The car manufacturer BMW has created an electrified wingsuit that was able to reach speeds of up to 186 MPH on its first flight.
The suit was flown by air sports pioneer Peter Salzmann, who took part in designing the device.
Salzmann is a professional skydiver and BASE jumper, and he was the person who came up with the idea for the suit. After he came up with a plan he approached BMW about making it a reality.
“One of them was a supporting motor—and it’s an idea I just couldn’t shake.I found the idea of being able to jump from my local mountain wearing the wingsuit and land in my garden fascinating,” Salzmann said.
Salzmann has been testing the suit with BMW for the past 3 years. During development and testing, they used a horizontal wind tunnel to simulate flight.
The first flight out in the real world took place in Austria last month. In the flight, Salzmann was dropped from a helicopter that was flying at about 10,000 feet in the sky, along with two other jumpers that were wearing conventional wingsuits.
However, Salzmann was able to breeze past them, as most wingsuits typically reach speeds of about 62 miles per hour, while he was going over 100 mph faster.
According to RobbReport:
The e-wingsuit is built upon BMW i EV technology and powered by a chest-mounted rig. It offers 15 kW of grunt that’s split between two 7.5 kW carbon impellers. The impellers spin at a speed of 25,000 rpm and produce thrust for up to five minutes. The aim of the electric wingsuit is to increase performance and eventually allow for longer distances to be covered.
BMW has released a video of the incredible flight, showing the group flying together before Salzmann pulls ahead.
The wingsuit was unveiled for BMW’s #NEXTGen 2020.
Next, Salzmann wants to fly between the skyscrapers of South Korea next.
“I will have to train more. We will optimize the technique and look ahead boldly,” he said.