International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Coming to Florida
The 30,000-square-foot museum will house both a traditional vertical wind tunnel and the first-ever wingsuit wind tunnel in the United States.
Image Credit: skydivingmuseum.org
Construction crews are slated to break ground in late 2022 on what will easily become the biggest skydiving attraction in the history of the United States… the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame.
The 30,000-square-foot attraction, estimated to cost upwards of $45 million, will be built down the street from Walt Disney World, just south of Orlando, Florida in Osceola County.
The museum will house a variety of interactive skydiving exhibits, covering topics from the history of skydiving technology (both indoor and outdoor) all the way back to the year 1100 AD, world records and competitions (including skydives from outer space), iconic figures in the sport, and the science behind bodyflight, as well as a number of virtual reality simulators.
Visitors will have the ability to don VR goggles throughout the museum, experiencing all the exhibits from a visceral, in-the-action perspective. One simulator will ostensibly allow visitors to replicate a jump anywhere in the world, whether tandem, AFF, or static line, and try on skydiving gear themselves.
Museum guests will start their visit traveling inside a custom-designed elevator dubbed the “Flight to Altitude,” designed to mimic a jump plane ascending to jump altitude, and conclude their visit in a drop-zone hangar. Among other exhibits, memorable skydiving scenes from famous Hollywood movies will be broken down by the stunt professionals who created them, explaining how they were shot, the challenges entailed, what was real and what was fake. Another exhibit, “The Military Connection,” will showcase the history of military parachuting and honor the contributions military jumping has made to civilian skydiving (and vice versa), while another attraction, the “Pre-Flight Atrium,” will consist of a massive video wall featuring skydiving videos visible through the atrium’s glass window wall, even at great distances.
In addition to the museum and hall of fame, the site will house two wind tunnels open for museum guests, according to Jim McCormick, Director of Development. One will be a traditional vertical wind tunnel, though the operator responsible for the tunnel’s construction has yet to be announced.
The second tunnel will be a wingsuit tunnel, the first of its kind in the United States, and only the second in the world. In this tunnel participants will don a wingsuit, hooked into a harness for stability, and then experience lateral wingsuit flight, propelled by a horizontal air column blowing at them head on.
The tunnel will be built and managed by Swedish brand Indoor Wingsuit Stockholm, sponsor of the Wing Games, an indoor wingsuit flying championship. The brand’s co-founder, Peter Georen, was the first man in history to fly with a wingsuit in a sloping wind tunnel.
Like a conventional vertical wind tunnel, this wingsuit tunnel will be available for first-timers, non-skydivers, and children, allowing them the opportunity to experience a semblance of wingsuit flight.
While the groundbreaking for the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame has yet to be officially scheduled, McCormick was hopeful that it would occur sometime between late 2022 and late 2023, with total construction completed some 12 to 18 months later, and the attraction ideally open to the public by sometime in 2025.
Published: December 10, 2021 | Last Updated: December 10, 2021
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