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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ever dreamt you were flying?

Well, for Yves Rossy, it is real.

[S]ince last Autumn, his dream became reality mainly because of 4 model-engines which were built under his wings. With these, he can fly at over 200km/hr at the conquest of mountain summits. During the flight, Yves's body becomes the likes of a bird and other than a gas handle, Yves does not pilot his wings but veritably flies it, by using various light body movements that he has learned to handle with perfection. These body movements are equal to those that birds use to fly...

"The most exciting moment in the last couple of flights is when I put full gas and start going higher. It's very powerful, euphoric, I was flying towards the top of a ridge, it feels like being naked to fly like that, I'm used to flying locked up in airplanes, to be completely free and practically at level with the fir-trees, being practically naked, it's pure adrenaline."

Yves Rossy's words remind me of a couple of personal experiences:

2003. I was cruising with a DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) alongside the 7 Skies wreck at 54 meters (177 ft) in the South China Sea. It was only 1.5 knots, but in my imagination, I was flying a million miles an hour, keeping pace with fish, sometimes even passing them. I never wanted it to end; it was — a dream in slow motion.

1999. I slipped on a pair of speed skates for the first time. The efficiency was unbelievable; the smoothness and length of each glide, orgasmic. It was 3 AM and I was alone on Stanford's Serra Mall, a flat, smooth, straight road running between the Main Quad and the Oval, when I first hit 30 mph (48 km/h) on them. How do I describe it? It is like the wind in your hair when, as a child, you first blasted downhill on a bicycle — minus the bicycle; naked at speed (and silence).

Now, where can I order a pair of the jet wings?


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