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A Working, Winged Jetpack from Switzerland

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the rephrasing-the-flying-cars-question dept.

Toys 125

serutan writes "A Swiss airline pilot and self-described adrenaline junkie named Yves Rossy has developed a working jet-pack and flown it more than 30 times. Actually, it's a pair of rigid carbon fiber wings strapped to his back, with two small kerosene-powered jet engines on each wing — essentially a small jet airplane using the pilot's body as the fuselage. His flights have lasted up to 6-1/2 minutes at speeds over 100mph. Rossy's website and YouTube have some pretty cool videos of him flying around over the mountains like Buzz Lightyear. He is working toward ground takeoffs and landings, but currently he jumps out of an airplane, unfolds the wings and flies until he runs out of fuel, then parachutes to the ground."

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125 comments

hmmp (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359418)

That's not flying, it's falling with style.

Re:hmmp (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359434)

To Infinity, and Beyond!

This jetpack looks cool, I would be worried about the landing however, it looks heavy.

Re:hmmp (1)

StartCom (1018308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361576)

Don't think so. It's heavy when full of fuel, but that's gone at landing...Leaving only the fiber wings and jets.

Re:hmmp (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361646)

Did you see the way it pushed him over on landing in the video?

It literally pushes his legs from under him and pushes him over his ankles.

Nausicaa (1, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359544)

Yeah thats much more like assisted gliding than anything else. When he can take off from a standing start, like in Nausicaa [stomptokyo.com] (valley of the wind), I'll be impressed. Also his landing technique seems a bit hair raising. Do you fold up the wings before or after you deploy the parachute?

Re:Nausicaa (5, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359616)

The dude jumps out of a plane with a homemade jetpack and flies around for six minutes, and you're not impressed?

Holy crap...

Re:Nausicaa (1, Insightful)

rfunches (800928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359788)

The dude jumps out of a plane with a homemade jetpack and flies around for six minutes, and you're not impressed?

When the hardest part seems to be a controlled ground takeoff (and maintaining control until you can get up to speed), no, I'm not impressed. It's a neat expensive toy that requires another neat expensive toy -- the plane -- to function. I'll be impressed when it can function by itself.

Re:Nausicaa (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361522)

I said this on fark a few days ago, but...

All you need is a Catapult, and a big Circus-type net on top of the building you work at, repeat at your house.

Re:Nausicaa (1, Interesting)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359870)

The dude jumps out of a plane with a homemade jetpack and flies around for six minutes, and you're not impressed?

Power assisted gliding [pointvista.com] is nothing new, it has been around for a while now. What he's doing is a cool stunt, yes, a fun toy if thats what floats your boat, but its hardly groundbreaking (no pun intended). Its not like he was in any real danger, what with the parachute strapped to his back and everything. Or if he was it was danger of his own making. So no, not impressed.

No criticism intended.... (2, Insightful)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360766)

....but...

Its not like he was in any real danger...?
Its not like he was in any real danger...!!


Spheres.
Mighty spheres.
Especially the first time!
I don't care how many plan B's they had.

Re:Nausicaa (3, Interesting)

constantnormal (512494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359976)

I'm impressed by the fact that he was his own test pilot ... ... learning the flight characteristics on the way to the ground ...

Obviously, a quick learner.

I'd be interested in knowing what his "Plan B" was in the event the wings folded up in flight, or one engine exploded.

Re:Nausicaa (2, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360186)

"Oh father who art in heaven..."?

Re:Nausicaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360340)

Farter in heaven, sure a solution.

Re:Nausicaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360388)

*Our father

Re:Nausicaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360616)

"Oh father who art in heaven..."?


I had to read that again as I thought it said "Oh father who farts in heaven".. then I was thinking: sorry son, baked beans aren't going to serve as an auxillary JATO unit this time!

Probably.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360634)

The same parachute he is depending on for landing.

