That’s not a bird…BMW has designed an Electrified Wingsuit and strapped it to wingsuit pilot Peter Salzmann.
As part of BMW’s #NEXTGen 2020 to showcase the brand’s electric chops, it’s revealed an electric drive system for a wingsuit. The motor and the wingsuit were developed by BMW i Designworks and Peter Salzmann.
The idea, said BMW was to show how “BMW eDrive technology is able to make a lasting change to the individual mobility experience – not only on the road”. Wowsers.
It’s taken three years of design and testing to get to the stage where someone was ma…, I mean, brave enough to strap into the Electrified Wingsuit, jump out of a helicopter and fly around. And it’s a hell of an achievement. Mostly, these wingsuits require you to jump off something very high and then glide/fall back to earth. It’s reckoned that for every metre of descent a wingsuit can generate up to three metres of horizontal flight and they can reach speeds of up to 100km/h.
The Electrified Wingsuit combines two carbon impellers with a total output of 15kW with about five minutes of power packed into a battery. According to Salzmann, the idea of the drive unit is to give wingsuit pilots the ability to achieve a greater glide flight constant, prolonging their flight time.
To prove the concept, Salzmann was dropped out of a chopper (at 3000m) with two other pilots wearing non-powered wingsuits. Salzmann reckons when he switched on the drive unit he rocketed to about 300km/h. The three pilots flew in formation with Salzmann pulling ahead and flying over the top of the mountain while the other two pilots had to swing around to the side of it; the three pilots met up again on the other side of the mountain and then deployed their parachutes to land together.
Watch the video: