Wingsuit flying (or wingsuiting) is the sport of flying through the air
using a wingsuit which adds surface area to the human body to enable a
significant increase in lift. The modern wingsuit, first developed in the
late 1990s, creates a surface area with fabric between the legs and under
the arms. Wingsuits are sometimes referred to as "birdman suits" (after
the makers of the first commercially available wingsuit), "squirrel suits"
(due to their resemblance to the animal), and "bat suits" (due to their resemblance to the animal or
perhaps the superhero).
A wingsuit flight normally ends by deploying a parachute, and so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude for flight and parachute deployment—normally a skydiving drop aircraft, or BASE-jump exit point such as a tall cliff or a safe mountain top. The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment specially designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. While the parachute flight is normal, the canopy pilot typically unzips arm wings (after deployment) to be able to reach the steering parachute toggles and control the descent path.
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