Originally built for astronauts, vertical wind tunnels have since become popular practice areas for professional skydivers and space-bound barbershop quartets. Hone four-part harmonies while simulating flight with today’s Groupon: for $43, you get an Earn Your Wings Package and a multimedia package from iFly Hollywood in Universal City (an $87 value). This Groupon is not valid on Saturday. Today’s deal includes:
- Training session
- Flight-gear rentals
- Two one-minute flights in the vertical wind tunnel with hands-on assistance from an instructor
- Personalized flight certificate
- DVD recording of your session
iFly Hollywood’s state-of-the-art indoor wind tunnel lets acrophobic and aerophobic adrenaline junkies experience the sensations of skydiving under safe conditions. Prior to the session, individuals pile on a helmet, goggles, flight suit, earplugs, knee and elbow pads, and a can of gravity repellent. An instructor runs through basic maneuvers and hand signals during a training session, then unleashes students into the vertical tunnel’s artificial, 125-mph wind current for two one-minute rotations of air-swimming. Air acrobats take home a DVD recording of their flight, as well as a personalized flight certificate. iFly Hollywood’s free observation deck allows for maximum showoffiness, so invite along an audience of hard-to-impress friends, lovers, and butlers to marvel at your simulated plummet through the heavens.
At iFLY, "indoor flying" means something way cooler than jumping on your bed at home. There are helmets involved. Here's how it works: you show up, suit up, and go through an orientation lesson with expert instructors before lifting off in an air column powered by giant fans. The column is forceful enough to simulate the experience of freefalling through the sky, even though flyers are just a few feet off the ground. As with outdoor skydiving, the freefall experience lasts for about a minute but with the earn your wings package flyers get two flights, and may be able to execute turns and tricks at the instructor's discretion.