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The Birdman of Switzerland
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shades of Icarrus or Buzz Lightyear? Whichever, a Swiss man is as close as anyone to perfecting flying like a bird:
For those who are bored with hang-gliding or find skydiving just too dull, a Swiss airline captain has devised the ultimate aerial thrill: flying like a bird.

Thanks to high technology and nerve, Yves Rossy has come closer than anyone to realising the ancient dream of soaring free, flitting through the sky, guided only by the body. As well as a crash helmet he wears a small pair of wings and four tiny jet engines.

As he skims the Alps at up to 187mph (300km/h), the only thing that the former fighter pilot has come up against so far is the Swiss law.

“They were totally confused,” said the birdman, whose flying suit gives him a passing resemblance to Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. “The authorities said that I was an unregistered aircraft and to fly, you need a licence. I told them, ‘No. To fly, you need wings’.”

The 47-year-old pioneer does not live up to the image of the stolid Swiss captain. Boyish and brimming with enthusiasm, he is a hero in the world of those extreme sportsmen — or borderline nutters — who are devoted to the quest of human flight.

OK, this is just cool. Read the whole thing. And as an aside, I do love his answer to the "authorities".
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Now if HE had claimed to be an unregistered aircraft they would have filled him with Thorazine and put him in a padded hangar. I think, though, that if and when he starts carrying passengers on his own personal airline, he should be licensed.

187 MPH???? In nothing but a brain bucket and some tights???
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

Later, I connect the dots and think, *of course*, if they already have five-foot and seven-foot drone aircraft with jet propulsion, then of course they’ve already designed engines small enough for people, and the rest of the job is relatively simple...

What a revolutionary thing this will be someday for the airline industry.. just need cheaper and lighter compressed fuel.

What a great catch of an article.
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
This is ripped off from a 1980’s GI Joe toy....Cobra "the Enemy" had this exact same thing.

Patent Hasbro I expect ;)

Written By: shark
URL: http://
I would love to do that just ONE time. I think it probably far too unsafe to do more than once, I would feel like I was tempting fate.
Written By: kyle N
"I would love to do that just ONE time."

Yeh, me too, but I think that the one time would be my last time.

How long before someone tries to become a ballistic missile? Just wrap themselves around a little rocket motor and then up, up and away. sort of like Slim Pickens in "Dr. Srangelove", but in reverse. It would really give life to that old phrase, "going ballistic". It would also be great for commuting, for those without enough open space for a ’normal’ takeoff and/or landing(landing is, of course, optional). In my mind’s eye(yes, I have both) I can see several interesting scenarios. Perhaps we will soon see one of those "jackass" videos with this theme.
Picture, for instance, a group of not-quite-retarded adolescents in a back yard. As the camera rolls, focusing on one particularly dense and bulky youth bouncing heavily on a trampoline(the booster stage), a voice calls out, "Mom, hey Mom! come watch this!"
The harried mother comes out the back door, into the frame, wiping her hands on a dishtowel, an exasperated yet patient look on her face.
"Mom, look at me fly!" exclaims little Johnny/Billy/Jose/etc.
The long-suffering mother, expecting another attempted trampoline trick, opens her mouth to say;
"Johnny/Billy/Jose/etc. where is your helmet? You know the doctor said you shouldn’t land on your head again!"
Yet, something looks different, and there is a certain excitement in the group that she hasn’t seen before. Her brow furrows in thought, but before she can say those oft used words "What is going on here??!", there is a small "Pop", and smoke and flame appear at the bottom part of young Jonny’s torso(fingers got tired).
Unfortunately, there was a small flaw in the timing circuitry(he fell on his head, remember?), and he ignited on the downward arc of his trampoline bounce. Also unfortunately, there was insufficient insulation on the buttockeal portion of the missile, with results that can be imagined.
Liftoff was, of course, disappointing.
The thrust of the rocket motor was insufficient to entirely overcome the initial downward velocity, but there was still hope. Perhaps the next trampoline bounce would produce an upward trajectory.
Alas, that was not to be. Although insulation had been applied to the missle itself(insufficient though it was), none had been applied to the launch pad, the trampoline. As Johnny’s feet came into contact with the trampoline, the trampoline, severely degraded by the unforeseen effects of the rocket exhaust, gave way. The only upward trajectory at this launch pad was the increasingly high-pitched howling of little Johnny, as blisters began to form on his posterior.
Johnny continued his descent.
Fortunately, by the time Johnny reached the ground, his velocity was almost zero.
Also fortunately, the rocket motor reached brennschluss at this time.
Poor mother stood there, stunned, eyes popping, jaw hanging, as one of the quicker, almost normal lads doused the whimpering, smoking, would-be astronaut with a garden hose amid cries of "Cool!", "Way to go Johnny!", and "My turn!" from his friends.

I guess you had to be there.

Written By: timactual
URL: http://
This is just so freakin’ COOL!
Written By: Firehand
I write a masterpiece, and nobody notices? I prefer to think that nobody reads McQ’s inane little articles.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I prefer to think that nobody reads McQ’s inane little articles.
Uh, don’t give up your day job, Tim.
Written By: McQ
Hmpff! Great artists are never appreciated in their own lifetimes, but I expect no better from the philistine denizens of this pit.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Wow! it is really amazing, the whole story makes me shock.
Written By: Tourism Indochina

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