'Jetman' stuns with Iron Man-style flight over Dubai

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 18 2020 07:13 PM

'Jetman' stuns with Iron Man-style flight over Dubai 1
A handout picture released by the Expo 2020 on February 17, 2020, shows Vince Reffet, known as Jetman, taking part in a flight in the Emirati city of Dubai. Expo 2020, AFP

DUBAI -- Daredevil Vince Reffet has soared into the skies above Dubai in the latest "Jetman" stunt, taking off from the ground and climbing to 1,800 meters (nearly 6,000 feet) in a feat reminiscent of Marvel's "Iron Man" and hailed as a world first.

Reffet and his collaborators, known as "Jetmen," have literally scaled new heights with the help of jetpacks and carbon-fire wings, staging a series of aerial displays that send them tearing through the skies at breakneck speed.

In an awe-inspiring flight captured on viral video, the Frenchman on Friday hovered five metres above the crystal waters of Dubai's coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city's skyline. 

"We accomplished another world first in 100 percent autonomous human flight with @jetmandubai, who took off from the ground before soaring to a high-altitude flight of up to 1,800m!" tweeted Expo 2020 Dubai, the mammoth trade fair that will open in October.

The Jetmen had previously launched themselves into the air by jumping down from high platforms. 

"It’s the result of extremely thorough teamwork, where each small step generated huge results. Everything was planned to the split second, and I was overjoyed by the progress that was achieved," Reffet said in a statement.

"One of the next objectives is to land back on the ground after a flight at altitude, without needing to open a parachute. It’s being worked on."

Reffet's carbon fibre wings are powered by four mini jet engines. The equipment, which is controlled by the pilot's movements, is capable of reaching speeds of 400 kilometers per hour.

On Friday, Reffet hovered five meters above the crystal waters of Dubai's coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city's skyline. 

The Jetmen have pulled off a series of eye-popping flights in Dubai, soaring in tandem above the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa, and alongside an Emirates Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airplane.

Last year, Reffet and fellow Frenchman Fred Fugen also flew through the famed "Heaven's Gate" archway in the mountains of China's Hunan province.

© Agence France-Presse