If you’re schemin’ away over your lunch hour, hatching plans for jet-powered human flight, set down that burrito and pay attention to the latest from Jetman Dubai.
We’ve seen a gradual progression of the jet-powered wing concept since Yves Rossy’s experimental flights as ‘Jet Man’. It gained him notoriety in 2006 with a plane-deployed flight donning a wing that isn’t too far from the design of the version Jetman Dubai is testing today — wing, with jets, strapped to your back. But the company he founded is certainly taking it to the next level.
While you may have seen videos of the Jetman Dubai pilots shooting through the air at inhuman speed over the past few years, their ‘Mission Human Flight’ demonstration for Expo 2020 Dubai is the first to demonstrate take-off, hover, landing, and blast into high-altitude airspace over Dubai. It’s a big step that brings together all the capabilities needed to go from ground to air and back again.
Jetman pilot, Vince Reffet, controlled the Jetwing, a 55 kg (121 lb – fully fueled), 6.5 feet carbon fiber wing powered by four kerosene-burning JetCat turbines. Reffet was able to take off from the Skydive Dubai runway and hover for 100 seconds, land, then take-off again, shooting up 1800 meters (5905 feet) at an average speed of 240 kmh (149 mph). Have a look:
The company claims a max altitude of 6100 meters (20,000 feet) and a max speed of 407 kmh (253 mph) for the latest version of the wing, though a meager limit of 13 minutes flight time.
We’re left to watching others shoot through the air as there are no plans for production or amusement rides for the ultra-wealthy but fingers-crossed for Jet-powered human racing to spark some interest soon. And, if you’re anxious to strap a jet to your back, keep hatching those plans over your lunch break. You can keep up with Jetman Dubai on Facebook and Instagram. I’ll leave you with my favorite Mission Human Flight demonstration – their flight through Tianmen Mountain Heaven’s Gate.