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platypii

World's first inclined wingsuit tunnel

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Honestly...I don't get it.

I could see the appeal to someone who doesn't actually wingsuit to get a feel for what it's like. Or maybe eventually it can safely be combined with some VR technology for a real-ish experience. But why would any experienced wingsuiters ever want to fly in it? Especially if it costs anywhere near what normal tunnel time costs.

Unless they make a much, much larger version there's not much room for any real movement or skill building. Just kind of...hovering.

Vertical tunnels provide a lot of value as freefly training tools. I don't know that these angled tunnels will be quite as valuable in that respect. It just seems a bit gimmicky.

Now...maybe they will be valuable for R&D purposes. But I'm not really qualified to speculate on their importance there.
Apex BASE
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Precision... having the walls helps as a point of reference.

Repetition... how fast you learn something is strongly correlated with how rapidly you can perform the task, debrief, and go back and do it again.

Consistency... there is no wind or other random air currents, so it's much easier to objectively evaluate your performance.

For training... you could have them steadily increase the airspeed in the tunnel, and you need to learn to fly faster to keep up.

Weather... not everyone lives in SoCal

Look at how much progression in freeflying is thanks to tunnels. I'm hopeful that there will be a similar benefit from wingsuit tunnels.
BASEline - Wingsuit Flight Computer

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Buying one session (30 minutes) in the tilted tunnel "pro flyer time" will cost roughly 653 USD, equals about 21,77 USD / minute.

A regular 13500' skydive ticket cost approximately 23,50 USD.

If you exit the plane at 13500' and pull at 3000' it doesn't take much effort to get a lower price / minute, jumping at a DZ, even if you are a fat fuck in a small suit. But once you are certified and you can share the cost, I have no doubts the price will even out, or even become beneficial compared to regular skydiving.

Jumping from a plane/balloon is awesome, but a few hours flying wingsuit with friends in a tilted tunnel doesn't sound that bad either :P

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Unless they make a much, much larger version



The test setup was small, as listed in the video as well, the actual tunnel will be 16,5 x 16,5 x 33 ft. Quite a big room to fly in. Though the small tunnel was already a blast, and even for me at 4000 wingsuit jumps an amazing learning experience in micro-movement and precision. I know that even this test-setup made me want to fly it for several weeks vs the time Ive done so far. There is an incredible potential.

The big tunnel opening Sept. can actively change angle, and simulate any speed and any glide ranging from 1:1 to 3.5 : 1. In agility and acrobatics and acrobatics its especially going to be an amazing learning tool. We have not shown the 'assisted flight' suspension system yet, but that allows for incredible learning on both belly and backflying.

I got to coach someone with zero flying experience at all, and within less than 30 minutes, he was flying cleaner than a lot of people I know who have several 100 wingsuit jumps. Coaching wise also, being able to stand right next to someone, adjust body positions, show them, and just in general, flying an hour to get something right, vs 100 seconds and then needing to wait 1,5 hours. It all creates an incredible fast learning environment.

Even in the small tunnel we could do two ways (as you see in the short promo) and that was with a non-jumper. A person who never made a single skydive was practicing docks, with about an hour worth of flying time. Progress there is fast.

Look at freeflying a few years ago, and what tunnel has done. This is one of those things where you can sit on the sideline and criticize, or you can actively explore the potential and think at where this might lead.

The experience is like that of doing acrobatics inside the crack. You have a 100% realistic airtream that feels like the real thing. Any glide angle you can want (matching your suit at lazy speeds or full flight, whatever you prefer) and then within that space, play all you want, and learn to be more precise.

Or even for performance, you can learn to fly your big or small suit at actual maxed out glide at higher and higher speeds. Train endurance. Or actively play with varying glide and speed. Slow flying. We can think of new fun indoor competitions on docking, acro, (laser) slalom or (longer term) even steering a projected VR game with your actual flying.

Nobody is forcing anyone into the tunnel, but I know Ill be flying there a lot and happy to see where it can take our skills. Anyone interested in more information or having questions, give a shout on facebook.
JC
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Jarno,

Thank you for your input! This is all very-very interesting!

Do you think any wing suit is/will be flyable in this tunnel? I have mine Birdman GTI with a few dozens of jumps in it and would love now to try it in this tunnel.

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For sure BM Classics will be flyable. The tunnel can be put put in any glide configuration down to 1:1, so even using 'old faithful' or even trackingsuits will be possible, and a lot of fun. Everyone is welcome as a customer, in any suit, any brand, any age (7-101).

We'll have an amazing crew of experienced Phoenix-Fly coaches teaching at the tunnel when it opens, who will already have pre-flown the tunnel a lot at that point, ready to give everyone a huge boost in skill, and loads and loads of fun.

September 2017 can't come quick enough...
JC
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Bluhdow

Honestly...I don't get it.

I could see the appeal to someone who doesn't actually wingsuit to get a feel for what it's like. Or maybe eventually it can safely be combined with some VR technology for a real-ish experience. But why would any experienced wingsuiters ever want to fly in it? Especially if it costs anywhere near what normal tunnel time costs.

Unless they make a much, much larger version there's not much room for any real movement or skill building. Just kind of...hovering.

Vertical tunnels provide a lot of value as freefly training tools. I don't know that these angled tunnels will be quite as valuable in that respect. It just seems a bit gimmicky.

Now...maybe they will be valuable for R&D purposes. But I'm not really qualified to speculate on their importance there.



Think about the history of vertical wind tunnels! Those were small and quite impractical at the beginning. Let's see in 5 years is this idea living or dead.

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.....can actively change angle...

is this change managed by the tunnel operator? If so, how does the operator know what is needed/desired?

