in reply to "When we talk about adding a kevlar pads, skis, ramps, inflating cushions, and so on, what we REALLY are talking about is some kind of a device that when added to a wingsuit will let it land safely.
We already have invented that device a while ago, and it works really well, it's called a parachute rig.
Look at it this way: either adding those types of devices no longer makes it a wingsuit landing and it's sortof pointless, or it still does and it's being done every single day already. "
Yeah but compared to wingsuits , parachutes are boring! and it happens everyday like you say...yawn.
Landing a wingsuit (even with kevlar-viagra-powered-nappy- pads ) will be anything BUT boring .
....it also represents a pretty decent design challenge .
The history of birdmen who have attempted landings is not restricted to just one expression of flight. The early Birdmen tried all sorts of things without the benefit of modern materials and computer power.
Aren't we allowed to think outside the little 'current expression of wingsuit flight ' box ?
Yeah but compared to wingsuits , parachutes are boring! and it happens everyday like you say...yawn.
I dont know which group of students you watched land, but seeing some of the people land hankerchief sized canopies, and proxi-fly them in between mountains etc. Definately not boring.
Landing a wingsuit (even with kevlar-viagra-powered-nappy- pads ) will be anything BUT boring .
Yup...anything BUT boring. But it also will not be 'landing a wingsuit'. It will be landing 'something else' Awesome to talk about. Will be awesome to watch. But like Jeb also says. Something else than the 'wingsuit landing' everyone keeps bringing up.
Will they ever land a wingsuit. Yes. Similar to landing a wingsuit using a canopy, ramp, slide, pit filled with jello or a driving garbage truck filled with feathers. Doing something really cool..but landing via some other means than 'a wingsuit'.
in reply to "Yup...anything BUT boring. But it also will not be 'landing a wingsuit'. It will be landing 'something else' Awesome to talk about. Will be awesome to watch. But like Jeb also says. Something else than the 'wingsuit landing' everyone keeps bringing up. " ......................................
Just wondering ..Do you think it is still a wingsuit if you wear body armour underneath it ? How about is it still a wingsuit if it manages to spread its wings past the reach of the body? Is it still a wingsuit if it is not completely made of fabric. ? Is it still a wingsuit if it has retractable landing skids built in? Is it still a wingsuit if it is fully controlled by intuitive movements of the pilots whole body? Is it still a wingsuit if the pilot's head/neck is enclosed/protected by an articulated helmet/spine protector? Is it still a wingsuit if it needs a customised emergency parachute?
eg I can understand the Skyray not being called a wingsuit.. 'but something else'.. because the pilot is suspended below it not encased within it. Ditto the Red Bull flying machine probably doesn't qualify as a wingsuit.
A medieval suit of armour was still called a suit because the wearer had to wear it in the general manner of wearing clothes. A wingsuit designed with enhancements that don't rely on ram-air pressure could still be called a wingsuit?? or does it just HAVE to be totally made of fabric to qualify? (eg my V2 still has its mylar in it and a bit of foam in the leading edge as well as cables , zips and a bit of leather.)
Square parachutes , roundies , triangular... you name it is still a parachute. Wingsuits mmmmm .. a suit with wings. Now what shape do the wings have to be to qualify? What material do they just HAVE to be made of ?
Simple possible description: If you wear it like a suit and it has wings then it is a wingsuit. (?)
Perhaps fabric wingsuits such as today's will only be the entry level gadget to much higher performing wingsuits made of whatever.. . I suppose some people will say they're something else and not a REAL wingsuit. A stealth fighter looks nothing like the Wright's Flyer. but they are both aircraft and both aeroplanes using the same basic principles of flight.
If some aviation minded wealthy people put some money up for the first repeatable wingsuit landings then these descriptions are going to have to be clarified.
Trea, note how your own descriptions all stick to the basis of a wingsuit. And doesnt involve ramps, metal frames and other external 'devices' that would turn this into anything outside of the normal defination of a wingsuit. For sure, there are some grey areas. But not a single mentioned 'landing plan' seems to involve those grey areas..they all dip into bright, shining red
If I ductape myself to a hangglider, does it count as a wingsuit? Or is it still a hangglider. I think its quite clear when you look at something, and ask 'what is this'. For most methods, the wingsuit is only a (really)small part of the equation. And the landing could even work without one, if the aim is good enough and balls are big enough. But its not the method of landing.
And though everyone seems to agree on this, people get very angry for mentioning it. For sure I think landing will be possible, with performance of wingsuits coming into 'survivable range'. Ive crashed a motorcyle faster than a wingsuit in a flare would be coming into the ground at...and lived, without protective gear, and without even a scratch. So sure..its surviveable. And I know several wingsuit(BASE) landings have come close to terminal collisions, with barely canopy overhead...and surviving.
