skyglider: the board

At the beginning stood an absolutely crazy idea! Gliding in the skies with little wings attached to the feet. Oliver Furrer and Philippe Tatasciore met in October 1997 and started a feasibility study on a new SkySurf or wingboard called SkyGlider, which should be able to allow full control freefall flying and gliding in the sky. This project has lead to the first SkyGlider prototype and was carried out with the collaboration of the Institute of Lightweight Structures and Ropeways (ILS) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), Switzerland. Many thanks’ to Prof. Dr. H.-R. Meyer-Piening, head of the ILS institute, for his full support of this project.

The SkyGlider is built out of composite materials, which include Carbon, Kevlar and glass fibre reinforced structures. This allows for maximum stiffness combined with low weight.

Structural testing was performed with loads up to 150 kg, taking into account a safety margin of 50%. The SkyGlider is thus certified for a pilot limit load of 100 kg. The performance and technical data of the first prototype used to perform the world record over the Swiss Alps can be summarized as follows: Glide ratio of about 1.0, weight of 6.9 kg ready to fly, including the bindings. The wings of the SkyGlider have a fixed angle of attack in flight, which can be adjusted on ground.

skyglider G1 board with 150 kg weight testing Bild vergrössern