Indoor Skydiving

I went indoor skydiving today (with my 8 year old son) in a vertical wind tunnel at a place called Airkix in Milton Keynes - it was my 40th birthday present from my sister and it was frickin’ awesome!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ID-tdD-Gp48

What will they think of next? How fast does the air have to move to allow you to levitate like that?

Did you film it yourself, or do they, as I suspect, sell you an edited video of your stay?

And the next logical question that pops into my mind is, how long before someone does The Nasty in there and videotapes themselves doing that? How would that work, anyway–I mean, the physics of it? Would you be able to?

something like 130MPH, I believe

The DVD of the entire group session came as standard with the package I was given - I lightly edited it to post on Youtube (weeded out some of the less interesting bits). I did pay extra for another minute for each of us in the tube (£10 per minute per person, but that’s cheap compared to the initial cost)

I think it would be quite difficult - let me just say that the moment you open your mouth to smile, saliva is blown out of your mouth and all up your cheeks. Your mouth gets quite dry, so I’d imagine… anything else… would do likewise. Furthermore, there’s quite a windchill on exposed skin, so that would present another problem.

However, I’m sure it could be done, given sufficiently motivated and prepared participants, but I reckno it probably wouldn’t happen at this particular place due to a combination of overzealous company policy and fear of adverse publicity.

Having seen my share of nude skydivers in freefall let’s just say you’d have a difficult time getting Tab A into Slot B with the relative windspeeds involved.

That looks so cool! Oh, and happy birthday!

I tried that, about 10 years ago. Lotsa fun!

The unfortunate thing was the flight suit. Lotsa extra material to provide more air resistance. Except those extra folds of cloth flap back and forth terribly fast, going “whapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhap” with a rather wicked slap.

And that extra fold in the crotch was just not well-situated.

I remember seeing something like that when the idea was unveiled - I think things have improved since then (more powerful fans, I suppose) - these were just fairly close-fitting suits - not unlike a decorator’s boiler suit.

I would love to do that.

Happy birthday!

Thanks. (the birthday was actually a couple of months back - it’s taken me until now to find a suitable booking)

BTW, the machine itself is massive and somewhat daunting - here is a pic of the outside of the building - it’s like an enormous metal silo - the flight chamber is right in the middle and the air is directed in from both sides at the bottom, then recirculated back down both sides and through the fans again.

(diagram here:


)

Very, very cool! I’m jealous. Something else to put on the “things to do” list!

If you’ve ever had those dreams where you can fly (I have, regularly since an early age - and in fact this was the inspiration for the gift), then it’s absolutely something you have to do.

It is a bit expensive - I got to see the cost because it was a voucher and their system isn’t set up to obscure the costs from the gift recipient - it was the equivalent of $220 for supposedly two minutes flying shared between the two of us - although actually, they must have been quite generous with the timings, as the DVD footage of our flights adds up to something like seven minutes - but I think it was worth it to be able to realise a dream.

Apparently the cost drops in stages if you go back - although I don’t suppose it ever actually gets cheap.

$30 for fifteen minute flight. here

That’s pretty good, although I think that’s one of the ‘flappy’ types mentioned by QTM.

Gee, I never thought Pigeon Forge would have anything to interest me. I’d love to fly indoors.

I did this in about 1982 or so in the small town of St. Simon, Canada… about 2 hrs west of Montreal as I recall. It was called the Aerodium and was a big orange tank with a DC-3 prop spinning below the net. There used to be one in Vegas too, but it was not nearly as good presumably due to all the US regualtions and liability concerns.

http://www.aerodium.ca/index.html

The bit near the end when your lad does his Superman leap into the chamber is awesome!

They’ve had one of these near Orlando (by Universal Studios) for about 10 years now. Skyventure.

The promo video is pretty cool.

That was during the extra minute that I bought him (on the spur of the moment - at the end of the session, they had a bit of slack time and asked if anyone wanted to buy extra time at £10 a minute - we were already there, so it didn’t make sense to refuse) - the instructor asked him if he wanted to run and jump and he just went straight to it.

Something weird has been happening today though, well two things.

The first is that the experience has continued to wash over me and I’m appreciating it more in memory now that I did immediately after the event - I’ve had this before with intense experiences - going to a Blue Man group concert hit me the same way.

The second - and the strangest - is that part of me really thinks it can fly. I mentioned my flying dreams - I always used to wake up to disappointment when realisation dawned that it was just a dream, but the thing is, the experience was sufficiently similar to my flying dreams that a distinct part of me is now convinced I really can fly. All day today, I’ve been experiencing a nagging inner voice (not a literal voice) telling me that if I just dive forward and stretch out my arms, I’ll be flying.
Now before you all diagnose me as in dire need of therapy, let me say that I am fully aware it won’t work - so I’m not in any danger of diving off a roof or anything, but the nagging feeling is there, like a little devil on my shoulder, saying “go on - try it!”. Weird.

ummm, with the use of a parasail and some training, you really can fly.