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Worlds 2nd Jetman Vince Reffett makes aviation history with Yves Rossy in Dubai

By - May 13, 2015
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‘Max Haim/XDubai’

Video credit: XDubai

Dubai, a city that’s constantly breaking boundaries and creating history, became the home of Yves Rossy in late 2014 when he relocated to develop his first of a kind project – Jetman. When we first saw the results, naturally we were in awe… as fans of super heroes both real-life and fantasy, Yves displayed what may in fact be the closest thing to the the Tony Stark, Iron man character from the Marvel franchise.

Max Haim / XDubai

Max Haim / XDubai

So why did Yves choose the location of Dubai? Well, the synergy between Dubai and Jetman is easy to see. Dreaming the impossible, striving for excellence and shaping perceptions make this an incredibly powerful partnership and something Dubai have been at the forefront of in many ways over the last few years in particular and combined with the support of XDubai, Yves Rossy has truly taken his project to the next level.

So if one Iron Man wasn’t enough for us and the world to handle, now trained and renowned skydiver, Vince Reffet, has also joined forces as Jetman Dubai number 2 and like the Robin to Yves’s Batman, together Rossy and Reffer fly through the skies showcasing the first ever twin human formation flight.

Max Haim / XDubai

Max Haim / XDubai

The brand new duo have joined XDubai Managing Director, Ismaeil Al Hashmi at the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai, where Yves Rossy introduced his protégé Vince Reffet, The adventurous duo also announced the new partnership which is advancing human flight and aviation globally.

Speaking from the 112th floor of the Burj Khalifa, overlooking Dubai’s skyline, Ismaeil Al Hashmi, Managing Director of XDubai said:

“At XDubai, our ambassadors are constantly redefining their limits and setting the bar higher for action sports in Dubai and I would like to congratulate Yves Rossy and Vince Reffet for their new achievement. Jetman Dubai does not only put these two inspiring individuals on the international aviation map, but also begins a new phase for the emirate of Dubai as it becomes home to two truly world-class action sport athletes.”

He continued:

“Jetman Dubai wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Skydive Dubai and I would like to thank them for their commitment to this project.”

Over the years, Dubai’s exuberant energy has inspired individuals and groups to pursue innovative projects and challenge themselves to new heights. Making the city their new home, Yves Rossy and Vince Reffet have charted out a plan to expand their dreams for Jetman Dubai.

Ahmad Al Falasi, Executive Director – Group Operations of Emaar Properties PJSC, said:

“We are delighted that another aviation milestone is being flagged off from Burj Khalifa, defined by the spirit of adventure. XDubai’s path-breaking initiatives are an inspiration for those who seek to challenge themselves and push back the boundaries of what is possible. This has been the essence of Burj Khalifa, a towering achievement on mankind’s ability, which today serves as an inspiration for people around the world.”

Max Haim/ XDubai

Max Haim/ XDubai

The Jetman Dubai pair’s record setting twin human formation saw them fly together over landmarks like the iconic Burj Khalifa, The Palm Jumeirah and the Liwa desert. With the support of XDubai, Yves’ and Vince’s flights over Dubai will help them further develop the Jetman wing and implement technological changes to advance their dream for human flight. Jetman Dubai has already started development of its next generation wing.. Jetman Dubai will also be provided with exclusive access to facilities at Skydive Dubai, including demarcated fly zones at Skydive Dubai The Palm Dropzone and the Desert Dropzone.

“Establishing our headquarters in Dubai gives us access to world-class facilities including Skydive Dubai which will enable us to take Jetman Dubai and the development of our new wing to its next stage,” said Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy.

Max Haim / XDubai

Max Haim / XDubai

“Jetman is the culmination of over 20 years of innovation and has resulted in achieving my personal dream to fly free, soaring through the sky. This move to Dubai has opened the doors to the next chapter of Jetman Dubai and with the support of Xdubai, Skydive Dubai, and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, I look forward to sharing my knowledge with Vince Reffet. It is a privilege to have a talented athlete like Vince fly besides me high in the sky and I believe that together we will make great advances as we move towards our next big milestone.”

The addition of Vince Reffet marks the beginning of an ambitious new chapter.

“The sky is boundless and provides an unparalleled opportunity to experience creative human formations, which in turn create an extraordinary feeling. After more than five years of training, I am honoured to join Yves Rossy and XDubai. . As Jetman Dubai moves into a new phase, I’m extremely excited about what the future holds for us,” said Vince Reffet.

Max Haim / XDubai

Max Haim / XDubai

Over the past decade, the Jetman journey has seen the development of more than 15 prototypes of the Jetman wing. In December 2014, Yves Rossy also participated in an extraordinary formation flight over Dubai’s desert with Hungarian aerobatic champion Zoltan Veres.

X Dubai

X Dubai

And here is some extra insight from the Jetman Dubai 1st Talent Yves Rossy:

What motivated you to choose Dubai as the location for your project?

I (Yves Rossy) moved to Dubai late 2014 to develop this project. I felt a strong synergy between my values and that of the open-minded and passionate people of Dubai. With the support of XDubai, Jetman Dubai has access to some of the world’s best facilities and infrastructure which will help take the project to even more next levels.

What is Dubai’s vision when it comes to action sports?

Dubai’s vision is to be recognised as the action sports capital of the world. With this in mind, XDubai was launched earlier this year to support action sports, as well as established athletes in the region, one of which being Jetman. 

How is XDubai collaborating with Jetman Dubai?

XDubai has been a champion of the project and have supported the development of Yves’ dream. XDubai hopes to help Jetman Dubai evolve and inspire others to go after their dreams with perseverance just like Yves did.

What are the physical implications on your body when flying?

When I am in straight flight there is no force at all – it’s completely balanced and that’s why it’s so sensitive and fun. I only have to move my hand or foot a tiny bit and it reacts. It’s amazing. As soon as I start to do figures like loops, it goes up to 3G and I have to arch with a lot of strength. I have to make my body into a banana shape to control pitch. After three or four days of flights, I really feel the strain in my lower back. Try lying on the floor and keeping your head up for thirty seconds; it’s just like that.

How do you prepare before a flight?

Preparation is a very important part of my routine. I have to warm up physically as I am carrying a load of approximately 55 kgs on my back. As I land like a normal parachutist, I like to go skydiving whenever I can which helps me to improve my landing techniques. Apart from that, I do balance exercises on ground and also train at the indor wind tunnel – Inflight Dubai in Margham.

What are the safety procedures in place to aid during unfavorable situations?

Ensuring my safety is a priority as well as the basics of aviation.If ever I am caught in an unfavorable situation, I can easily deploy the wings off my back. My wings have a rescue parachute of their own so that the damage from the fall is minimal. I myself also have a parachute which I usually deploy while landing but also if anything were to go wrong. Being a professional pilot and a skydiver, I have been trained to manage risky situations and ensure my safety at all times in the air.

Tell us about your most memorable flight

I have had the privilege of flying over some really unique places such as the Grand Canyon, the English Channel, around Mount Fuji, Rio De Janeiro and of course more recently the spectacular Dubai skyline. Flying around the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa – was surreal! 

What are your future plans?

The ultimate dream is to take-off from the ground. My team and I are working towards finding different alternatives that would help us take-off from the ground and also maintain a sustained flight longer than 10 minutes. However, the main problem is energy. If you give me Iron Man’s battery then we can all fly together.

Special thanks to the Jetman Dubai team.

Photo / Video Credit: Max Haim / XDubai / Youtube

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