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Daring Undertaking

Daring Undertaking

Have you ever thought of Sky Diving?  The vision of flying and a sense of feeling good might take you straight to a Wind Tunnel wherever it might be. Our Treasures of Wonderment team followed Ladjamaya Green, a young lady of 65 years of age, to watch her fly in the only 14 foot state-of-the-art Sky Venture Tunnel on the face of the earth at Sky Dive in Eloy, AZ!  We had no idea what to expect.
Ladjamaya Green at Sky Venture Tunnel, Eloy, AZ  - photo by Annick (click on photos to enlarge)Ladjamaya Green at Sky Venture Tunnel, Eloy, AZ - photo by Annick (click on photos to enlarge)First, an instructor invited our friend to watch a brief video to start her training. We followed her with great curiosity. Her instructor, Paul, taught her about hand signals that are necessary to communicate in the tunnel. Remembering to relax is the key that would allow her to enjoy this amazing experience.  We were a bit jealous as we watched her fly up and down in the Wind Tunnel, in the freedom of flight without a parachute and with no experience at all.  What an adventure!
We asked one of the instructors, Jon Walker, why do you do the Wind Tunnel? “Because it’s fun…the first time I saw a Wind Tunnel video, I thought  someone does that for free and I want to do it. I thought that if someone is getting paid to get in there then I wanted to be one of those people.”

Ladjamaya Green ready for her flight - photo by AnnickLadjamaya Green ready for her flight - photo by AnnickPaul Youcupicio, another instructor, when asked what it does for him  replied, “I saw a good time; it's physical. I would say it’s a hard workout, but it’s a lot of fun!”

Another attendant said, “I haven’t been asked that in a long time.  Why originally?  Hmm, I started when I was very young as a little kid, so I have been doing it most of my life. I enjoy the freedom part, you know. We should all be doing whatever we want.  There is no time limit. There is no, nothing... it's's lazy.”

Ladjamaya Green and attendant waiting for the wind tunnel to be ready  - photo by AnnickLadjamaya Green and attendant waiting for the wind tunnel to be ready - photo by AnnickTW:  What we are hearing from all of you is that you are here for fun and nothing else. "Yeah, we are here pretty much for the fun of it", Shane Tully replied.

TW:  Did it change your life?  "YEAH!!!  I have been doing it for 20 years - since I was 10 years old.”

TW:  Do you enjoy seeing people coming to try the Wind Tunnel?  “OH YEAH!!! for sure-above anything else. For some people it affects their life like it did for me, you know. We are a very small group at Sky Dive but I think that's it, we love being here for people.   When you meet someone for the first time, they feel the same about the Wind Tunnel but they can't exactly put it into words until they experience it.”

Ladjamaya Green supported by the air - photo by AnnickLadjamaya Green supported by the air - photo by AnnickTW:  How do you all compare your lives with people who have never experienced the wind tunnel?  “We feel the same. Who has not dreamed of flying?  We get to do it every day and we are lucky enough to make it our jobs, you know. We never get bored doing this.” 
TW:  I asked Jon Walker where are you from? He replied ,"I'm from New Jersey,  from Sparta, Sussex County. Have you ever heard of Action Park? They have an outdoor one [wind tunnel] and that's where I first started. I worked there for a bunch oLadjamaya Green as happy as a bird!  - photo by AnnickLadjamaya Green as happy as a bird! - photo by Annickf summers. Then I started to travel to other ones and one day I said see you later home!“ Paul said he was from Casa Grande, Arizona and another attendant said he was from Midland, TX.

TW:  Ladjamaya, how do you feel now that you have flown in the Wind Tunnel? "I  feel good (singing)” she said. Looking at everyone, she adds, “Thank you all so much for making my day.”

