to become birdman
entrepreneur Richard Branson has recovered his appetite
for adventure after famously failing to set new records
for an Atlantic speedboat crossing and round-the-world
balloon trip, and has set his sights on a record closer
time the Virgin tycoon only has to fly more than 89.2
metres to enter the record books - but he has to do
it under his own power.
is one of this year's contestants at the Birdman Festival,
at which inventors and other eccentrics from around
the world strap on home-made wings and fling themselves
off the pier at the southern British town of Bognor
Regis and, in most cases, straight into the sea.
aim is to reach France, but so far the furthest anyone
has got towards that goal is precisely 89.2 metres.
have done many crazy things over the years but attempting
flight from Bognor Pier is one of the biggest challenges,"
design of the apparatus in, on or under which the
Virgin Atlantic airline boss and founder plans to
throw himself into the brine on August 31 is a closely
only clue available is that Branson has, reputedly,
been following a vigorous training programme to increase
the distance he can cover before the inevitable splash-down.
pointed out that this year's Birdman Festival marks
the 150th anniversary of the first manned flight in
an aircraft designed by a Briton, George Cayley.
attempt will pay tribute to Britain's role in
aviation history," he added, without a hint