Achieving an iFLY high with Mitsubishi Electric drives

When iFLY, the leading operator of indoor sky diving tunnels worldwide, needed new drives to continue delivering its unique experience at the company’s facility in Milton Keynes, it chose a powerful and highly reliable solution from the Drive Solutions Centre (DSC).


When experiencing the excitement of true free-fall conditions in indoor skydiving centres, it is easy to forget about the apparatus required to suspend flyers in the airstream. This is created by a 12ft (3.66m) diameter wind channel linked to four large fans, which generate an upward airflow that makes skydivers feel like they are free-falling. The speed of the fans, and subsequent wind speed, is regulated by four inverters or variable speed drives (VSDs).

The responsiveness and accuracy of these pieces of equipment are fundamental for the instructors to achieve effective teaching conditions. They need to adjust the skydiving conditions with a high level of accuracy to meet specific requirements, e.g. weight of the flyer and experience level. In addition, near-real-time response is crucial to ensure maximum safety for anyone in the wind chamber.

Operating benefits

The new drives have addressed system reliability concerns, as well as offering iFLY a transition from analogue to digital control. Instructors now have precision control over airflow from a more responsive system.

The solution

iFLY chose Mitsubishi Electric’s 355 kW FR-F800 series drives. The FR-F800 is designed specifically to;

  • work with fans and pumps providing advanced excitation control within the motor
  • provide smooth ramp-up
  • provide a fast response
  • deliver high electrical efficiency
  • auto adjust routines to optimise energy efficiency during operation

Even with the original motors in place, these new drives simultaneously reduced energy costs, improved system response times and looked after the motors.