Wingsuit pilots make defying gravity a daily occurrence, but it’s the wingsuits that make it possible.
Wingsuits are sometimes called birdman suits, flying squirrel suits, or bat suits, and it’s easy to see why. Modern wingsuits seem like gear out of a sci-fi movie – the idea of soaring through the air like a bird was once thought an impossibility. The one defining feature all wingsuits have in common is their signature shape. This aerodynamic design allows Adrenalists to soar through the air, whether it be with the grace of a bird or the intensity of a jet.
Here are five of the best wingsuit models on the market.
Venom – Use for Freefall Time
The Venom is part of the premium, high-performance “V” (victory) series from Phoenix-Fly. The Venom’s powerful selling point is that it is designed for maximum freefall time, so you get to enjoy a full bout of the exhilarating experience of flying. The Venom has unparalleled gliding abilities and plenty of thrust.
The Venom builds on the success of the first Stealth 2 and Vampire 3 wingsuit models. Phoenix Fly proudly mixes the best of both models, bringing several new features to the veteran wingsuit pilot who is use to virtually living up in the sky. The best feature is the super-fast start in the BASE field, as the Venom enables you to fly almost immediately from exit – no gut-wrenching drop required.
Havok – Use for Agility
The word “havoc” may not be the most comforting thought when you are gliding through the air, hundreds of feet above the ground. Rest assured, the Havok wingsuit will indeed sustain you as you soar through the sky. This wingsuit model targets top-tier wingsuit pilots seeking a high-performance suit that does not sacrifice agility. The Havok takes a page from the high-performance Ghost wingsuit’s book. The exception, however, is that it is flown hands-free, which allows for a unique level of agility to the proven platform. Like the Ghost wingsuit, the Havok sets out to provide a solid balance of performance and fun, heightened by an amazing sense of responsiveness. Nimble flying, great forward thrust and thrilling freefalls are all possible with the Havok. Features include “deep-cut booties” made from automotive grade leather for increased durability and air-locked back inlets designed to guarantee good inflation while back flying.
Vampire 5 – Use for Proximity Flying
The Vampire 5 wingsuit is for pilots seeking maximum proximity flying performance. That means precise, agile control and high forward speed, which have made the Vampire the chief choice for experienced wingsuit pilots, BASE jumpers and skydivers. Proving that wingsuit design is far more complicated than you might think, the Vampire 5 wingsuit is the product of 12 years of non-stop research and development. Top-of-the-line features include foam lining at the knee area, rigid wingtip grippers and adjustable arm tension swoop cords. The model’s distinctive mag-lock system keeps the tail out of your way until you need it. Phoenix-Fly describes Vampire 5 as the most agile high performance suit it has ever produced.
Viper – Use for Maximum Distance
The Viper wingsuit is aimed at pilots eager to attain maximum flight performance in distance and time. The suit’s unmatched flight capability makes it the suit of choice for competitive wingsuit skydivers and veteran wingsuit BASE jumpers. Designed and tested for maximum performance in both BASE and skydiving scenarios, the Viper is the newest supplement to the Phoenix-Fly high-performance V suit series. The Viper features a streamlined, low-drag design, optimized with booties integrated into the wing allowing for maximum agility and control. The tailored leg-wing deflector eases airflow over the top of the suit. The result is smoother deployment, more speed and greater lateral stability. The high-performance suit that builds on the success of the Vampire series stems from a decade of constant research and development.
Shadow 2 – Use for Acrobatics
The Shadow 2 builds on the success of the Phantom 2 wingsuit and the Acro wingsuit – the latter being the first acrobatic suit to hit the market. The Shadow 2 includes rear inlets, necessary for back flying, and offers countless opportunities to pilots game for acrobatics, freestyle flying and BASE jumping. The wingsuit’s design boosts the suit’s maneuverability, which is great for both acrobatics and docked flight. The Shadow 2 travels the “mono-wing” way, meaning it is easier and more intuitive to execute sharp turns, solid carves, rolls, dives and swoops. It also boasts straight-cut arm sleeves, which enable your arms to be flown with the biceps at the leading edges, letting your shoulders be more flexible and bolstering precision and agility.
Aura – Use for Performance
Wingsuits have experienced a huge amount of innovation in the past couple of years, but the new wingsuit from Squirrel, dubbed the Aura, is a step closer in the pursuit of the perfect wingsuit. The Aura is the crown jewel of Squirrel’s wingsuit line, and is described as “the best balance of high performance glide and agility ever experienced.” The Aura can dive down into steep lines as well as reach distant landing areas. With the its impressive glide, speed and agility capabilities, the Aura is fit to satisfy the most extreme and demanding wingsuit pilots in their pursuits. Features include its “innie-outie” feature, which allows the wearer to seamlessly transition from BASE mode (with the harness inside) to Skydive Mode (harness outside), the “force feed,” an important safety feature that allows for maximum intake to drag ratio, and an increased leg-wing volume for more efficient flying.