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Swiss military-trained pilot and aviation enthusiast Yves Rossy is famous for pulling off seemingly impossible stunts. Over the years, the adventurer has used his jet-propelled carbon wings to soar across the Grand Canyon, circle over Japan's Mt. Fuji, and even fly alongside the world's largest commercial airplane, the Airbus A380. However, the one thing that has eluded the "Jetman" is the ability to take off from the ground. All his "flights" begin after being transported to a certain altitude aboard a helicopter or plane.
But if Rossy's latest video, released on December 19, 2019, is any indication, that dependency may soon be a thing of the past. The footage shows the stuntman testing his new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) system to launch into the air from a boat in the middle of a lake. He hovers over the water for a few seconds and then, using the finger controls built inside his gloves, gracefully flies to a nearby jetty to make a picture-perfect landing. According to the adventurer, the design of the four Jetcat P550 turbine engines' special nozzles, which allow him to fly vertically at 112 miles per hour, drew inspiration from Elon Musk’s reusable SpaceX rockets.
Though there is more work to be done before the wings are powerful enough to fly to higher altitudes for extended periods of time, the day when "Jetman" will be autonomously soaring through the clouds is not far.
Resources: Newatlas.com, Futurism.com