Back in the dawn ofaviation, in the 1920s,
wing-walking was anincredibly dangerous stunt.
Daredevils would get out of the seat
in their plane and just clamber around the wings with nothing but their own strength.
Maybe there’d be a pole at the top they
could attach to once they were up there,
but mostly it was just them and their strength
against 100mph wind.
Now there are still a very small number
of folks in the world
who do wing-walking that way,
but in the 21st century,
wing-walking is a little bit different.
Hahaha! Oh, yes! Oh, wow.
We go roughly from 80 to 160mph
various in between that.
And we’ll pull up to 4g,
so it’s a huge strain on our bodies
and we’re doing manoeuvres,so we’ll lift our legs up,
we can do handstands andwe’ll also move around.
It’s like resistance training,it’s really hard work.
In the loop, we’ll getto about 4g at the bottom
and then as soon as wego over the top we start waving,
cause that’s the nice weightless bit,
so it’s easier to start then,
than start when you’re going really quickly.
You have about a monthof intense training.
You practise everythingon the ground first
and then you just go up in the air and do it repetitively.
You fly everyday, all day,so it’s absolutely knackering.
At Eastbourne Airshow, we take off from an airfield near Brighton
and we fly along the coast for 20 minutes
and then they climb up onto the wing,
so they climb up in flight.
On the transit flight,
the procedure for them to climb onto the wing
is for them to unstrap their main seat harness,
but at all times
they have a carabiner whichslides up and down the wire.
Their cable is about 60cm long,
so they can never be more than 60cm away from the centre line of the aircraft.
Once they get up onto the wing,
the carabiner is then behind them,
still attached and then they strap themselvesinto the five point harness,
which is on the swivel rig on the wing
and at that point,
of course, and then they have two methods of attachment.
That’s totally different to the 1920s!
As a civilian, this is a thrill ride.
This is something that you can pay for.
You can get yourself strapped into this,
and then just experience it.
And yes, this is still a little bit dangerous.
We had to wait for five minutes before taking off
because there were birds, and a bird strike
at this sort of speed could be lethal.
And if this plane has problems,
I am in a really vulnerable position
and there is nothing that I can do about it.
But it is safe enough that they can get insurance for this,
they can run it legally,
and they do have a perfect safty record.
Wingwalking in the 21st century has to find a match
between safty and impressing the folks on the ground.
The main difference whenhaving someone on the wing
is that there is a significant amount of drag from that person.
It’s a bit like flying an aircraft with your gear and flaps down.
You’ll need more power to fly
and you need to check the trim as well,
because the people on the wing provide a forward centre of gravity.
So at the end of the show,
we’ll chat to everyone
and they’ll tell us what they enjoyed.
通常 问题集中在我们的翻转动作 人们不相信我们系了安全带
Usually, it’s when we do the rolls and we go upside down,because they can’t quite believe that we’re strapped on.
From the air, you can’t see our wire.
It’s all a bit of an illusion,
so it looks like we’re not attached,
and they’re like “Oh my gosh!”
So it’s a bit of a daredevil thing they think is going on as well.
Kids come up to us all the time,
especially young girls that are doing gymnastics and think
“oh my gosh, that’s incredible!”
So it’s really nice to feel like you’re a bit of a role model for people.
That is exhausting.
That is one of the most physically strenuous things,
I think I’ve ever done.