Monday, May 28, 2007


The Flying Belt

‘Tim Fofonoff, a 31-year-old grad student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stands at the base of a 50-foot-tall, graffiti-covered rock wall just south of Boston. He’s clipped into the Atlas Powered Rope Ascender, a toaster-size battery-driven device that he and his three co-inventors built themselves. With it, he’s about to do something no one outside of a Hollywood script has done before: rappel up a wall at an astonishing 10 feet per second. He stares hesitantly for a moment at the craggy rock face, presses a small button, and darts off the ground as if he were wearing a cape. Halfway up, he lets go of the button and stops, dangling, a little out of breath–it’s been awhile since his last test, and he’s forgotten what it’s like to fly.’

(4.4meg Flash video)

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