The ICARUS World Record Wingsuit Project

10 May 2017

Cranfield University, Cranfield


Start time: 18:00 

Dr. Angelo Grubisic is both a wingsuit BASE jumper and a lecturer of aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Southampton leading The ICARUS Wingsuit Project.  The talk will give attendees an insight into the mechanics and aerodynamics of wingsuits as well as the physiology and psychology of wingsuit BASE jumping. The team will show how they have used a combination of 3D computational fluid dynamics and experimental testing in order to firstly understand how wingsuits operate and then develop adaptations for improved performance.

Wingsuit BASE is one of the most deadly extreme sports, whereby athletes use low aspect ratio ram air pressurised aeroelastic garments to free fall with 3:1 with glide ratios. Typically leaping from 1,000m cliffs, wingsuiters transition to horizontal flight with forwards speeds of approximately 130mph. Within the last two years, many of the world leading pilots have tragically died. This trend is accelerating with 31 deaths in 2016 by the end of August; the deadliest year on record.

A significant fraction of BASE fatalities include the stalling of wingsuits or loss of control during ground terrain flying or exiting cliff edges. One contributing factor is the poorly understood aerodynamic performance of wingsuits, which stall suddenly and are unforgiving of pilot error. Over the last two years Dr. Grubisic and studetns at Southampton have helped to put scientific understanding in to wingsuit design, leading a project to make the sport safer and save lives by expanding knowledge and developing innovations to give greater margin. Ultimately, these innovations will be also be demonstrated in a high altitude world record attempt aiming for a 45’000ft jump.

Speaker Details

Dr Angelo Grubišić, Lecturer of Astronautics, University of Southampton

Angelo Grubisic was born in Walsall, England in 1981.  He received his PhD from the University of Southampton and an MSc from the International Space University in 2009 and 2005 respectively. He has worked extensively on the development and testing of gridded ion thrusters and other spacecraft advanced propulsion systems, including on the NSTAR ion thruster at NASA JPL and the T6 ion thruster for as a consultant to QinetiQ. From 2010 to 2013, he was responsible for designing and leading the systems level coupling and qualification tests for the Bepi Colombo electric propulsion system on the Mercury Transfer Module, the highest power dual ion thruster system to date. Since re-joining Southampton University from industry, he has been pioneering selective laser melting metal additive manufacturing technologies for production of advanced propulsion systems as a lecturer within the Astronautics Group.



Cranfield University, Cranfield

Lecture Room 29, Building 122

Cranfield University


MK43 0AL

(Free Parking opposite)