Before i7 Engineering was formed, the founders Brandon and Steve Arroyo were contracted to develop multiple mechanical and electrical systems onboard the Red Bull Stratos capsule. The Red Bull Stratos Project, a mission to the edge of space, transcended human limits that have existed for 50 years. Felix Baumgartner accended to 127,852.4 feet in a stratospheric balloon and made a free-fall jump that rushed toward Earth at a mindblowing supersonic speed of 843.6 mph (Mach 1.25) before he parachuted to the ground. His feat holds the potential to provide valuable medical and scientific research data for future pioneers.
After completing a record-breaking crossing of the English Channel with a carbon wing in 2003, famed Austrian athlete Felix Baumgartner decided to explore becoming the first parachutist to break the sound barrier. Felix and aerospace expert Art Thompson shared this vision with Red Bull – an organization noted for its keen interest in the possibilities of human flight – and the Red Bull Stratos mission was born.
The Red Bull Stratos team brings together the world’s leading minds in aerospace medicine, engineering, pressure suit development, capsule creation and balloon fabrication. It includes retired United States Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger, who held three of the venerable records Felix broke. Not even Joe knew for sure how Felix’s body would react in a 35-second acceleration to Mach 1.
On February 22nd, 2013, the FAI officially confirmed the 3 world records claimed by Felix Baumgartner for Maximum Vertical Speed, Exit Altitude and Vertical Distance of Free-fall. By achieving these world records, Felix adds his name to the list of FAI world record holders which includes such prestigious air sport personalities as Charles Lindbergh, Yuri Gagarin and, more recently, Bertrand Piccard and Steve Fossett.