pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri

Saturday, May 17, 2008

At Some Point "Fusion Man" Will Die...Mark My Words.

Known as Switzerland’s "Fusion Man," Yves Rossy became the first man in the world to fly with wings and four jet engines strapped to his body in November 2006; on Wednesday he displayed that talent to the world. The inaugural flight lasted six minutes in Bex, Switzerland, and included an emergency parachute programmed to automatically open if he were to black out. On Wednesday the 48-year-old daredevil made his first public flight with his self-made flying contraption in front of the world press after five years of training and many more years of dreaming. Rossy was taken 7,500 feet into the air by jet and then jumped out free falling until he activated his 4 jet turbine engines, which propelled him to 187 mph. Steering only with his body, Rossy dived, turned and soared again, flying what appeared to be effortless loops from one side of the Rhone valley to the other. At times he rose 2,600 feet before descending again. It was the closest thing to a human flying like a bird, a super hero, or ...a complete idiot. He took years upon years to perfect this set of wings and engines. I don't care how well this was perfected it still does not look safe to me. At some point this thing is going to crash and this guy will die. He is planning on flying over the English Channel later this year. He also plans to fly through the Grand Canyon. Right now the jets only allow for 5-10 minutes of flight time, so he has to change the wings and alter some technical issues to improve flight. He has spent nearly 200,000 dollars on this so far. I know he says that this is pretty safe, but I can just picture "Fusion Man" flying dead on right into a mountain side ending his dream in a firey ball of jet pack explosions. Well, until that occurs we have some pretty damn good entertainment. Here is a video from You Tube:

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