Over 19 million people have experienced the thrill of soaring on a pillow of air since iFLY opened its first vertical wind tunnel in Orlando, Florida, in 1998. It has established itself as the world leader in vertical wind tunnel technology while building over 90 tunnels worldwide and operating over 40 locations throughout the United States, Canada, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The newest location, which opened March 10, 2023, is a sensational addition to bustling London hot spot The O2.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the iFLY experience to the capital and even more excited to be hosted at the world’s most iconic leisure and entertainment destination, The O2,” stated Simon Ward, CEO at iFLY International. “We believe everyone, at any age or ability, should have the opportunity to experience the pure unadulterated joy of human flight, and opening the experience to Londoners is the next step in our mission to deliver the dream of flight to everyone.”
IFLY Expands Operations To Deliver the Dream of Flight to More People of All Ages and Abilities Around the World
The new location at The O2 is a fantastic opportunity to experience the rush of free-falling without skydiving. World-class certified instructors guide each flying session. The whole process lasts approximately an hour, from preflight briefing and instructor training to suiting up in a wind suit and goggles and soaring inside the wind tunnel, followed by a riveting flight demonstration from the instructor.
High-definition cameras catch all the action inside the tunnels and deliver social media-worthy pictures so that flyers can share their exhilarating experience with the world. At the same time, those preferring to keep their feet on the ground can still witness the thrill of body flight and catch great photos from the vantage point of the free-watching platform.
The O2 location is one step in the company’s upcoming expansion. In the United States and Canada, it will open a new location in Edison, New Jersey, and Long Island City, New York, as well as Boston, St. Louis, Las Vegas, North Carolina, and Vancouver. “The company’s growth plans are to continue to open three to five units a year in our home countries,” said CEO Matt Ryan. “And the continued expansion of our franchise and licensee business. We’ve identified over an additional 100-plus locations worldwide in our core markets. People will travel for an experience and there are plenty of markets around the world.”
Excitement Awaits at The O2 Entertainment District
The O2 is a massive entertainment district located on the Greenwich peninsula in southeast London. “It is an iconic location for iFLY,” said Ryan. He shared that the company “historically really focuses on high-visibility locations.”
In addition to the new vertical wind tunnel experience, the sprawling O2 leisure venue includes bars and restaurants, a music club, a Cineworld movie theater, an indoor arena, a trampoline park, premium outlet shopping featuring more than 60 brands, and exhibition spaces.
“The O2 is proud to welcome iFLY to London, adding to our unrivaled day-to-night leisure offering that already houses a buzzing entertainment district that includes Toca Social and Boom Battle Bar, plus an unrivaled outlet shopping experience with brands including Levi’s, Nike, Superdry and more,” said Janine Constantin-Russell, managing director at Icon Outlet at The O2, and the entertainment district at The O2.
The must-visit destination is a 15-minute trip from central London. The O2 is accessible by road, public transport, and boat. It’s certainly worth the trip to experience the rush of free fall from the safety of the vertical wind tunnel. Spectators can share the thrill from an impressive 360-degree viewing platform.
The company operates three other locations in England: in Basingstoke, Manchester, and Milton Keynes. And no matter which one you go to around the world, all first-time flyers are required to take a training class. That’s where flyers will learn important information and get to practice their flying position before entering the vertical wind tunnel. Return flyers — anyone who has flown in the past three months — can skip the class and get right into the high-flying action. Beginners get to float on their bellies and possibly move up and down or forward and backward; return flyers can advance their skills to include flips and tricks through additional training and practice sessions.
Vertical Wind Tunnel Technology
A patented wind tunnel design powers the entire iFLY experience. The company, headquartered in Austin, Texas, invented the recirculating wind tunnel.
It’s powered by four fans located to optimize airflow quality and propel the air around the tunnel in an efficient loop. To maximize the flight experience, an inlet contractor narrows the airflow below the flying chamber to create a smooth flying sensation.
The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to where iFLY will land next.