Learn About It: The Skydiving Simulator

by Andrew Caxton

The skydiving simulator is a great way to have fun or even learn enough about the sport to get into it more seriously.

Simulated Skydiving – A New Kind Of Thrill

There are several ways to experience the excitement of the sport of skydiving and most of them involve an airplane. But for those who want to get a taste of this amazing sport without jumping from an aircraft several thousand feet in the air, there is always the skydiving simulator. The what?

This safe and reasonably-priced indoor adventure may be just the answer some people have been looking for. From humble beginnings as a vertical wind tunnel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, the skydiving simulator has grown in popularity to the point that there are facilities in nearly every one of the United States, as well as in several countries around the world.

History Of Simulated Sky Diving

The first skydiving simulator was actually developed and used for that purpose immediately. In 1964, engineers and scientists constructed a vertical wind tunnel at Wright Patterson and eventually the structure was used to training the Army Corps parachute team.

Flyaway Indoor Skydiving is credited with offering a simulated skydiving facility to the public (Las Vegas, 1982). This same company opened a vertical wind tunnel facility in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as well. These two skydiving simulators have since provided considerable fun and excitement to thousands upon thousands of visitors.

How It Works

The idea behind a vertical wind tunnel that is used to simulate skydiving is really very simple. Huge fans generate winds up to 120 miles per hour upward through a well-sealed tunnel. Individuals don the standard jumpsuit, goggles and helmet and then get into the center of this tunnel. The wind pushes the person upward and allows the individual to get the sensation of flying. Because the wind speeds are about the same as that experienced in live skydiving, the individual also gets much of the physical sensation of skydiving. Other than some minimum weight restrictions, any generally healthy person can enjoy this activity.

Some instruction is necessary, due to the physical nature of the simulation. Instructions are given to help the individual hold their body position properly and to provide hand signals that the student and instructor use to communicate. No special knowledge is necessary to try this unique experience. Because of the popularity of simulated skydiving, there are facilities reasonably close to nearly everyone. For those who don’t have the finances or the desire to actually experience skydiving from a plane, there is always the skydiving simulator. And it is very much necessary to know about skydiving simulator fans.

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