Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner (born 20 April 1969) is an Austrian skydiver and a BASE jumper. He is renowned for the particularly dangerous nature of the stunts he has performed during his career. Baumgartner spent time in the Austrian military where he practiced parachute jumping, including training to land on small target zones.

In 1990, Felix got bored of traditional skydiving and felt that he had done everything he could with the sport. At that point, he decided to branch out into BASE jumping. According to Felix, the “lightning-fast reflexes and precise techniques required by such low-altitude feats also enhance his high-altitude skydiving technique.”

Felix kept pushing the limits and in 2003, he became the first person to skydive OVER the english channel – you heard that right – over the English Channel, using a specially modified carbon-fiber wingsuit.

>> Find out more about Felix’s Red Bull Stratos Project

On October 14th, 2012, after 7 years of planning and a 2 1/2 hour ascent, Felix jumped from over 24 miles above earth and broke 3 world skydiving records in just over a 10 minute period with the Red Bull Stratos project. This is his most well-known daredevil feat to date, although he’s accomplished quite a bit in his 43 short years.

Felix Baumgartner Index

Felix Baumgartner’s Vital Information & Stats:

  • Codename: B.A.S.E. 502
  • Profession: Stunt Coordinator, Freefall Camera, Skydiving & B.A.S.E. Jumping, Commercial Helicopter Pilot
  • Place of Birth: Salzburg, Austria
  • Residence: Switzerland & USA
  • Hobbies: Climbing, Boxing, Moto Cross, Helicopters & Rallye
  • Felix Baumgartner’s Official Web Site: FelixBaumgartner.com
Felix Baumgartner Space Jump

Felix Baumgartner standing on the edge of space…literally.

Red Bull Stratos Project

In October 2012, Felix set out with Red Bull to skydive from 22 miles above the earth’s surface as part of the Red Bull Stratos project. The project was ambitious for multiple reasons – both physically and technologically – as the Red Bull team set out to break four world records that have lasted for over 50 years.

The world records they hoped to achive were as follows:

  • Highest Manned Balloon Flight
  • Highest Altitude Jump
  • First Person To Go Supersonic Speed without Vehicle Support
  • Longest Time In Free Fall

The project was 7 years in the making and they recruited previous skydive recordholder, Joe Kittinger to be Felix’s mentor throughout the project. You can get a small taste of what was involved with the perparations of the Red Bull Stratos project by watching this short test jump from ~71,000ft that Red Bull filmed in March.

[Nerve Rush's own coverage of the Red Bull Stratos Project can be found here.]

Initial Delays & Aborted Launch

The initial launch attempt for the Red Bull Stratos event was on the morning of October 9th, 2012. The launch was delayed for (5) five hours due to poor weather conditions. The launch was finally aborted at 11:43 (MDT) due to 25 mph (40kmph) wind. The jump was rescheduled for October 11th, although due to poor conditions, launch was finally rescheduled for Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Launch

The Red Bull Stratos team began another attempt on Sunday, October 14th, 2012. The capsule was launched at 9:30 MDT After a nearly 2 1/2 hour ascent in the capsule and nearly 7 years of preparation, Felix made the historic jump from approximately 128,000 feet – a little over 24 miles above the earths’ surface.

While standing on the edge of space outside the capsule, Joe Kittinger radioed to Felix

“Start the cameras, and our guardian angel will take care of you.”

As he prepared himself for the jump, Felix radioed back to the base, right before stepping off:

“I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are… I’m coming home now.”

With that, he took one more step and off he went. The start of his 4-minute long free fall. Here’s the footage of that jump. This literally takes my breath away every time I watch it.

Red Bull Stratos Jump

Baumgartner’s jump was 65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier for the first time in an piloted aircraft(October 14, 1947,). Now, of course, there’s much more to Felix’s jump than just this. The live jump was viewed simultaneously by over 8 million people – the most ever viewers for a live streamed event. If you missed the entire event, you can water the entire video of  Felix Baumgar’s Red Bull Stratos Skydive Jump below:

Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos Skydive Jump

Onboard Camera

As incredible as that video above was, it’s tough to really get a sense of what Felix got to experience himself. After all, all we can tell through the other video is a tumbling white speck on a a black background. Fortunately, Felix’s entire outfit was outfitted with onboard cameras capturing every angle of the freefall. While much of this footage is exclusive and going to be used for a documentary about the entire experience, Red Bull has released a small portion of this exclusive footage and we at Nerve Rush are bringing it directly to you. Here it is. Enjoy.

Red Bull Stratos Photos

 

 

Interviews

Immediate Post-Jump Interview with Felix Baumgartner

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMiWmCuLpbo

Red Bull Stratos Post-Jump Press Conference With Felix Baumgartner & Joe Kittinger

Felix Baumgartner Interview With The Today Show

Felix’s Interview on the Today Show

Felix’s Interview with Euro News

Felix Baumgartner Jumps From Tapei 101

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNs6gBzX5xo

Felix Jumps From The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

 

Final Statistics

As it stands, the “final” statistics on Felix’s jump are as follows:

  • Maximum altitude of 39.045 kilometres (24.261 mi)
  • Maximum speed of 1,342.1 kilometres per hour (833.9 mph), which corresponds to Mach 1.24
  • Total free fall time of 4 minutes 19 seconds
  • Total free fall distance of 36,529 metres (119,846 ft)

Those numbers were good enough to break the following records:

Records Broken

Felix and the Red Bull team broke three out of the four records they set out to break.

