Here’s a video that will make you sweat. Also help you appreciate all the planning that can go into a wingsuit flight. Humans who have this courage deserve our admiration and applause. Their sport may be exhilarating to do, and also to watch, but it can cost them their lives.
The special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, birdman suit or flying squirrel suit, adds surface area to the body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms.
In this video, Espen Fadnes looks calm and collected before jumping off a 4,068 foot cliff in Stryn, Norway.
“I’m terrified,” Fadnes is quoted as saying in the YouTube video documenting his flight. “I’ve just developed techniques and methods to cope with the fear.”
With that, Fadnes jumps and begins flying at speeds of up to 155 mph in his wingsuit through a gorge.
Wingsuit flying is nothing new for Fadnes, who won the ProBase Wingsuit Race in 2010.
But for this flyer, the daring jumps can be as good as a trip to a psychologist.
“The walk up the mountain can be like therapy,” Fadnes says in the video. “Your hesitations are always worse when you’re on level ground.”
Just after I posted this, someone else sent me another wingsuit flyer in action. Check out the near miss beginning around 1:36.