Swiss man to fly channel without plane

Yves Rossy plans to fly the channel on a jet-powered wing, tomorrow. Weather permitting, the 49-year-old former airline pilot will drop out of an aeroplane at 2,500m over Calais around midday.

From there he hopes to reach Dover around ten minutes later depending on how quickly he can decelerate from speeds of up to 300kph.

The 3m wing has no moving parts so presumably pointing in the right direction is a priority at such speeds. The event will be streamed live on the National Geographic channel.

Although not formally trained in this discipline, the Swiss man, self-styled quite reasonably as the FusionMan, has form here. Good form too – the only kind to have with such activities – having made the first jet-powered wing flight back in 2004.

Icarus complex

The ten minute ETA is quite important as that is roughly how long his 30 litres of fuel will last though he managed to fly a similar distance over the Swiss town of Bex in August with enough left over to drive himself home.

Back in May he had performed a little exhibition above the Alps. He had overcome teething problems in which his engine had cut out – possibly due to 'electronic interference' while a fuel leak also added a similar twist to his high-flying experience.

He will be taking two parachutes with him – one for his wing, the second for himself. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with his man-bird progress.

Rossy has no plans to fly too close to the sun.