BMW has developed a zero-emission, chest-mounted all-electric wingsuit that can soar through the air at nearly 200 mph, roughly twice the speed of the average wingsuit.
The e-wingsuit, built by BMW, has been in development for three years.
Base jumper and wingsuit pilot Peter Salzman, a 33-year-old Austrian, was recently outfitted with the suit and leaped from a helicopter. The 15 kW battery pack, powering two carbon impellers, spinning at 25,000 rpm, allowed Salzman to reach 186 mph.
Salzmann’s first flight was a wild success. Next, it appears the daredevil wants to fly the wingsuit between skyscrapers.
There’s no word if the wingsuit will be commercially available from BMW. Powered wingsuits and jetpacks could be the future of private flight, or perhaps quickly adopted by the military for the modern battlefield. Either way, these alternative forms of flight appear to be maturing in a way that could be commercially available by the midpoint of the decade.