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Thursday, July 31, 2003

Icarus II

Quite some feat this! I was very intrigued when I read about the planned attempt and hoped Felix would make it across the English Channel successfully. Jumping out from 30,000 feet into an atmosphere at 60 below freezing, Felix headed towards the French coast appearing more like Superman out to get his breakfast from across town early in the morning. Gaining 4 feet horizontally for every foot drop vertically, Felix touched ground safely in under 10 minutes.

His flight did not go without incident. When he deployed his parachute a few hundred feet from ground, it became entangled with the 6-foot carbon wings fixed to his back. He managed to cut off the entangled wires even as the crowd on the ground anxiously looked on. When he touched ground, he became the first human being to fly across the English Channel with nothing more than an aerodynamic jumpsuit and a carbon wing. Quite an accomplishment for the Austrian who has taken quite some risks in the past. Thankfully, Icarus II emulated Daedalus and not Icarus.

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