Flying suits are the stuff of science fiction films, but what if they existed in real life? In collaboration with BMW i and Designworks, air sports pioneer Peter Salzman designed just such a suit using BMW's electric vehicle capabilities.
Salzmann is a professional skydiver and BASE jumper who often employs a wingsuit to raise his glide ratio and cover a bigger distance before opening his parachute. He had a dream that he could go even further faster, and BMW i and Designworks helped him achieve this lofty goal through the creation of an electric suit.
The new suit actually powers his flight allowing him to achieve speeds of 186 mph (300 km/h), according to Electrek. Regular wingsuits can only achieve horizontal speeds of about 62 mph (100 km/h).
The new suit is powered by a chest-mounted rig and produces a total output of 15 kW. This amount is separated into two 7.5 kW carbon impellers that spin at a speed of 25,000 RPM producing thrust for up to five minutes.
An impressive video
BMW released a video where you can see Salzmann perform the first test of the electric wingsuit. The pioneer is dropped by a helicopter at 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) over the mountains of Austria.
Joining him are two other conventional wingsuit operators. All three head for a mountain peak but the other wingsuit operators are forced to fly around it.
Salzmann, on the other hand, accelerates and clears the summit. This is quite an impressive feat that needs to be seen to be believed. Lucky for us there is video proof of the event below.
We warn you though, this video is not for those who fear heights or extreme adventures. The video gives no indication about when the electric wingsuit might be made available but we know one thing for sure. Whenever it is, we will be waiting in line to try one!