A. BRIEF HISTORY
Horizontal wind tunnels were created as early as 1800 to study the impact of air currents on the body. With the development of military aeronautics from 1910 onwards and following the First World War,the major nations began to build larger scale wind tunnels.
In 1964, Jack Tiffany was the first person to fly inside a vertical wind tunnel at the Wright-Patterson air base in Greene, USA.
The first vertical wind tunnel built solely for commercial use opened its doors in Las Vegas in the summer of 1982, and the first wind tunnel for sporting use opened in Orlando, Florida, a few years later.
In the early 21st century, the development of wind tunnels intensified and then boomed towards the end of the 2000s.
B. WIND TUNNELS TODAY, In France AND WORLDWIDE
List of wind tunnels in France
|Open||Aerokart||Argenteuil (95)||2002||Custom Built|
|Open||FlyZone||Lézignan-Corbières (11)||2012||Custom Built|
|Open||Flydust||Les Sables d’Olonnes (85)||2016||Tornado|
|Open||iFLY Lyon||Saint-Priest (69)||2016||SkyVenture|
|Open||iFLY Paris||Paris (75)||2016||SkyVenture|
|Open||On’Air Soufflerie||Tallard (05)||2016||Custom Built|
|Open||Sky Circus Simulateur||Champforgeuil (71)||2016||Tornado|
|Open||Weembi||Lesquin (59)||2016||Strojirna Litvinov|
|Open||Airfly Bretagne||La Mézière (35)||2018||Tornado|
|Announced||Full Fly||Mérignac (33)||2019||Strojirna Litvinov|
|Announced||iFLY Aix-Marseille||Bouc-Bel-Air (13)||2019||SkyVenture|
|Announced||zerOGravity||Chasseneuil-du-Poitou (86)||2019||Indoor Skydiving Germany (ISG)|
|Announced||Windalps||Chambéry (73)||2020||Custom Built|
|Announced||Skydive Arena Paris||Paris (75)||2021||Strojirna Litvinov|
In January 2018 THERE WERE 160 WIND TUNNELS IN OPERATION WORLD WIDE 36 UNDER construction and 78 announced.
Skydiving has its own competitive disciplines and regulations
4 Way Formation Skydiving (FS4) is the earliest free fall discipline. It was identically reproduced for skydiving.
Each team of four skydivers must complete a sequence of 5 or 6 different formations as many as times as possible in a horizontal position known as “flat tracking”. The time allotted for completing these formations is 35 seconds. The purpose of the challenge is to complete the highest possible number of formations during this working time.
Dynamic 2 Way: Two competitors per team face off in duels judged on artistry and speed. During these confrontations, they must complete non-stop choreographed movements in three spatial dimensions. They involve multiple diving positions. Whether head-up, flat, head-down or back-down, the competitors are continuous motion. During speed rounds, the judges give penalties for inexact trajectories. The mandatory sequence is judged on speed. During the artistic rounds, the team must develop its own original choreography. This is scored according to different criteria such as technique, synchronisation, fluidity, etc. In D2W, artistic rounds last 60 seconds.
Dynamic 4 Way is practised in the same way as D2W. Teams have four performers and one substitute. Rounds are 90 seconds long. In wind tunnel skydiving, Freestyle is taken from Freestyle from a plane. Just as with freestyle skydiving, Freestyle Open is a solodiscipline. The competitor presents compulsory and free routines. The compulsory routines are often gymnastic, involving many backward flips, for example. The free routines are put together by the competitor and can be performed to music. Athletic choreography (1 min) is synchronised to music, which provides the illusion of aerial dancing. The scores for each round are added together to determine the final result.
Vertical Relative Work (VRW) is one of the most recent skydiving disciplines and by far the most technical. Performed in teams of 4, it is extremely dramatic. The teams must complete a maximum of four formations in head-up and head-down orientation, within an allotted time. VRW is an adaptation of Relative Work in the vertical plane. It also involves movements and blocks that must be performed within an allotted time. Performing this discipline to a high standard involves excellent technique,as four people mustmove through three dimensions within a restricted space. The French team is the team that, witout doubt, has won the most medals since this discipline was first created.
D. CHAMPIONSHIPS AND CUPS
In France, skydiving is affiliated to the Fédération Française de Parachutisme (French Skydiving Association), which has created French teams and teams within France, and organises national and international competitions. International competitions are organised under the aegis of the FAI (World Air Sports Federation). However, independent organisations also organise events.
National teams have been created.
French championships and cups
2006: First French and worldwide championship organised by the Fédération Française de Parachutisme (FFP).
2018: First French cup organised by the FFP.
World championships and cups
2014: Spearheaded by France, the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) and the International Parachuting Commission officially recognise a worldwide skydiving competition. The first world cup takes place in Austin, USA.
2015: First edition of world skydiving championships, in Prague.
2016: Second world cup, in Warsaw.
2017: Second world skydiving cup in Laval, Canada. 23 countries, 250 competitors, five disciplines: 4 Way Formation Skydiving, Vertical Relative Work, Dynamic 2 way, Dynamic 4 way and FreeStyle.
2019: Lille will host the third world skydiving championship.
COMPETIONS IN FRANCE AND WORLDWIDE
Other international competitions
Just like the FAI championships, many independent international competitions bring together the world’s best competitors.
Bodyflight World Challenge
One of the oldest and most renowned competitions in formation skydiving and Freestyle.
An itinerate competition dedicated exclusively to Dynamic skydiving, organised from 2012 to 2015.
The Wind Games
This international yearly competition that has become one of the most important skydiving competitions has taken place every year since 2014 in Empuriabrava, Spain, and brings together 200 participants.
