Holy hell, that is fast.
The gravity-defying maniacs over at Jetman Dubai achieved a major company milestone on Friday. In a company first, one of their pilots executed a successful ground-level take-off that transitioned into a high altitude flight. All previous take-offs had been from elevated platforms, i.e. helicopters and the like. This time around, though, “Jetman” Vince Reffet blasted off like a real-life Iron Man straight from the runway at Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
A video of Reffet’s feat was uploaded Monday, which you can watch below. Now, I know this sounds click-baity, but I audibly gasped around the two and a half minute mark. He zooms so fast!
The manually controlled, carbon-fiber wingsuit he’s wearing is powered by four mini jet engines, and they’ve got enough kick to shoot him more than 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) into the air in just 30 seconds. During his three-minute flight, he zipped along at nearly 150 miles per hour, per a company statement, reaching nearly 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) in altitude. That’s roughly twice as high as the world’s tallest skyscraper.
After performing a roll and loop in his wingsuit (because that’s just badass, I can only assume), Reffet opened his parachute at roughly 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) before safely landing back on the ground. Successfully executing the flight took roughly 50 preparatory runs as well as 100 takeoffs and landings using a cable and with the added safety of a fall arresting system.
“We are so happy we achieved this incredible flight. It’s the result of extremely thorough teamwork, where each small step generated huge results,” Reffet said in the statement. “Everything was planned to the split second, and I was overjoyed by the progress that was achieved. It is another step in a long-term project.”
The achievement even caught the attention of the crown prince of Dubai, who congratulated the pilots.
“A major milestone in the quest to achieve 100% autonomous human flight. Well done boys,” Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in an Instagram post.
The Jetman team’s next objective? Do it all again, only without the parachute this time. Hey, if Tony Stark can do it, I’m sure they can too!