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Windtunnel history

The history of the windtunnel.

Many many years ago in XVIII century, B.C. Icar lived in the Antique Greece. Once he went up into the sky with wings made of birds feathers. He loved the feeling of the flight so much, so he went higher and higher, until the sun burned his wings. Icar fell into the sea. But since then the dream of flight lives in most people’s minds. The great artist, engineer and architect Leonardo Da Vinci observed a lot of flying birds. It was him, who invented the first project of aircraft back in 1485-1489. Unfortunately, the genius couldn't make his plans come true.

Instead, in XVIII century Montgolfier brothers put the first balloon in the air, that could hold the weight of the human. In 1797, in Paris, Andre-Jacques Garnerin made his first parachute jump. Soon this invention became a necessary safety equipment for the fun flights. In 1804 a parachute saved the aeronaut Kyuparenko’s life.

November 3rd 1881 the scientist A.F. Mozhaisky from St.Petersburg got a patent for invention of a plane. The best constructors in the World worked on his project. In the beginning of 20th century aviation started to become more and more popular.

St.Petersburg is not just the motherland of the plane, but also of the parachute. In 1911 Gleb Kotel'nikov invented the first parachute rig. Before that pilots were using long folded «umbrellas», but they weren't safe enough. Kotel'nokov's parachute could fit into the rig, that the pilots wore on their backs. This construction is being used by present day.

The birth of the technical miracle

The first windtunnels were projected in 70-s of the 19th century. It was some kind of science experiment. The scientists were studying the properties of solid bodies in the air. A little bit later, the windtunnels started to be used by military. They were experimenting with the aerodynamic of the planes and parachutes. The first windtunnel was built in Russia in 1871 by the teacher of the Artillery Academy V.A. Pashkevich.

In 1943, in Dayton avia base, US, a windtunnel was built, that could lift up a person. But this tunnel wasn't made for flying. The project cost was 750 000$. The tunnel was equipped with 1000 horse power engine. The motor was spinning 4-bladed screw with 6-meter diameter. The rotational speed was 874 revolutions per minute.

Finally this exciting event happened – in 1964 the first person flew in windtunnel. It happened in US, on military base Wright-Patterson, Ohio. The first tunnelflyer was a professional skydiver Jack Tiffany. He was testing the parachutes for Pioneer Parachute Company. He was curious, if wind could hold him. It was a great success. Tiffany was the first person who defeated the gravity with the help of the windtunnel.

Step into the future

In 1981 the Canadian Ginn Germain realized, that this invention has a great future. He received the patent and built the first windtunnel for people. Sinse then people started to use tunnels for parachute and militaty training. Smooth steady air gives the real feeling of the flight.

The skydivers have gotten a new unique training machine. Windtunnel is a freefall simulator, that has no analog. This revolutionary invention finally let the person to fly in the air without any special holding equipment. The powerful air carefully lifts the person up, letting him or her to float in the air freely without any risk.

In time, the «Bodyflying» became an independent sport. It started to be even more popular after the Olympic Games in 2006. The performance of the tunnelflyers was part of the closing ceremony. Finally, a lot of people could see the beauty and technical difficulty of this new sport.

Our answer to the gravity

Today tunnelflying is a necessary part of the training for skydiving teams. But it’s not only for them. Anyone of you can try it and get an unforgettable experience. The windspeed can reach 300 km/h. But it’s smooth and steady, just like in the sky. By the way, our tunnel is 17 meters high!

Windtunnels are often used in movies for shooting stunts. Even Jackie Chan himself likes to fly from time to time. Maybe, that's why he is in a such a great shape.

Now, when we finally have a professional windtunnel in St.Petersburg, you can try the feeling of freefall by yourself. It's safe and not scary. The ability to control your body in the air wakes up your creativity and gives you the feeling of happiness. Just let yourself see the dimensions and versatility of the World.

It turns upside down in FlyStation windtunnel!