Oh To Be Able To Fly (And Land) Like A Bird!
Jeb Corliss is a man on a mission - he wants to fly like a bird and land like one too - that is without a parachute. Why? - Because no one has ever done it before and he believes he can.
Jeb's plan is to use a wingsuit, a special jumpsuit that shapes the human body into an airfoil, which can create lift (see picture). Wingsuits, also known as birdman suits or squirrel suits are not new, and have been used in some form or shape since the 1930's. They have however evolved through the years and improved immensely. Jeff plans to use a prototype created specially for him.
In a normal wingsuit dive, flyers exit the aircraft wearing both a wingsuit and a parachute. At a certain altitude, just like a skydiver, a wingsuit flyer will deploy (open) his parachute, which will help him glide down to a designated landing place.
This is what Jeb is hoping to change. He wants to fly with just a wingsuit and land without a parachute. His plan is to land on a specially designed runway. The design for the runway is top secret and expected to cost about $2 million USD.
While this may be an almost impossible feat, Corliss is certainly well qualified to attempt it. He is a BASE jumper - someone who leaps from tall buildings, bridges etc. and lands using a parachute - and has performed over 1,000 jumps including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
We wish this amazing and fearless man the best of luck and hope he succeeds in his quest to fly (and land) like a bird. Hear his passion for the mission in his own words in the video below.
Sources: NYT.com Timesonline.com