In a remarkable feat of bravery and skill Swiss entrepreneur and skydiver Marc Hauser has become the first person to make a free fall jump into the Jet Stream, the high altitude winds that whip around the planet.
Wearing just a normal skydiving suit and with a limited oxygen supply Marc leapt from the balloon at a height of 7,400 meters in -40 degrees temperatures into a 137 kph jet stream. Flying at a near 45° angle Marc reached a top speed of 270kph at 5,600m before deploying his parachute at 2,000m and landing at a farm near Forbes, 290km west of Sydney, Australia. In free fall he covered a horizontal distance of 5,9km/ 3.66miles.
"It's a huge relief to have turned my vision of a jet stream jump into reality.
The complexities were enormous. So many factors had to fall into place at exactly the right moment, starting with the weather, the flight clearance and the availability of an extraordinary team. Every single one is a world leading expert in his field and was essential to minimize risks in this extremely hostile environment."
The jump was intended to highlight the untapped energy in high altitude winds that have the potential to supply large quantities of wind power. Later this year, BBC World News will air a documentary on Marc’s jump and the fascinating science behind high altitude winds and the attempts to harness their energy.
Made by award-winning documentary filmmaker Claudio von Planta, the documentary crew has tracked Marc on each step of his journey discovering the technical obstacles he had to overcome as well as exploring the cutting edge science behind high altitude wind generation.
From the beginning i was keen to combine my passion for flying with a higher cause. I am convinced there is huge potential to solve many energy issues with better and smarter use of wind power. Hopefully my jet stream record will draw attention to these ideas and lead to more engineering inventions.
Marc had also been hoping to break his own world record for the fastest ‘speed tracking’ flight of 304 kph. However, technical issues in the balloon forced an earlier than planned exit. The additional tail wind in the Jet Stream should have powered Marc past his earlier World Record set in 2012. Marc was not wearing a wingsuit in either of these jumps.
Formex supported Marc throughout the project. In fact, Formex CEO Raphael Granito got himself a skydiving license to jump out a balloon on a test jump together with Marc. So much to "we practice what we preach".
Rent or buy the Documentary at https://www.journeyman.tv/film/7539/chasing-the-jet-stream. Amazon Prime members can watch it for free!