Re:Nausicaa (1)

Swordsmanus (921213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360842)

Well, he is a former military pilot...so the learning curve for him probably wasn't as high for him as it would be for most.

Re:Nausicaa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17361422)

There have been skydiver wings for quite a while now (http://www.guardian.co.uk/silly/story/0,,1013884, 00.html [guardian.co.uk], for example). His design offers nothing over existing non-powered designs. When he makes it so you can take off without the assistance of a plane, then he'll have something. Until then, it's just a gimick.

It isn't the flying that's the hard part (5, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359446)

It isn't the flying that's the hard part, it's landing with the bones in your body intact.

Re:It isn't the flying that's the hard part (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359886)

Any landing you can walk away from is a good one. If you can re-use the airplane, it's a great one. Apparently he's made a number of great landings.

Seriously, I think the guy's nuts, but damn that was cool to watch. I know the U.S. military experimented with flying platforms at one time: does anyone know if they ever worked on anything like this? He says he's working on the ability to have ground takeoffs in the next version. That's actually starting to sound like it might become a useful application of personal flight, hair-raising as it looks.

Re:It isn't the flying that's the hard part (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360730)

There are only 12 people who have actually flow a jetpack that can take off from the ground. The most well-know guy, (can't remember his name, Bell or something) flew for a couple presidents, Nascar and some Bond movies.

There are only a couple working jetpacks, and one of the famous ones disappeared. Chemical companies got sued a while back, and quit selling high-grade concentrated hydrogen peroxide to hobbyists, so jetpacks died off until some Mexican guy invented a distiller that made 90 something percent hydrogen peroxide, and he has a working jetpack of his own design. He has 3 more in the making, and he pays for them my selling hospitals his distillers. (I wish I could remember more about him.)

Re:It isn't the flying that's the hard part (1)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361206)

It isn't the flying that's the hard part, it's landing with the bones in your body intact.

Which is why he uses a parachute.

Don't get me wrong, it's cool and all... But it requires falling out of a plane for while in order to launch the thing and then still needs a parachute to land. It's a small step beyond the guys who've been jumping for years with flying squirrel type wings stitched in to their jump gear (in that this guy adds a rigid wing and power) but it's a long way from a truly useful jet pack that'll let you take off and land.

There's a reason why most records include being able to return to where you started from for it to count. We would likely celebrate Sir Edmund Hillary, the first guy to the top of Everest, far less if he got dropped off by plane and simply climbed down or Rould Amundsen if he got dropped off at the South pole and simply collected food caches along the way back.

Re:It isn't the flying that's the hard part (1)

The Evil Couch (621105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361298)

There's a reason why most records include being able to return to where you started from for it to count. We would likely celebrate Sir Edmund Hillary, the first guy to the top of Everest, far less if he got dropped off by plane and simply climbed down or Rould Amundsen if he got dropped off at the South pole and simply collected food caches along the way back.

He was able gain altitude and keep pace with his launching aircraft. He could have returned to the airplane if he was willing risk striking the plane, dying horribly, shortening his flight and just generally not having nearly as much fun. No, I'd have to give the man some credit. While, I'd say that this gentleman, his BirdMan suit and his rocket boots [dropzone.com] were the first that I know of to try this sort of thing, Mr. Rossy has done something really impressive and cool.

Watch the videos (2, Interesting)

Hellad (691810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359462)

Pretty damn awsome! The landing can be seen as well; he makes it look easy. The wings fold up and he simply parachutes down like its nothing. I was more shocked when I saw him simply jumping out of a plan with a giant pair of wings on his back; scary stuff.

Re:Watch the videos (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359498)

The wings fold up and he simply parachutes down like its nothing....Then as he touches the ground the momentum causes his legs to be pushed over and risks breaking his ankles easily.

