Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who entered the history books as the first and only person in aviation history to fly with a jet-propelled wing , has brought his death-defying stunts to the United States for the first time, flying high above Wisconsin right next to a B-17 bomber.
Rossy, 53, the self-described “Jetman,” flew as high as 4,500 feet in his custom-made, jet-propelled wingsuit at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh this week.
Rossy Tuesday clocked speeds as high as 160 mph alongside the B-17 bomber as aviation fans watched in awe below.
“You know, that’s the Super Bowl of aviation here,” Rossy said. “It was absolutely fantastic to fly so freely.
“It was absolutely impressive for me. What I’m doing as ‘Jetman,’ it’s really gratifying.”
Rossy made headlines in May 2012 when he leaped from a helicopter with his four-engine wing strapped to his back and circled the skyline of Rio de Janeiro for more than 11 minutes.
The Swiss adventurer began developing the “Jetman” project in 1993. In 2006, after more than 15 prototypes, he used a wing he’d created with four model jet engines to fly for five minutes and 40 seconds. He carried only an altimeter and a tiny throttle control.
In May 2008, Rossy made his first official flight over the Swiss Alps in front of the media.
Months later, in September, Rossy crossed the English Channel by air, an event that was broadcast live to 165 countries. It took him 13 minutes.
Since then, Rossy has flown alongside two Boeing Stearman biplanes carrying the Breitling Wingwalkers, circled a hot air balloon and hurtled over the Grand Canyon. He performed aerobatic figures in November with two L-39C Albatros planes over the Swiss Alps.
Rossy will be back in the United States in September to appear at the national Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev.