Are you a person born for the open skies? Do you often dream of an exciting adventure flying? We found 15 of the best air adventures for you that will blow your mind. What adventure will you choose to experience?
15) WINGSUIT FLYING
If one prefer flying without an annoying parachute or big glider, they can try wingsuit diving. It’s like skydiving but with a special “flying squirrel” suit. “This jumpsuit is comprised of two arm wings and a leg wing which, supported by the use of inflatable pressurized nylon cells, increase the skydiver’s surface area to increase lift and allow him/her to fly impressive horizontal distances at a slower descent rate, thus increasing their time in freefall. The wingsuiter uses his/her body to control forward speed, direction and lift; it can take years of practice to be able to achieve efficient flight and to successfully manage the suit’s “angle of attack” to maximize performance” (Wingsuit Fly). Popular locations to wingsuit include Norway, the Alps, Utah, and Colorado. Prices range from $2,000 to $4,000 to fly frequently. A wingsuit costs about $1,200. Find a fun place to fly here.
14) JET PILOT
Ever had a dream of flying in a jet plane? Why wait? Live out the dream by picking a place now. There are some jet companies that will not only take you up for a fun spin in the air, but also give you the control to fly it. Need help? Mig Flug operates as an intermediary for booking jet flights for tourists between the client and company. To find the nearest location go here.
However, those who want to fly a MIG 29 the only place you’ll be able to fly a jet is in Russia. At Sokol, tourists can have a chance to fly the jet near Nizhny Novgorod. “Under supervision of experienced test pilots, you’re exposed to the G force of the MiG-29’s two mighty turbines – up to 9 G of force is exerted on your body. Have your body be pressed into the seat as you fly maneuvers with the pilot like rolls, loops, Immelman-turns and tail slides” (Mig Flug). Live out your pilot dreams of flying at supersonic speed. Prices range from 11,500 euros to 16,500 euros. For more information or booking go here.
13) GLIDERS/SAIL PLANE
“To fly as the hawk and eagle has been mankind’s dream for centuries. Modern sailplanes make soaring flight possible, and with them humans can fly higher, faster, and farther than the greatest of birds, using only an invisible force of nature to stay aloft… As a soaring pilot you are no longer earthbound; as your pilot skills increase, you will learn to venture away from the airport in a sailplane, relying on your own skills and judgment in analyzing the terrain and weather. Instead of passively enjoying the countryside or the sky, you will actively look for lift clues in the air, such as birds and the maturity of cumulus clouds; and you’ll gain respect for areas on the ground that can help or hinder you in meeting the continuing challenge of staying aloft” (Soaring Society of America)
Experience amazing views across the sky in a fun glider, also called a sail plane. Interested? The Soaring Society of America offers a FAST program that includes an introductory lesson, pilot logbook, a Glider guide, and 3 month membership. They also offer training for those with disabilities.
Ready for an adventure in the sky? How about jumping out of a plane for a dive? Skydiving is a life changing experience. Looking for the best places to experience the thrill? The Travel Channel lists the following locations as the best skydiving sites, also called drop zones: Interlaken, Switzerland, Snohomish, Washington US, Fox Glacier, New Zealand, Dubai, Palm Jummerirah, North Wollongong Beach, Sydney, Australia, and Pattaya, Australia. Drop Zone provides great resources for divers, both beginner and expert, looking for information. The site includes a large map database of available drop zones and reviews.
11) AERIAL TRAM RIDE
Sit back and relax in an aerial tramway ride. In this enclosed cabin you have the opportunity to check out the gorgeous city sites up in the sky. According to the Travel Channel, the best places to sight-see in an aerial tram are: Portland Tram (OR, US), Grouse Mountain Skyride (Vancouver, British Columbia), Roosevelt Island Tram (New York, US), and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (CA, US). Other locations in the US you can visit are Lake Tahoe (CA), Snowbird (UT), and Gatlinburg (TN). Prices range around $17 for one ride and $23 for all day.
10) GONDOLA LIFT
Gondola lifts are popular modes of transportation throughout Europe, Canada, and Asia. Not to be confused with tramways though, the lifts circulate around rather than back and forth on the cable. The lifts are a great way for tourists to take amazing photos of the scenery. Some great places include Hong Kong’s Ngong Pirg Cable Car, Lebanon’s Teleferique, Singapore Cable Car, and Sulpur Mountain Gondola in Canada. There are even open air versions called cabriolets. The more popular ones can be found in Canada at the Mount Tremblant Resort and the Blue Mountain Ski Resort.
9) BASE JUMPING
As if jumping out of a plane wasn’t enough fun, how about jumping from a beautiful cliff top or a gorgeous bridge? However, keep in mind Base Jumping is a very dangerous and expensive sky talent to learn. Many deaths have happened due to mistakes. You have the whole sky for room in Sky Diving, but for base jumping a simple error can crash you into that close cliff or the city buildings. So why do it?
“There are as many different reasons to get into BASE as there are jumpers. Some do it for the adrenaline rush, others for the serenity at an exit point. Some are in BASE for boogies and meeting other great people, while others prefer solo jumps. Some get video of every jump and brag to anybody they can find, others keep their BASE career a secret for all but their closest friends. Some do it because they want to fly like a bird, while others enjoy plummeting towards the earth like a brick. Some do it for the adventure, some do it to scare themselves, some do it for the sake of mankind, and some just do it because it is a lot of fun” (Base Jumper). This site provides great articles for newbies trying to understand the sport as well as reviews from former jumps on jump locations. Those interested in extreme base jumping can try the Meru Peak in the Himalayas (21,000 ft.), Burj Khalifa in Dubai (3,000 ft.), Angel Falls in Venezuela (3,000 ft.), Norway’s Troll Wall (3,600 ft.), Empire State Building in New York (1,200 ft.), Idaho’s Perrire Bridgw (486 ft.), and the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil (95 ft.). If you prefer a fun place closer to your home. No problem. Find your closest base jump point here.
