Oh, Rad... sometimes you touch me in places where it tickles me, and I have to laugh.
DUDE! That is no virtual reality.... That IS Fatty floating on a stream of air. I am not hitchhiking anymore..... I'M FLYING!!!!! I mentioned this place before - the last time I went to Milton Keynes, UK. It is a skydiving simulator, consisting of some monster fans and a flight chamber. The fans are making a stiff breeze between 120-170 mph. It is very similar to skydiving, except you are not falling, but floating (so you do miss out on that initial exhilaration of free fall). Professional skydivers use these places to practice their moves for competitions. 1 minute in the chamber is like 2-3 free fall jumps.
Why are you so handsome? Can't help it. I was born this way.
Was is Hard? Nope, It was very easy. I was fairly sore the next day. You need to arch your back and this is not something I do, so new muscles were doing new things. Plus, I was a little nervous, so I was somewhat tense at times. This surely make things worse for my muscles. Other than that, there was a 1/2 hour training session where they teach you the position and hand signals. The instructor is in the chamber the whole time coaching you and making sure you don't spin out of control and crash hard.
Was it expensive? Hell YES! My Kix Start program was at the peak time period so I paid the highest amount. (I had no choice as I did not have enough time to book it ahead and had to wait for a cancellation). This beginning program consisted of 1/2 hour instruction, all gear, and time in the tunnel - a whopping 2 minutes for me. The class had about 8 people in it but sometimes they have more. The cost - about $90 US.
Did you really fly? Well yes. Technically I'd say I did. Or at least glided. In skydiving, you are definitely falling. Here you are floating on a column of air - much like birds do. I'd say this is flying. I was able to fly stable without the instructors help for some time, but I was bumping around the walls. At the end, the instructor grabbed on for a tandem session and with his steering, we did some controlled flying. This was actually the best part. We were spinning around, going up and down... this was cool!
Would you do it again? Maybe.... probably. It is very expensive.... but when would you have the opportunity to do this? Haven't we all dreamed of flying? The next sessions are cheaper. You have a flight progression checklist that you go through to learn and practice the necessary skills of flying. I am on 3 out of ten. You can do some VERY sweet stuff. At the end, the instructor went in the chamber by himself and gave us a little show. OMG!!! That dude was sweet! He was all over the place, flipping, spinning... He'd fly to the top of the chamber (2-3 stories), then drop to the floor to just catch the wind and jet back up again. If you could learn to do that stuff in a short amount of time.... I'll do it again. My experience was interesting and fun.... but not so adrenalin based (as in sky diving). SO, I think I will do it again just to see how far I progress. The cost of the tunnel is about $20 a minute if you share it.
Here is the link that I know you want to see - it has some video of some good people!