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Thermwood

“Jetman” Flies with Carbon Fibre Wings

09 September 2004

A French man has designed motorised CFRP wings in order to fly like superman.

Yves (Jetman)had previously contacted the worlds leading model jet engine Company, “Jet-Cat”, based in Germany, back in 2002. Jet-Cat specialises in motorizing miniature planes, and quickly showed its interest to help Yves install engines onto his wings to help achieve his dream.

Numerous tests were made with different engines and air intakes at altitudes reaching 4000 m, something unprecedented for this kind of engine.

Earlier this year, Yves started to work with ACT Composites who created foldable carbon fibre wings, taken from a Pilatus Porter plane. A test team was then taken up in a Pilatus Porter so that fine-tuning could be made until the engines worked perfectly at high altitude. To perfect the performance, the aerodynamic wings were improved and their span was increased to 3 meters.

Handles were also fixed onto the wings so that Yves could electronically manipulate the wingtips, providing greater freedom for when he decided to either glide or dive.

These new wings were tested a few times with different weights on them so as to see how and where the kerosene port and engines would be placed.

Once all ignition tests had been done at ground level, Yves finally took to the sky on June 24th this year and after the 3rd trial of the day, Yves finally dropped out of the Pilatus at an altitude of 4000m over the Yverdon airfield in France.

Before pulling on the lever that controls the opening of his wings, Yves lets himself glide for a couple seconds and at the altitude of 2500m, starts the ignition of the engines, and waits 30 seconds for them to stabilize. Once they are steady, he can finally speed up the engines and suddenly the dream comes true… He manages a horizontal flight at 1600m from the ground for more than 4 minutes at 115 mph, and for a bit of fun, manages to also ignite the smoke producers which leave a nice trail behind him.

Unfortunately, Yves runs into some strong turbulence and was forced to cut off the two engines, despite the tanks being only half full. But the achievement was made and the Jetman flew.

Yves triggered the parachute opening while closing the wings to finally land on the ground, greeted by the ecstatic team. As soon as a patent was issued, more than 15 flights were done to perfect the “Jet-Man”, making the system even more reliable.






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