National Skydiving Museum Weekend Honoring Joe KittingerBy on 2010-05-31
A mid-summer skydiving celebration honoring the "first man in space" is the centerpiece for one of the biggest fundraising events yet planned for the National Skydiving Museum. Fifty years ago, Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger exited at 102,800 feet from a helium balloon over New Mexico, reaching a speed of 614 mph during a four-and-a-half minute free fall. The record still stands today, although there have been several attempts to better it.
The "National Skydiving Museum Weekend Honoring Joe Kittinger" will be held in DeLand, Florida the weekend of August 13-15. Kittingerís jump was on August 16, 1960. Kittinger, who retired as a colonel and is now 81, plans to attend, as well as other skydiving luminaries. There will also be several activities during the weekend benefiting the Boy Scouts of America, another cause Kittinger supports, to commemorate their 100th Anniversary.
Joe Kittinger outside the gondola from which he took his historical jump.The Saturday evening dinner will be devoted to honoring the initial class of inductees into the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame. A special committee carefully selected eleven honorees, culled from a list of skydivers who made major lifelong contributions in equipment design, free fall techniques, and those who excelled in national and international competitions.
This fundraiser is part of the National Skydiving Museumís $5 million capital program that will raise the necessary funds to build the museum in Fredericksburg, VA. (story contributed by Doug Garr)
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Skydiving Activities and Exhibitions...
Here are just a few of the events that will honor Joe Kittinger and celebrate 50+ years of skydiving history including giving special recognition to other pioneers for their contributions to our sport. (schedule subject to change)
Jumping for Joe 50-Way Formation Skydiving Exhibition
This 50-way formation with some of the best skydivers in the country will celebrate and symbolize 50 years since Joe Kittingerís record breaking jump. Canopies opening in an almost simultaneous rhythm will have the audience cheering until the last skydiver lands.
Swooping truly shows how far parachute equipment has come over the years. Swooping is gliding a high performance parachute across the ground or water for long distances, generally a slalom type course, to show the skill of the canopy pilot. The exhibition will have some of the top swooping demo jumpers in both individual and team exhibitions.
Accuracy goes way back in our history but didnít get the recognition it deserved until the Sixth World Parachuting Championships held for the first time in the U.S. at Orange, MA. Accuracy canopies in those days were modified military surplus equipment with very little steerability. Today, high performance accuracy canopies and the skill of jumpers make for exciting and competitive accuracy contests.
Precision skydiving demos the world famous Army Parachute Team (Golden Knights) and the Air Force Academy Parachute Team.
Wingsuit Flying Exhibition
Grand finale and tribute to Joe Kittinger wingsuit flying truly exhibits the dream of human flight. Ten to 15 of the premier wingsuit flyers in the world will fly formations across the sky with smoke to add to the effect of this spectacular jump.
Source - http://www.skydivingmuseum.org/
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