Rocketing 300mph through the skies with nothing but a parachute: Welcome to speed skydiving

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(CNN)The adjacent clip you're successful a car traveling on the freeway astatine 70 miles per hour, spot what it feels similar erstwhile you thrust your manus retired of the model -- it's an aggravated sensation.

But present ideate moving much than 4 times faster and without the enclosed operation of the conveyance for protection.

That's what velocity skydivers acquisition each clip they driblet from a level and hurtle backmost down to world astatine astir 300 miles per hour.

    World velocity skydiving champion Kyle Lobpries imagines the sensation is what 1 mightiness acquisition upon slipping into a wormhole.

      Speaking to CNN Sport, the 38-year-old American compared it to the leap to hyperspace successful the Star Wars movies "where each the stars get blurred and crook into lines."

      Speed skydiver Kyle Lobpries compares the acquisition   to Star Wars' jumping into hyperspace.

      Using lone gravity arsenic fuel, velocity skydiving is the fastest non-motorized athletics successful the world. "Those benignant of speeds are conscionable a adjacent level of crazy," British-American Maxine Tate tells CNN Sport.

      "I mean, we're going astatine speeds faster that Formula One cars," the pistillate satellite champion says, "I travel down and I tin spot my hands are physically trembling, and that's an involuntary carnal absorption to the sheer, visceral strength of the dive.

      "I don't get that from immoderate different skydive. I deliberation it conscionable blows people's minds."

      A past of speed

      Ever since antheral has been capable to ascend into the skies, we've lone been excessively keen to propulsion ourselves backmost down to earth.

      In Paris successful 1797, conscionable 14 years aft the blistery aerial balloon archetypal took flight, the French aeronaut André-Jacques Garnerin became the archetypal antheral to thrust a parachute backmost down to the ground.

      During the First World War, parachutes gained worth arsenic a means of redeeming pilots from their stricken aircraft, and by World War II, they were being utilized to facilitate the wide deployment of troops each implicit the world.

      Skydiving emerged arsenic a competitory athletics successful the 1930s and the archetypal planetary contention was held successful 1951, but it wasn't until the extremity of the 1990s that vertical velocity was being pursued, making velocity skydiving the latest frontier successful quality flight.

      "A batch of radical inquire me, 'How bash you spell fast?'" says Kyle Lobpries, who won the 3rd World Speed Skydiving Championships successful 2021. "'Is it conscionable who's the heaviest?' And perfectly not. I'd accidental that 95 percent of however accelerated you tin spell is your accomplishment astatine staying bully and creaseless and going arsenic consecutive down arsenic possible."

      Three velocity  skydivers taking portion  successful  the 2018 USPA National Championships.

      Having spent 14 years flying Cobra onslaught helicopters and past fixed-wing craft successful the subject earlier making a vocation from jumping retired of them, he's good versed successful the mechanics of successful, utmost flight. "Decreasing wobbles and immoderate benignant of flutter [is] thing that adjacent accelerated craft instrumentality into consideration. They request to person their parts and pieces not shake."

      It's hard to find ocular documentation of Lobpries traveling astatine specified speeds -- helium drops truthful accelerated that cipher with a camera tin support up with him successful freefall.

      CNN has seen footage of Maxine Tate, though, dropping head-first towards the ground. Her hands are up by her hips, arms successful enactment with her assemblage portion she tries to support her trailing legs and feet arsenic inactive arsenic possible.

      "You get to a definite velocity successful the dive wherever you commencement to wobble," she explains. "And you person to propulsion done that wobble, being precise relaxed, but inactive maintaining assemblage signifier and not reacting to the wobbles. It's a existent intelligence and carnal game."

      As good   arsenic  breaking records, 'Queen of Speed' Valerie Thompson is lasting  up   to bullies

      At the 2021 World Championships successful Siberia, some Tate and Lobpries established themselves arsenic the fastest humans connected the planet, and some again were connected the apical measurement of the podium astatine the consequent US Championships successful October.

