If you’ve ever dreamed of flying like your childhood heroes, your fantasy may be one step closer to reality. While there are no radioactive spiders or mutated genes giving us superpowers just yet, BMW’s latest innovation is giving us flight. BMW may be most famous for their luxury cars and motorcycles, but they have their hands in other ventures as well.
Professional skydiver and BASE jumper Peter Salzmann partnered with BMW i and Designworks to create this new electric wingsuit. Salzmann often uses wingsuits in his daring athletic feats for a better glide and distance. His dream to go even further faster is achieved thanks to BMW’s electric vehicle capabilities. After three years of intensive research and test flights, the electric wingsuit finally saw its maiden voyage early November.
An electric boost to bring you to new heights
Salzmann was the first to test it out. The original plan was a full public demonstration through the skyscrapers of Busan, Korea. The pandemic squashed those plans, so the team went to Austria to fly over the Del Brüder peaks in the Hohe Tauern mountain range. Salzmann and two other fliers were dropped by a helicopter at nearly 10,000 feet over the mountain.
Salzmann sported the new electric suit and the others had conventional suits. He stayed in formation and passed the summit while the others had to go around. The electric boost gave Salzmann speeds over 186 mph. He also gained altitude instead of gradually losing it. This is a gamechanger. Regular wingsuits usually only reach horizontal speeds of about 62 mph.
Fully electric, the wingsuit produces 20 HP and is powered by a chest-mounted rig with a total output of 15 kW. The pair of 7.5 kW carbon impellers spin at 25,000 RPM, giving the suit a thrust for up to five minutes. So it’s not exactly built for long flights, but short bursts instead. The wingsuit also only weighs about 26.5 lbs, so it’s not a tough feat to transport. It’s unknown whether it will be an actual consumer product yet, but like with flying, we can keep dreaming. Buy Here