The Red Bulletin Podcast: The Rise (and Rise) of the Wingsuit
Through the miracles of our modern digital age, the first ever attempt at flying via wingsuit is on YouTube.
This isn’t something from the 1970s, or even the 1960s (there’s that, too)—but from 1912. It’s the grainy, black and white film footage documenting the moment Franco-Austrian inventor (and tailor) Franz Reichelt stepped to the edge of the viewing platform on the Eiffel Tower wearing a massive parachute-wing looking contraption and jumped.
It didn’t end well. But more than a century on, wingsuit flying is both a legitimate, regulated sport and industry. Previewing next week’s discussion with wingsuit flyer extraordinaire Jon DeVore, this week’s podcast focuses on the origin of the wingsuit and its transformation from a crappy imitation of something a superhero would wear to a piece of equipment that may one day enable someone to land without the aid of a parachute.