How Fast Can You Go in a Squirrel Suit?
When flying in a squirrel suit, the Icarus-style wings enable a high-speed glide over land. Its wingsuit is powerful and lightweight, allowing it to reach speeds of more than 280mph (450km/h). While this is certainly a feat to behold, how safe is it to fly in one? And how long can you go before the suit is too tight for your safety? Read on to find out!
Icarus suit aims to go above 280mph (450km/h)
The team behind the flying squirrel suit is trying to break the speed record in an extreme environment. Currently, the record is 226mph, or 361km/h. But they want to break that record from a higher altitude. To do that, they are hoping to borrow a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to transport them. Even if the C-17 isn’t available, a balloon might be enough.
Powerful wingsuits allow for greater horizontal speeds
Powerful wingsuits allow for greater speed, and these suits are often powered by small jet engines strapped to the feet. A wingsuit can reach speeds of 100 km/h or more when the pilot activates the electric drive system. The electric motor can also propel the pilot at speeds of up to 300 km/h, allowing for longer distances. Moreover, powered wingsuits can be used as wingpacks, allowing the pilot to experience greater horizontal speeds.
Currently, electric propulsion has been used to increase the efficiency of the wingsuit and achieve higher speeds. BMW Group Aerodynamics Testing Centre has been involved in the development of the electric wingsuit. This technology will soon be available for general public. Eventually, electric wingsuits will become a reality, allowing people to experience a completely new form of aviation. The BMWi wingsuit is a pioneer in this field and will mark the future of air and road travel.
Long glide rates
Long glide rates in a squirrel suit require proper posture. When flying, the center of pressure (COP) behind the pilot’s head determines the angle of attack (AoA). To maximize glide rates, the wingsuit must be fully tensioned. This can be achieved by shrugging shoulders forward and pointing toes. It is also helpful to form a slight concavity in front of the torso.
In the world of wingsuiting, safety is not necessarily linked to skill. As more people gain experience and confidence, the chance of fatality increases. This is certainly the case for pilots in squirrel suits, but the fact is that safety is not inseparable from skill. Matt Gerdes, a co-designer at Squirrel, is a seasoned pilot and the man behind the brand.
During wingsuit flying, pilots maneuver over obstacles in an aerodynamic “flying squirrel” suit. This sport requires nerves of steel and a good deal of skill. But modern fabric technology has helped to create extremely durable flight suits, allowing pilots to fly higher and farther. However, the longer their flights last, the more danger they pose to themselves. So, how do pilots ensure safety? Here are some things to consider.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.