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Wing suit flying

February 20th, 2017

Wingsuit flying (or wingsuiting) is the sport of gliding through the air using a wingsuit which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift.

The modern wingsuit, first developed in the late 1990s, creates a surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. Wingsuits are sometimes referred to as “birdman suits”

An early attempt at wingsuit flying was made on 4 February 1912 by a 33-year-old tailor, Franz Reichelt, who jumped from the Eiffel Tower to test his invention of a combination of parachute and wing, which was similar to modern wingsuits. He misled the guards by saying that the experiment was going to be conducted with a dummy. He hesitated quite a long time before he jumped, and was sadly killed when he hit the ground.

In the mid-1990s, the modern wingsuit was developed by Patrick de Gayardon of France, adapted from the model used by John Carta. In 1997, the Bulgarian Sammy Popov designed and built a wingsuit which had a larger wing between the legs and longer wings on the arms.

Popov’s wingsuit first flew in October 1998 over Jean, Nevada, but it never went into commercial production. Popov’s design was a great improvement in creating lift; it was able to slow the vertical speed to 30 km/h while gliding horizontally at speeds over 300 km/h.

Wingsuit flight records – 

Fastest

  • On 28 May 2011, Japanese wingsuit pilot Shin Ito set world records for the fastest speed reached in a wingsuit of 363 km/h (226 mph).

Longest time and highest altitude

On 20 and 21 April 2012, Colombian skydiver Jhonathan Florez set Guinness World Records in wingsuit flying. The jumps took place in La Guajira in Colombia for the following records:

  • Longest time: The longest (duration) wingsuit flight was nine minutes, six seconds.
  • Highest: The highest altitude wingsuit jump was 11,358 m (37,265 ft)

Take a look at this video of some Wingsuit flying, Video by XTreme Video.

• Read more about Wing suit flying



Magic Johnson: NBA legend returns to LA Lakers

January 16th, 2017

Basketball great Magic Johnson has returned to the Los Angeles Lakers as an adviser to owner Jeanie Buss. The Lakers are struggling again this season after three years of decline in which they have posted the worst results in their history. Three-time Most Valuable Player Johnson spent his entire 13-year NBA career with the Lakers, winning five championships with the franchise.”I’m overjoyed to be back home with the Lakers,” Johnson said.

“I will do everything in my power to help return them to their rightful place among the elite teams of the NBA,” added the 57-year-old. Johnson was an honorary vice president of the Lakers until last year and held an ownership stake until selling it in 2010. He was also part of the USA ‘Dream Team’ which won Olympic gold in 1992.

Take a look at Magic Johnson in action!

• Read more about Magic Johnson: NBA legend returns to LA Lakers



Andy Murray wins Sport Personality of the year for a record third time.

December 22nd, 2016

Murray, the 2013 and 2015 winner, took Olympic gold, claimed his second Wimbledon title and became tennis’ world number one in a remarkable 2016.

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee was second and show jumper Nick Skelton third.

“It’s been a great year for British sport and I am so proud to have been a part of it,” said 29-year-old Murray as he accepted the award from Miami.

A landmark year for Murray:

  • February 2016: Has first child as wife Kim gives birth to daughter Sophia
  • June 2016: Becomes Wimbledon champion for the second time
  • August 2016: Defends Olympic singles title in Rio
  • November 2016: Replaces Novak Djokovic as world number one

In front of a 12,000-strong audience at Birmingham’s Genting Arena, Murray accepted the award via video-link from Florida, where he is preparing for the 2017 season.

As he took the prize from former British boxing world champion Lennox Lewis and gathered members of his training team around him, he added: “I’d like to thank everyone who voted – I really appreciate your support.”

• Read more about Andy Murray wins Sport Personality of the year for a record third time.



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