BMW’s electric wingsuit can fly at speeds of 300 kmph

Electrified Wingsuit by BMW i. | Picture by special arrangement.  

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BMW has developed an electric wingsuit in collaboration with professional wingsuit pilot Peter Salzmann that is capable of flying at speeds of over 300 kmph.

Salzmann recently completed his maiden flight with the Electrified Wingsuit by BMW i in the Austrian alps after three years of planning and development.

“Flying is freedom. It’s the ultimate expression of striving for the unknown and discovering new horizons,” Salzmann said in a BMW release.

As Salzmann jumped out of an aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 feet, he used the textile layer stretched between the arms and legs of his wingsuit as a paraglider to fly. Upon the electric drive system’s activation, Salzmann explained, the pilot experiences immediate acceleration, allowing them to fly at speeds of more than 300 kmph.

“Our future-oriented approach with electric propulsion systems and innovative materials and technologies were a perfect fit for Peter Salzmann’s unusual but fascinating idea,” Stefan Ponikva, VP Brand Experience at BMW, said in a release.

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According to BMW, wingsuit skydivers can reach speeds of more than 100 kmph, and the aim of the electric drive system is to increase the performance of the wingsuit in order to achieve a better constant glide flight, thus allowing longer distances to be covered.

The electric drive system of the wingsuit is light, compact, powerful, and includes an energy storage unit. It seamlessly integrates into the front of the wingsuit, and is designed to offer a unique flying experience.

The fly unit of the wingsuit comprises two encased carbon impellers, each around 13 cm in diameter that have a combined output of 15 kilowatts and run at a speed of around 25,000 rpm, which is available for approximately 5 minutes, BMW noted in a release.

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“Only an electric impeller is lightweight and agile enough to enable regular wingsuit flying and base-jumping. Light enough to climb mountains with, agile enough to fly tight turns and manoeuvres, and yet quiet enough not to disturb the purity of the flight,” Ponikva said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 7:56:26 AM |

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