Men with only “wingsuits” fly off cliffs like Superman (an amazing video)

Wingsuit flying. It’s an actual sport. This video is real, not a hoax. I’m blown away.

It’s also a stunningly well done video in its own right.  You can watch the vide below – after about 2 minutes or so the video really picks up.  But first a few images of these guys “flying.” It’s simply amazing.

Note the three very small dots in a row in the sky right above the cliff in the upper middle part of the photo:

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.27.47 PM

More from Wikipedia:

Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. A wingsuit may be referred to as a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit, or bat suit.

A wingsuit flight normally ends with a parachute opening, so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points, and to allow a parachute to deploy.

The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier deploys the parachute at a planned altitude and releases the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    wwwooowww —-

  • bejammin075

    I’m getting an idea for a spectacular snuff film!!

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ zorbear

    I once went ballooning with Momma Bear and found that my heigth-o-phobia didn’t kick in. For some reason, my brain didn’t see being in the ballon, floating along on the wind as being “up”. Don’t know why, but, since even standing at a third-story window gives me the willies, I’d love to do it again as well!

  • Macbill

    Rich folk have interesting hobbies.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Four questions:

    Does this require strength or just a death wish?

    Is it possible to gain altitude in an emergency?

    How much does a session cost?

    Can they manufacture these suit out of depends?

  • NWProf

    Since these people are “flying” in Superman like colors, and technically they are gliding on wind currents, shouldn’t the costume be more like Wonder Woman? Thought for food…

  • emjayay

    Unlike hang gliders, these suits don’t have enough area to get enough lift to do more than going forward and not dropping as fast as the ground is. I don’t see how these guys can be confident that their descent rate is going to be slow enough to keep them from crashing when flying over sloping land. The scenes where they seem to be flying low over nearly horizontal land is really a lot more sloped downhill than it looks, isn’t it? Has anyone killed themselves doing this yet?

  • unclemike

    The learning curve on this must look like a hockey stick. One day, you’ve never flown before, and the next: you’re airborn.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    10 or 15 thousand feet up in open air, with a chute that’ll automatically open at 2-3k feet in case you can’t do it yourself.

    It’s like learning anything — you don’t learn to ride a bike by rolling down a mountain. You start somewhere easier and safer.

  • citizen_spot

    Ha! Though I doubt even a Go Pro camera would survive the impact.

  • dula

    where can you learn to steer before you risk a stone facial?

  • mr_ed

    At 60 mph, you’ll hardly feel any pain when crash. And be sure to wear a camera so your next of kin can see and hear your last few moments.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I did the tandem skydiving once. There is a video of me right before the jump. I have never seen a person who looked more scared. Once we jumped, I was fine. It might have helped that the guy with whom I was jumping was unbelievably sexy. I think that helped to distract me from the idea that I might be plunging to my death.

  • Naja pallida

    Douglas Adams once said that the art of flying was being able to throw yourself at the ground and miss. We’re almost there. :)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I went tandem skydiving once, just so I could say I did it.

    It was amazing. And I say this as someone who has serious acrophobia. I think there’s just something about being sufficiently high that the brain doesn’t see it the same way it feels when you’re on a cliff edge or on a building with a too-low railing. So I wasn’t afraid at all, and the freefall was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.

    I’d say the only thing preventing me from doing more skydiving, gliding, and/or hang-gliding is the cost.

  • citizen_spot

    No way, no how!!! They are way to close to the rocks and trees. One missed turn and blamo! Wingsuit soup. I am sure it is a rush for them, but there is no way I would ever, even back in my invincible youth years, don a wingsuit and attempt to fly through such terrain. That said, that is some wicked awesome video.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yes, I fear the breaking thing. But god that looks like fun.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I’m at the age where I no longer bounce, I’ll just break, but I sure would like to try that.

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