Austrian skydiver Peter Salzmann tests BMW’s 300 km/h electric wingsuit
Expanding its reach to the skies, German luxury vehicle maker BMW has introduced an electric wingsuit that was recently tested by air sports pioneer Peter Salzmann.
Peter Salzmann, a professional skydiver and BASE jumper from Austria, led to a sensation by joining BMW i & Designworks to test the innovating all-electric wingsuit. BMW i & Designworks is the BMW Group’s in-house agency for environment-friendly mobile concepts for the future.
During a jump, Peter often use a conventional wingsuit to boost his glide ratio and cover more ground horizontally before opening his parachute. A perfect textile suit also helps in achieving impressive glide angles. But, the electric assist provided by the BMW electric wingsuit enable him to actually fly and impressively increase his horizontal progress.
Normal or conventional wingsuit operators reach horizontal speeds of around 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph), but the BMW electric wingsuit enabled him to boost speeds to up to 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph).
For the first time to test the electric wingsuit, Peter jumped from a helicopter at an altitude of 3,000 meters or 9,800 feet from ground over the mountains in his native country of Austria. During the endeavor, he was accompanied by two other conventional or normal wingsuit operators. After jumping from the helicopter, the three skydivers flew toward a peak. While the conventional wingsuit operators started flying around the peak, Peter’s electric wingsuit enabled him to accelerate his pace in the air and clear the summit. Eventually, he met the others on the mountain’s far side where all of them opened their parachutes and they landed together safely.
Powered by a chest-mounted rig, the BMW electric wingsuit boasts a total output of 15 kW, which is split among suit’s two 7.5 kW carbon impellers. Spinning at a speed of 25,000 RPM, the two impellers produce thrust for up to 5 minutes. The company admitted that it is definitely not long enough to commute to work, but stressed that it is plenty for a wingsuit flight, forecasting the individual air commute of the future.
The German tech giant explained that developing the electric wingsuit took its design team, which worked in partnership with famous skydiver Peter, around three years.
As of the moment, the new BMW electric wingsuit is still under development. Once it completes, the complete will announce its commitments and initiatives related to the project.