What do you think of when you hear the words Mega Swing? Probably a really tall swing, right? You probably aren’t thinking of a swing that hangs from two hot air balloons almost 6,000 feet in the sky, which is exactly the Mega Swing these four skydivers created and tested out! The swing itself hangs a stomach-lurching 410 feet long from the balloons, which meant that after the divers jumped, they had a few moments of freefall before the rope caught them and took them swinging across the sky.
“You jump, freefall, waiting for the moment when the line goes tight, then suddenly there’s this non-motorized acceleration. I can’t think of a freefall that had such different patterns of movement,” Dominic Roithmair—the mastermind behind the idea for the swing—told Red Bull.
In collaboration with Red Bull Austria, Roithmair and his three friends Austrian Marco Waltenspiel, Georg Lettner, and Marco Fürst, took the jump of their lives on this dream-come-true Mega Swing.
“The idea behind Mega Swing was to realize that childhood dream we all have,” says Lettner. “It’s everyone’s dream to swing higher and higher, and finally jump off and fly.”
As the skydivers swung from the tiny wooden seat of the Mega Swing, from one hot air balloon to the next, they were surprised by how quiet the experience was. “If you’re in an airplane or helicopter, you always have that noise around you. Here you only hear from the burner,” said Roithmair.
Additionally, there was one eerily quiet moment on the swing: As Roithmair put it, “You hear only the wind at the end of the pendulum. It’s actually very quiet.”
It was a logistically complicated stunt: the weather had to be perfect, and the balloons had to be a certain distance from each other for the swing to work. But eventually everything aligned and this sky swing, daredevil dream was finally recognized.