Wingsuit = flying clothes with wings, Birdman suit, bird suit


The story started in the 1950’s with Leo Valentin, a French pioneer in parachuting, who tried to skydive in clothes which bound his hand and legs, likewise the bird wings.

The next skydiver, who took courage to build the prototype of the Bird suit, was the famous and really experienced


French skydiver Patrick de Gayardon. Thanks to the modern technique and materials, he developed the first model which was put on the market. He made experiments successfully for long years until 1998, when unfortunately he died while testing a new modification to his parachute container.

In 1999 Jari Kuosma of Finland, Robert Pečnik of Croatia and Robert Pecnik from Croatia teamed up to developed the Patrick de Gayardon’s prototype and create the first classic wing suit that was offered to the general public under the legendary BirdMan brand in the same year. The suits have become better from year to year; getting bigger and bigger wing area and more types of wing suit has evolved in accordance with the skill level of the jumpers.  Jari Kuosma has established the First Flight Program (which grow to be a world-wide instructor program to these days), to train the jumpers by official Birdman instructors, providing safe use of wingsuit and skydiving in this way. In our days many manufacturers put similar suit on the market, but Birdman, which was the classic founder of wingsuit, remained the biggest producer of these special clothes.

The wingsuit craze reached Hungary in 2002, when two adventurous young man (Zsolt Bárány and Csaba Szörényi) visit to Croatia to participate in a test-weekend organized by Birdman, where they could try the wingsuit for the first time. Following this weekend, making the most of their financial resources, they acquired the first wingsuit in Hungary, since when the wingsuit flying has spread in the country like wildfire. The First Fly Course (within the Program) fulfilled more then 70 people in Hungary, which is educated by Hungarian Wingsuit instructors (Gábor Verebes, Tamás Sztojcsev, Zalán Szilágyi, Zoltán Dolhai, Vince Tímár, Mónika Szabó, Csaba Szörényi) free of charge to anyone who has the required minimum 200 skydives. Spreading of this branch of parachuting was brought into being many different contests in the entire world, as the Hungarian Wingsuit Boogie is arranged in every July (the third took place in 2009) in Hungary. Jumpers of the championship wear GPS, and the data reveal who is able to fly in the best angle during the free fly.

A normal belly flyer skydiver has approx. 200 km/h vertical speed toward the ground. With wingsuit of present day, the horizontal speed can be increased 3-4 times more than the vertical speed is, which means that at 50 km/h vertical speed the jumper can fly with 200km/h horizontal speed, reaching the glide ratio 4.