With the progress of science being as it is, almost anything is possible. Who said man couldn’t fly?
Last Wednesday, a group of 12 Upper Fourth students got onto a bus, and were driven to a place called Airkix, in Basingstoke. The drive was long, and many Tic-Tacs and Polos were shared – everyone was very excited – we were going to fly.
Airkix is a large building, the main feature of which is a huge wind tunnel. This is a large tube, made of transparent plastic, which blows air from underneath at up to 100 miles per hour, resulting, as you might imagine, in flight. All you have to do is lean over, into the tunnel, and whoosh, up you go. As we found out, it is not that easy.
When we arrived, Mr Darvill and Miss Reebye, who were leading the trip, had to do some paperwork, and so we watched the large screens on the lobby walls, which showed live footage from the wind tunnel. We saw lots of falling, funny faces, and many, many crashes into the walls, mostly resulting in landing on the mesh floor. Of course, we were all sure that we would be fine.
When we had had lunch, we were called into the training room, where we watched a short video initiating us into the sport of indoor skydiving, which we were about to discover. A few basic hand signals were demonstrated – chin up, legs bent, etc. – and then we got on our goggles, earplugs (that much wind makes a lot of noise) and overalls. In we went. The tunnel had a little compartment for those who were waiting to have their go, and this was sealed off from the rest of the building.
It was brilliant. You feel so light, the air rushing into your face, and trying to control your movement is near impossible, and there was lots of bouncing off walls; but everyone loved it. That feeling of weightlessness that we all want to experience, well, that’s what we got. Some people were more successful, and managed to go higher, into a sort of extension going even further up, and some stayed nearer the ground, but everyone came out smiling. If given the chance, I am certain we would all go again! Miss Reebye had a go too and proved to be very good at controlling her movement around the tunnel. Thank you to Mr Darvill for organising this lovely trip, and to Miss Reebye.
Upper Fourth Student