Swiss Aviator Yves Rossy recently took flight over the Tel Aviv beach - literally.
The former fighter pilot was in Israel for the TLV Business Aviation Conference: Innovation In Aviation, which was held March 27 to 28 in Tel Aviv. Though as an airline pilot he had visited Israel many times, this was his first private visit.
In an interview with i24 news, Rossy explained how his desire to fly like a bird brought him into the jetpack industry and then to Israel. He told i24 that he discovered free falling in the early 90s and has been trying ever since to take that feeling and have it last longer and longer. Skydiving, he said, lasts only 40 or 50 seconds.
“So, the idea became, OK, how can I keep that feeling of freedom, but really fly - to stop the fall and fly,” he said.
With his self-designed jetpack on his back, Rossy soars through the air at speeds approaching 180 miles per hour. With no steering mechanism, this is not an easy task for the human body. But he told i24 that he stays fit by participating in a variety of sports.
Rossy designed his own jetpack: a semi-rigid airplane-type carbon fiber wing with a span of about 2.6 yards fired by an engine. He said his current model has been heavily modified over the years.
He’s been learning by doing.
In the beginning, for example, he did not want to put jets - “I wanted to glide,” but his ideas have changed. He said his next goal is to become autonomous.