Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flight Over Grand Canyon in Jet Suit

Last Saturday, Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy completed a flight over the Grand Canyon in his custom jet suit. Rossy was airborne for 8 minutes and was flying 200 feet over the canyon rim on the Hualapai Reservation after launching from a helicopter. His team said that Rossy flew at 190 mph before releasing his parachute and landing on the canyon floor. Rossy, also known as JetMan, has flown above the English Channel and the Swiss Alps in his custom jet suit as well.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) discussed what class this new flying vehicle should be in. The FAA has never had to assess this type of vehicle before. Eventually, the FAA classed Rossy’s jet suit in the class of airplanes.

His jet suit averages 124 mph and has a 6.5-foot wing span and Rossy wears it on his back. The engine is fed fuel by a slight roll of his hand. Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association, says that "this one is a bit unusual." He adds, "It's such a unique design and a unique pursuit that it doesn't fall in the usual categories."

A short video of Rossy’s flight over the Grand Canyon: