For several decades, Yves Rossy has wanted to fly like a bird, with a minimum of instruments but with the ability to steer himself in space.
After prototypes of skysurf (1993-1998), wingsuit and inflatable wing (1999-2003), he had the idea to power a wing using model jet engines. The German company Jet-Cat supplied the engines which were initially attached to an inflatable wing. This method failed because of insufficient rigidity.
In 2004 Yves Rossy developed a rigid deployable 3m-span carbon wing. The early days were difficult but promising. The pilot worked on improving the wing deployment system and the aerodynamics of the wingtips to improve its stability.
In 2005, he completed two successful flights under a wing fitted with two jet engines A long year of hard work and the addition of two additional jet engines were needed for the wing to attain the required level of performance and safety. This prototype with 4 jet engines, guided only with the movements of his body, allows a stabilized ascension of the flight. This was the flight of November 2006, in Bex, a dream lasting 5 minutes and 40 seconds.
Since then, Yves Rossy has been training constantly in order to optimise his wing. He increased the range of the wing in order to fly across the English Channel from Calais (France) to Dover (UK) in September 2008.
Yves is now working on a new prototype, smaller and more powerful, which will should allow the take-off from the ground and more freedom for aerobatics!