TW:  But how do you really feel now that it’s done? “I feel exhilarated. Having done that, I feel a greater sense of daring in my life. I mean, daring in terms of future undertaking.” 
Instructor flying - photo by AnnickInstructor flying - photo by AnnickTW:  Were you scared of doing this, at first?  “No. I wasn't scared. It's an adventure.” Should anyone try it? “I would advise anybody who has interest in doing this to do it.” 

It was with great joy that we watched our friend, Ladjamaya and the wonderful team of attendants and instructors at SkyVenture. We have no doubt that we would love to try this incredible thrilling experience ourselves, and soon!

What a team!  The SkyVenture Arizona Eloy Crew: Michael Friedman, Shane Tully, Jon Walker, Paul Youcupicio - photo by AnnickWhat a team! The SkyVenture Arizona Eloy Crew: Michael Friedman, Shane Tully, Jon Walker, Paul Youcupicio - photo by AnnickSkyVenture Arizona is fun for all ages. It is safe and the way to go if you need to take some stress out of your life. It makes your day. We met a wonderful team of attendants and instructors who try to make a difference in people’s lives.

Skydive Arizona is located half way between Phoenix and Tucson, the largest skydiving resort in the world… where skydivers come to explore the possibilities… where ideas are formed and implemented knowing that the only limits are the ones we set for ourselves. You don’t have to be a champion to jump here… But you just might become one if you do! 

Skydive Arizona enjoys a perfect location. The largest fleet of skydiving aircraft in the world! The clear desert weather allows over 340 flying days a year. Average daytime temperatures range from the 60's in the winter to the low 100's in the summer. (below the story you may watch a video of The SkyVenture Arizona Eloy Crew tearing it down at home in Eloy)
Shane Walker, Wind Controller at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickShane Walker, Wind Controller at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickThe Wright brothers' use of a simple wind tunnel in 1901 to study the effects of airflow over various shapes while developing their Wright Flyer was in some ways revolutionary. It can be seen from the above, however, that they were simply using the accepted technology of the day, though this was not yet a common technology in America. Subsequent use of wind tunnels proliferated as the science of aerodynamics and discipline of aeronautical engineering were established and air travel and power were developed. Wind tunnels were often limited in the volume and speed of airflow which could be delivered.
Instructor Paul Youcupicio with Ladjamaya Greene proud of themselves - SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickInstructor Paul Youcupicio with Ladjamaya Greene proud of themselves - SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickHere is how it works. Air is blown or sucked through a duct equipped with a viewing port and instrumentation where models or geometrical shapes are mounted for study. Typically the air is moved through the tunnel using a series of fans. For very large wind tunnels several meters in diameter, a single large fan is not practical, and so instead an array of multiple fans are used in parallel to provide sufficient airflow. Due to the sheer volume and speed of air movement required, the fans may be powered by stationary turbofan engines rather than electric motors.

Wind Tunnel at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickWind Tunnel at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickThe airflow created by the fans that is entering the tunnel is itself highly turbulent due to the fan blade motion (When the fan is blowing air into the test section - when it is sucking air out of the test section downstream, the fan-blade turbulence is not a factor.) and so is not directly useful for accurate measurements. The air moving through the tunnel needs to be relatively turbulence-free and laminar. To correct this problem, closely-spaced vertical and horizontal air vanes are used to smooth out the turbulent airflow before reaching the subject of the testing.

View of the desert from the Wind Tunnel at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickView of the desert from the Wind Tunnel at SkyVenture Arizona Eloy - photo by AnnickDue to the effects of viscosity, the cross-section of a wind tunnel is typically circular rather than square, because there will be greater flow constriction in the corners of a square tunnel that can make the flow turbulent. A circular tunnel provides a smoother flow. 
Because air is transparent it is difficult to directly observe the air movement itself. Instead, a smoke particulate or a fine mist of liquid is sprayed into the tunnel just ahead of the device being tested. The particulate is sufficiently low mass to stay suspended in the air without falling to the floor of the tunnel, and is light enough to easily move with the airflow. (Source: Wikipedia)

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