A Dubai daredevil has claimed the record for the longest wing-suit flight after completing an eight kilometre flight across the snowy peaks of Mont Blanc.
Fred Fugen, 43, is part of the XDubai Jetman team that performs aerial acrobatics and base jumps using parachutes, wing suits and jet-propelled fixed wings.
Alongside French compatriots Vincent Cotte and Aurelien Chatard, the trio ― known as Soul Flyers ― dropped from a helicopter over the 4,810-metre peak of one of Europe’s highest mountains.
A video of the three-minute-20-second flight shows the team going close to the snow-capped slopes of Mont Blanc as they descend at speeds approaching 210 kilometres an hour.
It is said to be the longest recorded flight by wing suit, which is a webbed jumpsuit that opens like a wing to enable the user to manoeuvre and glide at high speed.
The video shows Fugen directing his colleagues throughout the descent into crevasses and over jagged ridges, and leading acrobatic manoeuvres such as rolling across each other and turning upside down.
The three opened their chutes and landed safely deep in the Chamonix valley. Afterwards Fugen said: “The ultimate fun, congrats guys ― the light was crazy. I’m gonna give you a hug; it was so nice.”
The former skydiving champion from Annecy, in the French Alps, is renowned as a world leader in the extreme sport.
Advances in technology allow wing-suit pilots to climb and glide covering three times the distance of a vertical fall.
Spectacular videos show Fugen flying over the Taj Mahal in India, the Giza Pyramids of Egypt, Norwegian fjords and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
It is two years since Vince Reffet, his skydiving partner at XDubai and co-founderof the Soul Flyers team, died when he lost control of his jetpack in the Dubai desert during a training exercise.