The project is part of the fourth year Group Design Project for MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics students.
The Icarus Team is targeting a 45,000ft high altitude wingsuit jump, covering 20-25 miles.
This is some 15,000ft higher that most commercial jets fly and 16,000ft higher than Mt. Everest,
beyond the thermosphere into the lower stratosphere.
The student’s lecturer of Astronautics, Dr. Angelo Grubišić, is also an experienced wingsuit BASE jumper and
will flight test the new suit from 15,000ft in March, with an aim to progress to 22, 37 then 45,000ft.
The jump poses significant technical and physiological challenges including very low atmospheric pressures (140mbar)
with risks of decompression sickness and hypoxia, and flight speeds in excess of 280mph. He said:
“The Icarus Programme is about providing students with the opportunity and leadership to achieve
something remarkable in their time at Southampton, in a commitment to their education. Our students are more than capable.”
The project has produced the world’s first ever 3D dynamic laser scanned models of a wingsuit with project supporter OR3D, and it has gone further in performing this under flight conditions within the University’s Mitchell Wind Tunnel.
The project appeared on the BBC One Show (about 14 minutes into the programme) on Wednesday 24 February and has just featured in Skydive Magazine in the UK.