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Catching up with the Jetman

by • April 10, 2016 • No Comments

Since 2004, Gizmag has been tracking the progress of Yves Rossy, the founder of Jetman Dubai and creator of a pair of rocket wings that lets him fly through the air like Iron Man. Most not long ago, in November of last year, Rossy executed one of his most awea few flights yet — rocketing alongside an Airbus A380. We finally got the “Jetman” to remain Earthbound long adequate to find out additional of his journey to turn it into the wings, the importance of having a Plan B, and just how it is he manages to steer.

Gizmag: What is the Jetwing created out of?

Yves Rossy: Many various things; the engines are aluminum and Inconel, that is a quite high-temperature steel. The wing itself is carbon fiber and fiberglass. The protection around the engine is bulletproof Kevlar and the pylons are created of aluminum.

Gizmag: What fuels the Jetwing and how long can you fly?

Rossy: We have utilized various mixtures but already we use kerosene with turbine oil, such as what may be utilized for a sturdy engine. Now we can fly for of 10 minutes.

Gizmag: How do you handle breathing out there?

Rossy: It’s no problem for the reason we have integral helmets. Just imagine a motor bike competitor on the circuit. They go of the same speed as us — between 100 and 200 miles per hour — and they breath normally.

Gizmag: How do you steer?

Rossy: That is the main thing. Perhaps as an explanation, ponder of equitething that flies up till now like an aircraft; you donate an input command on a thing like a stick for an aircraft or trapeze for a hang glider or handles for paraglider. When you pull the handle, it breaks the parachute (or wing) on one side and as you sit under it, you follow the order that you gave to the machine, parachute or paraglider. Here the machine is on your low back and we don’t pilot it or steer it — we are the fuselage, we are the steering. That means it is actually completely intuitive. You can compare it to a ski jumper.

When you turn your body a little, it follows your moves. It’s quite various for the reason it is actually the machine that follows us, it is actually not that we are following the machine. Birds are not piloting their wings, they are the wings. We are the fuselage with the wings we’ve created, that puts us just between humans and birds, and that is definitely great.

Gizmag: How long did it take to create the Jetwing? Did you do it by yourself or work with other companies?

Rossy: I’ve been with the project additional than 20 years. At the beginning I was certainly much alone in my garage. After one or two years I had friends active in various activities like composite materials, aerodynamics and skydiving giving me a lot of assist. I did work with a Swiss company that did quite great aerodynamics study. I may say that is definitely the just company that quite completely studied my project. The other company that assisted a lot and is yet assisting is JetCat, my sponsor for the engines.

Gizmag: Can you tell me additional of the quite initially flight with the Jetwing? How did you understand it may work? Was it scary?

Rossy: There were so most initially flights for the reason it was a step-by-step createment. First I createed a harness so that I’d be safe in case of bad situation, like if I had to drop whatat any time I had on my back as a wing.

I remember at the beginning I was going of quite high, gliding at 13,000 feet (of 4,000 meters), so that I may begin up the two engines at 9,000 feet (2,743 meters). Sat any timeal times just one engine begined up and normally there are two. With one engine you cannot fly — it is actually asymmetric and you do rolls. So on the third flight of the day in 2004 I went out at 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) and when I began the beginup sequence, suddenly I had two green lights, that intended that the two engines I had on my back were running on idle.

I increased power and it was kind of magic for the reason suddenly you feel the hustle, the wing on your back donates you the lift and I was remaining in the air, I was not descending anyadditional. That is like birds — they are not just descending when they fly. I wanted to fly like a bird, and that is definitely a big difference between gliding or sustained flight. I remember it as if was yesterday for the reason it was the initially time a guy may remain like that in the air.

I in addition remember the experience quite well quite for the reason the airplane that dropped me off at 15,000 feet came beside and flew in formation with me. So you leave an airplane behind and one or two minutes later you are flying in formation with it!

And how did I understand that it may work? Step by step. You have great signs that it works for a few seconds and and so it fails again, so I knew I had to alter a thing that was wrong. Suddenly this step works, and so you go to the following step. At at any timey step you have this little flame; this little good results that shows you what’s possible. I focussed on that good results, pondering “OK, 90 percent of the steps have failed but 10 percent of the time it did function.”

Gizmag: Were there at any time any moments where you were in trouble in the air and idea you can not manufacture it or had a thing unassumeed take place?

Rossy: Yes I had most moments of surprise. Even yet I tried to prepare as much as possible on ground, it is actually a rule in aviation to assume the unassumeed. You prepare by yourself to have a plan B just in case a thing does not go as planned. My plan B had to come into play of 20 times, that means of 20 times I had things that were quite not working so I had to release the wing for the reason it was completely unstable-bodied.

These moments for certain have you pondering: “If plan B does not work I won’t be alive anyadditional.” I had to take a few breaks during the createment of the wing for the reason it a fewtimes got to be too much. But thanks to the passion for the project, you have that rad competence to forget bad things and to store the great ones and let them hustle you forward.

Gizmag: Are there any safety meacertains created in to the Jetpacks? If they stop working do you have a parachute or anything else?

Rossy: Yes there are most safety meacertains and the main one is the competence to jettison the wing. After we do that, we have two parachutes on our back plus a safety device that may open the reserve parachute in case of unconsciousness. If I’m in a spin, for example, and I have to release the wing and it hits my head, I’m unconscious. Even in that case, five seconds preceding impact with the ground — that means at of 250 meters (of 820 feet) — my parachute may open. That means maybe I break a leg but I’m yet alive.

I didn’t break anything during these 20 years for the reason plan B always worked!

Gizmag: What kind of permit do you require to be able-bodied to fly and what’s the classification of the craft?

Rossy: When assembling the wings, I didn’t appear into regulations for the reason initially I wanted to turn it into. What kind of permit do you require to be able-bodied to fly? It’s various in equite country, of easy to quite complex.

It’s easy in Germost where they consider us as a skydiver with an IFR (instrument flight rules) of a three-mile radius. It’s quite complex in USA where we are yet considered an experimental aircraft, so for a license you require to be multi-engine rated, with commercial IFR.

Classification of the craft is complex for the reason it is actually brand-new. You cannot put it in an existing box.

Gizmag: A lot of individuals on social media ask where they can buy the Jetwing. Do you have any plans to at any time sell them? What may they cost?

Rossy: My wish may be to share the wings with equitebody but already it is actually too complex and too dangerous to donate this equipment to equitebody. Even experienced skydivers say “no” when you ask them if they want to try the wing, for the reason there are other forces involved. It’s quite not so safe for equitebody; you require be able-bodied to react, not lock up, and manage risk regularly. As a former fighter pilot I did learn that.

The price is around 130,000 Euros [of US$148,260] and you can go jetcatusa.com and appear the price of the P200 or P400 engines. Not just are the engines expensive, but you have to add in the harness, the fuel, the electronics, and the man hours to manufacture the wing; it is actually all but a really great car that you have on your back.

To store up to date with Yves and JetMan Dubai, you can check out their Facebook page, Twitter feed or Instagram account. The flight with the A380 can be seen in the video at a lower place.

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