Austrian skydivers flew through Tower Bridge in London

On 12th May 2024, two skydivers from Austria – Marco Fürst and Marco Waltenspiel – went down in history as the first daredevils  to fly with wingsuits through the iconic Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London.

At around 5.45 a.m. that day, the two skydivers jumped out of an AS355 Ecureuil helicopter, hovering at 3,000 feet (914,4 metres) above London, and began their remarkable feat. They started to descent, reaching a maximum speed of 246 kph. Next, Fürst and Waltenspiel levelled off at 35 metres above the river and passed at high speed between the bridge towers. Right after that, the pair of skydivers performed a ‘flare’ manoeuvre to gain some altitude and open their parachutes. Then, just forty-five seconds after leaving the helicopter, they landed safely on special barges positioned on the Thames waters, near the bridge.

After the stunt, Marco Fürst said: ‘I just feel amazing. The jump was beautiful, and everything worked out really well. In the last two and a half years we planned everything through and had the best preparation and training. I really enjoyed the journey and I’m really grateful to work with Marco and such a good team to bring our dream to life’.

‘You can’t rebuild this unique bridge. We did around 200 training jumps just for this day, just for this minute. The difference between training and today is, of course, huge. It’s not a common jump, it’s unique. It was quite intense and I’m super happy now.’ – commented the other skydiver, Marco Waltenspiel and added: ‘It’s just insane to get this opportunity to fly through such a unique landmark – you see stunts like this in films, but to actually do it ourselves is amazing. It gives me goosebumps just talking about it.’

Marco Fuerst and Marco Waltenspiel jump of a helicopter before flying through the Tower Bridge in London, Great Britain. / Photo: Peter Salzmann / © Red Bull Content Pool

Marco Fürst and Marco Waltenspiel are members of Red Bull Skydive Team. Both are among the best wingsuit specialists in the world, having wide-ranging records of jumps, such as flight over heart island in Croatia and ‘The Streif’, iconic downhill ski run in Kitzbühl, Austria.

Marco Fürst was born in 1991 and started his skydiving career in 2009 at the age of 18, knowing from the very beginning that he had found his passion. He has been a member of the Red Bull Skydive Team since 2014. To date, Fürst has logged around 10,000 jumps.

With his experience and training in the wind tunnel, he is currently one of the best wingsuit skydivers in the world. He enjoys travelling the world and developing his skills by pushing the limits of the possible and passing on his experience as an instructor and coach.

He focuses on unique projects such as ‘Mega-Swing’ within which, also together with Marco Waltenspiel, he swung on the highest swing in the world, suspended under a hot air balloon at altitude of 1,800 metres.

Born in 1984, Marco Waltenspiel has been involved in skydiving since he was 17 years old. He started succeeding in this sport early in his career. In 2006, he finished third in the European Championships (Junior) and fourth in the World Championships (Junior). He also earned a first-place team win at the European Paraboard Championships and the Austrian State Championships.

Austrian skydivers fly through the Tower Bridge. / Photo: Mihai Stetcu / © Red Bull Content Pool

Currently, Waltenspiel spends most of the time with the Red Bull Skydive Team, which aims to push the boundaries of freefall. The group performs skydives in formation, BASE parachute jumps, also with use of the wingsuits, as well as tandem parachute jumps. The team is also actively involved in various unusual sky projects. such as BlaniX File.

In 2012, Marco Waltenspiel performed a BASE jump from a helicopter over Schlafberg Mountain in St Wolfgang, Austria. In 2014, together with the Red Bull Skydive Team, he performed a skydiving display in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the opening of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship season. The following year, he and the Red Bull skydiving group also performed a flight over an active volcano.

Marco Fürst and Marco Waltenspiel have been preparing for their latest remarkable feat of wingsuit flight through the Tower Bridge for over two years. Since April 2022 they have been undergoing intensive training in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. The preparations included two cranes that mimicked the dimensions of the Tower Bridge.

Marco Fuerst and Marco Waltenspiel after their latest remarkable feat. / Photo: Joerg Mitter / © Red Bull Content Pool

Cover photo: Marco Fuerst and Marco Waltenspiel of Austria on their way to Tower Bridge in London, Great Britain on May, 12, 2024 / Photo: Peter Salzmann / © Red Bull Content Pool.
Information from the Red Bull company press release were used.