Jet-Powered Birdman

By Deane Barker on July 21, 2007

First jet powered Birdman flight: This guy is one of the pioneers of those “flying suits” — the skydiving outfits with wings and webbing that skydivers use to glide.

Well, one day he smoked some crack and got the idea to strap jet engines to his legs, just to see it he could maintain altitude given sufficient thrust. Turns out, he could.

[…] after attaining normal bird-man flight, Visa requested full power from the engines, which responded smoothly in horizontal acceleration. After checking the altimeter several times, it was apparent that there was no appreciable loss in altitude for this period of time.

Visa next changed his angle of attack by redirected the thrust and changing his body position to attain vertical climb. This caused a loss in horizontal speed, and stalled (the body?). Recovering from the stall was made easy because of the agility of the human body to change flight profile easily. A few more attempts at this exercise yielded the same result.

Here’s the video, though the jet-powered guy takes off (literally) from the camera guy pretty quickly once the jets are turned on. I imagine the U.S. military probably watched this video with some interest.

Next thing you know, someone’s going to strap jet engines to a bike. Oh, wait

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  1. The BBC website refers to me as having always had a fascination with space and technology. Just visit and put MARS PLEASE in its search engine to access it all. Please also read my articles at

    I have just read about a birdman flying with a jet-powered wing attached to himself. How about the birdmen of the future taking off and landing like the birds? As R Kelly demonstrated with his song about flight, the desire to emulate the birds still hasn’t been entirely fulfilled.

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