Just curious.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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is this change managed by the tunnel operator? If so, how does the operator know what is needed/desired?



In case of active changes in angle it will be the coach in the tunnel communicating with the tunnel operator. But often it will also be visible in the wingsuit pilot. Someone constantly pushing upward, will need a bit flatter angle, and similar someone sinking to the floor, needs a slightly steeper glide.

More on all procedures, testing, ideas, available and booked time, and general training potential will be communicated over the next few months via the indoor wingsuit facebook page.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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Yeah, a fair point and one I've considered. We'll see how the technology advances in the coming years and all progress should be cheered, of course. I'm sure it can eventually be a very positive tool for wingsuiting (and maybe angle flying) as the tunnels get better, bigger, and more affordable.

I'm just not ready to bend over for that $23.50 (plus coaching) per minute pounding just yet. :P
Apex BASE
#1816

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MickeN

Jarno,
How is to fly without a rigg? Do you find it different compared to what you are used to?
/Micke



Backflying you do feel a bit that you lack a rig. Feeling the wind on your back is not something you normally have, as there is a rig there.
On the belly, it does feel very free not having a rig. But a tad strange in an unnerving way.

But feel aside, in general flying and inputs there is no difference. With eyes closed, its the same as flying outdoors.

Flying aside, I think the tunnel also presents a nice oppertunity and place to function as a knowledge center, with all coaches and guest flyers exchanging info on safety, gear and technique and using that info to the max to train and educate.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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As I'm slowly researching how to learn to wingsuit (sometime within 2 years), I discovered this.

They apparently report they've begun construction of the 'big' wingsuit tunnel, based on a decommissioned military wind tunnel which they are now disassembling to build the 'bigger' wingsuit tunnel.

Concept art of the one opening September 2017
With a (plexi)glass diagonal floor! ... Though in reality, the bottom part will be padded where beginners will be able to train, with the more skilled being permitted to back higher over the glass slope)

Also Skydive Mag has an article:
http://www.skydivemag.com/article/indoor-wingsuit-flying

I'm actually quite tempted to make wingsuit tunnel coaching part of my wingsuit training. Getting 30 minutes of wingsuit time in just one day is something I can't easily do from an airplane considering I also have to find & pay for a wingsuit coach. Apparently, it looks like I can fly relative completely untethered in the tunnel -- after just 30 minutes of training, even being a base for an instructor to gently dock on.

They now have people doing that -- who's never jumped before, no jumps/BASE -- now flying untethered after just 20-30 minutes! And after further training beyond, successfully expertly doing 2-ways challenges, including flying verticals around others, according to pictures on their Facebook page. Never made a jump, never BASE'd, but outwingsuits a lot of wingsuit flyers now... (well, to an extent...Much like tunnel rats in skydiving, has 'certain' deficiencies, but you know what I mean -- they still have certain rad skillz that's easier to fill the gaps in)

Just like combining tunnel and AFF/ISP -- I am now considering combining tunnel+jumps for wingsuit coaching by ~2020 if I could make a vacation to Sweden -- I'd actually go to Sweden just for this!

Although tunnel is not everything (can't be a good bigway jumper after AFF, for example, but such students now jump almost straight into 4-ways after just a few tracking practice jumps...And y'know, canopy, canopy, safety, safety) -- Which means theoretically, the weekend after having never wingsuited before, I could even be ready for basic 2-way wingsuit (after practicing safely 'closing the space' without excess speed over extreme side-by-side distances) much sooner than I would otherwise would.

If I account for the extra expenses (intro wingsuit rentals + instructor) and the driving gasoline for repeated wingsuit instruction -- at the higher Canadian skydiving jump rates -- it actually seems to work out cheaper for me to just visit Sweden first. Including the airfare too! There would be multiple wingsuit rentals I can try out that's included in the tunnel-per-minute rate. I'd already now know which wingsuit purchase is suitable for me (Goldilocks, not too intro, not too extreme). In Canada, it's $15/min for solo tunnel. This barely costs more. It's expensive, but the economics actually works out for a Canadian to do a dedicated trip for a one-day 30-minute or one-weekend 60-minute (broken into multiple short flights) -- very compelling...

I'm going to definitely keep an eye on these developments.

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DHemer

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They apparently report they've begun construction of the 'big' wingsuit tunnel



You mean the one this whole thread is about :|

don't forget he is Canadian, deaf,gay AND redhead :$
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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I can imagine this is way beyond the design parameters for wingsuiting.



Current wingsuit speeds (sustained) seem to be around 250 kmh / 3:1 glide (based on top pilots avg. scores on PPC). The tunnel will be capable of around 300 kmh / 3.6:1 glide, and can adjust glide all the way down to 1:1.

Any discipline/body pilot that can manage a sustained glide within that range, should be able to fly. Onesie tracksuits for sure will be an option, and with two piece suits, it will mostly depend on what sustained glide/speed the pilot can do. Angle flying/tracking might not fully be up to the needed minimum of 1:1, but of course those are things we will be able to tell once we open doors in September and people can come and play, and start pioneering indoors..

In terms of construction, the building is undergoing a major overhaul, with a complete rebuild of the entire tunnel and various new systems controling the adjustable construction.

Keep an eye on the facebook page for more news.

Check out the latest video at https://www.facebook.com/indoorwingsuit/videos/1013036558829123/
JC
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I misinterpreted 1:1 to mean straight down, when clearly its referring to a 45º angle... :S so probably no angles... I just wanted to freefly in the wingsuit tunnel!

Cool stuff either way, cant wait to see the progression and innovation it brings!

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