Sep 26, 2008

Air Miles Across English Channel in a Jet Pack

A Swiss adventurer Yves Rossy (pronounced Eve Ross-e) found a new way to add some air miles to his own FF program. Just kidding, Mr Rossy made a sort of pioneering flight by crossing the English Channel using jet packs after being released over French landmass at about a height of 8200 ft (~2500 m). You can read more about it on CNN. Nicknamed the human jet, the 49 year old former military pilot made this the first solo flight using a jet pack/jet propelled wing. A video of the final stages of the flight before he landed in Calais, England using a parachute is available on BBC. The BBC news report has a lot of details on its news page.

While I was talking about this (jet pack flight) to my friend, I mentioned that perhaps a more challenging feat would be to use hang glider and cross the channel. I also mentioned that since a hang glider is a little larger than a jet pack, the person could go up on a hot air balloon and then be dropped from a height. He started arguing that "one needs thermal currents to hang glide and that the probability of thermal currents over the english channel were very low". I ran a simple search on google of the query 'can you glide over the english channel". The results showed me that wayyyy back in 1989, a woman named Judy Leden had successfully glided across the channel, after she was hoisted along with her glider in a hot air balloon. I was very happy to see that something almost exactly recreated as I had imagined a few moments back. You can see the video below:

For losing the bet, my friend agreed to eat a whole garlic raw.


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