Indoor skydiving infinite upward flight

The world of skydiving has come a long way since the very first recreational flight 45 years ago. And yet, people and technologies keep pushing boundaries and reaching new heights through innovation and competition.

So this year, our partner GoAirborne Macau China is hosting the 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, 3rd European and 1st Asian Championships – a thrilling experience for both competitors and spectators alike!

But before we dive into the details of the competition, let’s take a look at what the skydiving hype is all about.

The Origins of Skydiving

Skydiving, the heart-pounding sport of jumping from an aircraft and free-falling before deploying a parachute, has captivated daredevils for more than just a couple of decades. The sheer rush of wind against your face as you plummet toward the earth below is an experience like no other.

Dating back to the early 20th century, skydiving has evolved from its humble beginnings as a military training exercise to a popular recreational activity enjoyed by adrenaline junkies worldwide. Today, skydiving enthusiasts flock to drop zones around the globe to experience the sheer thrill of free-falling from thousands of feet above the ground.

The Rise of Indoor Skydiving

But what if we told you that you could experience the sensation of skydiving without ever stepping foot out of an airplane? Enter indoor skydiving, a revolutionary concept that has taken the world of adventure sports by storm.

Indoor skydiving, also known as vertical wind tunnel flying, offers thrill-seekers the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of free-fall in a safe and controlled environment. Instead of jumping out of an aircraft, participants enter a vertical wind tunnel where powerful fans generate winds of up to 200 miles per hour, allowing them to float effortlessly in mid-air.

The Fascinating Technology Behind Indoor Skydiving

But how exactly does indoor skydiving work? The answer lies in the sophisticated technology that powers vertical wind tunnels.

At the heart of every indoor skydiving facility is a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel, comprised of a vertical flight chamber and a series of powerful fans. These fans create a column of high-speed air that flows vertically upwards, simulating the sensation of free fall.

Participants, wearing specialized flight suits and helmets, enter the flight chamber and assume a neutral body position, with arms extended and legs slightly bent. It is more nuanced than that, but to simplify, that’s what you can expect to do when going into the vertical wind tunnel As the wind speed increases, they are lifted off the ground and suspended in mid-air, experiencing the sensation of weightlessness as they soar skyward.

The Birth of Vertical Wind Tunnels: A Legacy of Innovation

The captivating world of indoor skydiving owes its existence to the visionary minds behind the development of vertical wind tunnels. The story begins with Jean St. Germain, a pioneering figure whose groundbreaking work laid the foundation for the modern vertical wind tunnel.

In the early 1960s, St. Germain, an engineer with a passion for aviation, embarked on a quest to create a device that could simulate the sensation of free fall in a controlled environment. Drawing inspiration from his background in aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, St. Germain set out to design a vertical wind tunnel capable of generating the powerful updrafts necessary to lift a human body off the ground.

After years of tireless experimentation and refinement, St. Germain unveiled his revolutionary invention: the world’s first vertical wind tunnel. This groundbreaking device, powered by a series of powerful fans, created a column of high-speed air capable of suspending participants in mid-air, simulating the experience of free-fall with astonishing accuracy.

St. Germain’s vertical wind tunnel quickly captured the imagination of thrill-seekers and aviation enthusiasts around the world, sparking a wave of interest in indoor skydiving as a safe and exhilarating alternative to traditional skydiving. His pioneering work laid the groundwork for the development of modern indoor skydiving facilities, paving the way for the vibrant and dynamic sport that exists today.

The Thrill of Indoor Skydiving

So, what is it like to experience indoor skydiving firsthand? Imagine the feeling of weightlessness as you float effortlessly in mid-air, the rush of wind against your skin as you defy gravity and soar higher and higher.

Indoor skydiving offers participants a taste of the adrenaline-fueled thrill of traditional skydiving, without the need for an aircraft or parachute. Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver looking to hone your skills or a first-time flyer seeking an unforgettable adventure, indoor skydiving promises an experience like no other.

Safety First: The Importance of Training

Of course, safety is paramount when it comes to any adventure sport, and indoor skydiving is no exception. Before taking flight, participants undergo thorough training sessions with certified instructors who teach them the proper body positions and techniques for navigating the wind tunnel safely.

