Most people don't have fashion at the front of their minds when jumping out of a plane or off a cliff, but for some, high style marks are a necessity. Sure, flying through the sky in a wingsuit will set you apart from the pack well enough, but if things start to get a little crowded up there, how will you stand out? While technology is obviously priority one in wingsuit design, there are no rules for how they actually look.
Scroll down for a view of some of the wackiest wingsuits to ever take flight, from rainbow colors and superhero send-ups to a flying farm animal.
1. The crayon suit
Who's wearing it: Pál Takáts
What is it: TonySuits X-Bird 1
Why it's rad: You can probably see this thing from space
How does it fly? Very, very visibly
The current fashion pushes wingsuits in the direction of dark, shoegazing colors, and Takáts wanted to — literally — fly in the face of that trend. When he presented his brainchild to the designer, he was warned that he'd never be able to resell "something that looks like it came off a ski slope in 1983." That said, Takáts insists that the girls love it, and that's reason enough for us.
2. The heart of darkness
Who's wearing it: Jeb Corliss
What is it: TonySuits Apache X
Why it's rad: It has flown through, over and around things most wingsuit pilots never dream of, and it’s done it without the benefit of a single color
How does it fly? Invisibly, if it’s nighttime
Jeb Corliss is well known for his airsports color scheme — i.e., the total absence of a color scheme. He’s been wearing black suits since the turn of the millennium. The only change is that they’ve been getting bigger and bigger — like the Darkness in "The NeverEnding Story," except without the terrifying animatronic wolf monster.
3. The rainbow suit
Who's wearing it: Romain Bignon
What is it: Phoenix Fly Havoc Carve
Why it's rad: There’s a pot of gold and a leprechaun waiting for Bignon upon every single landing
How does it fly? Like a Saturday-morning cartoon from the 1980s
When Roman Bignon was presented with a list of colors on an order form, apparently his circuitry fried. The rainbow suit was inspired in equal parts by the rainbow canopies that occupied the top echelon of skydiving fashion in the 1990s, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the scrap fabric at the Phoenix-Fly factory at the time. It’s glorious.
4. The Batman
Who's wearing it: Alex Swindle
What is it: Phoenix Fly Phantom 3
Why it's rad: If he ever finds a cave atop a cliff, he could execute the hardest-core pop reference ever performed
How does it fly? It has better glide than a cape, we’re willing to bet
To say that Alex Swindle is a Batman fan is like saying "Star Wars" made a few people some money. His kit is Batmanned from top to bottom. They say that the only way to make a jump with him is to shine a batlight into the skies over downtown Phoenix.
5. The Spidey suit
Who's wearing it: Guido Brescia
What is it: TonySuits R-Bird 1
Why it's rad: It’s got a lot of power (but with great power comes great responsibility)
How does it fly? Really well, even without web-shooters in the wands
Italian pilot Guido Brescia has been a massive Spiderman fan since he was a kid, so when he started flying with a wingsuit, there was only one design he was willing to entertain. Peter Parker would be proud of this one, we think.
6. The bovine badass
Who's wearing it: Domenico Berti
What is it: TonySuits X-bird 2
Why it's rad: This thing can really mooooove
How does it fly? Significantly better than a real cow
Berti's nickname is "Mucca," which is cow in Italian, which apparently explains his desire to be the fastest side of beef in the sky. The designer is legendary pilot and aerial photographer James Boole, who told us that it took a lot longer to design than you'd think. Apparently, if you add too many dots you get a Dalmatian, so it's a tricky process.