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Skydiver plans English Channel flight (ie. "skydive" from England to France)
BBC ^ | Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK | unknown

Posted on 07/29/2003 3:26:11 PM PDT by alnitak

An Austrian with a carbon wing strapped to his back will attempt to be the first man to fly across the English Channel unaided.

Felix Baumgartner plans to leap from a plane 30,000 feet (9,000 metres) above Dover and glide over the 22 miles (35 kilometres) of water to France.

At times he will reach speeds of 224mph (360kph) in temperatures as low as -68C.

He hopes to land by parachute in Cap Blanc-Nez near Calais, after seven minutes in the air.

The 34-year-old former mechanic and motor cross driver said he was confident he would become the first person to fly unassisted across the Channel.

"I'm my own plane. I'll be using no engine, just perfect aerodynamics and my skills," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Baumgartner will wear an aerodynamic jumpsuit with a 6ft carbon wing attached to it for Thursday's Channel attempt.

He will also have a supply of oxygen for the beginning of the flight when the air is thin and temperatures can drop to -68C.


Weather and air traffic controllers permitting, Mr Baumgartner will jump early on Thursday.

The success of his flight will depend on him moving horizontally into the perfect gliding position.

I want to be known as the God of the Skies

Felix Baumgartner

His angle has to be accurate. Any minor imbalance could cause huge problems.

The flight has been given the codename "Icarus Two", after the Greek mythological figure who fell to his death when he flew too close to the sun.

Mr Baumgartner is no stranger to daredevil feats usually launched from great heights.

In 1999, he achieved the record for jumping from the 1,483 feet (452 metre) Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur - the tallest building in the world.

In the same year, he parachuted from the right hand of the 100 foot (30.5 metre) statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.

"I want to be known as the God of the Skies," he told the Telegraph.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: channel; english; felixbaumgartner; france; skydive; spacediving; spacejump; uk; water
"I want to be known as the God of the Skies," he told the Telegraph.

Alternatively, "The Crater of Calais".

1 posted on 07/29/2003 3:26:12 PM PDT by alnitak
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To: alnitak
Alternatively, "The Crater of Calais".

Good one!

2 posted on 07/29/2003 3:33:45 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Bumperootus!)
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To: alnitak
Alternatively, "Mister Splat".

3 posted on 07/29/2003 3:34:57 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: alnitak
"There is an epic quality about the sea which has throughout history stirred the hearts and minds of Englishmen of all nations. Sir Francis Drake, Captain Webb, Nelson of Trafalgar and Scott of the Antartic - all rose to the challenge of the mighty ocean. And today another Englishman may add his name to the golden roll of history: Mr Ron Obvious of Neaps End. For today, Ron Obvious hopes to be the first man to jump the Channel."
4 posted on 07/29/2003 3:36:41 PM PDT by The Hon. Galahad Threepwood
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To: alnitak
And this guy is supposed to keep his head, arms, legs and "wing" under control at 220+ mph? Perhaps a couple of smaller test drops might be in order!
5 posted on 07/29/2003 3:42:23 PM PDT by patriotUSA
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To: patriotUSA
Indeed. I hope he has strong arms, in the graphic it looks like he expects to control the wing with them....
6 posted on 07/29/2003 3:57:37 PM PDT by alnitak ("That kid's about as sharp as a pound of wet liver" - Foghorn Leghorn)
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To: alnitak
He will probably freeze into a huge chunk of dead meat within 7 minutes. He will fall to the sea like a rock
and splatter seagull food when he lands. He would better served to try a short practice jump from 20,000 feet before
diving into -68 degree territory.
7 posted on 07/29/2003 4:35:27 PM PDT by ex-Texan (My tag line is broken !)
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To: ex-Texan

Look theese ees what we vant to kapture - Flying Sqvirrel!

8 posted on 07/29/2003 5:08:20 PM PDT by corkoman (did someone say cheese?)
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To: alnitak
In a somewhat related story:

Skydiver Hits Bridge in Colorado, Dies

CANON CITY, Colo. - A skydiver attempting a stunt was killed Sunday when he hit a 1,000-foot-high bridge and fell onto the rocks below, police said.

Dwain Weston, 30, died following the inaugural Go Fast Games, in which he and other parachutists had jumped off the 1,053-foot-high Royal Gorge Bridge, said Heather Hill, a vice president of event sponsor Go Fast Sports & Beverage Co.

Weston, of Australia, had jumped from an airplane with another parachutist. They were supposed to free fall until they reached the bridge, at which point Weston was to go above the bridge and the other athlete would go under it.

Weston, who was traveling an estimated 100 mph, miscalculated his distance from the bridge, the world's highest suspension bridge. He struck a railing and fell onto a rock face roughly 300 feet from the bottom of the gorge.

"I really couldn't believe it. All I ever heard was he was the best in the world, and he had skill to do it," Hill said. "Of course he always understood the risk and consequences of what he did. He was somewhat of a showman in his sport."

Weston was wearing a "wing suit," which has fabric extending below the arms to the body, with more fabric between the legs, allowing a skydiver to catch the air and travel more horizontally.

There were about 200 people on the bridge at the time of the accident, said Royal Gorge Bridge and Park executive director Mike Bandera. The bridge was shut down for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Before the accident, Weston had participated in the Go Fast Games, jumping off the bridge with about 40 other BASE jumpers — athletes who skydive from fixed objects.

The Royal Gorge is narrow for maneuvering parachutes, and winds are tricky, according to Go Fast Parachuting Director Jimmy Pouchert.

Hill said the accident would not affect future Go Fast Games, which also include rock climbing and BMX jumping.

9 posted on 10/06/2003 3:32:40 PM PDT by hattend
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