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Base Jump de l'Aiguille du Midi (Chamonix)

Wingsuit proximity flying

Sauts au-dessus de la vallée de Chamonix par deux voies différentes. La première, au ras des sapins. La seconde au-dessus du glacier des Bossons.

Cette discipline imite la nature.

Ground effect is a absolutely a thing, but not for any benefit with a wingsuit.

  • First, you need a smooth surface for ground effect. Runways, open water, etc... Not a tree canopy or jagged glacier.
  • Second, ground effect only comes into play when at an altitude no greater than the wing span, or in this case arm span. At no point in this video was anyone that close to the ground.
  • Third, the benefits of ground effect are small. The other posts here described ground effect as 'extra lift' or a 'cushion of air'. That is not the case. It is a reduction in drag, specifically, lift induced drag.
    When a wing produces lift, it creates lift induced drag in the form of a wingtip vortices and downwash. Flying near a parallel surface significantly reduces and smooths these out. The wing becomes more efficient.
    Mostly the effect is seen as a negative. For example. when taking off a plane will be given a false sense of being at safe flying speed, only to get above the ground effect, have the induced drag kick in and experience a stall. When landing a plane may incur ground effect and seem to float as drag is reduced and overshoot the runway.
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