But geez...just call it what it is....no shame in that? Why this forced pushing for a wingsuit. Landing with the use of a paraglider. Landing with use of a ramp. Landing with use of a (partialy) deployed canopy. Landing in a Cessna with your head and arms sticking out of the windows. Etc. Etc.
That aside....its always talk..thread after thread after thread. Lots of ideas (repeated again and again). But nobody doing it. Outside of getting a lot of media attention and fame...so far 'landing a wingsuit' hasnt been anything but 'talk'.
Im 100% excited about seeing this become reality some day...but am also (I think) realistic as to defining something being a wingsuit landing, or something straight from the ACME archives..
I was thinking about this the other day while watching the ski jumping. I think one of those guys could probably do it now with a combination of skis and a slow wingsuit ans a perfect long steep landing area. Won't be too long before it happens.
Look at skiflying records. They could do it without a wingsuit. Its the angle of the hill matching their glide angle. Similar to the slide proposed by Jeb, the wingsuit would be an aiming device. Not the (flare)landing device itself...thats the hill/ramp....
Skijumpers have landing gear, and change the angle of attack before landing because of the flexibility the bindings gives. With wingsuit you are doomed to land head first at the ramp, but in air hosed water bed you can build speed, flare out, and stall the flight before you go feet first. If you learn how to do that, you could have a winner!
Well, the problem landing a wingsuit head first, is you have wrong angle of attack. You need to change angle before landing to make a soft touch down. Airhosed water is one thing most of us know works for diver, and of course for the kayakers in white water. it is proved.
Im sure you have discussed all this in the previous posts.
(This post was edited by 434 on Nov 28, 2010, 4:09 PM)
in reply to "Im 100% excited about seeing this become reality some day...but am also (I think) realistic as to defining something being a wingsuit landing, or something straight from the ACME archives.. " .......................
I can %100 relate to your enthusiasm... and realism.
Yeah ACME archives , same old NEW ideas .
Lurking somewhere in the collective consciousness is the abilitiy to make this dream a reality. Sure a wingsuit designed for repeated landings will probably look very different to todays offerings...at least I hope so.
In the past, many aviation milestones have been breached by the assistance of rich people keen to see aviation advance in their lifetimes. By putting up prize money , the added financial incentive has allowed ordinary people to achieve things previously impossible.
I can imagine the financial gains available to an investor . Something like wingsuit landings at Daytona would sure get the crowd going. It would also generate an increase in the advancements of the wingsuit itself.
As much as I enjoy seeing the incremental improvements from PF and TS I also feel a bit duped by them. As soon as you buy the latest suit the next thing arrives to suck more money out of us wingsuiters... bit like the computer industry.
Some-one with marketing skills could really have a feild day with this wingsuit landing dream.... and then it would become a reality . If the aeronautical design community got hold of this wingsuit landing idea ( nice project for students perhaps ) we'd see wingsuits actually designed for landings and that would have to mean they would fly much better as well.
Nov 29, 2010, 9:48 PM
Post #168 of 215
Article on landing wingsuit w/o parachute
[In reply to]
You will get the media attention for being first, thats it! Ordinary people will not see the difference between landing a wingsuit, small parachute, or hanglider. You guys have to get real, and understand you will look like an jack ass daredevil. Anybody knows any rich daredevil? You will not get rich! With the hunger to be the first with the wingsuits tech today, it is more a suicide mission, hungry for the attention such a first landing will give.
However, I can not deny I had many dreams and thoughts about how to land without a parachute, even before the modern wingsuit was released.
(This post was edited by 434 on Nov 29, 2010, 10:25 PM)
in reply to "Well, the problem landing a wingsuit head first, is you have wrong angle of attack. You need to change angle before landing to make a soft touch down." ................
Agreed. One proviso for a reasonably safe wingsuit landing would be that the WS had sufficient performance to achieve level flight as well as be able to climb during a flare...and to do it easily.
Possible scenario with such a WS: pilot swoops , pulls out of swoop into level flight just above the ground, flies horizontally (perhaps for 100m or more)gradually going more head- up, as speed drops off more head up until feet/skids touch ground still flying head-up , some ground effect helping to hold flyer in a head up position.
At this stage flyer may be at 45* to the ground still moving at a fair pace , as speed drops of further , flyer maintains flying control gradually going to full leg/skid support.(HP canopy pilots do something similar even though there are also obvious differences.)
Admittedly this would be some balancing act! But doable ? I think so . Dreamin? oh yeah !
