Can you simulate 'freewill'? © iStock

Can you simulate ‘freefall’?

Though not for the faint-hearted, if you like jumping off of things a fan descender can help you experience freefall.

Asked by: BBC Focus


Skydivers are some of the few people to experience freefall, reaching speeds of up to 200km/h. But if you don’t fancy leaping out of a plane, you can experience a similar sensation by having a go on a ‘fan descender’. This involves jumping from a high platform attached to a long rope and freefalling for a few seconds.

The mechanism allows you to experience freefall for those few seconds before the device slows you down for a gentle landing. The fan descender was first devised by the armed forces for training paratroopers. In 2005 AJ Hackett performed a world record fan descent of 233m from the Macau Tower in China.


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