Daredevil ‘Jetman’ soars through the skies over Switzerland alongside famous vintage Spitfire
- ‘Jetman’ Yves Rossy flew in close formation with an iconic Spitfire MH434 in the Bex aerodrome’s annual ‘fly-in’ on Friday near Geneva, Switzerland
- It is the latest in a series of astonishing stunts the 53-year-old Swiss man has done in his jet suit
By Alex Ward
PUBLISHED: 14:53 GMT, 8 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:46 GMT, 8 September 2012
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No….it’s Jetman!
This was the amazing sight as Spitfire pilot Nigel Lamb teamed up with adventurer Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy in the skies above Switzerland yesterday.
The intrepid flying man takes to the air using only a jet-powered carbon-fibre wing strapped to his back.
He teamed up with warplane pilot Mr Lamb for the annual aviation festival at the Bex aerodrome near Geneva.
Mr Lamb, who is part of the Breitling Fighters display team, was flying the original wartime Spitfire MH343, which is based at the Imperial War Museum aerodrome at Duxford, near Cambridge.
In 2006, Mr Rossy, 53, a former Swiss Air Force fighter pilot, became the first person to successfully fly using just a jet-powered wing. Since then he has powered across the English Channel at 186 mph and flown over the Alps and the Grand Canyon.
He said: ‘To fly in formation with this wonderful machine [the Spitfire] is an incredible experience.
‘Since my technology is getting more and more reliable I am very confident about these flights. I can relax and enjoy such a fantastic experience. Under my wing I am free. I have the perfect view.’
It is the latest in a series of astonishing stunts mr Rossy, 53, has done in formation having flown alongside 1940s’ passenger aircraft Breitling Douglas DC-3 and also with two L-39c Albatros Jets.
His custom made jet-propelled winged invention allowed him to fly beside the Spitfire at high speeds above the stunning Swiss mountains.
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Operated by the Old Flying Machine Company, the original wartime MH343 is perhaps the most famous of all Spitfires still flying today. It was built in 1943 at Vickers, Castle Bromwich in West Midlands and is completely original and never fully rebuilt.
Rossy flew fighter jets for the Swiss air force for 17 years and since he created his flight suit in 2006 he became the first and only man in the history of aviation to fly with a jet-propelled wing according to his website.
The suit weighs almost 121lbs and has a wing span of 6ft 6in.
His invention has now been refined, so ‘all he has is an altimeter for safety, and a tiny throttle control in his hand’.
Rossy’s website said he ‘has always dedicated all his free time to flight and experimented with all its forms’, creating a harness with inflatable wing panels that he subsequently developed into a rigid wing with four engines.
Spitfire pilot Lamb is well known for flying in the Red Bull Air Race World Championships.