Rocket Man Feels Wind Beneath His Wings

Stepping off an airplane 7,500 feet above Lake Geneva, and, look, up in the sky it's Yves Rossy. He's a 48-year-old Swiss airline pilot, soaring 185 mph strapped to jet-powered wings, CBS News correspondent Richard Roth reports.

"I don't steer it, I fly it," Rossy said. "It's like a child playing airplane, like that, exactly like this. It's totally intuitive."

"Pure flight," he calls it. Like flying in an airplane - without the airplane.

"You're almost naked. You have just this little thing on your back, and moving your body it turns, it flies, it climbs," he said. "Its like something artificial - but it's real."

And if Rossy's achievement isn't quite a giant leap for mankind, it certainly does look as if life's imitating pop culture.

But in Hollywood's current blockbuster take on manned flight without an airplane - starring Ironman as a very high-tech Icharus - there's a lesson: don't try this without a movie studio.

The Internet is full of proof that it's a warning that goes widely ignored.

Rossy, too, has had what he calls some "whoops" moments in the first five years spent developing his fold-up carbon-fiber wings, powered by four jet engines designed to fly model planes.

What drives him is a passion about flight.

"It's not a dream; I'm here, I'm flying like I wanted in my head as a kid," he said.

His ambition now, he says, is to fly 22 miles across the English Channel … and to go see the movie this weekend.
  • Richard Roth

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter