Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Airkix!

Rebecca (my daughter) and I finally got to use our Airkix vouchers last weekend! Chris bought me a voucher for my birthday, and Becca liked the idea so much that we got her a voucher for her birthday, so we all went to the Xscape Centre at Milton Keynes on Saturday to use them!

The Airkix website gives you a pretty good idea of what it's all about, but you really have to experience it; the sensation is predictable enough but I hadn't expected it to be so tricky to maintain a precise position. You need to find a stable body-shape, and then to make all adjustments slowly. And as you have only two 1-minute flights, you have to learn all this quite quickly.

Becca is very athletic and supple, so she found the right shape almost immediately. It took me (a much older, creakier body!) a while longer, but I got there. And we have a DVD of our session to prove it! Must try to get some of that on to this site.

The tunnel equipment is awesome - I have no idea how powerful the fans are, but air is drawn from a very wide base area up through a funnell-walled section into the chamber (which isn't very big), which increases the velocity of the airstream. I didn't watch the instruments but I believe the windspeed is in excess of 100mph. There's a fine degree of control available too: they reduce the windspeed for smaller, lighter flyers, or when someone accidentally ends up too high.

This was huge fun! I've always wanted to experience free-fall, but I'm a still a bit scared of parachuting. This is the only other way...

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