What’s it like to actually do?
Virtuozity was lucky enough to be invited by Breitling to give wing walking a try when the team recently visited Dubai for a few days of displays, based at the popular Skydive Dubai.
Being strapped onto the top of an old plane that’s about to take off over the blue waters of the Gulf is an unnerving experience to say the least.
Luckily the Breitling Wing Walker girls are quick to put you at ease. Unlike the ladies, you are strapped in whilst the plane is stationary, to avoid you parting company with the plane somewhere over the Palm Jumeirah.
Once strapped in, you’re given you safety equipment, which consists of a pair of goggles. You’re simply told that if you don’t like it give a double thumbs down to the pilot, who’s sitting behind and below you and he’ll return to base to get you back on terra firma as quickly as possible.
Taxiing out and taking off is perhaps the oddest part of the whole experience, as you are basically standing up as the world under your feet goes light, as the plane leaves the tarmac.
Once in the air, the wind isn’t too bad to cope with and the view is, of course, incredible. If you’re mechanically minded, don’t pay too much attention to both the age of the plane (they are extremely well maintained, by the way) or the thin cables holding your back frame to the wing. It’s all been tested and triple-checked.
Landing is also a little odd, as the plane’s wheels are so far below you that it touches down well before your brain is prepared for it. Despite it being an amazing experience, there is a sense of relief once you are safely back on the ground.
Wing walking is so unnatural that your brain spends the whole time hovering between whooping with joy and a panic attack. Just the way an extreme experience should be.
Once down, you realise how tired you are, which makes you wonder how the girls perform their amazing aerobatics mid-flight. Most people struggle to wave or give a thumbs up to the camera.
Wing Walking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and well worth trying, as long as you’re OK with flying. It's definitely something ticked off the bucket list, but it's probably best to leave the acrobatics to the ladies.
Virtuozity's editor-in-chief took to the skies with the