AUSTRIA (Forsige) – The BMW I EV technology not only operates in two dimensions, it now takes an electric wingsuit to the skies.
It’s not the most traditional electric flight, but that didn’t stop the notion from advancing to its maiden flight. For three years, the electric wingsuit project has been in the works, since it started as just an idea in the mind of air sports pioneer Peter Salzmann.
The group brought the electric wingsuit to life for Peter to try, with the help of BMW I and Designworks.
Peter is a BASE jumper and an experienced skydiver. He also used a traditional wingsuit during jumps to improve his glide ratio and horizontally cover more ground before opening the parachute.
Impressive glide angles can be achieved with the right textile suit. But now Peter has managed to power his wingsuit with a little electric assist and actually fly, dramatically raising his horizontal development.
Although standard wingsuit operators will often achieve horizontal speeds of more than 100 km / h (62 mph), it seems that the electric wingsuit can raise speeds up to 300 km / h (186 mph).
Peter was lowered by helicopter at 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) along with two other conventional wingsuit operators over the mountains in his native Austria for the first test of the electric wingsuit.
The trio flew toward a point, where other operators of the wingsuit started flying around the peak. Peter, however, was able to speed up to clear the summit and to reach the others on the far side of the mountain, where they opened their parachutes and landed together.
A chest-mounted rig powers the electric wingsuit. It has an overall output of 15 kW, divided between two carbon impellers of 7.5 kW. They spin for up to five minutes at a speed of 25,000 RPM and produce thrust.
It may not be long enough to fly to work, but there’s plenty for a wingsuit flight!