While you were irritating your single friends with #ValentinesDay photos on Instagram, the Jetmen were making history in Dubai.
On February 14, the Jetmen team achieved autonomous human flight, using a jetpack.
To add to their victory – unlike previous missions where the pilot had to be tossed out of a helicopter – this flight launched with a vertical takeoff.
If you need a visual, Esquire describes the takeoff as “typical of Marvel’s Iron Man”.
Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, posted a video of the launch to Instagram, then later on YouTube.
Behold – the future of human flight:
As a Capetonian, all I can think about is gliding over traffic on Philip Kgosana Drive (the old De Waal Drive).
The Jetmen – Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen – are currently working with Emirati skydive pro Ahmed Al Shehhi.
The project is also supported by Swiss former military pilot Yves Rossy, who invented the carbon-fibre Jetman pack.
The Jetman can reach speeds of more than 260kph – and travel for around 55 kilometres.
Vince Reffet is also the guy in the carbon-fibre wingsuit, powered by four mini jet engines in the above video.
Reffet took off over Jumeirah Beach Residence [and] travelled over 100-metres in the first 8-seconds of the flight, reaching a height of 1,800-metres at the end of the 3-minute flight.
In previous missions, the Jetmen were unable to fly below 50 metres, which doesn’t appear to be the case any longer. CNN spoke to Reffett about his historic flight:
“It’s the result of extremely thorough teamwork, where each small step generated huge results. Everything was planned to the split second, and I was overjoyed by the progress that was achieved. It is another step in a long-term project. One of the next objectives is to land back on the ground after a flight at altitude, without needing to open a parachute. It’s being worked on,” he said.
I’ll be adding ‘fly jetpack’ to my bucket list, while they make those last, necessary changes.
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