  • Highest Manned Balloon Flight (39.045 kilometres (24.261 mi)
  • Highest Altitude Jump (39.045 kilometres (24.261 mi)
  • First Person To Go Supersonic Speed without Vehicle Support (1,342.1 kilometres per hour (833.9 mph or Mach 1.24)

The only record they failed to break was Joseph Kittingers’ longest time in free fall. That record stands at 4 minutes and 36 seconds, a full 17 seconds longer than Felix’s jump. This was most likely due to the fact that he utilized a drag chute which slowed him down throughout the jump. Felix’s speed (830+mph) was much greater than anticipated and his fast rate of falling meant he most likely would not have been able to break the record without sacrificing his free fall speed.

The Red Bull Stratos jump also set the record for livestream with the most concurrent viewers at one time with over 8 million viewers tuning in.

“Mission Accomplished”: The official 4 minute recap of the entire Red Bull Stratos event.

Felix’s jump also inspired several other, shall we say, smaller folk to undertake their own “miniature adventure.”

A Reverse Chronological List of Felix Baumgartner’s Accomplishments

2012:

On October 14, 2012 as part of the Red Bull Stratos project, Felix achieved the following records:

  • Highest skydive record (128,097 feet)
  • Highest manned balloon flight.
  • Fastest freefall (834mph).
  • Became the first person to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle.

Felix was in freefall for the second longest time of anyone ever – 4 minutes and 19 seconds – just 17 seconds shy of Joseph Kittinger’s (Felix’s mentor) record in 1960.

2007:

  • B.A.S.E. jump into the second biggest cave in the world, „Seating of the Spirits“, Oman (396 feet).
  • B.A.S.E. jump off the worlds tallest building – 101 Tower, Taipei (1669.95 feet)

2006:

  • B.A.S.E. jump from the highest building in Latin America, Torre Mayor in Mexico City (738 feet).
  • B.A.S.E. jump from the highest building in Scandinavia, Turning Torso, Malmö, Sweden (627 feet).
  • Felix becomes a helicopter pilot at Twin Air Helicopter School, Van Nuys, USA.

2005:

  • Star guest at the famous Late Night Show with Jay Leno, Los Angeles, USA.

2004:

  • Channel of Corinth: B.A.S.E. jump from a 193 feet high bridge in freefall.
  • Mamet Cave in Velebit National Parc, Croatia: B.A.S.E. jump into a 623 feet deep cave.
  • Bridge of the Americas, Panama: B.A.S.E. jump from the 393 feet high Panama bridge.
  • World record: B.A.S.E. jump from the highest bridge in the world, Millau Bridge, France (1.125 feet).

2003:

  • Race Man Vs. Machine: Main Stunt at Taurus World Stunt Awards in Hollywood/USA.
  • Channel Crossing from Dover to Calais: First to cross the english channel in freefall.

2002:

  • Added to the “Street of Champions” in Vienna, Austria.
  • Others honored here are Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Foreman, Pélé and Carl Lewis.

2001:

  • Nominated for the World Sports Award in London, Royal Albert Hall. Category:  Extreme Sports.
  • Nominated for the NEA Extreme Sports Award in Munich. Category: Special Achievement.

2000:

  • Nominated for the NEA Extreme Sports Award in Munich. Category: Special Achievement.

1999:

  • World record: highest B.A.S.E. jump from a building, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1.479 feet).
  • World record: lowest B.A.S.E. dive from the Christ Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (95 feet).

1997:

  • World Champion title for B.A.S.E. jumping in West Virginia, USA.
Felix Baumgartner BASE Rio

Felix Baumgartner’s Personal Life

Felix Baumgartner is engaged to Nicole Öttl – a former beauty pageant model and former Miss Lower Austria (2006).

Felix Baumgartner Videos

Felix’s top freefalls

Felix Baumgartner BASE Jumps In Rio

Felix Baumgartner Jumps From Cristo del Rey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzqL7nERHx8

Felix Baumgartner Jumps From Turning Torso in Sweden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe_cJEdgVu8

Felix Jumps Off Forth Road Bridge In Scotland

Red Bull Stratos 96,000 ft Test Jump

Links About Felix Baumgartner

Information about Felix abounds on the internet – especially given his recent notoriety thanks to the Red Bull Stratos project. The following links are great resources if you’d like to learn more about Felix Baumgartner: the man who broke the sound barrier.

  1. Felix’s page on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Baumgartner
  2. Red Bull Strato’s Bio on Felix Baumgartner – http://www.redbullstratos.com/the-team/felix-baumgartner/
  3. Felix’s Official Site – http://www2.felixbaumgartner.com/
  4. BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19860249
  5. ABC – http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/felix-baumgartner-set-break-sound-barrier-record-breaking/story?id=17429955#.UHRfr_l258A
  6. Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/09/felix-baumgartner-sky-jump-live
  7. Felix’s Official Fan Page – https://www.facebook.com/FelixBaumgartner
  8. National Geographic – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121008-felix-baumgartner-skydive-how-to-watch-live-video/
  9. Engadget – http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/09/watch-felix-baumgartners-space-dive-live-right-here/
  10. USA Today Article – http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/14/skydiver-usat-interview-baumgartner/1633289
  11. CBS Interview – http://www.eonline.com/news/355526/fearless-felix-baumgartner-gives-first-interview-about-record-setting-supersonic-jump
  12. ESPN Q&A with Felix Baumgartner – http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/fandom/post/_/id/13688/felix-baumgartner-qa

Joel Runyon

Joel runs IMPOSSIBLE, where he challenges the impossible and helps people do the same. When he's not doing the impossible, he stays busy working on startups, marketing, starting blogs, planning adventures and somehow balancing his love of the paleo diet while nursing his incredibly unhealthy addiction to Red Bull. Follow him on Twitter or Google+

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