'Fusionman'Yves Rossy flying in the skies above Bex

‘Fusionman’Yves Rossy flying in the skies above Bex
© Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone
by Peter Capella
Lausanne – 14 May 2008 | 16:02

It was long promised and often postponed, but the world’s one and only jet-propelled person finally made it. ‘FusionMan’ – Swiss airline pilot Yves Rossy with a powered wing strapped to his back – manages to perform aerobatics in front of a group of journalists in the skies above Bex.

Equipped only with a specially-designed wing with four small rocket motors strapped to his arms and back, Rossy dropped from his launch plane at 2,500 metres and soared into the sky above canton Vaud, according to reporters assembled on a nearby mountain side on Wednesday.

‘FusionMan’ had already accomplished several dozen test flights since his pioneering four minute level flight near Yverdon in June 2004. But the human wing had been obliged several times since then to call off scheduled appearances in front of international journalists in the Lake Geneva area to show that he could sustain controlled flight. This time, the 48 year-old former fighter pilot – who is currently on a sabbatical from Swiss International Airlines – performed several aerobatic figures for about ten minutes including a barrel roll, 24 Heures reported. He landed safely at the local aerodrome by parachute.