Even wars can’t stop us
Charlie Centa from Indoor Skydiving Source reached out to us to cover our remarkable journey of building AERODIUM Kyiv. Below is a short summary of his conversation with the CEO and owner of AERODIUM, Ivars Beitans.
So, what’s so special about this project? Well… What’s not special about it? The way it was built, who built it, where it was built, the technology, the community… simply put Aerodium Kyiv is a marvel of engineering and human spirit.
Aerodium Kyiv is a remarkable achievement on multiple fronts. This project has been started since 2012 already and was planned as a key feature for the newly built shopping mall. However, due to the Russia-Ukraine war in 2014, the shopping mall construction was stopped. Then, after eight years, it was decided to finalize the shopping mall and wind tunnel for 2022. But another war broke out.
Despite facing adversity due to war and economic challenges, the state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility was successfully launched in April 2023, after 11 years of determined efforts. Rising to a height of 20 meters within the Respublika mega-mall, the facility boasts an expansive 10 meters of annealed glass across two stories, setting a new standard in engineering and architectural innovation.
The AERODIUM tunnel in Kyiv is a result of tough decisions. “From the start of the war in 2022 Kyiv has been a target of bombing several times,” says Ivars Beitans. “Finding staff willing to relocate to Ukraine and to join the local team was challenging. Luckily we found our head instructor from the UK and after a short test visit with our engineers, they were ready to return to Kyiv for a month to finish the work on the tunnel.” But he adds that the overall situation during the construction remained worrying as every week there were air strike warnings.
Another tough decision for Ivars Beitans was to convince project investors to change the technology of the wind tunnel. “The design and technology implemented at the start of 2012 were already outdated by 2021 when the project was restarted,” he says. “Several large-scale upgrades needed to be made e.g. frameless 11m tall extra thick glass design, newest safety features, active cooling instead of passive. Some of the earlier constructions had to be replaced entirely as they were not supporting the new design.”
But AERODIUM succeeded and as a result of these upgrades, the wind tunnel features all the latest technologies and inventions and has one-of-a-kind features and design that cannot be found anywhere else in Europe. Ivars Beitans concludes: “For us, it is a showroom model of our capabilities and we hope that after the war is over people will be able to travel to Ukraine and experience our tunnel in all its glory.”
You can read the full story on Indoor Skydiving Source.