Last Updated on December 1, 2023
Extreme sports what you need to know about wingsuit flying. Wingsuit Flying is a development of skydiving, in which parachutists also use specially designed clothing so that they can linger longer in the air to perform maneuvers before finally releasing their parachute. Many terms are used for wingsuit designs, such as ‘birdman suits’, ‘flying squirrel suits’ or ‘bat suits’.
There are many extreme sports that make height a challenge, from paragliding, skydiving, base jumping, and so on. Well, it turns out that there is one more activity that can stimulate your adrenaline in terms of height and allows you to fly like a bird, namely Wingsuit Flying!
Watch video: Best Moments of WINGSUIT FLYING & SKYDIVING COMPILATION – Fly Through The Sky
In order for this extreme sport to run smoothly, there are several conditions that you must fulfill. Among them is that it must be done at a certain height to create a perfect flight. In addition, wingsuit flying is only for experienced skydivers. At least you must have done approximately 200 air jumps. This is intended to reduce the risk of accidents while flying in the air. Because there are not a few cases of wingsuit flying which in the end cost lives.
What’s the biggest difference between skydiving and wingsuit flying ?
Skydiving is an air sport that is done by jumping out of an airplane and then freefalling into the sky. Before freefalling, participants are equipped with a parachute to help them land later. In skydiving, participants will usually do a number of tricks first; for example somersaults, hovering, or making formations if done in groups.
Wingsuit flying is an extreme air sport with a concept similar to skydiving; namely free-falling from a height and then opening a parachute when you want to go down. It’s just that this sport requires you to wear a special outfit called a wingsuit.
As the name implies, this special outfit has two wings on the sleeves and one wing between the legs. When flying, the wings will expand so you can maneuver in the air. To be able to control speed, direction and ascent, you need to use your body.
At first glance, wingsuit flying does look the same as freefalling from other heights, such as base jumping or skydiving. But take a look at the clothes they wear, surely you will immediately know the difference. The wingsuit that looks unique is inspired by a winged lizard named Flying (Draco) lizard.
5 Incredible Extreme Sports Wingsuit Flying Locations
1. Paris, France
Maybe you think: ‘huh, is it Paris?’. Yes, Paris. A city that usually makes you think about romantic things and those that don’t have the same crush to. Well, what if I told you a wing suit can be a romantic endeavor, too? Sometimes you are lucky to be able to jump from the Eiffel Tower at night, you will be able to see how beautiful the lights are scattered throughout the city of Paris. Seeing Paris at night from above can make us think what is the dream behind every point of light seen from the sky. Wingsuit flying can make us feel small, because you will realize that everyone behind the lights is actually the same. Just a small dot in the world. And if this thought is not romantic, then what is it?
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Of course, those who have watched the film Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol remember how cool the city scape of Dubai is or how thrilling Tom Cruise’s action was to crash into the glass of the Burj Khalifa building with the scenic view of Dubai city seen from above? No wonder why here is one of the best destinations for Wingsuit Flying? This city really does not die. You might think ‘wingsuit in the city is not dangerous?’. Yes, everywhere wingsuit flying is also dangerous. But that’s where the fun is. Do you still remember your imagination at school when you were bored in class and imagined how it felt like you could fly between the surrounding buildings? Yes, this place can be a place to make your imagination come true.
3. Panama City, Panama
Panama City, people immediately think of Caribbean getaway, or at least exploring the architectural beauty of Spain in South America, don’t you think? So, now I offer another way to have a vacation in Panama City, namely by feeling the sky, while still enjoying the two views. How amazing would that be? Just imagine, with all the grandeur of the tall buildings in Panama City, and all the views of the beach that are guaranteed to make you really beautiful, this super-extreme wingsuit flying activity will step-up everything to the next level.
4. Taupō, New Zealand
Taupō New Zealand, maybe Taupo is still foreign to your ears. But search for your self on Google; you will understand why this place is included in my recommendation. For those who prefer nature over the man-made world, you won’t regret trying wingsuit flying in a place as beautiful as Taupo. Green and blue colors that are broad and merge into one can be an epic view that you will never forget for the rest of your life.
5. Stryn, Norway
Actually, Norway’s geography is amazing and there is an ancient legacy of glaciation. Making this country one of the best Wingsuit Flying destinations in the world. There are hundreds of exit points that line the famous fjords. So that many people can split the land like winged pilots who carve the air.
One of the most challenging routes in Norway is Stryn in the Innvikfjorden fjord. Being an exit point from the Norwegian Espen Fadnes which shot up to 155 mph, of course, this speed is very high for a wingsuit. This route is also the jumping-off point for innumerable others.
