Friday, May 28, 2010

Wingsuit & Canopy relative flight - Evolution

With all the recent posts on Canopy/Wingsuit relative flying, we thought it would be nice to post an overview of wingsuit/canopy flights, available online.

This is by no means the complete overview, as not everyone posts their exploits on the interwebs. But for your entertainment, here is the rundown.
Please post corrections or additions in the comments.

Jari Kuosma & Vladi Pesa - Wingsuit Dock - 2002
On April 20th 2002 in Deland, Florida, parachuting history was made when a skydiver in freefall made a controlled link-up with a skydiver under a fully open parachute.

Go Fast Wingsuit Flight - 2007

Pioneer B.A.S.E. jumper Jeb Corliss and Go Fast!® - sponsored test pilot Luigi Cani, have paved the way for a world record landing attempt of a wing-suit—minus a parachute. Jeb and Luigi teamed up to gauge speeds and gather data to safely land Jeb's wing-suit. Testing was critical, as no one has ever survived a landing attempt without a parachute. Jeb flew in free fall donning a parachute alongside Luigi, who was at the controls of the world's smallest and fastest parachute—known as the ICARUS VX-39. The two were able to gather data using GPS systems attached to Luigi that tracked exact forward speeds, exact fall rate and glide angles needed for a safe landing.

After two days of test piloting, Jeb Corliss said landing the wing-suit was possible as early as next year.

(note: wingsuit/canopy relative flight at 1:30)

Go Fast wingsuit flight Loic Jean Albert - 2007
While doing camerawork for Luigi and Jeb Corliss on the above project, Loic also got some relative flight in, and flew the first sustained dock with a wingsuit.

TopGun - Wingsuit Canopy project - 2007
With Costyn van Dongen (wingsuit), Bo Wienberg (canopy) and myself (wingsuit), we did some jumps, trying to fly as close as we can.
Bo flew the canopy with retracted front-risers, and came close to the speeds we're able to maintain with a wingsuit (though still a few MPH too slow to stay relative).
We decided to go for close flying, and (for now) not get into docks (as it would only be a slap on the hand).
Costyn sadly approach from the wrong angle, but did manage to shoot some nice footage from my approach to Bo's canopy.

The canopy was a PD (Performance Designs) Velocity (97 sq/ft).
The wingsuit a Birdman Blade. Shot late summer 2007.

Jonathan Tagle/West Coast freefly - Mixed Formations - 2010
West Coast Freefly Posse posted a video with some nice Canopy vs Wingsuit flying, including sustained docks. Really nice stuff!

(Note: skip to 4:10 for the wingsuit part)

And from that same crew:

This is a compilation of the latest footage of my mixed formation video log. In an effort to collect data on what makes mixed formation flights between a canopy and a wing-suit possible, we need to collect as much data as possible. Since this type of flying is still in its infancy, understanding all the variables involved becomes key.

Niklas Daniel
Jonathan Tagle

Barry Holybeck
David Gershfeld

project XRW - 2010

Jeff Nebelkopf and jonathan Tagle flying a wingsuit and canopy together docked for project XRW. Advances in technology and skill allowed the wingsuit skydiver in freefall to match the slower vertical speed of the parachutist for more than 20 seconds. The wingsuit skydiver opened his own parachute before landing.


Do note this is only a partial overview of canopy & wingsuit relative flying projects done in the past.
There have been several other note-worthy excersises done by Lutz Ludke (Europe) and there isa great older video (sadly no longer available through that featured a Cobalt 40 flying with a Skyflyer3, doing some flying at speeds comparable to current projects. If anyone manages to locate/upload this video again, post it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. very nice blog and amazing video clips…
    thanks a lot....