Yves Rossy's suit may be a lot less form fitting than Iron Man's armor, but it brings to real life one of the fictional armor's major features -- flight.
Rossy, also nicknamed "Jetman," hopped off a helicopter today and took to the skies around Mount Fuji. The visit to Japan is just the latest of Rossy's joyride locales, which have also included the Grand Canyon, and the city of Rio de Janeiro.
"Flying here for me is a dream," he said in a statement. "I am the lucky guy who gets to do this, but I hope I can motivate the next generation of forward thinkers to do something different ... even if it seems impossible."
Rossy both designed and built his jetpack, according to the news agency AFP. It looks different than the compact rocket packs seen on "The Jetsons." In addition to the actual engines is his aircraft-like set of wings.
Unlike another type of jetpack currently being tested in New Zealand, it appears as though Rossy's aren't fit for takeoff or landing. In addition to being taken up by helicopter, the Jetman also needed to parachute down from an altitude of 800 meters in order to land.
Rossy, whose day job is a captain for Swiss International Air Lines, is the only person to fly with jet-propelled wings. "It is such a contrast flying free with just a wing on my back, compared to being enclosed in a cockpit as an airline pilot," he said. "It's hard to describe the emotion and feeling of having an opportunity like this. It's spiritual, it is immense."
- Yves Rossy