Imagine floating free of any harnesses or parachutes up in the air while 140 mph winds push against your body. This may sound impossible, but this experience is now available in Branson as of June 4.
Fritz’s Aerodium (air-oh-dee-um) Outdoor Flying Adventure, located in front of Fritz’s Adventure on 76 Country Boulevard, provides adventurers with a skydiving, or bodyflying, experience without the need for a plane, parachute or previous experience.
The Aerodium open-air wind tunnel uses strong fans to lift fliers into the air, creating a sensation similar to falling through the sky while only being a few meters above the surrounding safety mats and nets.
Before a flight, fliers are taken to “flight school” where they learn the proper technique for flying and safety measures from an Aerodium instructor. Fliers are also taught flying positions and hand signals that the instructor will use to communicate with them inside the Aerodium.
Fliers are outfitted in flight suits, helmets, ear plugs and goggles before heading back outside to the Aerodium to begin their flight. One at a time, fliers will enter the Aerodium with an instructor and fly.
Prior to the public opening, Branson officials and celebrities had a chance to be some of the first to fly in the Aerodium on June 1. Among them were Branson entertainers Clay Cooper and Michael Haygood of the Clay Cooper Theatre, City Administrator Stan Dobbins, Branson’s Fire Chief Ted Martin and Mayor Karen Best.
“It was amazing,” Dobbins said after his flight. “It was invigorating because you’re literally just hanging in air. Sometimes it gets a little scary up there but it’s a hoot!”
Mayor Best said when she arrived at Fritz’s that day, she wasn’t planning on flying.
“I had no intention of riding it,” Best said. “When I went to the event I was planning on getting all dressed up in the outfit, going up onto the area where you launch from and then turning around and going back down the stairs. After I saw how much fun everybody else was having I got up enough courage to where I wanted to do it. I’m so glad I did. It was so much fun.”
A two-flight experience at the Aerodium is $65 and a three-flight experience is available for $85. Tickets do not include admission to Fritz’s Adventure. The flight experiences are 40 minutes, and the height of the flight will depend on the ability and comfort levels of the flier.
Fliers must be at least four years old and guests under the age of 18 require parental consent. Those with previous back, neck or heart issues and women who are pregnant cannot fly. All fliers must sign a liability waiver before beginning their flight experience.
The Aerodium at Fritz’s Adventure is the first permanent open-air Aerodium wind tunnel in the United States, according to their website. The international company, which is based in Latvia, provides wind tunnels that can be rented for special events or performances as well as permanent installations for the public or military training.
Mayor Best said she believes the Aerodium is a great addition to Branson’s collection of attractions.
Fritz’s Aerodium Outdoor Flying Adventure will be open to all thrill-seekers for the rest of the summer.