A couple of days ago, Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy made an attempt at the firs intercontinental flight on board of a jet pack, that is, a jet propulsion system strapped on a person’s back, which allows men to fly, albeit for a very short range.
The attempt consisted in jumping off a plane flying over Tangiers in Morocco, and head north towards the Spanish town of Tarifa, where Rossy was planning to land after a 23-kilometer flight, a journey only apparently short, but which would have made Rossy the first man to carry out an intercontinental flight by using this kind of jet-propelled vehicle.
In this specific case, the vehicle that Rossy used, and that he also designed, is called Wingpack, and consists of a rigid carbon fiber wing, with a wingspan of approximately 2.40 meters, mounted on a backpack. The pilot-passenger wears a suit similar to that of a fireman to protect himself from heat generated by the jet flow.
Unfortunately though, the attempt was thwarted by the heavy clouds present in the area at the time of flight. Rossy met a strong turbulence, and since he was flying without instruments to stay light, he tried to climb over the clouds, but this attempt failed because of low speed and altitude (approximately 300 km/h and 850 meter altitude).
At this point he had to leave the crossing attempt (as well as his vehicle) by parachuting himself at sea, where he was promptly rescued without any further damage.
Despite the failure of this first attempt, Rossy stated that he will try at the beginning of the new year, after testing a system with a wider wing, that he will use to fly over Grand Canyon. The guy is certainly stubborn and determined, that’s why they call him Jetman…