Vol. 11 - August 2000 - English Edition The Magazine from Skydive World

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[updated: 08/10/00]

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skyXtreme - German Editon
Not just a translation but some different content too!

The Daily Cartoon

The Hunger Site

© 2000 Henny Wiggers
© 2000 Henny Wiggers


Le Grand Saut
A French Skydiver's Dream

Many skydivers dream about being a champ or setting a world record once in their lifetime, some reach this goal, some don't. But as 56-year-old French skydiver Michel Fournier proves, it's never too late to try the supposed impossible. Michel Fournier sticks to his dream, and is preparing for "Le Grand Saut" (The Big Jump) and one world record isn't enough for him! He's plans to break four world records in a high altitude jump equipped with stratospheric equipment to help science. The jump will take place in September in Plaine de la Crau in the South of France.
The first record will be the altitude. It will be the first parachute jump superior to 40.000 meters (125,000 ft) - more than four times higher than a passenger jet!
Currently, Russian chief warrant officer Roger Eugène Andreyev possesses the world record with a jump of 24,483 meters made on November 1, 1962. Nevertheless, the Captain Joseph Kittinger made a jump in 31,333 meters on August 16, 1960 within the framework of a scientific experiment. However, his fall was not ratified as he stabilized with the help of a small parachute.

The second record will be the altitude of human flight in a balloon. It will take Michel about two hours with a stratospheric balloon to reach 125,000 feet.
Former record holders were Malcom Ross (USA), who made a flight in a balloon at 34.668 meters of altitude in May 1961, and Nick Piantanida (USA) who reached 37.000 meters of altitude on February 2, 1966.

Photo © Michel Fournier

The third world record will be the speed of freefall. It will be the first time that a man will go through the sound barrier in freefall. Michel aims to hit a supersonic top speed of just over 1,100 mph. He believes he will break the 760 mph sound barrier after falling for just 37 seconds, then hit his top speed of 1,113 mph at 51 seconds.
Finally the fourth world record will be the length of the freefall, which will last 6 minutes and 25 seconds.
As Michel hurtles head-first through the stratosphere, his £30,000 (US $45,000) carbon fiber suit will protect him from temperatures of minus 60F (-50 degrees celsius). Michel will go up in a huge stratospheric balloon, with a volume of 455.000 m3, inflated with helium. The balloon is able to lift up a load of 900 kg at an altitude of 40.000 meters. Its mass is 907 kg. Its height is 90 meters and is 105 meters in diameter. The basket is like a very small space vehicle, totally automated, controlled from the ground and ensuring the following functions: survival, cold protection, protection against U.V. rays, radio contact and transmission, film and picture contact and transmission, and protection against cosmic rays.

Continued on Page 2


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skyXtreme Newsletter

Last Update: August 14, 2000

News & Articles

 Current News
   [updated: 08/10/00]


SSI Northeast Double-Header

Space Games 2000 Season

Speed 60-Way Competition

Canadian Nationals Review

Speed Skydiving Results

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The Richmond Boogie

Espace Boogie 2000

Queen Boogie

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 Events & Courses

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 NSL News [USA]
[updated: 08/14/00]
This week in the NSL

 SSI Pro Tour

What's new in the tour?

Freefly & Skysurf Events 2000

 Safety Issues
[updated: 08/05/00]

Fatality in Norway

Jump Plane Pilot Killed

First Time Jumper Died

Fatality in Bolivia

BASE Jumpers Died In Plane Crash

Sitfly Tips from Pat Works

The Ten Commandments of Skydiving

Action Man Skydiver

Action Man Skydiver

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