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Rocketman Takes Off In Custom-Made Wingsuit

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the burning-out-his-fuse dept.

Transportation 73

disco_tracy writes "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 meters (7,900 feet) and performed the stunt during an 18-minute flight before making a parachute landing." The BBC has some video of his flight, and the Washington Post put up a handful of pictures.

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Rocketman!!! (1)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147074)

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time before touchdown brings him 'round again to find
He's not the man they think he is at home, no no, no no

Where's Helicopter-man?? (1)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147960)

Wouldn't you be able to stay aloft much longer if you had a helicopter-pack rather than a jet-pack or rocket-pack?

Re:Where's Helicopter-man?? (2, Interesting)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148018)

Actually, yes [acecraftusa.com] .

Re:Where's Helicopter-man?? (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148406)

Go Go Gadget Helicopter!

Re:Rocketman!!! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148446)

He's his own wingman.

He could stay aloft longer with bungee cords.

She packed my bags last night pre-flight !! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147126)

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine AM
And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It's lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it's cold as hell
And there's no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don't understand
It's just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a Rocket Man

And I think it's gonna be a long long time
And I think it's gonna be a long long time

I won't be impressed until he can .. (1)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147142)

I won't be impressed until he can .. take off from the ground.

Then we'll be getting some where.

I'm getting of waiting for the bus.

Re:I won't be impressed until he can .. (1)

kullnd (760403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148056)

From the website :

Yves is now working on a new prototype, smaller and more powerful, which will should allow the take-off from the ground and more freedom for aerobatics!

As a person that used to do alot of skydiving, the ultimate outcome of this would be strapping on one of these wings, taking off from the ground, fly up to 13,000ft altitude, go into freefall until ~ 3,000ft and land under parachute ... Awesome.

Cool (5, Insightful)

galvanash (631838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147158)

I have nothing snarky to say. That was just cool.

That wasn't flying! (1)

Huntr (951770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147220)

That was... falling with style! [go.com]

Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147224)

Jumped from a balloon and landed with a parachute.

Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have the ultimate traffic beater!

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (2, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147356)

Absolutely, can't see any issue with jet powered individuals flying over crowded areas.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147406)

Absolutely, can't see any issue with with motorized carriages driving through crowded areas.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147594)

I can only see one : I need a way to scrub the blood and bones from my roof. Seriously, if people crash in these suits in a crowded area, the probability that they kill someone else than themselves is small. Actually smaller than with cars that frequently use the same roads as pedestrians.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34149124)

It's okay, the TSA will make them wear reinforced doors.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147416)

Um, yeah, sort of, but what kind of skydive lets you do loops? This is genuine powered flight. It's only the takeoff and landing that isn't independent.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

notmyusualnickname (1221732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147648)

Rollerblades. Or one of those skeleton luge suits with the wheels...

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148836)

If this catches on it could be a way to make the summer Olympics more interesting than the winter Olympics.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147746)

Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have the ultimate traffic beater!

If this is the guy I'm remembering, the landing part is the ultimate goal of his experiments. With the wing, the wearer can turn the downward speed into horizontal speed. Then use the horizontal speed to give more lift canceling out the remaining vertical speed with reduction of horizontal speed. Thus, if timing it correctly, the wearer could stall out right at ground level and basically just step down to the ground. Skydivers can currently do this but since the parachutes reduce the speeds involved, it's less dangerous although they can stall and fall far enough to hurt or kill themselves if done improperly. With the wing, it's not reducing speed, just changing the direction so it's much more dangerous if a mistake is made.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147854)

Hang gliders have already solved the landing problem, and it's exactly as you described. Their advantage there, though, is that their wings are large, and their speeds are low, specially at stall. Rossi's wing is small, so he needs to fly fast just to keep from stalling. He'd need to develop something to provide extra lift at low speeds, like, say, trailing-edge flaps.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148868)

The thing is I did a lot of hang gliding 20 or so years ago and the landings you describe were very easy. But about a year ago I was watching these guys flying at a coastal site in Australia (I helped one guy with his launch because he had run out of helpers) and every single landing on the beach resulted in a face plant. Just a small increase in stall speed makes that trick impossible.