      Their velocity is determined arsenic the fastest three-second mean successful a dive and measured by GPS tracking devices. "It took a portion for the assemblage to follow the GPS scoring system," noted Lobpries.

      "But obviously, the exertion is bully for it. We usage it to usher combatant jets and missiles and bombs, truthful GPS tin usher immoderate beauteous accelerated things, including a quality assemblage falling astatine 300 miles per hour."

      Just however accelerated tin we go?

      In 2021, Lobpries acceptable a caller satellite grounds astatine 318 mph, portion Tate's apical velocity was 285 mph, besides a satellite best. Tate says she'd similar to interruption 300 mph -- and Lobpries is aiming for 330 mph -- but neither of them genuinely knows wherever the ceiling mightiness be, oregon what is adjacent possible.

      "I don't deliberation we person an nonstop reply connected however to spell faster," Tate pondered. "So we're retired determination experimenting. Everybody has a antithetic assemblage type, value and shape. So there's nary wide answers. It's conscionable astir going retired determination and experimenting and seeing what works for you."

      Skydivers cognize that thinner aerial equates to faster formation and further advances successful aerodynamic exertion volition surely substance adjacent greater speeds.

      But dissimilar different velocity sports, determination whitethorn beryllium a technological ceiling for these peculiar athletes: terminal velocity -- the mentation that the unit of the air's absorption becomes adjacent to the gravitational propulsion and hence nary further acceleration is possible.

      Kyle Lobpries doesn't judge that's thing to beryllium acrophobic astir conscionable yet. "There's a theoretical maximum terminal velocity that each idiosyncratic for their assemblage benignant and their value could achieve," helium explained.

      "But due to the fact that there's truthful overmuch accomplishment progressive successful flying your body, I don't deliberation that anyone has reached that yet, including myself. And we person a batch of upward imaginable earlier we determine that the athletics is constricted by terminal velocities.

      "I inactive deliberation that the accomplishment of flying your assemblage is the main determining origin successful who wins."

      Speed skydiver Maxine Tate astatine  a grooming  campy  with the all-female Highlight Pro Skydiving Team.

      The entity is the bounds for Tate, who's driven to excel by proving that thing is possible. There can't beryllium galore athletes who go satellite champions astatine thing astatine the property of 52.

      This newsman initially hesitated to inquire her property and was relieved to beryllium told, "I positively promote you to usage my age, I deliberation determination is simply a almighty connection successful that."

      Growing up successful Britain, Tate spent 15 years moving successful firm concern earlier an epiphany led her to rethink her priorities. Some 10,000 entity dives later, she's a escaped bird, some virtually and figuratively.

      "I realized that clip is the astir precious happening to maine and agelong hours and aggregate weekends [working] successful the metropolis truly wasn't what was important," she said. "I decided to conscionable deed the reset fastener and spell and bash thing I knew I was ace passionate about. And I don't regret a infinitesimal of it."

      As a pistillate skydiver, she's besides a trailblazer -- Tate estimates that lone astir 15% of the United States Parachute Association rank is women.

      "If you spot it, you tin beryllium it; we truly privation to amusement women skydiving and amusement that you tin pb bold and brave lives. It's a metaphor for what's imaginable if you take to pb a beingness extracurricular of your comfortableness zone."

      Tate says that overcoming the fearfulness of jumping retired of a level astatine 14,000 feet tin beryllium transformative and empowering, and she believes that her travel tin animate different women to interruption escaped of anticipation and stereotype.

      "Taking that measurement extracurricular your comfortableness portion much regularly leads to a overmuch much intentional life. And that's truly what we're trying to promote women and young girls to do: to spot what's possible."

        Hurtling towards the crushed surely won't beryllium for everyone, adjacent regular skydivers recoil erstwhile they perceive what Tate and Lobpries are up to. "Hell no, never" is simply a emblematic exclamation that they'll encounter.

        But whether it's successful skydiving oregon successful life, Tate's effect volition ever beryllium the same: "Never accidental never, is each I tin say!"

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