Cliffs in California (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359492)

Didn't some guy from California fry his ankles off with one of these things a few years ago? I'm pretty sure he was jumping off cliffs, too, instead of jumping out of airplanes. Don't exactly remember how he landed, though.

  http://lyricslist.com/ [lyricslist.com]

MMM, I LUV CHRISTMAS SPAM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359528)

Modbomb requested for parent in isle five for inane content and spam. Oh, and also this one, for being offtopic!

Re:Cliffs in California (1)

Big Nemo '60 (749108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360116)

I don't know about California, but just one year ago some guy in Finland [dropzone.com] strapped two jets to the ankles of his wingsuit [wikipedia.org], jumped from a hot air balloon 7000ft from the ground, and ZOOMed through the sky!

M. Rossy's contraption looks much more impressive though.

He could have built the engines himself (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359576)

Something that amazes me is that there are hobbyists building those model jet engines from scratch, using detailed plans that this guy [wikipedia.org] published in this book [amazon.com].


After him, several other people published books on building small jet engines, like this one [amazon.com], for instance.

Re:He could have built the engines himself (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360564)

Something that amazes me is that there are hobbyists building those model jet engines from scratch, using detailed plans that this guy published in this book.
I think "amazes" isn't the word I'd use. I was thinking the Swiss is guy is really cool - crazy - but really cool. Then I see your post about people building planes based on designs from Wikipedia and I realize the Swiss guy is the paragon of sane and normal.

They'd build something as dangerous as a plane based on plans from one of the world's most notoriously dubious and manipulated sources of "facts"? They're mental patients, or cadavers, which ever comes first...

Trusting Wikipedia for a high school essay is foolish, but a plane... Mark my words, it's only a question of time before there's some form Wikipedia related deaths, planes or otherwise.

Re:He could have built the engines himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360892)

Hello, genius. They're not using designs from wikipedia. The wikipedia link was to a page about the author of a *book* about jet engines for *model* airplanes. You know, REMOTE CONTROL SCALE MODELS.

Re:He could have built the engines himself (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17362154)

So it wouldnt take much to get a $120 1ounce GPS ciruit and strap on a ipod with rokbox installed as a guidance computer, make it deliver a 10ounce C4 explosive on impact.

Instant RPG, but using mini jets instead of rocket power, sure its slower, but still fast enough and have a decent range.

All at 1/100th the cost of a military contractor.

Re:He could have built the engines himself (1)

nebbian (564148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17362270)

It's harder than you think. Intertia, timing, wind gusts, and the like all add up to make it very very tricky. It might not explicitly be rocket science, but damn it's close!

Flying is easy ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359602)

... Just throw yourself at the ground and miss.

A Working, Winged Jetpack from Switzerland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359624)

Coming to a Swiss Army Knife near you in 3, 2, 1...

Did it really do anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359642)

It looked to me like a guy skydiving with a wing on his back. The test shots of the jet didn't seem very impressive, so did they really have any impact? I think it's pretty cool that he can glide around for a while on wings before having to land, but I'm not really impressed by the "jets". I was hoping to see a guy blast into the air from a complete standstill on the ground...

Re:Did it really do anything? (1, Informative)

sbaker (47485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359924)

The thing got up to 300 kph - 186mph - and it climbed several thousand feet. He was zipping alongside the plane in formation, you could see he was turning under full control around those jagged mountain peaks. That's definitely flying!

The problem with takeoff from the ground is that if his engines crap out on him at a couple of hundred feet, he has no time left to open his parachute and he'll be dead for sure. It makes much more sense to iron out any technical glitches with a drop from a plane so he always has time to open his chute in the event of problems. He's doing this very carefully - one baby step at a time.

The other problem with takeoff is that unless he has wheels or ski's or something, there is no way to build up enough speed for the wings to generate any lift. So he's going to have to have enough thrust to take off vertically - and according to TFA, that's something that'll have to wait for the next generation of machine.

