Flying as Free as a Bird

I do not know about you, but the dream I've had the most times so far is the one when I fly freely in the air. It happens so realistically and so easy in the dream that often when I wake up I imagine it is only the restrains my mind that is preventing me to do so.

But without getting to philosophical about it, we may be closer to achieving this dream then you think.

Squirrel Wing Suits

The whole idea of being able to fly unassisted have fascinated the mankind since Icarus to present time. I am a glider pilot and this was for long time the closest you could get in unassisted flight (unassisted in a sense without using the power of engines). Parachute jumpers and skydivers would often argue that they are the closest thing to "pure" flying but in fact they are only falling, not flying.

The so called squirrel suit invention is one of the coolest things in aeronautics lately. They got their name after a certain species of squirrels that have extra skin allowing them to fly.. sort of. Here is one in action.

Flying squirrel

People watched the nature and watched and again they said this is something we can do too!

Now imagine a guy in a suit like that, jumping off from a helicopter and flying at hundred miles per hour, just several feet above the surface of the mountain. Take a first glimpse at what I mean in this video.

Looking incredible isn't it? I know it is still pretty extreme by most people's standards.

These guys have mastered it so much they are jumping off the cliffs and flying just a few feet from the mountain side.

The "uncoolest" thing about present squirrel suits is that you are still using an old-fashioned parachute to land.

But now bunch of guys, Loic Jean-Albert (aka Flying Dude) and Jeb Corliss to mention a few, are on the brink of something revolutionary. They are designing a suit which will allow them to jump from any height and land without using the parachute, just using the suit. Best of all, technically everything is already possible, the only problem is the margin of safety they are willing to take.

 


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One Comment

  1. Dec 17th, 2007 9:28 PM

    Isn't that totally cool! I saw some of these vidoes and others and I am still amazed.