Have you ever dreamed of flying like one of those superheroes you see in the movies? Maybe you are a long time comic book fan like me and wish you could just experience one time in your life what it would be like to fly in the sky like Iron Man.
Dreams of flying high in the sky without the aid of aircraft has come into existence and dreams of taking flight like Superman are now possible with that of a Wingsuit. These suits are wacky looking costumes, they allow the flyer to experience a cross between skydiving and hang gliding. If you have never seen a wingsuit, it looks like a flying squirrel and a snow angel in one. Wingsuits allow skydivers to jump out into the air and spread their wings and fly horizontally instead of free falling.
A parachute is required for the wingsuit flyer as unlike flying a hang glider the wingsuit does not have the capability to slowing down the speed for a safe landing. The average skydiver falls to the earth’s surface at a rate of 120mph and can glide horizontally for 30 to 60mph. Wingsuit flyers will fall at a rate of 50 to 60mph and can speed through the air around 70 to 90mph. Wingsuit flying is just as much of a rush if not more than traditional skydiving.
The aerodynamics of the wingsuit allows the wearer of the suit to fly like a superhero. In order to understand how this flight takes place, you have to learn the basics of flight. There are four opposing forces that allow flight to take place. These are weight, lift, thrust, and drag. Weight will pull the wingsuit flyer down and lift the downward momentum, meeting resistance in the air. The weight and lift will cover vertical movement while the trust and drag will cover horizontal movement. Thrust occurs when flapping wings, or engines pushes an object forward. Drag is the force exerted the force against a horizontally moving object.
Wingsuit flyers cannot flap their arms like a bird to create thrust. If wingsuit flyers flap their arms, they will take a steep dive downward to certain death. Wingsuit flyers must depend on glide ratio. Glide ratio is the relationship between lift, drag and weight that will determine how far their flight will travel. The wingsuit flyers weight will pull them down, but the lift will all the flyer to fly horizontally through the air. Just like skydiving once the minimum altitude is reached the wingsuit flyer must release their parachute for safe landing.
There are many different wingsuit designs, but they all follow the same basic model. Wingsuits are made from highly durable fabrics with very few rigid parts. The human body provides the frame for the wing surfaces while the suit transforms the human form into a full body wing. The wingsuits design accomplishes this with webbed wing surfaces between the legs and under the arms. This design allows the flyer a great deal of freedom and maneuverability while flying through the air.
Wingsuit flying is an extreme sport for experienced skydivers and will remain the pursuit of adventurous thrill seekers for year to come. Man’s desire to fly in the sky like a superhero is not fading anytime soon. Each year wingsuit flyers continue to chase world records and push their boundaries of what these suits make possible for the flying man.
This post was supplied by Lyndon, Lyndon writes for Custom Fittings. Custom Fittings manufacture aerospace testing adaptors, Stainless Steel Hydraulic and Pipe Fittings.