Re:Did it really do anything? (1)

Lavene (1025400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360092)

The other problem with takeoff is that unless he has wheels or ski's or something, there is no way to build up enough speed for the wings to generate any lift. So he's going to have to have enough thrust to take off vertically - and according to TFA, that's something that'll have to wait for the next generation of machine.
Rollerblades?

Re:Did it really do anything? (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360480)

At first the videos don't seem so impressive when he's just gliding, then you see the thing with the vapor trails going straight out behind him...

I don't think the thing climbs very well because they don't show any dramatic shots of climbing. There's one shot that looks like a steep climb but that is after a power dive. Still it's pretty impressive to pull out of a dive and gain altitude using a short pair of wings strapped to your hips.

The most dramatic segment on the videos is an over the shoulder shot where you see him approaching a ridge. He's a little above it when he starts his approach, but if he's just gliding he's going to end up a greasy smear on the mountainside. He covers quite a bit of horizontal ground and it looks like he gains at least a little altitude on the approach. In any case, it shows either a great deal of faith in the jet engines or a serious death wish.

Re:Did it really do anything? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361582)

Not necessarily. With a water flight and reasonably large wings, he can attempt to stall just before hitting the water. Still quite dangerous, but it's at a much lower velocity and lower altitude: airplane pilots are taught similar tricks for aircraft with ruined landing gear.

The issue came up in a discussion of a similar technology 30 years ago: these ideas are hardly new.

Wrong Department? (0)

caffeined (150240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359672)

Actually, especially today, I would have put this in the "Oooh! I want one for Christmas" department!

Merry Xmas everybody, and my fingers are crossed that next year my wife will get me one of these!!!!

Lovely accent (1)

Giloo (1008735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359682)

I love his Swiss accent ;)
--
"I can't search. I uninstalled Google." - P. Ducler

Re:Lovely accent (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360778)

FYI, Swiss has no native language that isn't a homogenization of other languages (Swiss-German being the closest to their own langauge, which does differ in many ways from traditional German). The country has three distinct areas where the native language is either Italian, German or French.

Re:Lovely accent (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361380)

You are confusing accent with language. Germans could easily recognise the accent (and of course the dialect too) as being from Switzerland. Just like how they can easily recognise accents from various regions of their own country. It's not just a dialect thing. Calling it a Swiss accent is spot on.

Re:Lovely accent (1)

StartCom (1018308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361612)

Actually four, including Romantsh...But than, calling the Swiss-German, German...is almost insulting the Swiss. Seriously! Except that, the Germans don't understand it, perhaps at most a few words here and there.

Branson should sponsor him (2, Interesting)

www.bnp.org.uk (913391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359690)

This guy is looking for sponsors. Richard Branson should get his wallet out. A truly stunning achievement. The last shot in the video is inspiring.

Re:Branson should sponsor him (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17359708)

What the fuck are you doing here racist?

Fuck off BNP scum.

Re:Branson should sponsor him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360104)

Be careful, you're lauding the achievements of foreigners, you vile little worm.

Summary of his comments (4, Informative)

caffeined (150240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359706)

If you don't speak French, I'll give a brief summary of his comments.

Basically, at the beginning he explains a bit about how it was designed. One point he made was that his reason for the foldable design of the wings was so that it would fit in the plane. The other interesting thing he said was that the design was effectively that of an airplane - with his body serving as the fuselage.

After the flight he just explains that after he jumped out of the plane he did a little half-turn to catch the wind. He also mentions that the wing unfolded nicely - and that when he kicked in the gas that he moved forward and he could tell that at that point he was flying. He said it was really cool, too. (Which I think we'll all agree is the case!)

Also - I'm not a native French speaker. I'm American but lived in Paris a couple of years - any native French speaker care to comment on the guy's accent? Is that a Swiss accent? (I'm presuming so, but I was curious to know from a native.)

Dear Santa (4, Funny)

sbaker (47485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359784)

Dear Santa,

If it's not too late, I would like to add a jetpack to my Xmas list. You can cross off the PS3 if that helps.

