I was totally set to write about something else today but then I saw a news story about this guy:
Who is this smiling Swiss slaphead, you may be asking yourself, and why is he today’s great thing?
42. Jetpacks, that’s why! (Yves Rossy is his name)
Yves Rossy, a former Swiss Air Force pilot is what you’d call an aeronautics enthusiast. He currently flies an Airbus but has flown fighter jets and is an avid hanglider, paraglider, and parachuter who practices aerobatics.
In the past, people have strapped all kinds of shit to themselves in feeble attempts at catching some air. Some comical ones are available on youtube! Not all of them are miserable failures. Some of them even achieved liftoff and short flights There’s Russian guy who’s done well with rocket boots (also available on youtube). Not bad if you can get it.
The pack-on-back design actually has been done and it’ll take you places fairly quickly for a very short while. But, it’s hardly perfect. It’s upward thrust is fantastic but forward momentum and control aren’t the best. You’re vertical, instead of being horizontal, y’see.
But, with wings that unfold like a transformer, this design puts you horizontal for flight. Like Superman! Yves’ design is the first to put the wings on…though I think I can probably tell where he got his inspiration for the project…
Anyway, this is all awesome news. Apparently, the contraption costs only $285,000. Aren’t there cars that are that much money? Putting it like that makes it sound like it’s almost affordable. The only hitch is that you have to be dropped from an airplane to use it. But, they’re working on it. Sounds to me like you need a combo backpack/jetboots/wings, Yves. Yeah…definitely try that. According to my calculations, it should work.
Until then, this contraption is pretty genius. After he drops out of a plane, the wings unfold, like a fricking Transformer, and the rocket boosters on his wings propel him forward. He steers by using his body and hand throttles and lands with the aid of a parachute. It sounds just like driving an automatic car!
Yves wears a heat resistant suit to keep from burning up, though he says the cold air at that altitude cools him down significantly. So, basically, he wears the suit for a bit of flash…
Apparently, the military has tried to purchase the design plans from him, but Yves, ever the neutral Swiss, has refused. He only wants his completely bitchin’ rocket pack to be used for good. So, rest easy. He’s an Autobot and not a Decepticon. Yes, only for good…like crossing the English Channel, which, after he flew over the Swiss Alps in 2006, is his next endurance test. It’s going to be streamed live on the National Geographic Channel. If it doesn’t happen on Friday, it’s due over the weekend. Basically, he’s waiting for some fog to lift. Here’s his website for updates. Blazingly Awesome Jet Pack Guy
Rossy, who calls himself Fusionman, needs to start work on making other super-powers a reality. Sure, he’s almost got flight perfected but how is he going to thwart evil with that? He can get to the scene of the crime fast, with the aid of an airplane and a parachute, but what’s he do when he gets there? He needs something else now, like super strength or laser vision. Otherwise, the only way that this benefits humanity is by putting Ryanair out of business. Being Swiss, he might not be thinking strategically. I mean, those guys never fight anybody, right? But, he really should look into putting some web-shooters or something onto that thing…maybe batarangs…don’t know if he’s a Marvel guy or a DC guy.
Anyway, I bet you’re wondering what this thing looks like in action. This has, I believe, clips from a couple of different flights.
Flipping sweet! I was saving up all of my pound coins for a Playstation 3 but now…I’m thinking jetpack. Only 284,900 more dollars to go!