Air we go! Kent adventure park launches Britain’s only outdoor skydiving machine

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Here’s a great way to get a day trip off to a flying start.  

The only outdoor skydiving machine in Britain has launched in the Hangloose Adventure Bluewater park in the town of Dartford, Kent, and it’s said to give visitors the ‘chance to experience the thrill of skydiving against a backdrop of chalk cliffs’.

Visitors can soar up to 16ft (five metres) in the air when flying solo and can go even higher when accompanied by an instructor. Solo professionals, meanwhile, are allowed to fly up to the ride’s maximum height – 33ft (10m) in the air. 

Britain's only outdoor skydiving machine (above) has launched in the Hangloose Adventure Bluewater park in Dartford, Kent

Britain’s only outdoor skydiving machine (above) has launched in the Hangloose Adventure Bluewater park in Dartford, Kent

Video footage shows the ride in action, with thrill-seekers flying upwards on their stomachs and flipping upside down while in mid-air.  

The ride was developed in conjunction with Latvia-based firm Aerodium, which specialises in custom-made vertical wind tunnels.

How does it work? Aerodium explains that a ‘specially designed wind flow’ keeps the flyer in a ‘wind column’. ‘The wind is rushing up at you, holding you as you learn to manoeuvre your body through the air,’ it explains.

For safety, the attraction is enclosed by a ‘special safety net’ and there are padded cushions at the base to ensure a soft landing. 

‘Outdoor or open-air tunnels allow customers to enjoy the true sensation of flying without restrictions,’ Aerodium notes. 

It says that when using an outdoor skydiving machine, rather than an indoor skydiving machine, the experience ‘is more like a free fall flight, gives more freedom and does not limit the view’, as the flyer is not encased by protective glass or other barriers. Indoor skydiving attractions are already in place across the UK, such as the iFly experience in Basingstoke, Manchester and Milton Keynes.   

At Hangloose Adventure, visitors have to be at least eight years old to take flight in the machine and it costs from £50 per person for two one-minute flights, with all the necessary safety equipment provided. 

Thrill-seekers can soar up to 16ft (five metres) in the air - though they can go higher when accompanied by an instructor

Thrill-seekers can soar up to 16ft (five metres) in the air – though they can go higher when accompanied by an instructor

The maximum height that can be reached on the ride is 33ft (10m) in the air, though this can only be achieved by a professional

The ride is said to give visitors the 'chance to experience the thrill of skydiving against a backdrop of chalk cliffs'

The maximum height that can be reached on the ride is 33ft (10m) in the air, though this can only be achieved by a professional. The ride is said to give visitors the ‘chance to experience the thrill of skydiving against a backdrop of chalk cliffs’

The ride was developed in conjunction with Latvian-based firm Aerodium, which specialises in custom-made vertical wind tunnels

The ride was developed in conjunction with Latvian-based firm Aerodium, which specialises in custom-made vertical wind tunnels

For traditional skydiving from a plane, the minimum age for tandem jumps is usually 16 years old. 

Hangloose Adventure’s outdoor skydiving machine joins several exhilarating attractions at the adventure park, which has been built in a former chalk quarry and adjoins the Bluewater shopping centre. 

The site, which is surrounded by 50 acres of parkland and lakes, also boasts the 150ft- (46m) drop Giant Swing, which opened earlier this month, and Skywire, England’s longest zip wire, which launched last year. 

Commenting on the opening, Brooklyn Skeete, Hangloose Adventure Bluewater’s marketing executive, says: ‘We are thrilled our third activity has launched. 

‘With three successful launches under our belt, we’re now offering multi-activity packages to ensure that every visit will be more exciting and adventurous than ever before – saving you up £40 per person!’

'The wind is rushing up at you, holding you as you learn to manoeuvre your body through the air,' Aerodium explains

‘The wind is rushing up at you, holding you as you learn to manoeuvre your body through the air,’ Aerodium explains

Visitors have to be at least eight years old to take flight in the machine and it costs from £50 per person for two one-minute flights.

James Waugh, centre director at Hangloose Adventure, said: 'Our outdoor skydive machine really is a unique experience – there is nothing like it in the UK'

Visitors have to be at least eight years old to take flight in the machine and it costs from £50 per person for two one-minute flights. James Waugh, centre director at Hangloose Adventure, said: ‘Our outdoor skydive machine really is a unique experience – there is nothing like it in the UK’

Hangloose Adventure also boasts the 150ft- (46m) drop Giant Swing, which opened earlier this month

Hangloose Adventure also boasts the 150ft- (46m) drop Giant Swing, which opened earlier this month

Pictured above is Skywire, England's longest zip wire, which opened at Hangloose Adventure last year

Pictured above is Skywire, England’s longest zip wire, which opened at Hangloose Adventure last year 

James Waugh, centre director at Hangloose Adventure, adds: ‘Hot on the heels of the launch of Europe’s biggest swing this month we are delighted to unveil another must-see attraction.

‘Our outdoor skydive machine really is a unique experience – there is nothing like it in the UK. ‘It creates a triple-whammy of adrenalin-fuelled fun activity here at Bluewater and we’re looking forward to attracting even more visitors and tourists from across the UK and internationally.’

Hangloose Adventure is 40 minutes by train from central London. For more information or to book a visit, go to hangloosebluewater.com



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