Re:Really an assisted skydive, but cool anyway (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34149676)

Jumped from a balloon and landed with a parachute.

Just figure out that launch and land from the ground thing, then we'll have moved the traffic problem into the air!

F _ _ Y

Barrel Rolls, not *Loops*... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147226)

...but a rather minor point.

Met Yves many times back in the 90s in Zermatt (the North Wall Bar). Very intense, but very nice guy -- cool to see him having such success with his rather intimidating project!

Re:Barrel Rolls, not *Loops*... (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148480)

Indeed, I came here to duplicated your informative comment. Loops would have been more impressive than rolls, but this was still very very cool.

Wow (2, Informative)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147232)

That's one cool motherf#cker...

Wingsuit? Looks more like a hang glider to me. (1)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147248)

He's got a rigid carbon fibre wing strapped to his back, with jets attached to it. I'd call that a powered hang glider, not a wingsuit.

Ouch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147256)

Wow, watching a 30 second ad to see 5 pictures of mostly the same content, that must be a new low.

Re:Ouch. (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34149714)

Wow, watching a 30 second ad to see 5 pictures of mostly the same content, that must be a new low.

I was just thinking something similar. There should be some kind of gentleman's agreement along the lines of "the advertising can't be more eye-catching than the content".

I propose that we reverse-slashdot the Washington Post by never visiting their site again! :D

winged person (3, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147266)

TFA calls him "the first winged person to make a successful crossing of the Channel".

That's not counting Hawkman's attempt in All-Star Comics #16, which was thwarted by the Luftwaffe, forcing him to land in Guernsey. :)

Re:winged person (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148230)

Uhm ... by your own account ("thwarted") Hawkman failed at crossing the Channel, making Rocketman the first to successfully cross the Channel.

Re:winged person (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151388)

One might argue that Guernsey hugs the coast of France close enough to count as "crossing the Channel".

If I hadn't made the whole thing up, that is, in a somewhat feeble joke on the notion of a "winged person".

Re:winged person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34148880)

And not counting Bleriot. And not counting David Cook as first across with a powered hang glider in 1978 - a wing-set that you can lift yourself, take off & land by using your legs, and control by shifting your weight.

Rossy gets credit for the first jet wingsuit crossing. But that included jumping out of a plane at 2500m -- not taking off from ground -- and then he parachuted to "land".

Full credit to Rossy for doing fun, cool things, but his media-hyped 'firsts' are lackluster. It's really not much of a record when you lower the bar that much to say you did it.

Just what we need for the holiday season. (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147270)

Now everybody will want jet powered wings to save money on gas.

Re:Just what we need for the holiday season. (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148504)

And thanks to Amish craftsmen, you can have jet powered wings and save money on gas.

And if you call today, we'll give you two sets!

Link to full video (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147282)

click here [doiop.com]

no loop performed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147288)

Did not see any loop maneuver - only a roll.

inaccurate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147306)

One, it's not a wing suit. It's a suit with a hard wing attached to it. Sure, technically, that could be called a wingsuit (or maybe a winged suit) but wingsuit has typically come to mean the flying squirrel type suits.

Two, he did not do two loops. He did two ROLLS.

Re:inaccurate (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34153862)

He pressed Z or R 4 times then.

Imagine what it would be like (4, Funny)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147326)

if these suits were commercially available and people used them. We'd have people falling out of the sky like live turkeys being thrown from the traffic helicopter by Les Nessman in the old WKRP in Cincinnati [wikipedia.org] TV show.