From mastering basic maneuvers like turns and spins to learning advanced techniques like flips and rolls, participants receive expert guidance every step of the way. Additionally, instructors are on hand at all times during flights to provide assistance and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Indoor Skydiving Competitions and the FAI

Did you know that indoor skydiving has its own competitive circuit, complete with world-class athletes and international competitions? That’s right – since 1905, the FAI – The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale or The World Air Sports Federation, has been the one responsible for promoting and organizing aeronautical and astronautical activities worldwide, certifying world and continental records and coordinating the organization of international competitions.

It is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the governing body for air sports worldwide, and has proven to be the crucial advocate for pushing the boundaries of this adventure sport further while ensuring a safe space to celebrate athletes and their achievements.

The Upcoming FAI Indoor Skydiving Championships

Excitement is mounting in the indoor skydiving community as the upcoming FAI Indoor Skydiving Championships draw near. Hosted by GoAirborne in the vibrant city of Macau, China, this prestigious event will showcase the talents of indoor skydivers from around the world.

This year brings new heights for the industry, as this is not only the 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, but also the 3rd European, and 1st Asian Championships – an exciting sign that the industry is expanding and reaching more thrill-seekers around the world.

FAI Indoor Skydiving Competition Entries

Competitors from over 25 countries are expected to participate in the championships from the 16th of April until the 22nd of April 2024.

Here’s a comprehensive list of all the entries that will be vying for top honors in a range of disciplines so far:

FAI Indoor Skydiving Competition Entries

The above reflect the registration results at the end of 16 March. The number of competitors reflects athletes and reserves by discipline. They do not take into account athletes flying multiple disciplines. Source: FAI

With athletes pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the wind tunnel, spectators can expect to witness jaw-dropping performances and breathtaking displays of skill and athleticism.

The schedule for the championships is packed with exciting events, starting with a Speed Test and Opening Ceremony, followed by qualifying rounds, semi-finals, and finals in each discipline. From the high-flying acrobatics of solo freestyle to the precision teamwork of formation skydiving, the championships promise non-stop excitement and thrills for competitors and spectators alike.Toms Īvāns: The Winner of the 3rd FAI Indoor Skydiving Championships

Before this year’s competition begins, let’s take a look at an amazing skydiver who won the 3rd FAI Indoor Skydiving Championships. 

Among the standout competitors in the 3rd FAI Indoor Skydiving Championships was Toms Īvāns, a rising star in the world of indoor skydiving. Representing Latvia, Toms showcased his exceptional skills in the solo freestyle discipline, wowing judges and spectators alike with his gravity-defying maneuvers and flawless execution.

With a combination of creativity, precision, and athleticism, Toms soared to victory, claiming the top spot on the podium and cementing his status as one of the world’s premier indoor skydiving athletes. His performance was a testament to the dedication and passion that drives competitors in indoor skydiving, inspiring awe and admiration among fans around the globe.

After the great win, he credited his wife Veronika, who is also an indoor skydiver. Toms says she’s the creative one with the great ideas behind his winning routine, and that he feels lucky to have his wife supporting him all the way through.

But of course, the win wouldn’t be possible without his dedication to the art of skydiving – he’s been flying professionally since 2012 when he became an AERODIUM instructor.

He has proven himself as one of the world’s most experienced pilots and showmen. Īvāns was Tom Cruise’s personal trainer for the flying scenes of the film “Mission Impossible: Fallout”, set the Guinness World Record for the most stunts in one minute in the wind tunnel, developed the choreography, and played the role of Jack Sparrow as a pilot in Shanghai Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” show.

Over the years, Toms has won prizes in flying competitions of various scales. As a flight instructor, showman, and trainer, Toms has participated in various AERODIUM projects in the USA, Canada, China, Argentina, Peru, Finland, Denmark, Spain and elsewhere.

His natural aptitude for the sport, combined with his unwavering dedication and relentless work ethic, set him apart from his peers and propelled him to success on the world stage.

