This is Ingus Augstkalns, a Latvian professional skydiver.
Here he is lifting off.
Go, Ingus, go!
You may notice there’s something different about Ingus’s skydive.
Maybe he’s using a different kind of helmet?
Or maybe it’s a new type of jacket…?
Or it could be the 28-propeller drone that’s carrying him into the skies like a falcon that’s caught a mouse.
The mega-drone, made by a company called Aerones, lifted Augstkalns to a height of 330 meters (~1,082 feet) before he let go and opened his parachute.
The company specializes in making drones that carry heavy payloads, and it previously recorded towing a snowboarder with one. The company has also posted videos of drones used for firefighting and emergency rescue.
Augstkalns said he took part in the test because he believes that in the next four years, drones will be much more widely used, and he wanted to be part of that future. He also said, “It’s always fun to do something new to challenge engineers and myself” and that he’d like to have a similar drone to use recreationally. Augstkalns’ definition of “fun” is up for debate.
Here’s a video of the skydiver’s ascent and jump:
Augstkalns said Aerones conducted several tests using 90kg (~198 lb.) bags to approximate his weight, and the company also used the drone to carry him over water at low altitude.
Skydivers often go much higher than Augstkalns did — a typical dive starts between 12,000 and 18,000 feet above the ground. There are also often several seconds of free fall in a normal dive before the diver must open the parachute, whereas Augstkalns needed to open his immediately.
Aerones said that its skydiving drone won’t be commercially available anytime soon because the company is focusing on producing its firefighting drone.
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