6. Tianmen Mountain, China
There is no more stunning place for Wingsuit Flying than the limestone canyon known as Tianmenshan. Located in northwestern Hunan, China, this national park isn’t just for Wingsuit Flying BASE jumping. But it’s also perfect for dangerous and unforgettable slides.
In 2019, to be exact, the best Wingsuit Flying pilots the world has ever seen gathered at this place. The goal is to test the trajectory, a line that is potentially lethal when through fog. While carrying out the action, no one was injured.
7. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Of course you have to include New Zealand in the Wingsuit Flying location, because this country is like a home for some people who do extreme stunts. Milfors Sound is a beautiful fjord in southwest New Zealand. This location is their playground for Wingsuit Flying. Because it has a very challenging route, it has countless skyscraper towers.
8. The Eiger, Switzerland
Wingsuit Flying and the beauty of the scenery in Switzerland are well known to the world community. Not only for healing places, there are also locations for jumping from a height. Like The Eager which is a large rock and only one person has ever tried Wingsuit Flying, namely Dean Potter.
Climbing the peak to thousands of feet, then fly using the Wingsuit. The Dean flew for 2 minutes and 50 seconds and covered a distance of up to four miles or 6,000 kilometers. This action is recorded as the longest Wingsuit Flying ever. If you want to do an action like Dean, you need a license from the authorities first.
9. Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
The next extreme base jumping location is the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. Actually, this location is an illegal location. Because jumping from one of the skyscrapers in Brazil is considered dangerous. Despite this, first-time, skydiver Felix Baumgartner from Austria proved successful in 1999, performing a powerful jump from a statue’s arm.
The History of Wingsuit Flying
- Early 11th century: The Reverend Eilmer Malmesbury, also known as Elmer the Flying Monk, builds a set of wings and jumps from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey. As a result, he was disabled and paralyzed for the rest of his life.
- 1912: Franz Reichelt, The Flying Tailor, jumps from the Eiffel Tower in a homemade wingsuit. And to demonstrate his blind faith in his design, he abandoned his reserve parachute.
- 1937: Clem Sohn, The Michigan Icarus, dies while performing an air show in France. The audience was amazed by his flying action, but was shot down to earth when both main and reserve parachutes failed to deploy.
- 1966: Two skydivers from California jump from El Capitan, a 3,000-foot rock wall in Yosemite Park. And at the same spot in 2015, it took the lives of Dean Potter and Graham Hunt after an illegal base jump stunt.
- 1978: American skydiver and film maker Carl Boenish became the ‘Father of BASE jump’ after recording footage of him jumping off cliffs, bridges, radio antennas and office buildings. From here the acronym BASE is known, which stands for: Buildings, Antenna, Span, Earth. Boenish died in 1984 after jumping off the Norwegian Troll Wall.
- 1998: Patrick de Gayardon dies during a wingsuit jump in Hawaii when his experimental gear modification jams his parachute. In the mid-90s, De Gayardon became the world’s most famous and richest skydiver after his skysurfing stunts were videotaped.
- 2003: Wingsuit Flying Dwain Weston, dies after crashing into a bridge in Colorado while filming with fellow jumper Jeb Corliss. The plan was for one of the jumpers to fly over the bridge and the other to fly under it. There was a miscalculation by Weston and he crashed into a steel fence at 160km/h. The collision was caught on camera.
- 2006: French wingsuit jumper Loïc Jean-Albert becomes a YouTube sensation when he uploads a helmet camera video of him making his way down a mountain wall. The public became very interested in this sport because of the video, so he was nicknamed The Flying Dude.
- 2008: Yves Rossy flies along the English Canal after jumping from a plane and activating rocket-powered carbon fiber wings that give the impression of being between a skydiving wingsuit and an airplane. Unlike most flyers, Rossy is a very experienced skydiver and a veteran pilot.
- 2009: Rossy attempts to break the 38km flight from Morocco to Spain with his Rocket Man wings. He managed to jump from the plane and even activate his wings, but he had to abort the flight when he flew into a large cloud. He managed to inflate his parachute and land safely in the ocean.
Wingsuit Flying is A Feeling You Can’t Explain
In my opinion, wingsuit flying originally departed from the same crazy dream: wanting to be able to fly. Maybe you think, ah crazy, this is really scary. It’s undeniable, the concept of a flying wingsuit can make people nervous. It will be a barrier for you to try new things, how are you interested? There will be no more great ideas for humanity. Trust me on this.
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