Watch BMW’s All-Electric Wingsuit Taking Its Maiden Flight

By: | November 10th, 2020

Image courtesy: BMW

BMW i, Designworks, and air sports pioneer Peter Salzman collaborated to build an electrified wingsuit as seen in sci-fi movies. Using BMW’s electric vehicle capabilities, they have created a chest-mounted set of electric impellers that allow a wingsuit to achieve speeds of 186 mph.

The design is the brainchild of a professional skydiver and BASE jumper Peter Salzman. This was his dream project. After three years of intensive research, the wingsuit recently took its maiden flight.

Features of the e-wingsuit are:

  • It is built upon BMW i EV technology.
  • The wingsuit is powered by a chest-mounted rig. 
  • It offers 15 kW of grunt that is divided between two 7.5 kW carbon impellers. 
  • The impellers spin at a speed of 25,000 rpm and produce thrust for up to five minutes. 

For the maiden flight, Salzmann was dropped by a helicopter at 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) over the mountains of Austria. Along with him, two other fliers sporting conventional wingsuits were also dropped. 

Image courtesy: BMW

Salzmann with his electric wingsuit was able to accelerate faster than his mates at a peak speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). In comparison, those two fliers typically reach horizontal speeds of about 62 mph.

 “In a relaxed atmosphere one evening after a day of testing, we threw out lots of ideas about how we could improve performance,” Salzmann recounted in a press release. “One of them was a supporting motor – and it’s an idea I just couldn’t shake. I found the idea of being able to jump from my local mountain wearing the wingsuit and land in my garden fascinating.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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