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First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:19 pm

We have seen unmanned flights, now the first unplaned flight took place over the English Channell.
An Austrian guy jumped from a plane over Dover at a height of over 29,000 Ft.
Less than 10 minutes later he landed on the French coast. His only aid were two little flaps on his arms....
Oh, and a parachute of course  Smile


[Edited 2003-07-31 12:22:13]
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2001 6:07 am

RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 7:55 pm

Could not find the news on the internet yet but heard it on the BBC-radio. Spectacular innovating way of flying. Another pioneer in the aviation history books, in the year of 100 year powered flight. Well done, Austrian boy!
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2002 6:05 am

RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:06 pm

BBC-news + foto link:

Skydiver in record Channel flight
An Austrian man has become the first person to skydive across the English Channel.

Felix Baumgartner glided 22 miles across the Channel

See the flight plan in detail

Felix Baumgartner leapt from a plane above Dover at 0509 BST, landing 22 miles (35 kilometres) away in Cap Blanc-Nez near Calais just 14 minutes later.

He wore only an aerodynamic jumpsuit with a 6ft (1.8m) carbon fin strapped to his back, oxygen to breathe, and a parachute to land.

He told the BBC just after landing he was exhausted but the jump was "great".

"It was total freedom. If you step out of the aeroplane at this altitude, it's perfect because you see the sun rise right over there, it's the beginning of the day.

"You're totally alone, there's just you, your equipment, your wing - and your skills. I like it."

The freefall was stressful but "great", said Baumgartner

The 34-year-old former mechanic said there had been a few problems at the beginning of the flight.

A cameraman following him passed out through lack of oxygen in the plane before the jump.

And when he jumped his legs and glider got entangled and he had to cut his glider into pieces, he said.

It was also extremely cold initially - with temperatures of -40C - and cloud cover meant he could not see where he was going.

"I couldn't see the other side so I had no reference point. I was flying over the clouds all the time.

"But the last 2,000 metres I could see those lights right over there, so I knew I'm going to make it."

360km per hour

Mr Baumgartner said the plane was at 30,000 feet (9,000 metres) when he jumped - and he initially reached speeds of 360 kilometres (220 miles) per hour.

For most of the freefall he was travelling at about 220 kilometres (135 miles) per hour, he said.

Baumgartner parachuted into Calais

The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Calais, who was watching the flight, said Mr Baumgartner's journey had made a strange spectacle.

"At first he was just a distant speck hurtling through the morning sky, only occasionally visible between the clouds. With his carbon fibre wings silhouetted against the rising sun it was a bizarre sight."

The process of leaping out of the plane involved lots of delicate manoeuvring, she said.

"Clearly he had to judge just the right minute to jump out of the plane so he could ensure the right currents.

"He was saying any single mistake in the way he uses his body or the way he places himself could put him off course, could be very dangerous."


Mr Baumgartner had prepared for three years for this flight, with rigorous training including strapping himself onto the top of a speeding Porsche.

But he hinted he was still thirsty for a new challenge.

"This was my biggest project so far but there's still something left, so don't worry," he said.

"It's top secret, but it's going to be awesome."

The Austrian is no stranger to daredevil feats, usually launched from great heights.

In 1999, he jumped from the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur - the tallest building in the world.
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RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:08 pm

Just spectacular!!!!! No words:

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RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:13 pm

The route and procedures:

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RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:18 pm

Safe landing in Calais by parachute:

Nice Red Bull aircraft livery design!!
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:03 am

RE: First Unplaned Flight

Thu Jul 31, 2003 8:25 pm

Another article here (with picture):

ISTR people have already crossed the Channel with parachutes, assorted unusual gliders, and a human-powered plane? It's not so radical really.  Big grin

He planned an earlier attempt in 2000, dropping from a balloon. I'm not sure what happened to that.

[Edited 2003-07-31 13:27:21]
Cunning linguist
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RE: First Unplaned Flight

Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:45 pm

That is truly awesome thought. You know it will soon catch on in one form or another as a stunt for all to do.

I think I may have found a new interest.

Did you guys see the video feed?

What an impressive feat!
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