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BEX, Switzerland - A Swiss pilot strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.
Rossy, 48, had stepped out of the Swiss-built Pilatus Porter aircraft at 7,500 feet and unfolded the rigid eight-foot wings strapped to his back before jumping.
Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 miles per hour, about 65 miles per hour faster than the typical falling skydiver. A plane that flew at some distance beside him measured his speed.