French daredevil Vince Reffet has soared over Dubai after taking off from the ground and climbing to nearly 6,000 feet in a feat reminiscent of Marvel’s Iron Man.
The Crown Prince of Dubai shared a video to his Instagram account Monday showing the first autonomous human flight in the city via a vertical takeoff.
“A major milestone in the quest to achieve 100% autonomous human flight. Well done boys,” Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum captioned the post, along with the hashtags “#MissionHumanFlight #JetmanDubai #ExpoDubai2020.” Watch below:
Within seconds, Reffet reached more than 325 feet and within 30 seconds reached an initial height of 3,280 feet at an average speed of 130 knots, according to Gulf Today.
By the end of the three-minute flight, reaching an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet, Reffet opened a parachute and landed safely back at Skydive Dubai, according to the newspaper.
Three engineers – Mohammed Rashid Chembankandy from India, André Bernet from Switzerland and chief engineer Matthieu Courtois from France – developed the pioneering technology that helped make this possible.
Together they built and adjusted a manually controlled thrust vectoring nozzle that allows the pilot to control rotations around the yaw axis at zero speeds, making human control of the wing possible in all flight phases without the aid of any electronic stabilisation systems.
Reffet and his collaborators, known as “Jetmen”, have used jetpacks and carbon-fire wings before in other stunts, staging a series of aerial displays that send them across the skies.
Last year, Reffet and fellow Frenchman Fred Fugen also flew through the famed “Heaven’s Gate” archway in the mountains of China’s Hunan province.
AFP contributed to this story