Yves Rossy, also known as ‘Jetman’, is a Swiss pilot, adventurer and inventor. He is the first and only man in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing. Using his incredible invention, he has made dramatic flights over the English Channel, the Grand Canyon, Rio de Janiero and around Mount Fuji.
Rossy has developed and built a system comprising of a back pack with semi-rigid aeroplane-type carbon-fibre wings, with a span of about 2.4 metres, powered by four attached Jet-Cat P200 jet engines, modified from large kerosene-fuelled model aircraft engines. He is able to propel himself through the sky at upwards of 190mph, controlling his jet suit with a throttle in his hand, climbing over 4000 metres and travelling as far as 16 kilometres. He is now developing a pyrotechnic parachute, which will enable him to fly at an altitude as low as 200 metres.
Rossy began his career in the air as a fighter pilot for the Swiss Air Force, later flying professionally for two Swiss airlines. In 1993 he started thinking of ways to fly without the benefit of an airplane. His dream was to try to design a system, that would allow him to fly in the most natural way possible.
In 2008, Rossy gave his debut flight in Switzerland. Jumping from a plane at an altitude of 8,000 feet, and using wings powered by four jet engines, he jetted off for 5 minutes, flying through the area over the Swiss Alps. In September 2008, he became the first man to fly across the English Channel from Calais, France to Dover, covering a distance of 22 miles in 13 minutes. In 2010, Rossy realised his first flight in formation with two other aircraft. He jumped out of a Pilatus PC-6 at an altitude of 2,500 metres, and came close to the 2 Boeing Stearmans of the Breitling Wingwalkers team. Rossy then completed his first successful flight in the U.S., flying for 8 minutes, 200 feet above the rim of the Grand Canyon in 2011. A year later, he made history again by flying around Corcovado Mountain and landing on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. More recently, in 2013, he flew around Mount Fuji nine times.
With boundless energy Rossy inspires audiences towards achieving their goals, by applying the lessons he learned on his way to becoming “Jetman”. In his presentations he talks about his unique journey and how with a “can-do” attitude anything can be achieved. Backing up his presentations with dramatic footage from his aerial endeavours, Rossy leaves audiences spell bound and awe-inspired.