LONDON (CBS) — The dare-devil group known as ‘Jetman’ has made a milestone flight, soaring to high altitudes, after taking off from a standing position for the first time.
It’s daybreak in Dubai as Vince Reffet and his team prepare for their latest groundbreaking flight.
Strapped to carbon-fiber wings, powered by four mini jet engines, the French pilot is aiming to be the first to take off from the ground straight up into the air.
Starting from a hover over the water he turns and blasts off.
Climbing high above Dubai’s iconic coastline to nearly six thousand feet, reaching speeds of 150 miles an hour.
After about three minutes and a few scenic loops, Reffet pulls his parachute, successfully coasting down to his excited team below.
“It’s a big step for us because it’s the first time that we are completely autonomous …where we take off from the ground,” said Vince Reffet, Jetman.
Reffet made more than 50 test flights, learning to control the jet engines.
The historic launch is one of the highlights of Dubai’s 2020 Expo.
It was a very proud moment for us,” said Aysha Al Nuaimi, Expo 2020 Project Leader.
The Jetman team has been pushing the limits for seven years now.
With staggering flights like this one last year in China’s Tianmen Mountain National Park.
In the past, pilots always took off by leaping from a moving helicopter or an elevated platform.
They say this daring performance brings them even closer to human flight.
The group says its next challenge will be landing without needing to open a parachute.