** As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly! **

Re:Imagine what it would be like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147700)

So close! Les Nessman was actually the one on the ground describing the action as Arthur Carlson the station manager tossed the turkeys from the helicopter... Les, reporting on the incident:

The 'copter seems to circling the parking area now. I guess it's looking for a place to land. No! Something just came out of the back of a helicopter. It's a dark object, perhaps a skydiver plummeting to the earth from only two thousand feet in the air... There's a third... No parachutes yet... Those can't be skydivers. I can't tell just yet what they are but... Oh my God! They're turkeys! Oh no! Johnny can you get this? Oh, they're crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! This is terrible! Everyone's running around pushing each other. Oh my goodness! Oh, the humanity! People are running about. The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement!

Thanks IMDB!
http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0029682/quotes

Re:Imagine what it would be like (1)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34151286)

Ah.. recalling that moment never gets old. Truly one of the funniest bits I can remember from TV of that age. Of course thinking of this show raises the question... do you go for Jennifer or Bailey? For me it's Bailey all the way.

Re:Imagine what it would be like (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34162256)

While this was comedy, it just goes to illustrate what people think is true isn't always the case. Turkeys can, in fact, fly. [wikipedia.org] It's more like the Wright brothers' flight: not really sustainable over long distances, but enough to be called flight.

Still.. funny, nonetheless!

Re:Imagine what it would be like (2, Informative)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 3 years ago | (#34164074)

Turkeys can, in fact, fly.

But they can't land for squat. I watched one come in for a landing while hunting, and I must say that had to hurt - he hit the ground and proceeded to blast through some underbrush like a bowling ball.

Somewhere between Arizona and New Mexico.... (1)

arielCo (995647) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147344)

An retired inventor, once intrepid, sheds a single tear. Old memories [wordpress.com] , indeed [wordpress.com] .

I wonder what ... (1)

thomst (1640045) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147372)

... Burt Rutan thinks of this guy ... ?

Re:I wonder what ... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148170)

You know, I've always loved Burt Rutan, from the moment I first saw a Beechcraft Starship, and I still think he's the best and most brilliant designer around... but this guy looks like he has more fun. :)

Yves is French for "Wiley" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147376)

That's nothing. By the time he rolled over the Roadrunner was already back in the gondola dropping the first anvil.

Actually, that was nothing short of awesome. I wonder how the guy walks, with such a pair.

Re:Yves is French for "Wiley" (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34173264)

You should register an account, this was the funniest, and most insightful comment of this article.

Obligatory (0, Redundant)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147378)

Rocketman [youtube.com]

Not to take anything away but . . . (1)

k2backhoe (1092067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147448)

That is outstanding, but the text in English is misleading. Loops implies a vertical circle. It appears that he either did rolls, or horizontal circles. Loops require a lot more lift to drag ratio and power to weight ratio than I suspect he has. Still, it is a fantastic flight. Keep it up!

Re:Not to take anything away but . . . (3, Informative)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147680)

He does do a vertical loop. Watch the video [youtube.com]

Re:Not to take anything away but . . . (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34149328)

That loop was not in the video linked in the summery.

Re:Not to take anything away but . . . (1)

k2backhoe (1092067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34154496)

Thanks for the video, that wasn't the one I first looked at. WOW!! loops and everything. This guy is great!

Fantastic (0, Redundant)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147468)

It must be an amazing experience to fly this thing. I wonder how he landed, with a regular parachute or not.

Re:Fantastic (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34162280)

It says right in the summary that he landed with a parachute.

I love that site (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147524)

Discovery News has a great site. I had to keep refreshing to see all the potential "Discovery news...wants to ____________" headlines that pop up when it loads.

Not taking off (4, Informative)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147538)

That is very cool, but it's not taking off. Taking off means starting from the ground, which still hasn't happened yet.

Mayhaps a poor choice of words, disco_tracy.

Re:Not taking off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147930)

Thank you for mentioning it: This is worse than a misleading headline, it's a flat out lie.

I know it sounds cooler, but if people have to lie to make the story interresting: STFU and let someone else tell it instead. Fuck you, soulskill.

Re:Not taking off (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34149960)

I wonder if he just laid down on a skate board with a lot of road in front of him, could he take off?

