Car manufacturers are delving into all modes of transport for many reasons and BMW’s latest venture sees 33-year-old Austrian Peter Salzmann team up with BMW “i” who are pushing electric drive with Designworks in an effort to further the capabilities of wing suits using electrification.
The Electrified Wingsuit by BMW i is an integrated, powerful, compact and light drive and energy storage unit with two encased carbon propellers, so-called impellers, with each delivering a power output of 7.5 kW, a speed of around 25,000 rpm and a total output of 15 kW, available for around 5 minutes of use.
Development of the suit included wind tunnel testing at the BMW Group Aerodynamics Testing Centre.
With conventional wing suits, pilots can progress 3 metres horizontally for every 1 metre of descent at a rate of 100kph or more but with the Electrified Wingsuit, acceleration is immediate with the potential to reach up to 300kph.
For the test flight, Salzmann’s team jumped from a helicopter 3,000 metres over the Austrian alps flying in formation before he ventured further to test the capabilities of the suit.
Development continues with the end result unclear. Will it be a commercial application, recreational, or somewhere in between? BMW, Designworks and Peter Salzmann are trying to find out.