The technology behind AirRider Indoor Skydiving is the vertical wind tunnel (VWT). Vertical wind tunnels have been used for years by the military and professional skydivers as a way to train without having to go up in airplanes. A wind tunnel creates a cushion of air in an enclosed space (a flight chamber) on which people can float. A modern-day wind tunnel, like the ones we use at AirRider, creates a stable, safe, wall-to-wall airflow that makes it impossible to fall off the column of air.
The flight chamber is the enclosed section of the tunnel that you step into to fly. The floor of the flight chamber is a trampoline floor of aircraft-quality stainless steel. After you enter the flight chamber, our tunnel operator slowly brings the wind speed up until you and your instructor
The fans are capable of windspeeds of approximately 250km/h. The tunnel operator controls the windspeed based on the flyer’s weight and skill level. This means, of course, that children are not flown at anywhere near top windspeed.
The wind is generated from above, not below, the flight chamber. Powerful, high-efficiency axial fans are mounted in the return air leg of the tunnel—the optimum location for safety and efficiency. In most of the models AirRider uses, the wind is channeled and directed down the sides of the tunnel, underneath the flight chamber, and then up through the floor of the flight chamber, lifting flyers into the air. The air then travels through the top of the flight chamber, and the cycle begins again.
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