Stunt performer Peter Salzmann made the first demonstration flight on a fundamentally new equipment – a modernized wingsuit with an electric motor. The tester sincerely hopes that he will initiate a new kind of extreme entertainment.
Modern models of wingsuits are perfectly controlled and keep the pilot in the air for quite a long time, but they still fly only due to gravity, losing a meter of height for every three meters of horizontal flight. However, the speed of hovering in them is two times lower than when descending by parachute, no more than 100 km / h, so a small effort is enough to compensate for the effect of gravity. This means that you can get by with a modest motor with a minimal source of energy.
According to Salzmann’s drawings, the engineers at BMW Designworks designed a compact unit with two 13 cm propellers and a rotational speed of 25,000 rpm. They run on electricity and have a total power of only 20 hp. The capsule with motors is attached to the pilot’s chest so that his body does not block the incoming air stream. Salzmann noted that he had to make at least 30 flights in a wind tunnel to get used to the new structure and learn how to operate it.
The first flight was planned to be made in the Korean Busan, where there is a convenient facility – three skyscrapers nearby, each higher than the previous one. Salzmann wanted to fly over them in an upward trajectory, but the pandemic disrupted all plans. Instead, he flew over the peaks of Del Bruder in the Austrian Alps, reaching a speed of over 300 km / h after turning on the motors. And although the energy reserve was only enough for 5 minutes of active flight, the stuntman managed to achieve the main thing – a man in a wingsuit for the first time in history flew not only down, but also up, reaching an unprecedented freedom of flight.