It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a BMW-powered electrified wingsuit

Shane McGlaun - Nov 9, 2020, 5:01am CST
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a BMW-powered electrified wingsuit

BMW i and Designworks teamed up with Peter Salzmann, a professional base jumper and skydiver, for a newly designed wingsuit that increases the speed and flying time for the person wearing it. The stunt marks the first time that the Electrified Wingsuit by BMW i has been flown with the electric drive system. BMW and Salzmann captured the entirety of the maiden flight of the electric wingsuit on video, which can be seen below.

BMW is tying its participation in the electrified wingsuit project to its all-electric BMW i3 vehicle. The automaker says its eDrive technology makes a lasting change for the individual mobility experience, not just on the roads. The i3 was first introduced in 2013, and since its introduction, BMW has continued to work on the electric propulsion system. Currently, the vehicle consumes 13.1 kWh of power per 100 kilometers.

BMW has an electric vehicle called the iX3 that consumes 17.5 kWh per 100 kilometers. The Electrified Wingsuit by BMW i uses a flying unit with two encased carbon impellers delivering 7.5 kW output each. The impellers spin at about 25,000 RPM for a total output of 15 kW. The power is available for approximately five minutes.

The electrified drive system and energy storage unit are integrated into the front of the wingsuit. The propulsion unit allows Salzmann to fly at up to 300 km/h. BMW says it took about three years working with Salzmann and the design team to create the electrified wingsuit. For the maiden flight, Salzmann and two others jumped from a helicopter at an altitude of 3000 meters and flew in formation in the direction of Mount Massif in Austria.

It appears that Salzmann was the only wingsuit pilot who used a propulsion unit. When it was time to land, the trio open parachutes and glided to their landing point. The video of the stunt is very cool and is worth a watch.


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