Wingsuits - Want to Fly ? Buy a Wingsuit
Wingsuits and Base Jumping - Buy a WIngsuit ,Fly Like a Bird
[UPDATE : Jeb Corliss has just been on Channel 4 in the UK, 'proximity flying' down the Matterhorn at 100 miles an hour in a wingsuit. Extreme sport if ever there was one ! Watch it if you get a chance. I'll check to see if anyone has put it up on Youtube.]
What are Wingsuits and where to Buy them?
Well they are suits that tranform you into what could be called a human wing, and that allow you to 'fly' from a great height back down to the ground. The idea is simple you get into your wingsuit, get into an aeroplane, fly up to around 20,000 feet and throw yourself out of the door. The wingsuit is not a parachute, it is a suit, sometimes called a birdman suit or a squirrel suit, and it lets you 'fly' back down to the ground at incredible speeds. Excellent stuff if you are into extreme sports. The shape of the suit is such that it creates lift thanks to the fabric sewn between the legs and under the arms.
Excellent Video of Wingsuits in Action
You also wear a skydiving or BASE jumping parachute. after you have flown down using your wingsuit you deploy the parachute at a pre-determined altitude and descend the remainder of the way via parachute. Wingsuits are not in fact new inventions, they were made as early as the 1930s from canvas, silk, wood, steel or whalebone, but were rather unreliable and many of the early birdmen died in their attempts to fly. It is said in fact that over 30 years, 72 of 75 birdmen died testing their wingsuits. Some of them however are said to have glided for miles, which is pretty good going and inspired many people to follow them.
Modern wingsuits are the brainchild of French skydiver Patrick de Gayardon who developed a wingsuit in the 1990s that offered excellent performance whilst also allowing the flier to live to fly again another day, which has to be a bonus.
In 1998, Jari Kuosma and Robert Pecnik created BirdMan, Inc. to produce wingsuits that all skydivers and the general public could use.
Birdman also established the first Instructor program with the aim of removing the belief that wingsuits were dangerous and to allow beginners to perform what was previously considered to be the most dangerous skydiving feat available (a beginner nevertheless had to have at least 200 logged jumps).
When flying with a wingsuit you don't just throw yourself out of the aircraft in any old fashion, leaving the aircraft is a skilled operation and must take into account orientation and airflow and the flier must spread his arms and legs at the right moment so as not to collide with the aircraft or become unstable.
The forward motion imparted by the aircraft will cause the wingsuit to 'fly' as soon as you leave the aircraft. This is not the case if you jump from a cliff, a helicopter or a hot air balloon. From such static zones you need to first drop to build up speed o that that the wingsuit can convert your airpseed into lift. You have been warned !
Some wingsuits you can buy include the 'Vampire 3' from Phoenix which it is said has been designed "for pilots who want the maximum in glide performance .... the Vampire is the weapon of choice for experienced wingsuit BASE jumpers and serious wingsuit skydivers."
The 'Stealth' is designed for experienced wingsuit fliers who want a new level of performance. The large wing surface ensures very slow freefall speeds.
The 'Ghost 2' is for advanced wingsuit pilots who are looking for a high performance wingsuit for "flocking and back flying". It offers a good balance of performance and fun, "ideal for intermediate wingsuit pilots looking for a new challenge".
The 'Phantom 2' claims to be the best all round wingsuit on the market, created for “flockers” and progressing pilots. It offers an extremely wide performance range, so you can fly slow with a flock or max out as you choose.
The BIRDMAN® TENGU achieves the "best ratio ever between maximum weight and wing area", it has been designed for heavier flyers flocking needs. In the XL-wing genre TENGU has no competitors.
The Blade 2008 is based on the revolutionary concept introduced in 2007.
If gliding using a wingsuit isn't enough for you, it is also possible to strap a rocket to your back and fly even further and faster.
Yves Rossy became the first person to fly using an experimental "flying wing," although this is currently commercially viable due to cost constraints. Mr Rossy's eight-minute flight over the Swiss Alps made headlines around the world.
On July 24, 2008, Glenn Singleman, an Australian doctor, set the world record for the highest jump in a wingsuit, when he jumped from 37,000 feet (11.27 km) over central Australia.
If you fell like it is something you would like to try then there are training courses and the United States Parachute Association recommends you should have at least 200 accompanied jumps or 500 unaccompanied jumps before using a wingsuit.