8-way Block 5
The secrets of 8-way Block 5, by World Champion Martial Ferré
Red Bull Skydive Team just performed a spectacular stunt, a world first when team members went for a giant swing at 5,000 feet! The seat was suspended from a hot-air balloon by 125m of rope in the Austrian sky.
In a tribute to their favorite childhood game, Dominic Roithmair, Georg Lettner, Marco Waltenspiel and Marco Fürst rode the “megaswing’, achieving what could be the longest swing in the world. (The World Record approval process is currently ongoing.)
One balloon served as an anchor for the swing, while the four skydivers jumped from a second balloon, both placed at heights between 1,500 and 2,000m. Hot-air balloons were the ideal aircraft for this trick. Piloting them required a huge amount of experience; hence they turned to Austrian experts from Skydive Pink Klatovy. After intensive planning and preparation, the crew did a test run in superb weather conditions. After a few attempts, they pulled off the perfect swing – with a length of 125m!
“Everyone knows what it’s like on the swing at the playground,” said Marco. “You swing as hard as you can and jump off. We wanted to do the same, but on a much bigger scale.
“It’s all about the right timing and jumping. When the rope is perfectly taut to swing nicely forward, it’s just perfect.” [Video below]
See and feel Marco's swing with his POV camera - and hear how much fun he's having!!
“The great thing was that you don’t have any off-putting noise,” added Dominic. “Unlike in a plane, it’s silent in a balloon, you swing out and it starts to swoosh. After the swing it’s quiet until the noise starts again. We’ve fulfilled our childhood dreams of going on a giant swing!
“You accelerate in a completely different direction to what you get in normal base or parachute jumping. I can’t recall any freefall that has such different patterns of movement. You jump down, fall and wait for the moment when the pressure kicks in. Then after a few seconds you go forward with a non-motorized acceleration, which is an unbelievable feeling.”
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