring?"

    By the definition of "boring" meaning "creating a deep hole", I suspect this would certainly meet the criteria...

    (The penguin, because they need artificial assistance to fly too.)

  21. Aditya Krishnan


    Ace McCloud, daring Air Operations expert!!!

    Power Xtreme!!!!

    mine's the one with the thruster pack...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Insane Reindeer

    I think there's probably a defacto upper limit to the number of times you can crash wearing one of those things!

  23. Justin Clift

    Heck yeah!

    Heh, stuff the motorbike off... this looks fun! :)

    Hmmm, wonder if they'll allow them in the Red Bull Air Race at some point?

  24. Daniel B.

    Screaming Fist

    So now I know where those flying cyberwarriors got their gear from...

    Just remind Rossy to make these wings EMP-resistant. ;)

  25. John Savard


    If the device requires "a body honed to perfection... and a mind attuned to split-second coordination of flight parameters", then I take it it isn't likely to turn up for general sale on the order of 1Q 2009. But it's still an exciting news item, and I wish him well; of course, he is engaged in a risky activity, but the world would be a far less interesting place without adventurous spirits.

  26. F Seiler

    Re: @Insane Reindeer

    Yeah, and it fits into a single digit. In binary representation.

  27. Richard Foersom

    Toy Story?

    A real life imitation of Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

  28. Colin Mountford

    Jet-Wing Widow

    Conversation went like this:-

    Me - "Wow look at this, genius"

    Roll you tube video and brief explanation of principles of flight.

    Wife - "Why would you want to do that"

    Me - "Because it's awesome"

    Wife - "I already got you a remote controlled helicopter"

    Me - "But I can't fly IN that"

    Wife - "And it looks dangerous."<eyes narrow> "How much does it cost anyway"

    Me - "But the wind in your hair, swooping through the Alps, you can't put a price on that."

    Wife - "No you can't have one, besides we're saving for new windows"

    Me - "But"

    Wife - "No"

    Me - "mumble mumble" - retreat to the shed with hammer, carbon fibre panels and 4 jet engines - "I'll be in the shed, back soon"

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Trevor Watt


    Why? He needs to jump out an aeroplane to begin with, why not just stay in the plane and get it to land where you want to go?

    There is something not right about anyone who wants to jump out a perfectly serviceable aeroplane.

  31. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    I can't wait...

    Until we see flying-jet-men [tm] zooming across our Google Earth images.

  32. RRRoamer

    From on American to the Swiss

    *Insert Deep Bow Here*

    Marvelous! I can't even BEGIN to imagine a more natural way to fly! I think the poem "High Flight" By John Magee says it best:

    "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

    Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things

    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung

    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

    My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue

    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —

    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

  33. Jim T

    Surely there's a missing application here ...

    it'd be an awesome way to commute to work.

  34. Sir Runcible Spoon


    With the world being so utterly fucked up and being bombarded alternately by advertising and messages of's people like this fucked up maniac lunatic hero who remind us that life is for living.

    I get goosepimples just watching this thing fly. Chances of me actually getting to fly one are close to zero in this life, but the *possibility* is now there.

    Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot !!!!

    Go-go gadget wings!!!

  35. Andy G

    Does he shout..

    ... To infinity.... and beyond ?!?!?

  36. Ishkandar


    The ME263 - Komet - of WW2 fame, did exactly that !! They launched off a dolly and landed on a skid, if they survived (1) the launch, (2) the climb, (3) the attack on the Allied bombers and (4) the unpowered plummet to the ground !!

    Somehow, I get the feeling that if Rossy tried landing on a skid, he'll not feel like getting married any more !!

    @Derek Bez - only if they carry surveillance equipment and/or offensive weaponry !!

    @TeeCee - The supersonic version will not be available for the foreseeable future !! They are still working on a high-tensile belt to keep the pants securely fastened when passing Mach 1 !!

    @bazza - Holland ?? Going head-first into a Dyke is not conducive to future good health !!

    @Jim T - >>it'd be an awesome way to commute to work.<< - provided you don't try to land through the plate glass window of your office !! Glass shrapnel falling from 40 storeys up will not be greatly appreciated by the passers-by !!

  37. Troy Shanahan

    @ Runcible Spoon

    Hey, nice to see a fellow Dominic Deegan fan on el Reg. Unless there's another Runcible Spoon I'm unaware of.

    And well said for the most part. I agree totally although you could have used a little less profanity.

    Life is for living, get out there and do something stupid/inane if it suits you, as long as you don't hurt anyone else.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deegan = Asher?

    Wasn't it Asher? Or is it Asher = Deegan?

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