May. 15th, 2008

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A daredevil inventor has made his first public flight with a pair of homemade jet-powered wings.

After five years of training and many more years of dreaming, Yves Rossy from Switzerland took to the skies, performing figure eights above the Swiss Alps.

The 48-year-old former fighter pilot and extreme sports enthusiast stepped out of a plane at 7,500 feet (2,300 meters) and unfolded the rigid eight-foot (2.5-metre) wings strapped to his back.

Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Mr Rossy, or Fusion Man as he prefers to be known, then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186mph.

Steering only with his body, he dived and soared, and even managed a 360 degree somersault.

He eventually landed safely on an airfield near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

After the flight, Mr Rossy said: "I just had a little problem with one of the jet engines at the beginning - but it was straightened out by one of the technical assistants who was in the plane.

"Then the four jet engines worked properly so I could jump out of the plane, and it was just wonderful, it was a complete success, also the weather conditions were excellent!"

The birdman said he is ready now for a bigger challenge - flying across the English Channel later this year.

VIDEO HERE.

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Is it time for a Gremlins 3 yet? I think it is!

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