Swiss Jet Man
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No - it's Swiss Jet Man. It has taken Yves Rossy five years to design and build his jet-powered wings and turn a fantasy of flying over the Alps into a jet-powered reality. On May 14, 2008, Rossy jumped from a plane at 8,000 feet and completed several loops at 300 kms per hour, using only his body to change position for five minutes over the Swiss Alps.

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Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 miles per hour, about 65 miles per hour faster than the typical falling skydiver. A plane that flew at some distance beside him measured his speed. Rossy said after Wednesday's five-minute flight, he is ready now for a bigger challenge: crossing the English Channel this year. The stunt, which will be shown on live television, will test his flying machine to the limit. Rossy said he plans to practice the 22-mile trip by flying between two hot-air balloons. Rossy said that one day he also hopes to fly through the Grand Canyon. The German-built model aircraft engines he currently uses already provide 200 pounds of thrust, enough to allow Rossy and his 120-pound flying suit to climb through the air. "Physically, it's absolutely no stress," Rossy said. "It's like being on a motorbike."