2 meters ( 6 feet)
Yves conducted wind tunnel tests at RUAG Aviation in Emmen, Switzerland.
BOT TOM RIGH T: The engines are controlled
with a handheld potentiometer, allowing
Yves to move his arms freely in flight.
WITH FUEL & SMOKE: 55 kilograms ( 121 pounds)
DRY: 30 Kilograms ( 66 pounds)
TYPE: change to 22 kilograms ( 9 pounds) thrust each
FUEL: Mix of kerosene and 5 percent turbine oil for
FUEL CAPACITY: Between 15 and 30 liters ( 4 to 8 gallons)
- Average: 200 kilometers per hour ( 125 mph)
- At Ascent: 180 kilometers per hour ( 112 mph)
- On Descent: 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph)
CLIMB: 330 meters per minute ( 1,086 fpm)
FLIGHT TIME: From 6 to 13 minutes
PARACHUTE: Parachutes de France
CANOPY: PD Spectra 230
HARNESS: Cut-away system with engine shut down and
automatic opening of a rescue parachute for the wing
fact than permission beforehand. “I would
never have been authorized, so I did not ask,”
Yves said. “I went and tried the wing over an
uninhabited area in Spain in 2003.” But Yves
did not proceed completely unprotected. “I
had special insurance covering up to 10 million
euros [$13 million] in damages,” he recalled.
The FOCA filed a complaint. “I went to
them and explained that all pioneers had
to test their inventions. I also pointed out I
had not jeopardized anybody, except
myself,” he said. His arguments were suc-
cessful in gaining their blessing, and Yves
now holds FOCA approvals for flying at air
shows. He has to comply with wind limita-
tions, however. For the Channel crossing,
French and UK authorities issued special
authorizations. It helped that the attempt
was taking place over water.
What’s next? Yves hopes to fly at venues
such as the Paris Air Show, over the Grand
Canyon, and perhaps somewhere in the
United Arab Emirates. A trip to EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh would make a big
impression on U.S. aviation enthusiasts who
have followed his exploits online.
EAA has been assisting Yves with his goal
of flying in the United States. The FAA has
concerns about issuing a special waiver to
allow Jetman to fly in its current configuration.
However, there are possibilities. Yves would
need to certificate the wing as an experimental
aircraft in either his home country or the
United States, and he would then require a
letter of authorization from the FAA because it
is a turbine-powered aircraft.
Besides flying in the United States, Yves
is interested in flying alongside different air-
craft. He already has flown in formation
with the Breitling wing walkers in their
Stearman biplanes last July. Maybe more
spectacular, he is considering flying in for-
mation with jets.
Thierry Dubois is a freelance journalist based in
France. He has been specializing in aeronautics for
14 years. Visit
www.SportAviation.org to see video of the
Jetman in flight.