If you’ve ever wanted to tick off jetpack flying on your bucket list, these guys beat you to it. And they’ve done it in the most spectacular way with high speed aerial stunts.
At this point, you’re probably wondering what’s so fascinating about two guys dodging each other in the air. Reserve that judgement till you’ve seen them in action in the video below.
Now for the technicalities. The pilots, Yves “Jetman” Rossy and Vince Reffet, strapped on a custom-designed carbon fiber jet wings measuring six-foot long across the wingspan for their daredevil stunt. The said jetpack is powered by four JetCat P200 engines, capable of pushing an average speed of 125mph in the sky.
Just the jetpacks alone, however, didn’t create that eye-popping display in the sky. Rossy’s experience as an accomplished pilot also plays an important role in creating the stunts. From flying Hawker Hunter and Mirage fighter jets during his stint in the Swiss Air Force, to commercial Boeing airliners, one could say “Jetman” has mastered the art of flying.
This is passed on to Reffet, his protege who has been learning the ropes from the experienced pilot since 2009. The understudy himself has impressive credentials too, including a gold medal win for skydiving, which probably got Rossy’s attention. Essentially, the jetpacks are only activated when both fliers have gained free-fall speed after they jump from a helicopter that brought them up to 7000 feet in the air.
The principle behind this was also inspired by Rossy’s discover of skydiving nearly 20 years ago, and his frustration at how he wasn’t really flying. Since then, the daredevil has worked on at least 15 different versions of the jetpack before this aerial acrobat happened, with subtle movements to steer and a small in-hand controller to pump the engines.
Since the video went live, it has received nearly 1.4m views as of 13 May. With these numbers, we have a feeling this won’t be the last show put up by the pair of daredevils.