Wingsuit School for Average Pilot Coming Soon?

Yves Rossy, known as "Jetman" for his jet-powered backpack-wing flights, has introduced an unpowered version of his wing apparatus. In a video released on his website last week, Rossy not only flies a heart-stopping routine among the mountains of his native Switzerland, but also discusses the new glider version.

He points out that all the initial test flights of the various versions of his jet-powered vehicles were performed as glider flights without power. He says his unpowered wing has a glide angle of 4.5 degrees, which he says is far better than that of a wingsuit.

Rossy is able to perform rolls with the glider, and says he has achieved speeds of 200 kilometers per hour (107 knots) in some 15 test flights to date. He also details the preparations for the test flight shown in the video, including studying all the angles of the terrain and examining the peaks he would fly around on foot in advance.

Rossy plans to market the glider for sale, and at the end of the video there is promise of a "Jetman glider school, coming soon."

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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