Yves Rossy, also known as Jetman, made the dream of humans flying like birds a reality with his jet-powered wings that he has used to jump out of planes and fly over the Grand Canyon or along the coast line of Rio de Janeiro. Now, Fritz Unger, is looking to top Jetman by creating jet-powered wings that not only allow humans to fly, but also to take off from the ground, as if they were a plane themselves.
The project known as Skyflash has wings that are worn like a backpack, is powered by two micro-turbine diesel engines and has an undercarriage with wheels to enable take-off from a runway. The wingspan is 11 ft and, according to Gizmag, is modeled after a condor’s wings, a large bird whose wings alter structure during different wind conditions. It weighs 55lb and can travel up to 78 mph at an altitude of 11,800 feet. The controls are in the pilots hands, with a computer and graphic display attached to wrist and the throttle held in the other hand. To maneuver the jetpack, one simply has to shift their body weight.
Currently the prototype is made of ‘aviation plywood covered with shrink-wrap plastic to keep costs down’ but should testing be successful, a Skyflash I will be built out of glass-fibre and more powerful engines. It will then be the smallest two-engine plane ever built. Take that, Jetman.