Wing-mounted flight: This is not a game that can be repeated after losing
Not long ago, in Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area, a young girl jumped into her body and became the last adventure in her life. It also allowed the wingsuit flight known as "the most dangerous extreme sports" to enter the eyes of more people.
"Wing-mounted flight allows people to realize the dream of'flying in the sky like a bird', but it is clear that there is a price to achieve this dream." Extreme sports enthusiast Qu Weiping from Inner Mongolia told Sci-Tech Daily, " To carry out a wing-mounted flight, you must first have a scientific understanding of it, which is a prerequisite for protecting your own safety and one of the important meanings of engaging in this sport."
Take a leap forward, supporting the life and death of the airflow
Internationally, wing-mounted flight can be divided into two categories: unpowered winged flight and powered winged flight. Powered wing-mounted flight refers to the installation of power devices such as engines on the equipment worn during flight. Unpowered winged flight, also known as flying squirrel gliding, refers to a winged pilot wearing a flying suit and parachute equipment with two wings, jumping from a plane, hot air balloon, cliff cliff, high-rise building and other heights. The pilot only relies on limb movements to control the gliding direction, and uses the body to perform unpowered aerial flight movements. When the altitude reaches the safety limit, he then opens the parachute to land smoothly.
In contrast, powered wing-mounted flight, with the help of the power device, greatly reduces the degree of "limit" in sports. "The girls killed in the Tianmen Mountain incident used unpowered wing-mounted flight, which is more dangerous and more difficult to operate." Zhang Zhigang, a specially appointed expert of Inner Mongolia Biotechnology Research Institute, told reporters.
Speaking of this accident, Zhang Zhigang said that the process of extreme sports is filled with too many uncertainties, it is difficult to accurately determine the cause of the accident, but it must be closely related to the physical condition, limb movements and air movement of the winged pilot ; Humans are engaged in wing-mounted flight, largely to imitate the flight of a bat, to be precise, to imitate the bat's gliding movement, not the flying method.
"From the moment the winged pilot jumps, without any power device, the person will show a free fall. At this time, grasp the opportunity to accurately and quickly open the wing, and rely on the resistance of the airflow to change the free fall. The key to the entire movement process is, in a sense, life and death at this moment." Zhang Zhigang said.
Zhang Zhigang pointed out that the movement of the airflow is unpredictable and extremely unstable at the peak of the mountain at high altitude. If the winged pilot jumps and encounters a momentary strong airflow that suddenly moves up or down, limb movements are likely to occur. Deformation, or even uncontrollable flipping, will cause the winged pilot to quickly enter a free-fall state. If the physical condition of the winged pilot is excluded, the instantaneous change of airflow is the most likely cause of accident.
"The bat's control of flight is conditioned reflex, which is not the case with human beings. Sudden accidents will seriously affect the psychology, thereby interfering with and restricting people's physical activities. Any mistakes and hesitations are enough to allow the winged pilot to fly in just a few seconds Lost the chance of survival." Zhang Zhigang said.
To challenge the limits, we must first have a scientific understanding
A bat can combine the flapping of its wings with the flexibility of its limbs when flying, so as to hover or continue flying in the air. According to this principle, people use nylon materials with high toughness and tension to design wing-mounted flight suits.
Zhang Zhigang used the laboratory model to demonstrate to the reporter. He said that the most important part of the wing is the stamped inflatable airbag. When the pilot begins to descend in the air, the air will quickly enter the airbag, which will fill the wing with gas and increase the air. Buoyancy to slow down the speed of the flight. "After buoyancy counteracts part of the gravity effect, the wing-mounted pilot can be changed from a free-fall state to a rapid taxi state." Zhang Zhigang said.
A winged pilot looks like a bat when flying in the air. However, through the comparison of the model and the data, it can be found that the winged flight can only imitate the bat's sliding motion, and cannot obtain sufficient buoyancy through limb movements, nor can it switch between flapping wings and free sliding like bats.
Scientists have conducted in-depth research on the aerodynamic principles of bat flight and found that bat and bird flight techniques are significantly different. When the speed of bat flight is slow, the amplitude and manner of bat flapping wings are similar to that of a wasp, which allows bats to Hover in the air and make fast turns in flight.
"During the flight of the bat, the flapping of the wings is very coordinated with the flexibility and elasticity of the wings. For example, the distance required for the bat to rotate 180 degrees during the flight is only half the length of its wingspan. In addition, the bat wingspan It is also effective to ensure that it consumes very little energy during flight to produce the ideal lifting force. These excellent flight performances are derived from evolution and are far from wing-mounted flight equipment." Zhang Zhigang emphasized.
After the wing-mounted flight officially enters the flight state, the flight speed can usually reach 200 kilometers per hour, and the glide ratio of the wing-mounted flight is about 3:1, that is to say, the winged pilot will advance about 3 meters while dropping one meter. . Based on this, Zhang Zhigang suggested that no matter in equipment design or operation design, wing-mounted flight related practitioners should not try to imitate bats, but should focus on ensuring safety, such as improving positioning devices, research and development of communication equipment To make it more sensitive and reliable.
Sky gliding, not just bold enough
In an extreme sports club in Hohhot, Qu Weiping showed reporters a set of flying suits (excluding parachutes) worth more than 100,000 yuan. He said: "In addition to learning aerodynamics and engaging in wing-mounted flight, many other conditions are needed as a basis. In general, you must be cautious."
First of all, there are strict criteria for choosing the starting point for wing-mounted flight. Generally, professional winged pilots will choose high buildings, towers, bridges, cliffs, helicopters, etc. as the starting point. In the vast space where the starting point is the center, there must be no obstacles or obstacles. At the same time, the winged pilot must accurately calculate the wind speed in the surrounding environment before taking off, even to the instantaneous wind speed. During the gliding process, he must keep a clear grasp of the descent speed and altitude at any time, and accurately grasp the opportunity to open the parachute.
Qu Weiping said: "It is not an exaggeration to say that extreme sports are money-burning sports, because the danger of the sport itself determines that its equipment must be advanced and reliable. In addition, GPS locators, cameras, intercom equipment and even infrared Detection equipment is essential. In short, the more complete the equipment, the higher the safety factor of the movement."
However, because the whole process of wing-mounted flight is full of too many uncertainties, from a probabilistic point of view, the advanced degree of equipment cannot be inversely proportional to the probability of an accident. In 2011, 32-year-old Canadian "Flyer" Michael Ungar was killed in an accident in California, USA; in 2013, 41-year-old Mark Sutton was killed in a winged jump helicopter at the border between the Swiss Alps and Switzerland; 2013 The Hungarian winged pilot Victor Kovac, who had won many honors, was killed during a test flight on Tianmen Mountain.
Although there are so many famous failure cases in the front, extreme sports enthusiasts can't stop the pursuit of wing-mounted flight. Qu Weiping told reporters that he had experienced skydiving dozens of times, and now he has gone through a long learning process. He has been looking forward to a real wingsuit flight.
"Wing-mounted flight is developed from high-altitude skydiving. The industry generally believes that even if you have more than 200 skydiving experiences, it is just that you have the basic conditions for flying wing-mounted flight. This is not alarmist. It is undeniable that extreme sports first The challenge is that humans endure the extreme psychological and physical qualities, but safe extreme sports require strict training and scientific and rigorous operating procedures as guarantees, and they cannot act rashly because of "guts". Qu Weiping emphasized.