The dream of human flight is a powerful ongoing dream. Landing a wingsuit is just another part of the same dream. It doesn't stop after some-one achieves it. It goes on and grows into ??? The dream encourages others and enhances human consciousness.
This WS landing dreamy can be approached without the death defying BS (and BS artists) being involved. By being systematic the WS can be tested and proven at higher altitudes. If it can't flare properly at say 1500' then.. more work required. By comparing flaring power at different altitudes it can be worked out how it will flare at sea level allowing for an eventual confident attempt NOT a death defying guess.
The higher air densities at sea level would provide extra flaring power... so if the WS flared well at 1500' then it will flare better at 0'.
This dream just goes on and on and on...
For me I'm just trying to get my articulated spar prototype to pass the load carrying tests.
Skijumpers have landing gear, and change the angle of attack before landing because of the flexibility the bindings gives. With wingsuit you are doomed to land head first at the ramp
There is, also, a lot of lean-forward in a ski-jumper, even more so at higher forward speeds -- in some cases see ski jumper bodies lean forward more than 45 degrees! The question, is whether these ski jumper body-lean-forward angles can safely overlap the angles of a wingsuit jumper. For theoretical ski slope landings, GPS measurements of diagonal velocity may end up becoming MORE important than pure horizontal data and pure vertical data. Has anyone tried analyzing horizontal velocity data of wingsuit flares and even wingsuit stalls?
I think one possible important goal here is research and do test flights (GPS), to determine to at least be able to overlap the body angle extremes of a heavy-lean-forward body profile of a professional ski jump. Measurements of flight angles and diagonal flight speed during tests (scientific analysis), which may also include equipment that measures body angles (and how much a wingsuit tilts during flares, etc), either via gyroscope recorder, or other technique.
And also, observe, as skiis touch down, the ski jumper gradually stands up (taking advantage of wind resistance to help slow him down). Presumably, the same technique would be used (over several seconds) during a wingsuit landing.
Imaginary theoretical scenario, circa February 15th, 2019:
SPONSORED BY RED BULL
Blue Skies Magazine -- /February 15, 2019/ -- You are an athletic, lightweight professional ski racer who won the silver medal in ski jumping at Sochi 2014, and came in 4th at ski racing. After the dissapointment of coming in 4th, you decided to take skydiving after reading dropzone.com posts back in year 2014 after the Olympics. You got addicted to skydiving, and decided to do more than 800 jumps a year, quickly becoming a champion wingsuiter by the year 2018, and you've figured out how to use your already excellent body-lift skills to become an even better wingsuiter with excellent angle control. Years have gone by with lots of skeptics trying to plan landing a wingsuit, and chickened out or plans got cancelled. But now, you've made the investment in skills, and commited to a plan to land a wingsuit. Money has been spent on simulations. Money has been spent on preparations. Now it is time to execute. It is time for the 3 seconds of terror.
A special slope has been prepared. Snow slope looks like plastic. But we already know, $1M was spent on an ultra-grooming job turning this ski slope into the world's flattest and gentlest ski slope. Computer simulations in year 2017 showed that the slope is more stable for a ski racer to ski 200mph on it, than a regular slope at 100mph. University students in Barcelona took upon that fun supercomputer simulation project as their thesis.
You've already practiced flyovers. You've spent the last couple years wearing tiny gyroscope and GPS units measuring your flight vectors and body angles. You've worn skiis while wearing wingsuit, to see how the wingsuit behaves. With your equipment, you've practiced a perfect-as-possible flare that slows your diagonal speed down very significantly while maintaining diagonal angle, but you are still faster than the world's fastest ski race.
You're wearing the latest fabric wingsuit, donated by a major wingsuit supplier (big advertisement on next page of this magazine). Like stock car racing, it has some enhancements. Enhancement include embedded sensors, a kevlar suit underneath, ruggedized knees and elbows, fabric enhancements from computer simulations. Other than these changes, this suit has less differences from a stock wingsiut, than a NASCAR racer does with a regular car. The entire skydiving industry spent 5 years beginning in 2015, debating the definition of 'wingsuit', however, but this is still a fabric wingsuit despite your skinny, super athletic body wearing a significant protective bodysuit underneath the wingsuit. You got custom racing skiis with custom bindings from Salomon, who has teamed up with Red Bull, and lots of other sponsors, to finance this undertaking. More mainstream than usual is covering the event, adding even more publicity.
Now the action begins.
