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+VIDEOS Professional wingsuit pilot Peter Salzman from Austria has successfully flown a wingsuit equipped with two battery-powered electric motors.
The electric wingsuit was designed with car manufacturer BMW and the firm’s DesignWorks using elements of BMW’s i electric car technology.
Salzman explained how the idea for the project came about three years ago:
“At the time, I was developing suits for skydiving and basejumping with a friend and basejumping mentor. In a relaxed atmosphere one evening after a day of testing, we threw out lots of ideas about how we could improve performance.
“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.
“I quickly came up with the idea of an impeller, in other words a propeller enclosed by a ring or tube-shaped housing. However, a fuel-powered or conventional motor was out of the question,” said Salzmann.
“Sustainability is very important to me, and something I try to live my everyday life by. I enjoy nature from the air and on the ground – that’s why I aim to consistently follow the path of sustainability even when it comes to mobility.”
Contact was established with Designworks, the BMW Group’s design innovation studio. The studio provided Salzmann with experts to work on developing the fly suit adapted to the electric impeller.
“The development process was a constant up and down, we were always facing new challenges,” said Salzmann.
“Initially we were going to put the propulsion unit on the back. But after the initial drawings and discussions with aerodynamics experts, we decided to move the fly unit to the front.”
Salzmann and the team also quickly had to abandon a plan to use the larger version of the impeller, and the extra 40% of output it offered.
“The very first time I tried the fly suit on, it was clear to me that the whole thing would be too heavy and that I would only have limited movement. The thing is, comfort and feeling safe are the most important things when jumping, and I also need freedom of movement so that I can open the parachute later.”
The engineers focused on the smaller model –
This post was originally published by Flyer Magazine on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.