In the city of Las Vegas, it seems like there are a million things for tourists to do during the day and night alike. While the casinos are of course the biggest attraction in town, the sheer number of another entertainment and tourism options that have sprung up around the casinos is somewhat mind boggling. From Elvis Presley’s last show to a state of the art simulation of the Star Trek universe, it seems as if Las Vegas will play host to anything that will bring visitors to the city and its casinos and hotels, no matter how intense, costly and at times just outright unusual it may be.

One particular attraction of note is Vegas Indoor Skydiving in Las Vegas, Nevada, a surprising draw that many people swear by as a unique, thrilling experience unlike anything available in any casino. Intended to simulate the experience of skydiving in a carefully controlled and thoroughly safe environment, indoor skydiving is a wonder of the modern age, made possible through advanced discoveries in physics and engineering mere decades ago. These advances have allowed builders to recreate the experience of skydiving in a way that allows people with any problems from a fear of heights to anxiety over the safety of the process to still experience the thrill and excitement of a skydiving jump, without ever leaving Las Vegas’ city limits.

The technology behind this attraction is known as the vertical wind tunnel. As it says on the label, this is a typical wind tunnel that moves air upwards in a vertical column rather than the horizontal movements of a conventional wind tunnel. These structures were initially conceived of in 1964 at the famous Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, a facility where a great deal of high-level research into the science of flight took place during the Cold War (and though this research is still quite classified, it is somewhat plausible that advanced research is still going on at the base to this day). Intended to further the cause of aerodynamic studies, invaluable to developing new flight technologies, once the nature of the device was made public around the 1980s (though exactly what was designed with these devices is still something of a classified matter). Eventually creative builders came up with a new use for this modern wonder.

The idea of using vertical wind tunnels in a recreational capacity began in 1982 and had since become a far more high profile use of this technology than any level of advanced research. At the Vegas Indoor Skydiving facility, this technology is put to use to create a sense of flight in visitors going into the vertical wind tunnel. These trips are carefully control, and a full range of safety features, mainly a landing mat for visitors, are built into the structure to ensure that accidents happen as little as humanly possible. With this facility, visitors can experience skydiving under these safer conditions, whether they wish to experience body flight for themselves or are preparing for a skydiving excursion.