How do they fly so high? Wingsuit pilots get a ridiculous amount of air diving into canyon
An expert wingsuit pilot explains how it all works.
Just in case your day hasn’t had enough excitement, here’s a video of some wingsuit pilots diving into a canyon.
Diving in the American Southwest, daredevils in Squirrel wingsuits were looking to pull up out of their dives to see how high they could fly back upwards into the air. They needed conditions to be just right and had no room for mistakes…
Awesome – so how do wingsuit pilots achieve such control in the air? And how do they climb to such heights?
“Flying a wingsuit is very intuitive, small inputs are needed,” Matt Gerdes, Squirrel’s chief test pilot who features in the video, told the Press Association. “We can fly them with precision, maybe not to centimetres but certainly to metres. Pilots can hit targets, for example.”
“By diving for speed, and then changing our AoA (Angle of Attack), we convert that speed into lift and altitude,” said Gerdes. “The best pilots in the best wingsuits can gain around 90m of altitude.”
The makers say altitude gains shown in the video were measured based on calculations from multiple camera angles and, in some cases, using GPS tracking.
Squirrel is a collaboration between some of the world’s top skydivers, wingsuit pilots and BASE jumpers. The equipment used by pilots in the video is all made by Squirrel, which makes wingsuits, parachutes and various gear for extreme sports.