One of the biggest dreams of man is flying and feeling the power to dive through the air like a bird or a superhero. To just spread our arms and fly. It is the goal for many who dare to jump into this daredevil sport full of adrenaline. Declared many times as the most dangerous sport, wingsuit flying can surely be a big adrenaline injection.
Wingsuit flying introduction
It is an unbelievable experience that in certain ways combines regular skydiving and hand gliding. Let’s take a look first at how it works. In this discipline the participants are equipped with a special jumpsuit called a wingsuit; it is inspired by the squirrel suit (Yes, remember that some squirrels can glide between trees) or a birdman suit that incorporates a special fabric between the arms and legs, it is designed to increase the skydiver’s surface and lift. This allows them to acquire greater horizontal movement instead of quickly descending. This way it is possible to glide long distances controlling the downturn but the suit is not large enough to fly upward or slowly land.
The launch can be done jumping from a moving aircraft or from a very high altitude. Throughout the fly the skydiver can control the speed, direction and lift by carefully moving the limbs and angle of the body. Yes, this sounds like a big tension on the body the whole way but don’t worry, the suit is designed to become full of air and stable. That way the flyers can rest their limbs on it throughout the route and the suits will remain outstretched so it is not exhausting.
Wingsuit fly time
During the fly time, it is possible to do a lot of maneuvers and freedom moves in the air just for fun. It has become a sport with multiple disciplines such as making group formations in midair (XRW), artistic or acrobatics, performance flying, base wingsuit and even proximity flying that works like a fly with obstacles. The closer to the ground the person flies all the way, the more dangerous it is, which is why base wingsuit is considered the deadliest discipline of all, giving no margin of error possible.
When the altitude decreases, the wingsuit skydivers have parachutes on their back that must be activated in order to stop the fall. The timing must be appropriated in order to effectively decrease the falling speed. So, it is possible to glide like Batman but extreme carefulness is needed to land safely.
This discipline, as you may deduct, is not for beginners. It requires so much control and technique, it has some requisites before you are able to start on this almost free-fall route.
You will need to rack up to 500 jumps as a traditional skydiver, a proper support team and your own wingsuit and flying equipment. With proper instructions, it is possible to achieve this daring challenge. All these considerations are required since skydivers have to deal with the biggest percentage of accidents. After all, we are not designed to free fly but there is no risk or limit that will deter enthusiasts of this incredible sport.
If you want to see the best videos of wingsuit flyers, definitely check the Red Bull’s Wingsuit flying page, you won’t regret it!
Cover photo credit: wingsuitfly portal.