He wanted to take advantage of the health crisis to reinvent himself. The iFLY center in Lyon, specializing in indoor freefall, has been offering since the beginning of July a concept that has never been seen before: “the ultimate 4D”. “This involves simulating a free fall jump with a virtual reality headset in order to make the experience even more immersive,” explains Cyrielle Digonnet-Wisniewski, communication manager of the establishment.
Visitors, ready to take the plunge, will have the pleasure of believing that they are hovering above the capital of Gaul thanks to images filmed at 360 ° degrees, projected through the glasses of the helmet. And the experience is bluffing to say the least as soon as you enter the air tunnel, 17 meters high.
A countdown before the big jump
Here we are virtually on board a plane, from which we will have to jump to fall into the void. The countdown starts. Only three seconds left. The gusts of the wind tunnel (160 km / hour) already give the impression of really facing the wind. Arms outstretched, we start to spin in the sky, like Icarus. Before our eyes, the city of Lyon suddenly spreads out, majestic. The curves of the Rhône and the Saône take shape, sparkling under the rays of the sun.
We advise you in passing to provide lenses if you are nearsighted because the glasses do not go under the helmet. It would be a shame not to admire the Musée des Confluences or the Gerland stadium, so tiny. Or to ignore the Saint-Jean cathedral standing out in the distance.
One year to get permission to fly over the city
“The goal is to be a spectator,” smiles Cyrielle Digonnet. We wanted it to be as realistic as possible ”. For this, the team did not skimp on the means. Neither saved his time. It took a year to obtain the authorizations to fly over Lyon. Last fall, the experienced Greg Crozier and Karine Joly, who can be seen alongside us during the virtual jump, finally took off from Corbas aerodrome to hover at an altitude of 4,000 meters above Lyon. A professional cameraman, equipped with a GoPro camera, also made the leap to capture the images in real time.
“After that, we had to find the right visor for the helmet. 18 prototypes were tested for this, ”reveals Cyrielle Digonnet. Paratroopers were also asked to try out this new technology and share their impressions. “People who cannot parachute, for medical reasons or because they have vertigo, will find the sensations of such a jump again”, sums up one of the monitors by way of conclusion. Bluffing, we tell you …
Count 129.90 euros, to try the experience. It also includes a classic two-minute first training jump.