- [T-15sec] Approach: Normal wingsuit flight, except with skiis with points ahead (ski tips near head). Looks like a normal wingsuit flight with the exception of wearing skiis. The way you're angling the skiis, compensates for the extra weight of skiis you are wearing. - [T-4sec] Levelling adjustments parallel to on slope: Begin getting ready to flare. Your body is already tilted up slightly, even though you're still mostly horizontal. - [T-2sec] You stare down at the zooming slope. The slope looks like soft glass! Still, you get momentarily nervous. You focus on the landing job, which you've trained to do for two years in the air with GPS, and recently doing flyovers. - [T-1sec] You very gently flare wingsuit in a specific way designed to slow diagonal speed as much as pratically possible, resulting in say, 10-20-30 degree body angle from horizontal (TBD - research needed) - [T+0sec] POINT OF NO RETURN. You now no longer have the lift to fly off the edge of the ski slope, like in the Salomon video. It's commit time now - do or die. - [T+0sec] While still at wingsuit flight, your skiis very lightly touches down on the $1M ultra-groomed closed-off ski slope going down about 30+ degrees or more. Despite its ultra-groom, you immediately feel massive turbulence, because you are going at slightly above world record ski speeds. - [T+0.5sec] You keep flying the wingsuit and slowly standing up as you slow down. You start flaring your wingsuit more, while keeping skiis parallel and touching the ground, "flying the skiis into the ground", slowly transfering more and more body weight to the ground. Difficult balance - [T+1sec] You are still mostly horizontal but you're now tiltup almost 20 degrees (or, rather, a 70 degree leanforward) Ski slope is 35 degrees. Your skis are at 55 degree angle from your body because 20+35=55. Struggling to keep balance as you're still at incredible record ski speeds on the slope. - [T+2second] One-quarter through the slowdown, your body is still leaning 65-ish degrees forward. Only a few pounds of your body weight is on the slope, you now start to feel massive turbulence from your feet, making you struggle to keep flying the other 3/4ths of your body weight on your wings, while balancing. - [T+3second] One-half through slowdown, half of your weight are on the skiis. You are leaning forward approximately 45 degrees, having struggled to stand up just a 20 additional degrees. Now that you're half diagonal speed, it now feels like a conventional ski racer speed & immediately becomes familiar to a professional ski racer. Thank goodness, the 3-seconds-of-death is over. - [T+5seconds] Three-quarters through slowdown. Most of your weight are on skiis and now you can comfortably stand up most of the way. You're still leaning forward about 20 degrees, because you're wearing a massive fabric wingsuit. - [T+10seconds] You're now slow enough to start stopping on your skiis. One gigantic skid later, you're stopped. Spectators on one side (half a kilometer away for safety) erupts in thunderous cheers. So loud you actually hear them from that distance. You let out a whoop, and the andrenaline rush starts to finally overcome you. - [T+1year] You see the photos in Guiness Book of World Records.
Fantasyland? Maybe. Maybe not. See, it's only a window of a 3-seconds-of-terror (give or take a few seconds). Just 3 seconds of terror between wingsuit familiarity and pro skiier familiarity. Obviously, research is needed about wingsuit body angles and ski angles. Yes, the imaginary scenario probably has to be adjusted for different body angles and timeline after lots of research finding out what are the best.
YouTube video examples -- Other readers who missed them originally, see these posts post #1, post #2 ...
I still think the ski slope idea is most 'realistic' and least 'gimmicky'. It may be possible it may never happen, but if it happens, it would be via ski slope rather than with another method. Before eliminating the possibility of the slope method, more research is needed.
(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Dec 2, 2010, 2:23 PM)
Considering what we now know about the wingsuit/skis combo I would have to go with fantasyland
Perhaps true! Do tell about the learned experiences here - I'd like to see some scientific data. Or is it just a few datapoints from a few different people (who probably each tried just one-ski-model?)
I'm sure many dozens of wingsuit jumpers have already worn regular skiis (including wingsuit BASE jumpers skiing off a cliff, etc, or paraskiing events that began with wingsuit flight), took some off-the-maket brand skiis, with heavy bindings that mess up wingsuit flight, and unsuitable-for-ski-jumping skiis, etc. But that's pretty unscientific. Do we have a scientific study showing a large number of ski models (say 30 different models) of skiis including multiple models of custom ski jumping models and tweaks, lightweight ones too, resulted in super-unstable wingsuit flight, or very bad wingsuit flight profiles, etc? Do not forget that ski jumping skiis are long and wide skis, with lightweight bindings attaching at the toe, for good control of ski angle. Understandably, losing control of skiis while going at high speed through the air, can be fatal. (i.e. wind pushing skiis around, etc). The higher speeds of wingsuit flight, makes the need for custom bindings (derived from ski jump technology) critical, and the wingsuiter needs to train to angle the skiis for maximum lift during normal flight (after exit) and during theoretical approaches to a theoretical ski slope. I could, imagine, that the use of a GPS-powered HUD speedometer and flightangle measurement will be a big help, in exercising/practicing leg/knee/toe angles, and control of the ski angle, during determination of practicalities wearing skiis while flying a wingsuit, and making further custom tweaks to bindings. It will, additionally, also be a necessary endeaviour to hire the same people who work with ski jumping skiis, though some of them will have to overcome the audacity of the idea of landing a wingsuit.
