Hanging out with your friends…107 of them

August 20th, 2009 by xformed

At 170MPH…7/31/2009: New World Record in Skydiving: Head Down Formation of 108.   Done at Skydive Chicago, with jumpers from around the world, and the head down craze inspired by a dude named Olav Zipser (I watched him jump in 1996 at Skydive Arizona...he and his team of 4…had a packer working for them so they made many, many jumps a day).

Looked like 5 Twin Otters (DHC-6) which hold 22 each, so…room for two videographers.

You know…they make it look easy, don’t they?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 2:19 pm and is filed under Skydiving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 responses about “Hanging out with your friends…107 of them”

  1. Michelle said:

    So tell me this please. They are free falling when they all come together… how do they control where they are going when they are in free fall??

    [ed: The human for is quite maneuverable, if you take the time to learn how to do it. Whether sitting, belly yo earth ot head down, and not ehrer are the wingsuit people in the mix doing exciting things. Spend some time on YouTube looking at skydiving videos.In addition, these events are very well planned as to who is where in the formation, based on experience, then…what plane they are on. The practice on the ground is extensive, and that is called “dirt diving.” Initially, people just walk it, then they get their gear and do it so they can get the colors of the jumpsuits and rigs, to make sure they know where to maneuver into the formation. Records don’t count unless everyone is exactly where they are supposed to be, and all in the planned dive are in their place. In addition, the dirt dive includes not only building the formation, but then the plan to break off (separate), which is done in stages, with the break off and opening altitude for each parting wave being set in advance, to provide the maximum amount of safety. They even used CAD/CAM design programs to figure out the shape of the formation in the beginning.

    I was in the 1995 VA freefall formation (“belly flying”) attempt (90) and the 1997 VA successful effort (89). recollection of that record is here. BTW, they broke that record (finally) this year…in the spring.]

  2. xformed said:

    Michelle;

    You can go all over the place in freefall. Basically, you use body position to deflect the air and head the way you need to.

    IN freefall you can fall from about 120mph to close to 200, depending on how much surface area you present to the relative wind. A “belly to earth” is the maximum presentation, and then going head down is fastest. “Sit flying” is also fast.

    By extending your legs behind you and bringing your arms back, you get a slightly head down position, and, as a result the wind pushes you forward, therefore you can move ahead. You can get very aggressive, and it you have you arms along your side, your legs together and extended to point your toys and then you reverse your arch, your body forms a wing shape. In this position, you can travel, in a horizontal vector, to almost 60MPH, if you’re good. That’s called “Tracking” and is mostly used to clear the vicinity of other jumpers in preparation for opening in clear air.

    It’s all about learning to not muscling your way around, but putting your arms and legs to be able to turn, adjust your fall rate, and get to and away from where you are flying. For the head down jumpers, they do the same thing, positioning them in the airstream.

    I’m sure you have put your hand out the window of your car at hiway speed before. Hold it in a cupped position and you’ll feel it pushing your hand up (lift – like tracking). Pivot it to one side or the other and the wind will push your hand left or right, the push force being related to how much you turn your hand. Same thing as jumping, and in fact, using your hands like that is a vital method of close in maneuvering in freefall.

    It’s all about making the air work for you! Watch skydiving videos a little more closely and you will see them changing where their arms and legs are, as well as hand motions.

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