iFLY uses a vertical wind tunnel to simulate skydiving without requiring the participant to jump out of an airplane. The wind force creates a cushion of air that imitates the experience of free fall only a few feet above the ground.
Additional advantages of the iFLY experience include the absence of parachute equipment and the ability to participate with no prior experience. Additionally, all age groups can partake in iFLY, and most people with physical disabilities can participate as readily as anyone else.
The design of the vertical wind tunnel enhances the flight experience. A machine generates the column of air and fans at the top of the tunnel draw the air past the flier.
Safety is a major focus of iFLY; the wall-to-wall air column is designed to prevent injury, and all fliers are accompanied by a trained and certified instructor throughout the experience. Fliers take turns at sixty second flights, which is comparable to the approximately 45 seconds most skydivers experience of free fall.
More experienced indoor skydivers participate in a sport known as bodyflight, which is similar to competitive skydiving. Participants attempt to perform maneuvers during an allotted amount of time. Bodyfliers often operate in teams to perform more advanced maneuvers. Like many competitive sports that center around specialized maneuvers, bodyflight is scored by a panel of experienced judges.