Fugen makes closest-ever wingsuit flight through Pyramids
French aerial expert has brush with history in breathtaking new video.
Fred Fugen has flown closer to the pyramids of Giza than any wingsuit pilot before, taking advantage of advances in techniques and equipment to produce a stunning new aerial clip.
Here is all you need to know:
- Fugen, 42, is well known for his innovative projects, where we've seen him enter a plane in mid-air, pull off jaw-dropping manoeuvres high above Mont Blanc and make a nail-biting proximity flight through Lebanon.
- Now the French BASE jumper and wingsuit expert has come up with another in his long list of creative and imaginative challenges. In his new video we see him soar through the Egyptian sky alongside Vincent Cotte, a former member of the French national paragliding team, flying within metres of the pyramids of Giza and getting close enough to the Pyramid of Khafre to almost touch its millennia-old stones with his hand.
- It was a project that even Fugen himself didn't think was feasible, until local paragliding school Skydive Egypt were able to help his dream come true as part of their annual Jump Like a Pharaoh event.
- Fugen explains: "Until now, skydiving was only allowed above the pyramids at high altitude. It’s the first time a wingsuit flight has been made this close. It has been absolutely amazing to get right next to these giant stones, some of the last wonders of the ancient world that are still visible today. I felt so small in front of such big monuments. I never even thought I would be able to make this flight one day. If this project has been possible, it is because flying techniques and materials have evolved a lot recently."
- This jump was in fact only permitted because the wingsuit pilots were capable of performing the 'resource' technique to gain altitude at the end of their drop. This manoeuvre was demonstrated by Fugen and his late, beloved friend and Soul Flyers partner, Vince Reffet, at the Courbe lighthouse in Charente Maritime, France. They showed that they had been able to improve their wingsuit and parachute equipment in order that it would open up quicker and allow them to fly closer to the ground.
- Having been dropped in at an altitude of 1,500m, Fugen and Cotte reached speeds of up to 250kph at a minimum elevation of 90m, before employing the 'resource'. This gained another 50m of height for the duo, so they were able to open their parachutes at 140m – the exact height of the Pyramid of Khafre.