Today, Toms continues to encourage aspiring indoor skydivers around the world with his incredible performances and unwavering passion for the sport. Whether he’s soaring to new heights in competition or sharing his love of indoor skydiving with others, Toms Īvāns remains a true ambassador for the sport, embodying the spirit of adventure and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of indoor skydiving.

AERODIUM: Building on a Legacy of Innovation at the Championships and Beyond

At the heart of GoAirborne’s indoor skydiving facility lies the revolutionary technology of AERODIUM, the world’s leading manufacturer of vertical wind tunnels. Founded in 1979, Aerodium has been at the forefront of indoor skydiving innovation for over four decades, pioneering advancements in wind tunnel design and engineering that have revolutionized the sport.

As a manufacturer of vertical wind tunnels for the entertainment, show business and military industries, AERODIUM has created wind tunnels that are now used in more than 40 countries around the world, including the USA, Canada, China, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and elsewhere.

Aerodium’s vertical wind tunnels are renowned for their unparalleled performance, safety, and reliability, making them the go-to choice for indoor skydiving facilities worldwide. With a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of indoor skydiving, Aerodium continues to lead the way in creating unforgettable experiences for thrill-seekers of all ages.

AERODIUM’s clients include countless world-renowned brands such as Disneyland, Warner Brothers, Red Bull, Mercedes Benz, Guinness World Records, and others. Since 2016, the company has been developing its franchise network, which is currently successfully operating in the USA, China, Bahrain, Slovenia, Egypt, and elsewhere.

Pushing the Boundaries of Future Competition Standard

The most advanced technologies and exceptional design have been boldly yet thoughtfully combined in AERODIUM’s R4 PRO vertical wind tunnel that will host the competitors in Macau this year.

Some of the most modern features include:

  • Active Absorption Net on the bottom of the tunnel that turns the safety net at the bottom of the flight chamber into a trampoline as an impact absorption surface in case of high falls;
  • High glass chamber that is 4.3 meters wide and 15 meters high;
  • Active Cooling System;
  • B.A.S.E. chamber – offering a unique jump exit in a controlled environment at the top of the flight chamber.

So it comes as no surprise that the wind tunnel built by AERODIUM at GoAirborne was recognized as the most suitable for the competition requirements organized by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) for the opportunity to organize the World Cup.

The Federation evaluated not only the unique characteristics of the wind tunnels and the compliance of the technical parameters but also the ability of the team to organize competitions of this level.

As this was the first PRO model with all of these features included, it truly has proven to be a great success at GoAirborne Macau, and you surely can appreciate it yourself when the championships come! Inspired by the results, AREODIUM is already preparing 2 more wind tunnels with these specifications to go to the United Arab Emirates soon and allow for new heights to be reached there as well.

The Future of Indoor Skydiving

As indoor skydiving continues to gain popularity around the globe, the future looks brighter than ever for this exhilarating sport. With advances in technology driving innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, the sky truly is the limit when it comes to indoor skydiving.

From cutting-edge wind tunnel designs to virtual reality experiences that simulate the sensation of free fall, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver looking to push your skills to new heights or a curious novice eager to experience the thrill of flight for the first time, indoor skydiving offers an adventure like no other.

So keep an eye on the Championships from the 16th to the 22nd of April, and watch history being made in front of your eyes with more than 25 countries representing this exhilarating sport!

Conclusion

The 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, 3rd European, and 1st Asian Championships are going to be one of the most exciting indoor skydiving championships yet, with so many countries coming together at Macau and all sharing their passion for taking flight. 

From cutting-edge wind tunnel designs to state-of-the-art engineering solutions, AERODIUM continues to build on the legacy of innovation established by Jean St. Germain, creating unforgettable experiences for thrill-seekers of all ages. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for pushing the limits of human flight, AERODIUM remains at the forefront of the indoor skydiving industry, shaping the future of aerial adventure for generations to come.

If you are ready to level up your business with a skydiving experience or learn more about what we do, feel free to contact us at https://aerodium.technology/, and we’ll gladly see how you can get higher than ever before with our open-air, enclosed, or custom vertical wind tunnel solutions!