Watch an electric wingsuit flight that set a world record
5:18

Watch an electric wingsuit flight that set a world record

Tech
Speaker 1: What you're watching here may be the closest any human has come to flying like a bird, the world's first human flight powered by an electric wingsuit Answers are you've seen wingsuit flying before the sport has blown up in the last decade with their devils, pushing the boundaries of how we define human flight. But until now it's [00:00:30] mostly even limited by the height they jump from. Meaning if you jump from 10,000 feet, that's as high as you're gonna get, but all that changed, thanks to the sky diver and wingsuit pilot, Peter Salzman, and his world's first electric wings suit. Peter got started as a stunt man in his teenage years, jumping into things like foam and cardboard boxes. Speaker 2: I was able to, to jump like higher and higher till it started to hurt. And then I, I had had the idea [00:01:00] I have to go, um, and start, uh, skying Speaker 1: Fast forward to 2017, countless skydiving jumps and base jumps later when Peter got the idea for a powered wingsuit, Speaker 2: I was in the mountains, um, with a friend of mine and we found this jump, which was not possible with a common wingsuit. And we really thought about, okay, how could we make this possible to jump that we need, like additional boost system, something which [00:01:30] increase our performance to be able to fly like a flatter angle and to go over this flat part. And then being able to fly down the whole mountain. Speaker 1: Peter spent weeks in his garage, figuring out ways of wings to who could have some sort of assistive propulsion. He even came up with the idea of what he calls an Impella, a propeller that's enclosed in a tube shaped housing, but he wanted it powered sustainably. So he teamed up with BMW. I to develop an all electric thrust system, the team tested in wind tunnels [00:02:00] with different materials, sizes and angles before are reaching their final design. If you're wondering, why have it mounted on your chest and not your back? You're probably not alone. Peter initially thought it would be a back mounted system. And Speaker 2: We found out that it's probably much better if you put it on the, on the chest, like on the front side to be able to have like the, the whole back like empty of everything. So you can open your parachute normally, and you don't destroy [00:02:30] like the lift of the, of the normal wings. Speaker 1: The final design is two carbon fiber electric. Impellas powered by 50 volt lithium batteries that can produce thrust for up to five minutes. Peter controls the throtle by bending his left middle and ring fingers. He's also got a release switch for emergencies, and there's two parachutes, one for Peter and one for the Impella system. So now that he had his dream, all electric powered wingsuit, it was time to make the first [00:03:00] official flight over. What's known as the three brothers in Austria, three mountain peaks. The first two are about the same height. And the third one is taller. Peter's plan was to jump from 3000 meters by helicopter fly flat over the first two peaks and use the thrust to push himself over the third. [00:04:00] Peter topped out at 186 miles per hour. That's about three times the speed that most standard wingsuit divers can reach. So what was it like the first time you actually flew that final product? How did it feel? Speaker 2: I mean, for me, it was like incredible, like as long way is for something as nice. It is at the end. Like if you really get it, I mean, it was impressive. How much influence the system actually had. I, [00:04:30] I never thought that that you really feel it like that much. Yeah. I still get like a, a big smile. When I think about the first times when I switched it on and really felt, whoa, it's really working Speaker 1: Now. Peter is still working on improving the wing suit. He told me that could go in one of two directions, either making it lighter and easier to handle or making the thrust system more powerful. He told me he thinks he's leaning towards the former. So what do you think of Peter's electric wing suit? Let me know in the comments below. And [00:05:00] if you enjoyed this video, don't forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more videos like it. I'm Andy Altman. Thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in the future.

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