They aren't bulky ski boots, some of them are even lighter-weight than cross-country ski boots (which are much lighter than downhill ski boots). Here's a picture of ski jumping bindings, from the Britannica Encyclopedia: http://media-2.web.britannica.com/...332-004-1CEAFF2F.gif ... However, even this may not be suitable for wingsuit flight, and a different kind of bindings invention is needed. The skiier needs to be able to control the angle of the skiis with their toes, so stiff bindings or stiff ski boots WONT WORK... (so I automatically invalidate scientific tests that don't include tests of flexible ski bindings)
What kind of ski bindings (compact ones, bulky ones), type of skiis, and was it also designed for ski jumping, etc. Was there any custom stability enhancements added to it. (For the purposes of landing a wingsuit, we don't have to be 'legal' in terms of ski jump rules limiting modifications to skiis)?
Don't forget the wingsuit pioneers -- and many who died -- many different wingsuits were very unstable before they became safe enough to be used by the average "career skydiver". If skiis have shown terrible flight stability or flight angle profiles today, then custom skiis, with lightweight auto-stabilizing ski binder technologies, might eventually be safe enough to be worn while wearing a wingsuit at full speeds without significantly hurting the aerodynamics.
REMEMBER!... Look at how much lift that custom-designed skiis give to ski jumpers! There may be limitations to those binders due to the steeper leanforward angles needed during higher speed flight, but if skbinder technology improves, it may then become pratical... (Or maybe even the silly/ridiculous invention of lightweight motorized auto-stabilizing skibinders with ability to bend 90 degrees to parallel of your body) The ski jumpers are almost able to do this nowadays, thanks to technology innovation in ultralight flexible skijumping ski bindings.
I imagine everyday skiis with heavy ski bindings, will be very terrible for wingsuit flight, but don't forget that lightweight skijumping skiis actually give lift to the properly trained persons. The bindings are really flexible. Ski jumping skiis are long and wide skis, with lightweight bindings attaching at the toe, for good control of ski angle. The skijumper can control the angle of the skiis much better than typical downhill skiing skis, or even racing skiis, which is important for stability while flying through the air during ski jump. Some custom enhancements may be needed to be able to get an even-further-forward leanforward than a normal ski jump, and keep it stable.
Look at this image: http://www.cbc.ca/...ials-skijumping.html The skiis are almost parallel to the his body. Ski jumpers use soft toe-adjustable bindings to adjust angle of skiis while flying through the air, there is enough control to make the skiis nearly parallel to his body. With minor enhancements to the ski bindings, it may make a wingsuit landing possible.
You CANNOT do this with regular skiis, like most of the BASE jumpers skiing off a cliff, or during paraskiing. Very few skydivers have ever used these types of bindings during a wingsuit flight, and certainly insufficient data to make it a definitive 'no'...
PLUS....It may take, say, 100, or 500, or even more, skii-equipped wingsuit test flights (with the same wingsuit and ski jumping equipment), with a HUD speedometer/fightanglemeter -- and becoming skilled at doing both and being able to fly the wingsuit angle stably while adjusting ski angle -- and compensating for each other's interference with each other -- before the question can be answered, "Let's land it." (NOTE! The best ski jumpers already compensate skii angles to help the skiis fly them, help lift them further, in midair)
It may have to wait until a future invention, perhaps. Many of us skydivers are doing things that skydivers of 50 years ago thought were impossible. What fabric wingsuit and skijumping-skiis technology in the the next 50 years bring? There might eventually be enough convergence to solve the "3 seconds of terror" problem I just described. If impossible today (for a theoretical attempt in 10 years), eventually, I think the technologies will get slightly closer within 50 years to reduce the risk of the "3 seconds of terror" window I just described. (ski jumpers will become faster/farther, and wingsuits will become slower, etc), I think eventually it is possible that somebody is going to get the idea of experimenting mashing-up these two technologies and skills.
Yes, it may, yes, very well be fantasyland today. However, I still think if it is ever done with a fabric wingsuit, it will be some form of landing on some descendant of skiis and wingsuit, on some sort of ski slope, more likely than other method.
(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Dec 3, 2010, 6:41 PM)