You’re soaring through the air like a bird, the wind in your hair, the people below you, when — you wake up. Yes, for most of us the dream of flying like a bird is just that. Unless, of course, you’re Yves Rossy.
The 51-year-old Swiss adventurer, who calls himself “Jetman,”has taken to the air in a custom-built jet suit over the English Channel, the Swiss Alps — and now the Grand Canyon, in his latest flight Saturday. Rossy lived every Superman wannabe’s fantasy as he sustained horizontal flight for eight minutes, reaching speeds of up to 190 mph, before parachuting to the canyon floor in a suit that allows him to maneuver using his own movements.
Jetman isn’t the only person to soar through the air courtesy of a jet suit — but he does manage to stay up the longest.
In 2005, Visa Parviainen jumped from a hot air balloon in Finland and was able to fly horizontally for 30 seconds with two turbo jet engines attached to the feet of his wingsuit. Jetman’s flight over the English Channel lasted 13 minutes.
These shouldn’t be confused with the science fiction staple jet or rocket packs. The fictional packs apparently have been intended for vertical flight. A real version, the Martin Jetpack, one of Time’s best inventions of 2010, allows the wearer to go straight up to 8,000 feet and is for sale. Sadly, the cost of soaring like George Jetson is $100,000.
Live vicariously through Rossy, and watch his flight below: