iFly Austin - New Indoor Skydiving in Austin
To many of us, skydiving seems far away from our life. It's scary, dangerous and challenging to both our mind and our body. However, there are always some wishes in our minds that we want of fly at least once in our lifetime.
Indoor skydiving is a great alternative where you don't have to worry about jumping out of an airplane. You actually fly inside a wind tunnel, but you will have the feel like real skydiving. The new indoor skydiving place, iFly World Austin, was open in early 2013 just along the freeway 183.
On March 15, 2013 and April 18, 2013, the Winlanes Educational Reporter team visited iFly Austin. We were welcomed by the general manager, Axel, the marketing and sales director, Stacy Harris and the lead instructor, Javier. We felt so lucky that we could ask questions, since we had a lot of questions.
- What is the first iFly site built? Why did you choose
Austin this time?
Axel: The first iFly was build at Orlando in 1997. Austin is actually iFly's hometown where our headquarter is. We are back to our hometown and build the first indoor skydiving in Texas right in Austin. Another reason is that Austin is a beautiful city with a lot of athletics people who will be interested in skydiving.
- Can we know more about the founder of iFly? Why he
wants to do this?
Stacy: iFLY is the experiential entertainment company that created modern indoor skydiving…we make the dream of flight a reality by giving our customers “wings” in a safe and reliable environment. iFLY started in 1998 as SkyVenture, LLC. Once we had developed the technology to create a stable, wall-to-wall cushion of air in a flight chamber, we knew we could offer an incredibly realistic and safe indoor skydiving. We opened our first indoor skydiving facility in 1999, to great success. Between 1999 and 2005, we opened three more facilities. In 2005, we rebranded ourselves iFLY, maintaining SkyVenture as our design and manufacturing company. Today, iFLY has 23 locations around the world in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, and the list continues to grow.
- How many people have used iFly around the world?
Stacy: over one million flyers.
- How much does it cost to setup an iFly site?
Axel: Each tunnel is different. Austin cost about 8 million dollars to build.
- What is the minimum and maximum of air pressure that
Stacy: Our flight chamber is an atmospheric pressure flight chamber so the pressure never changes, however, airspeeds can reach 180 mph!
- What is maximum weight that iFly can support in the
Stacy: 230 for under 6 feet and 250 for over 6ft.
- How can we actually fly in the tunnel?
Javier: You have to be able to learn how to control your body. Like any other sports, you have to learn them one by one from control your arms, legs and belly. We will teach you how to do this one at a time.
- What is the educational program offered by iFly? Why
we need to join?
Stacy: It's about technology and physics behind the indoor skydiving. During the program, in addition to the actual fly, we will do experiments, lectures and discussion. The whole process is very engaging and is led by out physics professor.
I actually took the flight in the wind tunnel. How does it feel like? It's awesome! It's hard to explain. You have to come and experience yourself.
Winlanes Education set up an Indoor Skydiving Program for the iFly visits. For fist time flyers, you can join the educational visits. For second time and experienced flyers, you can join the kids club visits where we learn together with professional coaches. For all children joining our visits and write about their experiences, Winlanes Education will have free fly for the winners. Please refer to the contest details at our Indoor Skydiving Program page.
(By Winlanes Education Reporter, Kevin Li 5/31/2013)