If you’ve ever looked up to see a flying V of migrating ducks and thought “take me with you”, then the soon-to-open indoor skydiving centre iFly can help you feel the wind beneath your wings.
“Everyone’s always dreamed of flying,” Melbourne general manager Michael Katz tells Broadsheet. “We make that a reality.”
Opening in Essendon soon, the centre will be Melbourne’s first, although iFly has 85 venues worldwide and another four in Australia.
Designed to recreate the feeling of a freefall from 14,000 feet, the skydiving simulation is achieved through a wind tunnel powered by four 450-horsepower fans and two return air towers on either side that cycle the wind upwards.
Before entering the tunnel, participants are led through a pre-flight training and kitted out in a helmet, goggles and a flying suit. No parachutes are necessary.
Once in the tunnel, guests take turns learning to fly, which can take some practice.
The iFly experience can be optimised to suit all levels. If you’re feeling timid, a basic belly-fly is a good place to start, but if you want to try flying seated or even upside down, iFly can make it happen. “You’re actually being taught how to move your body up and down and side to side,” says Katz.
“We almost get you to do a handstand in the tunnel, to start out with, and then we increase the wind and we fly you up,” says Katz, describing how advanced flyers are taught to fly upside down.
iFly also aims to keep its activities accessible to all abilities and skill levels. “We’ve had people who have never walked before but are able to fly with us,” Katz says.
iFly Melbourne will host a range of events open to flyers of all abilities and experience levels. Participants as young as three are welcome at iFly too.
iFly will open daily from the end of August. Flights start from $79.