What in the World is a Skydiving Simulator?
Anyone familiar with skydiving might have a whole lot of trouble imagining how you could ever simulate the experience of free-falling from 15,000 feet towards the earth’s surface. Some people even imagine a skydiving simulator to simply be a video of a person skydiving, taken from a camera strapped to their helmet.
While that certainly is a good way to “experience” sky diving from the comfort of your own home, there are actually ways that you can get the physical feeling of skydiving without having to even board a plane.
Skydiving without the sky (or diving)
The best and most accurate way to simulate the experience of skydiving is through the use of a vertical wind tunnel. These types of contraptions are also known as “indoor sky diving” and you can see more and more of them popping up around the country all the time, especially in touristy areas.
For some people, they are just a fun, recreational activity, but for others, they mimic the feeling and sensation of skydiving so closely that they can even help you prepare for a real jump.
A vertical wind tunnel is exactly that – a vertical tunnel where wind is propelled upwards at speeds high enough to keep the “jumper” afloat within the tunnel. This speed is usually around 120 mph (195 km/h), but it can vary slightly depending on the weight of the person inside the tunnel.
Inside one of these wind tunnels, you won’t be all that high up in the air, and your elevation won’t change much during your jump. You can move up and down slightly, as well as side to side by slightly changing your body position, but you will stay relatively in the same space. The amazing part though, is it feels incredibly close to the actual feeling of skydiving.
Why would I want to use this instead of just going skydiving?
Are you brave enough to throw your body from a moving plane? If so, great! You should probably skip a skydiving simulator and just go for the real thing. Most people probably don’t share your enthusiasm though, and are a bit more apprehensive about skydiving.
If that sounds like you, then a vertical wind tunnel can be a great way to get (almost) the same experience.
Sure, you won’t get the incredible view of the earth from so high up, and you won’t enjoy the feeling of slowly gliding down, slowed by your parachute, but the sensation of “flying” can’t be beat.
Oftentimes, people who are scared to death of skydiving become immediately less scared of the concept as soon as they have tried the simulated version for themselves. They feel the sensation of flying, realize it’s far more exhilarating than it is scary, and can’t wait to get up in the air and try it for real.
Also, if you are of an age or weight that will keep you from jumping out of an airplane (the rules and regulations for traditional skydiving are much more strict), then a vertical wind tunnel can be a great way to still get some of the best parts of the experience.
While we still believe there is no feeling that can truly compare to jumping out of a moving plane at 15,000 feet, if that’s simply not an option for you, then a skydiving simulator is certainly an excellent alternative.