Date: 
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 16:08

The Eden Project’s SkyWire, England’s longest zip wire, is re-opening on Saturday May 18 and will now offer thrill-seekers the opportunity to fly headfirst at up to 60mph – nearly twice as fast as before.

This new startling burst of speed makes the SkyWire the fastest as well as the longest zip wire in England, with people hurtling down it almost as quick as a cheetah at full speed.

This is made possible by a new type of harness which suspends budding pilots under the wire horizontally so they travel down the near-700m wire face-first.

The harness – which is similar to the kind used in hang-gliders – is attached to the wire by a trolley on the pilot’s back. People will be lifted on and off the wire by Eden’s specially trained team of SkyWire flight technicians.

The SkyWire, which starts 100m above the ground, offers a unique birds’-eye view over the spectacular architecture and lush landscape of the Eden Project. On a clear day, the flight also offers a commanding view of St. Austell Bay.

Lauraine Maddox, one of the Eden SkyWire test pilots, said: “Riding on the SkyWire with our new harnesses is the closest you can get to actually flying - short of sprouting wings and taking off, that is. What’s more, you’ll be soaring along at the same horizontal speed as a Peregrine Falcon, the quickest bird in the world. It’ll take your breath away.”

The Eden Project is offering one lucky person the opportunity to become the first person outside the project’s dedicated test pilot corps to fly the SkyWire in this thrilling manner. To register for the draw, visit www.edenproject.com/skywirecompetition. Anyone applying must be available at 10am on Saturday May 18. The competition closes at midnight on Thursday May 16.

SkyWire flights cost £10 if you visit the Eden Project as well or £15 if you just want to fly over it. Height, weight and other restrictions apply –details on www.edenproject.com.