Back in the dawn of aviation, in the 1920s,
wing-walking was an incredibly dangerous stunt.
Daredevils would get out of the seat in their plane
and just clamber around the wings
with nothing but their own strength.
Maybe there'd be a pole at the top
they could attach to once they were up there,
but mostly it was just them and their strength
against 100mph wind.
Now there are still a very small number of folks in the world
who do wing-walking that way,
but in the 21st century,
wing-walking is a little bit different.
- We go at roughly from 80 to 160mph. Various, in between that.
And we'll pull up to 4g, so it's a huge strain on our bodies
and we're doing manoeuvres, so we'll lift our legs up,
we can do handstands and we'll also move around.
It's like resistance training, it's really hard work.
In the loop, we'll get to about 4g at the bottom
and then as soon as we go over the top
we start waving, cause that's the nice weightless bit,
so it's easier to start then, than start when you're going really quickly.
You have about a month of intense training.
You practise everything on the ground first
and then you just go up in the air and do it repetitively.
You fly everyday, all day, so it's absolutely knackering.
- At Eastbourne Airshow, we take off
from an airfield near Brighton and we fly along the coast
for 20 minutes and then they climb up onto the wing,
so they climb up in flight.
On the transit flight, the procedure for them to climb onto the wing
is for them to unstrap their main seat harness, but at all times
they have a carabiner which slides up and down the wire.
Their cable is about 60cm long,
so they can never be more than 60cm away from the centre line of the aircraft.
Once they get up onto the wing,
the carabiner is then behind them, still attached,
and then they strap themselves into the five point harness,
which is on the swivel rig on the wing
and at that point, of course, then they have two methods of attachment.
That's totally different to the 1920s!
- The main difference when having someone on the wing
is that there is a significant amount of drag from that person.
It's a bit like flying an aircraft with your gear and flaps down.
You'll need more power to fly and you need to check the trim as well,
because the people on the wing provide a forward centre of gravity.
- So at the end of the show, we'll chat to everyone
and they'll tell us what they enjoyed.
Usually, it's when we do the rolls and we go upside down
because they can't quite believe that we're strapped on.
From the air, you can't see our wire.
It's all a bit of an illusion, so it looks like we're not attached,
and they're like, "Oh my gosh!"
So it's a bit of a daredevil thing they think is going on as well.
- Kids come up to us all the time,
especially young girls that are doing gymnastics and think,
'oh my gosh, that's incredible',
so it's really nice to feel like you're a bit of a role model for people.
- That is exhausting.
That is one of the most physically strenuous things
I think I've ever done.