Yves Rossy rockets over Grand Canyon, the Evel Knievel of the sky

Jetman Yves Rossy completed his most eye-popping feat yet by flying over the Grand Canyon with just 3m of carbon fibre and some model jets keeping him airborne.

Yves 'Jetman' Rossy, the Swiss daredevil who burns out his fuse up there alone, completed his most eye-popping feat yet by flying over the Grand Canyon.

YouTube footage (below) shows the wing-wearing Rossy casually stepping off a helicopter above the US national park, dropping towards the Colorado river and soaring away as he fires up his engines, before parachuting to the canyon floor 8 minutes later. What a madman.

The 51-year-old hit speeds of up to 190mph as he blasted 60m above the Canyon Rim. The stunt was delayed for a day because the US Federal Aviation Authorities gave permission only half an hour before he was due to fly, leaving him no time to practice.

"I was not ready. It would be unsafe and disrespectful to my team and everybody here to present something not well prepared," Rossy told the Huffington Post.

Rossy, a former fighter pilot, has built his wing himself over the last 18 years. Three metres wide and made of carbon fibre, the current iteration weighs a hefty 55kg fully fuelled, and uses four model jet engines from German company Jet-Cat. They average 125mph and can shove him around the sky for up to 10 minutes.

Last year Rossy cemented his status as a bona fide 21st century superhero with an astonishing loop-the-loop around a hot air balloon above Lake Geneva. In 2008 he zoomed across the English Channel in just 10 minutes, replicating the landmark 1909 feat of Louis Bleriot.

A new prototype wing is in the works that will allow him to take off from the ground and perform even more spectacular aerobatics. Godspeed, Jetman.

Image credit: AP/Breitling

 

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