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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Skydiver plans Channel flight
Felix Baumgartner in the air above Rio
Felix Baumgartner has previously jumped from the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro

An Austrian with a carbon wing strapped to his back is to attempt to skydive across the English Channel.

Felix Baumgartner plans to leap from a plane 30,000 feet (9,000 metres) above Dover and glide over the 22 miles (35 kilometres) of water to France.

At times he will reach speeds of 224mph (360km/h) in temperatures as low as -68C.

He hopes to land by parachute in Cap Blanc-Nez near Calais, after seven minutes in the air.

The 34-year-old former mechanic and motor cross driver said he was confident he would complete his flight across the Channel.

"I'm my own plane. I'll be using no engine, just perfect aerodynamics and my skills," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Baumgartner will wear an aerodynamic jumpsuit with a 6ft carbon wing attached to it for Thursday's Channel attempt.

He will also have a supply of oxygen for the beginning of the flight when the air is thin and temperatures can drop to -68C.

Icarus

Weather and air traffic controllers permitting, Mr Baumgartner will jump early on Thursday.

The success of his flight will depend on him moving horizontally into the perfect gliding position.

I want to be known as the God of the Skies
Felix Baumgartner
His angle has to be accurate. Any minor imbalance could cause huge problems.

The flight has been given the codename "Icarus Two", after the Greek mythological figure who fell to his death when he flew too close to the sun.

Mr Baumgartner is no stranger to daredevil feats usually launched from great heights.

In 1999, he achieved the record for jumping from the 1,483 feet (452 metre) Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur - the tallest building in the world.

In the same year, he parachuted from the right hand of the 100 foot (30.5 metre) statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.

"I want to be known as the God of the Skies," he told the Telegraph.





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