8) BUNGEE JUMPING
An additional great adventure one can have in the air is bungee jumping. “Bungee jumping is achieved by jumping off a tall structure with an elastic bungee cord. The structure is normally a bridge or a building but other options are to jump from a crane, dam, hot air balloon, or a helicopter. The individual will jump from a structure where they will bounce back up and fall again until all the force’s energy is used” (Thirst for Adrenaline). Prices range around 100 for first jump and an addition $50 for each extra jump. Some companies even offer overnight camping jumps for those thirsting for a jump in the dark. Find the nearest jumping point here.
7) HANG GLIDING
Another awesome activity to do in the sky is hang gliding. Soar off into the distance in a kite like contraption. Let the wind take you far across the city or over beautiful oceans as you fly. For information on Hang Gliding from previous fliers check out the Hang Gliding site. According to the site, it is the “number one site for hang gliding.” Through the site you can learn more about the sport, find lessons, recommended glide locations, and gliders for sale. You can also use the site as a fun opportunity to talk to other hang gliding addicts. Additionally, those interested can find a list of available organizations here. Prices range around $70 to $140 to fly. Personal gliders cost about $3000. Most flights take fliers as high as 4,000 to 6,000 ft. in the air. Although, there are some fliers who have gone higher. The legal limit to fly without losing oxygen is about 9,800 ft.
6) VIRGIN GALACTIC FLIGHT
A flight to space may soon become a dream come true. Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson, is currently in the process of flight testing and scheduling its first commercial flight. So far only government assigned professionals have been allowed to go into space. Us ordinary citizens have yet to experience the thrill of space flights. According to Virgin Galactic, we too can soon reach space for fun. “Our purpose is to become the spaceline for Earth; democratizing access to space for the benefit of life on Earth” (Virgin Galactic). Would you like to fly to space?
5) WING WALKING
This activity should only be for the brave ones, or serious experts. Imagine not only being in the sky in a plane, but also walking across its wings while still in the air. “Bungee jumping? Boring! Sky diving? So passé! For the ultimate in thrill-seeking excitement, the wing walking experience simply can’t be beat. Strapped to the top wing of a vintage biplane, you’ll be swept through the skies at speeds of up to 135mph” (Wing Walking). Wing Walking can be found in places such as Essex, Berkshire, and Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. The Wing Walking Company located in the three mentioned locations offer the opportunity for the client to have their own private air show for their friends and family for 499 euros. Breitling Wingwalkers also offers wing walking training in Gloucestershire, UK for 399 euros.
4) HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Flying in a hot air balloon can be another great adventure in the sky. The rides offer gorgeous views of sites and skylines. However, keep in mind the rides are expensive and requires the tourists to get up at the crazy time of two or three in the morning. But once you catch that perfect sunrise high up in the sky, the ride makes it worth it. Some of the best places to enjoy the balloon ride experience are Napa Valley, California ($215), Serengeti, Tanzania ($529), Cappadocia, Turkey ($242), and Bagan, Myanmar ($320). You can find a more detailed and longer list of locations here.
3) WWII PLANE RIDE
Fancy a ride in a vintage WWII plane? There are many places that offer flights in a variety of planes built and flown during the war. Each plane is able to hold about 1-2 passengers not including the pilot. Passengers will also get the chance to gear up in an actual WWII flight helmet and goggles. “You can relive history and ride on some of the rarest World War II aircraft in existence. This unique in-the-air experience allows you to sit in the seat once occupied by a veteran and see and feel what they encountered . . . minus the bullets and flak” (AirPower Squadron). Prices to fly depend on the choice of plane passenger’s desire. Locations to fly include CAF AirPower History Tour at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth (Texas) and Cloud 9 Living in San Diego (California). War Bird Alley offers a large list of available museums and organizations that offer the opportunity to fly in a War Bird.
2) HELI SKIING
For those who enjoy skiing, they will enjoy the thrill of flying in a helicopter to a high point in a mountain for their ski drop. Skiers can be dropped as high as 13,000 feet for their drop site. A few locations that offer Heli Skiing include Silverton Mountain in Colorado, Telluride Helitrax at the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, Heliski Cervinia in Breuil Cervinia (Italy), and Whistler Heli-Sking in British Colombia (Canada). Depending on number of drops, prices range from $300 to $1200 total.
1) HUMAN CATAPULT
Would you like to be shot into the air in your own catapult? So do a lot of other people. Using a high end motor and air compressor feeding a 120 gallon steel tank, the machine people can have the fun of launching their friends into the air or they themselves be launched. The people land into lakes or other large bodies of water. The machine was originally designed to launch BASE jumpers into the air for their jump. However, the system gained so much popularity that regular people have begun using it for water jumps. You can rent or buy your own catapult here. To rent, the catapult is $1 per mile to ship and $1,900 a day to launch. If you want to buy a new catapult, the price is $50,000. On the catapult site, it also includes detailed plans of how to build one instead as well.