Oliver Furrer's Project "Time Zone 2000" Stopped
Oliver Furrer's project "Time Zone 2000" was reaching for a dream that skydivers has held forever, to stay in the air for as long as possible, see the earth from above and fall slower.
The X-World Champion in SkySurfing attempted to brake Joe Kittinger's record from 1960, of 4 minutes and 33 second. After years of preparations, it appeared as everything was ready to go. The goal was to get above 36000 feet (11000 meters) using a hot air balloon, leaving Oliver with the possibility for more than 5 minutes of freefall over Switzerland wearing his WingSuit.
Furrer trained with the Swiss airforce to prepare himself mentally and physically for the jump.
Baloon pilot Hampi Arnold had to make special modifications to the balloon to make it possible to reach their desired altitude of 36000 feet. To prove the freefall time Oliver had a DV-camera sewed onto his suit, and was carrying a data logger from Airtec, to document the movements during the jump.
The group experienced an adventures test flight to 30668 feet (9350 meter). The low temperatures (minus 56° C) froze the propane gas on the burner, and droped twice burning into the basket. Communication problems and a top-line on the baloon that burned down prevented them from climbing any higher.
With a different concept and after an hour of oxygen pre-breathing, the team were finally ready on June 3rd 2000 for the attempt to set a new record in freefall time. Again the team was confronted with several problems. A big temperature inversion stopped the balloon at 29520 feet (9000 meters) and they couldn't climb higher. Oliver was forced to leave the basket earlier than planed and exited at 24272 feet (7400 meters). With considerable less altitude than planned Oliver did his best, and got 3 minutes 47 seconds of free fall time.
"Time Zone 2000"-project was made possible only due to the help of friends and sponsors. Another interesting story has been written in our lovely sport. Unfortunately Oliver has to stop this project for good, due to technical problems, and lack of money.
For a full report on Oliver's jump visit his web site at: http://www.posx.com/projects/wingnews.html
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