Thanks!

Re:Dear Santa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360716)

Why can't you have both? Since it's from Sony, making it into an explosive propulsion device should be easy! However, your safety and multiple uses might not be guaranteed...

I am surprised this works ... (4, Funny)

HairyCanary (688865) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359838)

I wouldn't think he'd be aerydynamic enough with a sack that large hanging underneath..

Hate to be a spoil-sport but--- (1, Informative)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17359888)

hate to spoil the fun, but:
  • Just on general principles, it's unlikely he's really flying, as in having enough thrust to overcome drag.
  • Jet engines do not scale down very well-- somewhere around the size of a kosher salami the friction exceeds the power generated, the thrust to weight ratio drops very quickly, making the thing little more than a swooshing kerosene heater.
  • We need some more facts, such as jet engine thrust, specific fuel consumption, and cost.

Re:Hate to be a spoil-sport but--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360088)

Just on general principles, it's unlikely he's really flying, as in having enough thrust to overcome drag.

Um... so how did he gain altitude minutes after leaving the plane?

Jet engines do not scale down very well-- somewhere around the size of a kosher salami the friction exceeds the power generated, the thrust to weight ratio drops very quickly, making the thing little more than a swooshing kerosene heater.

I see... so this is why model jet airplane don't exist, right? Funny, those I saw on a model flight show this summer seemed to work allright - and actually had quite a lot of thrust for their small size.

Re:Hate to be a spoil-sport but--- (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17361392)

The article should've probably linked to this video too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-66AcTo9TU [youtube.com]

Truely inspirational. For some reason I cried for the first time in many years (can't remember when the last time was). This guy is my new hero.

He should get a donation link at his website.

Re:Hate to be a spoil-sport but--- (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361548)

There was a magazine article on a similar technology over 30 years ago. I believe it was in Popular Mechanics: using small jet engines purchased from the US Air Force, with 30 miles per gallon fuel economy and a cruising velocity of roughly 100 mph, and a lift capacity of roughly 300 pounds. It was VTOL, and under the aircraft licensing of the time would have been considered an "ultra-light" and not required a pilot's license.

The builder wanted to switch to duced fans for commercial use: I never knew what became of the project, but I've wanted my own for more than 30 years.

Re:Hate to be a spoil-sport but--- (1)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361864)

I've read about this in various skydiving publications. He was actually able to generate enough lift to ascend. So yes, he really is flying.

Further developments (1)

jake-in-a-box (512556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360214)

I can see the next development, to assist in landings and to support the assembly for a true takeoff from land, put a tricycle landing gear on it, than make it a bit more comfortable for the flier by giving him a seat of better support. With a seat we can fasten the controls down and dress up the wiring and cabling some. Add a windshield because you really don't like being hit by other flying creatures at 100+ mph.

Oh wait, that's called an airplane.

Please, no YouTube links (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360218)

Please, no YouTube links. Roughly since Google acquired them, they've been growing increasingly worthless for watching anything more than a few seconds long. Typically, after 30-60 seconds, play stops and doesn't resume at all. At least other sites still try to stutter along. YouTube just quits trying at all. That's exactly what happened when I tried to play two of these videos

In my experience, YouTube's become a waste of time. It's so undependable, it's not worth the bother. Google needs to give it enough resources to work or abandon the idea altogether.

Re:Please, no YouTube links (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360374)

I think the problem might be on your end. I've had no trouble watching anything on YouTube, and I watched the rather lengthy B-52 bomber videos that someone just posted in this thread and they played perfectly.

Not for me (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361204)

Actually, it did the same for me. I wonder if it's a browser/plugin issue. I'm using an oldish version of Firefox, along with an old flash as well on XP (mainly out-of-date because I usually use the linux boot on XP, except I was playing some games today).

Chances are the parent is experiencing issues due to outdated browser/plugins rather than a problem with youtube itself.

