FLIGHT CLUB WIND-TUNNEL FLYING
In Flight Club we utilize vertical wind-tunnels as free-fall simulators for a performance enhancing tool when training skydiving students.
If you are planning to enrol into an Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving course (AFF) with the Flight Club skydiving school at Aerograd Kolomna, or if you are already enrolled in the AFF program with us
and wish to up your level of in-air proficiency with some additional free-fall simulator time, then this page is for you.
Following we explain how wind-tunnels work, what body-flying is, who this activity is for and how you as an Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving student can benefit from training in a wind-tunnel.
Last but not least, we explain the booking process and associated tuition fees.
HOW DO VERTICAL WIND TUNNELS WORK?
Just like a conventional wind tunnel used for testing cars, only that it stands vertically. Its main purpose is to simulate air-flow characteristics similar to those a skydiver experiences in free-fall.
There are free-standing mobile outdoor simulators which pump air-flow upwards using giant fan blades located below the flight deck.
There are no boundaries in terms of walls, which is really cool if you put them onto the beach or into stadiums, since the performer really does get the sensation of flying and spectators can see the action easily.
For hard core skydivers, looking at things from a "skydiving simulator" point of view, the downside of these outdoor models is the lower quality air-flow in comparison to indoor simulators.
Indoor-skydiving facilities, like the name correctly suggests, are vertical wind tunnels utilizing a cylinder shaped, enclosed flight chamber. The chamber has a safety netting, but is otherwise open to the bottom and features several giant fan blades located just above the top end of the flight chamber. The fan blades act like a propeller sucking air through the flight chamber, creating an upwards-directed air-flow that allows anybody inside the chamber to hover, thus creating simulated free-fall.
Adjacent to the flight chamber, in the control room, sits who we lovingly call the driver, a professional controller who overseas the tunnel's operating systems and who can adjust the rpm rate of the fan blades.
In doing so, the controller can create wind conditions custom-tailored towards each flyer's body mass index and suitable for each player's current level of flying skills.
Some of the more powerful indoor skydiving simulators feature giant 16ft diameter and 50 ft high flight chambers and can create wind-speeds of up to 180 mph! Plenty of space and enough power for several people to simultaneously really fly around in style.
To keep things safe, a professional spotter supervises the action in the chamber, so nobody is bouncing off the walls or off the safety net while its game on.
WHO IS WIND-TUNNEL BODYFLYING FOR ?
As you now know, the controller can adjust the wind speeds in the flight chamber, there is a spotter inside the chamber for your safety and you learn to fly in a one-on-one format from a professional coach.
Accordingly, an indoor skydiving simulator really is a controlled, safe and indiscriminate environment and virtually everybody can learn to fly there, and we really do mean everybody.
If you ever go visit an indoor free-fall simulator, you are likely to run into a pretty colourful crowd. You will see kids as young as 5 years, mom and pops and of course real skydivers go absolutely crazy for this. Wind-tunnel flying really is a whole lot of fun and ... by the way, very addicting ;)
WHAT IS BODY-FLIGHT ?
Bodyflying is the art of controlling your body in free-fall. You can learn to maintain a stable belly-to-earth flight attitude, move forward and backward, fly up and down, turn and go from side to side.
Everybody starts out flying on their bellies, since it involves a naturally and laterally stable body-position, can be applied in low airspeeds and provides for a familiar visual reference.
Eventually though, you will be able to perform the same manoeuvres and freely turn, loop and roll around the three axis of your body while flying inverted on your back, sitting or standing in the air and while flying head-down.
All it takes, is for a professional coach to show you how it's done and a little bit of practice from your side.
HOW DO SKYDIVERS BENEFIT FROM PRACTICING IN A WIND-TUNNEL?
For anybody who has never experienced terminal velocity, wind-tunnels are a fun and a no-pressure kind of environment to get an idea what 120 mph of wind hitting your body actually feels like.
That's hurricane force wind-speeds and for the first moments you feel this, the sensation is guaranteed to literally take your breath away.
A wind-tunnel is a great place to get accustomed to this and make friends with your new element.
There is no survival aspect to the wind tunnel game and thus, student skydivers can fly around without much of a worry and for how ever long it takes, in order for them to:
find their balance in a stable face-to-earth flight attitude, learn to hold and manipulate a heading and to simulate their deployment sequence as it applies to real free-fall skydiving.
These basic free-fall skills are essentially the targeted learning objectives which any Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving student needs to master in order to progress through AFF CAT A, CAT B, CAT C1, CAT C2, CAT D1, CAT D2.
Equipped with some relatively permanent muscle memory and with new found confidence in your abilities, you have an excellent chance of translating these skills into a live free-fall environment during your Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving course.
Experience has shown, that Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving students who have mastered these elementary flying skills in a wind-tunnel environment prior to going into free-fall, typically progress fairly smoothly through the AFF program, with repeat jumps being the rare exception.
On the other hand, AFF students who have to figure all this out under sensory over-load conditions and operating under severe time pressure in live free-fall, are more likely to need a couple of extra attempts every so often to master certain free-fall tricks.
While past generations of pilots have all picked up their flying skills exclusively through live in-air application, it' s probably safe to say that today, there are not a whole lot of people roaming the skies in fighter-jets or in air-liners without having enjoyed the benefits of simulator supported training.
Equally, there is currently no world-champion competition team in any free-fall discipline of sport skydiving, which does not train, at least in supplementary form, in a free-fall simulator environment.
Goes to show you.
Prior to booking free-fall simulator time, you must be formally enrolled into an Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving course with the Flight Club skydiving school at Aerograd Kolomna.
If you haven' t been formally enrolled yet, please follow this link to the Accelerated Free-Fall skydiving course tutorial.
Accelerated Free-Fall students who are currently enrolled into the program already, can request for supplemental free-fall simulator training directly at the Flight Club skydiving school or, should you not be onsite, fill in and send us the booking request form.
If you are a visiting foreign student, please allow for one extra day in your itinerary to accommodate for this when making travel plans.
INDOOR FREE-FALL SIMULATOR TRAINING - TUITION FEES
FREE-FALL SIMULATOR TRAINING (30 MIN FLIGHT TIME): USD 250.00
(including: 30 minutes effective flight-time, safety briefing, motor- skill development training prior to your flight, one-on-one coaching, debriefing, video of your bodylight, round-trip road transit between the Flight Club skydiving school at Aerograd Kolomna and the wind-tunnel)