Re:Not taking off (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34150316)

I wonder if he just laid down on a skate board with a lot of road in front of him, could he take off?

I've tried that but it doesn't work. You'd probably need some kind of jetpack or wingsuit in addition to the skateboard.

Re:Not taking off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34150664)

that or he'd get amazing faceburn!

Air Space Clearance? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147684)

So did he need to get any special clearance from the air traffic control in the area where he made his jump? Imagine that you are putting along in your Cessna, and this guy zooms by. It would scare the bejesus out of me.

"Uh, Zurich control, this is flight DE1073. You're not going to believe this, but a guy with wings and a jet pack just flew by me!"

"Here Zurich control, DE1073, you've been drinking, sir. Please land your plane as soon as possible."

Man, I am really impressed with private innovation like this. If this were a government project, it would still be held up in funding committee squabbles.

Since he's obviously got power to spare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34147894)

Isn't there a way he could use some of the excess power from the turbines to compress air into small bottles? That way, he could have a JATO (jet assisted take off), replenish his supply mid-flight, and have a JAL (Jet Assisted Lanfing). He'd keep his parachute as a backup of course.

Not saying the engineering won't be difficult but it would allow (very) short distance "jet-pack" use and long distance "flying".

Re:Since he's obviously got power to spare... (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34150180)

Afterburners would probably work - and be lighter and easier.

T

not taking off (1)

derpderp123 (1935754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34147902)

Holy crap!! That is just plain awesome!! I wish I could get me one of these suits!! haha Could you imagine that? That would be some Funny Shit [hahafunnyshit.com] right there haha

Journalistic dishonesty detracts from actual event (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148304)

I get so damn sick of this time and again, and again and again...

What Rossy has been doing with his rocket wing is cutting edge stuff, and cool as hell besides.

But what we get from the media is exaggeration, and dare I say deliberate dishonesty...such that when you actually read the article it's disappointing instead of exciting. The term "wingsuit" means something...this isn't it. The term "loop" means something...this isn't it.

Why can journalists not resist the temptation to exaggerate every damn thing they report on?

Re:Journalistic dishonesty detracts from actual ev (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34148410)

Why can journalists not resist the temptation to exaggerate every damn thing they report on?

In journalism it's probably a good idea to never attribute to dishonesty something that can more readily be explained by ordinary everyday incompetence; my experience is that most journalists I've met couldn't tell a loop from a barrel roll even if they were sober at the time.

Re:Journalistic dishonesty detracts from actual ev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34157952)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0E6Yh_mSx8 [youtube.com]

It's a motherfucking suit with a fucking wing, and he does a fucking loop. Pull your head out of your ass.

Re:Journalistic dishonesty detracts from actual ev (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34173758)

While this may be the case, a wingsuit is a very specific item:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingsuit_flying [wikipedia.org]

This is Spinal Tap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34148502)

Anyone else notice that the Beeb's flash player volume goes to 11?

Not a flight but a plummet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34149140)

Take off, fly and land with the same setup - that's flight.

wahhh wahhh wahhh (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 3 years ago | (#34150956)

Lame... no offense but there are at least a half dozen guys here in America who actually have rockets(hydrogen peroxide) and can take off from ground to landing. As in flying across Hollywood boulevard and landing on a building across there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PCEe7RH8A4 [youtube.com]

Go Fast Jet Pack vs Ford Focus RS 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmQ450ctKJs&feature=related [youtube.com]

All that guy did was glide a little faster, too bad none of the reak 'GoFast Jimmmy Rocketman' wasn't featured here.

Re:wahhh wahhh wahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34152358)

Rocket belts can only fly for seconds - only a little over than a minute at the best IIRC and there is no magic technology to come and make them practical since they are already using one of the most powerful and dangerous fuels we know of. That sounds pretty lame to me. Wingsuits and fixed-wing backpacks without engines, however, are already publicly available and have military uses in allowing paratroops to be dropped far from their destination.

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