Batman (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360318)

Why does the article keep mentioning Batman? He can't fly himself and uses jetpacks very rarely.

national sport (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360424)

I want to start my own country, just so I can declare this to be my national sport.

Its not an airplane-it cant take off (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360452)

At the end of the XIX Century a French Academic Organization (I dont remember its exact name) introduced the notion of airplane as a machine which can fly and CAN TAKE OFF ON ITS OWN (no catapult, no rails, no nothing, only the planes engines).

For example, Wrights brother contraption was not an airplane because although it could fly,it cannot take off on its on (this is the reason why many nations believe that the Wright brothers did not invent the airplane). The same with this contraption, it can fly but it cannot take off on its own, thus is not an airplane.

Wright brothers did invent the airplane (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360506)

The Hell with French academic organizations! Who gave them the power to define what an airplane is?.

BTW why do they speak French in the movie? Dont they learn English in school in Switzerland?. Besides, it is a funny kind of French, is the inventor French Canadian or what?

Re:Wright brothers did invent the airplane (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17361024)

BTW why do they speak French in the movie?

Because it's faster than writing it on cards and holding it up so you can read it?

It's one of the four official languages of Switzerland.

Dont they learn English in school in Switzerland?

Probably, but English isn't one of their official languages. They don't even border an English-speaking country. Why would they speak English?

Besides, it is a funny kind of French, is the inventor French Canadian or what?

It's pretty clear he's Swiss. (They speak everything funny. Listen to them try to speak German sometime.)

Re:Its not an airplane-it cant take off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17360946)

Uh-huh.

In other news, the SR-71 Blackbird wasn't an airplane, either, because it had to have triethylborane pumped into the engines and a start cart connected to each engine just to get them going.

And Apollo 11 wasn't a real rocket because it couldn't fly "ON ITS OWN" -- it had to have disposable stages to help it. This is why America did not really land men on the moon.

Who cares what the French think? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361552)

First of all, I can't even begin to see a rationale for "no rails" unless you ban runways or other ground improvements as well.

Second, who cares how the French define the meaning of an *English* word? These are the same people who are up in arms over the pollution of thier language with "Big Mac" and "Le Picnic", so what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander... McDonalds keeps their fingers out of l'Academie Francais and they keep their fingers out of the OED.

Re:Its not an airplane-it cant take off (0)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17362204)

I saw a documentary that showed that the Wright bros invented a lot of flying technologies like the twisted propeller and wing aerofoils etc...
So basically without them a lot of people couldnt do it, it doesnt matter that someone else may have made a more powerfull rotary engine, since that
is really more of a general purpose part.

The art of flying (1, Redundant)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17360478)

is to deliberately throw yourself at the ground and miss. The important part is to miss and he seems to be doing it the right way - stay far away from the ground while flying and land by chute.

Hopp Swiitz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17361014)

Mir Schwitzer sind eifach die geilste!

Swiss Army Jetpack? (0)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361792)

A Swiss airline pilot ... has developed a working jet-pack and flown it more than 30 times. ... he jumps out of an airplane, unfolds the wings and flies until he runs out of fuel, then parachutes to the ground.

The 35th jump went well until he accidentally unfolded the cork screw and magnifying glass instead of the wings and plummeted to his death.

Segway.. (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17361916)

What we need is a device that's sorta like a flying Segway... it detects changes in stability and corrects for them. Seriously, having propultion from one's leg area seems like a pretty good way to go, as jet engine mounted anywhere else could risk serious injury. Plus, there's no way that a human could survive a horizontal, runway landing. Any individually mounted jet-pack would have to take off and land virtically. So, the closest thing I can think of is something like a flying segway that attaches to your legs and feet, and keeps you standing upright the entire time via smaller side-to-side thrusters, like a Harrier. Now, VTOL aircraft are incredibly innefficient, so I'm not sure how feasible this is.
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