The SakuraCup is a competition dedicated to Dynamic skydiving, first organised in 2018 and is organised once a year up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, 2020. The best dynamic teams are invited to compete at this prestigious event.
Clash of Champions Dubai, Bahrain, Clash of Lyons…
Many meetings are organised every year offering winners prize money.
TOWARDS OLYMPIC STATUS
A. THE OLYMPICS
The Icarus Myth
Man has always dreamed of being able to fly like a bird. The ancient Greek myth of Icarus reminds us of this fact. There is no doubt that if the Greeks had been able to fulfil this dream then sky diving would have been part of the ancient Olympics! Today, skydivingallows people to move in a rising air current without using any specific equipment. In this way, air, along with water and earth, become the third element,dreamt of by the Greeks, that has so far been absent and which will challenge sports people from all countries to reach the highest possible level.
An Olympic discipline?
To date, skydiving is not an Olympic discipline. But, for decades, making skydiving part of the Olympic family has been the goal for all French and international skydivers. They symbolism of having this happen in 2024 is even greater as it marks 230 years since the first ever parachute jump.
Paris and skydiving;a long history that will be heightened by theaddition of skydiving as an Olympic sport.
Skydiving, with its wealth of specialities (dance to music, duals, speed, etc.) can be fully adapted to the Olympic format. To achieve Olympic status it relies on a wide base of practitioners that are a fertile ground from which high level sports people can emerge – and it is not restricted to an elite. Because this discipline is accessible to everyone, the able bodied and the disabled, the very young (5 years) – and athlete’s can develop in line with their ambitions.
LEGITIMATE INCLUSION AS AN OLYMPIC SPORT.
B. THE FFP
The Fédération Nationale des Parachutistes Français (FNPF), created on 10 December, 1949, under the tutelage of the Light and Sports Aviation Department of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, became the Fédération Française de Parachutisme(French Skydiving Federation) on 10 December 1968. The FFP has since 1961 been recognised as the only organisation that represents the activities of sports skydiving. Its goal is to promote, organise, direct and coordinate skydiving in all its forms.
IT IS A MEMBER OF THE:
FRENCH NATIONAL OLYMPIC AND SPORTS COMMITTEE
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF AERONAUTICAL AND SPORTS FEDERATIONS
EUROPEAN PARATROOPERS ASSOCIATION
INTERNATIONAL AERONAUTICAL FEDERATION
56 schools secure student training and provide a framework for activity at all levels, including :
22commercial schoolsand 5 indoor wind tunnels
The President, David Roth
The President of the Federationpresides over General Meetings, the Steering Committee and the Governing Board. He authorises expenditure and represents the federation in all areas of public life and before the courts. The 4-year term can be extended only once.
National Technical Director: Jean-Michel Poulet
Philippe SCHORNO: Relative Vertical Work, DynamicWay and Free Style Work Coordinator
Mathieu BERNIER: Formation Skydiving
The FFP skydiving project
Althoughcurrently sports people use wind tunnels as a place to train, many teams also compete in both sports (wind tunnel skydiving and free fall skydiving). In future, the worldwide standard in both wind tunnel skydiving and free fall skydiving will be so high that it will be necessary to specialise.
Innovative and accessible from the age of 5 (15 for jumps from planes), the Federation uses this feature to draw a new audience, create new categories of licenced practitioners so that skydivers can progress more quickly, and promote competition in an exponential way. The Federation decided to create specialist French junior and senior teams in competitive skydiving by relying on the development of this discipline and its appeal to young people.
2018 is a landmark year in which the FFP will define a certain number of criteria: the requirements needed to achieve the highest level in the world skydiving championship, the number of training hours, a programme of training cycles, individual abilities.
In free fall skydiving, working time is limited and, having left the plane, there are around 50 seconds of free fall, which means a performance can only be repeated once the parachute is folded and the plane has been re-boarded (around 35 minutes). However, wind tunnels make it possible to link consecutive training sessions of 10, 20 or 30 minutes. The FFP will circumscribe the capacity for absorbing volume while taking into account the importance of maintaining the integrity of the sport and its practitioners.
It will therefore be essential to find a good balance of adequate preparation so that practitioners can continue to progress without this leading to over training or injury, as wind tunnels have revolutionised jump techniques and sports people have significantly increased the number of hours flown.
The FFP is in the process of providing structure to this physical training, which must be specific and linked to the internal logic of the sporting discipline. Sports people will be able to benefit from an apprenticeship, including sessions that involve far greater physical effort.To practice to a high level, it is essential to master the air current, which can reach speeds of up to 280 or 300 km/hour. This mastery will necessarily involve training using parameters that are yet to be defined, and the French Parachuting Federation is committed to setting these limits.
Linking the Fédération Française de Parachutisme with its Olympic involvement to the #Paris2024 initiative involves the same sporting objectives of recognising excellence and mobilising all practitioners.
Having taken part in many European and worldwide competitions but, above all, having organised many French and world championships, the FFP has the experience needed to support the steering committee to run the event well. Upstream, by relying on the World Air Sports Federationand the Aéroclub de France, it will be committed to creating many partnerships with international federations in order to move this issue forward over time.
The wish for skydiving to become an Olympic sport is a passionate, inspiring challenge that is open to everyone. It will only be achieved by manifestly, clearly and fully mobilising the entire and broad family of skydivers, worldwide.
France, a skydiving nation
2 world championships
13 committed teams
6 goal medals
2 silver medals
3 bronze medals
2 world cups
12 committed teams
2 gold medals
3 silver medals
1 bronze medal
Fédération Française de Parachutisme
62 rue de Fécamp 75012 Paris
Tel: 01 53 46 68 68 www.ffp.asso.fr
Phoebus Communication – Marie-Luce Bozom – 06 15 15 63 20