We are getting closer to having an actual jet pack like The Rocketeer. Now all we need is the ability to turn invisible ( I think I read a story on this recently), clone humans, find big foot, contact extraterrestrial life and perfect time travel.
Bloomberg.com wrote:Swiss `Fusionman' Is First to Cross Channel With Wing (Update1)
By Camilla Hall
Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss pilot Yves Rossy became the first person to cross the Channel between England and France using a jet-powered wing attached to his back.
Rossy, resembling Buzz Lightyear in the animated film ``Toy Story,'' soared through clear skies during his 37-kilometer (23- mile) flight before opening a blue and yellow parachute to land safely on a field in Dover. After leaving France, the portion of his flight over water took less than 10 minutes.
``With that crossing, I show that it's possible to fly a little bit like a bird,'' Rossy said after landing, in an interview shown live on the National Geographic Web site. ``It's a sign that there's a significant potential to fly like this.''
Rossy, who dubbed himself ``Fusionman,'' wore a carbon- composite wing weighing about 55 kilograms (120 pounds) that was powered by four kerosene-burning jet turbines, said National Geographic, one of his sponsors. He used his head to steer the craft, designed to reach a speed of 190 kilometers an hour. Rossy said he will continue to develop the wing to give other people the chance to fly.
The pilot postponed an attempt yesterday due to bad weather, saying that he would rather wait than fail. He took off from France in a plane and jumped from an altitude of more than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) over the port of Calais to begin his jet- pack flight. He wore two parachutes in case of difficulties.
Rossy was a military pilot from the age of 20 to 28. From 1988 to 2000, he flew McDonnell Douglas DC-9s then Boeing 747s for Swissair. He is now an Airbus A320 captain with Swiss International Airlines who also practices aerobatics, hang- gliding, paragliding and sky-diving.
His first successful flight using a single wing was in June 2004, when he dropped out of a Swiss-built single-engine Pilatus plane at an altitude of 4,000 meters.