Watch: Homemade Jetpack Flies over Mount Fuji
It actually works.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Swiss aviator Yves Rossy flew his self-constructed jetpack over Mount Fuji nine times last week. He jumped from a helicopter and fired up the four jet engines strapped to his back, then soared on a set of carbon-fiber wings spanning two meters over the 12,388-foot mountain.
“It’s really impressive. It’s a perfect form, a huge mountain, a huge volcano, a presence that you can feel on ground and also in the air,” says Rossy, or “Jetman,” as he’s known.
The 54-year-old captain with Swiss International Air Lines adds Mount Fuji to the list of flights, alongside the Grand Canyon, the English Channel, and the city of Rio de Janeiro.
His jetpack, 132 pounds, can reach speeds of up to 185 miles per hour. On his flight over Mount Fuji, he reached 12,000 feet. Unlike the jetpacks being developed in New Zealand, Rossy’s model required him to deploy a parachute at over 2,500 feet to land.
“It is such a contrast flying free with just a wing on my back, compared to being enclosed in a cockpit as an airline pilot,” Rossy told ABC News. “It’s hard to describe the emotion and feeling of having an opportunity like this. It’s spiritual, it is immense.”