Major Milestones of
Appalachian Amusement Center

1-12-2003 Final Site Grading is completed,

3-25-2003 This evening the last fan blade was cut out using a computer controlled milling machine. The hub is reassembled and nearly ready for delivery.

6-12-2003 The Fan Hub arrived at AAC today.

6-24-2003 The motor arrived today.

7-17-2003 The fan hub is now in place. This enables motor installation.

7-24-2003 Today the 18,700 pound motor was moved into position and mounted.

8-15-2003 Today the drive shaft was installed between the motor and fan hub.

9-11-2003 Today the repair of the non-slip waterproof coating on top of the machine was completed. Finishing of the interior and exterior are now complete.

10-8-2003 Today the motor was critically aligned.

11-19-2003 Today the fan blades arrived. One was temporarily mounted.

12-10-2003 After a months delay due to a couple bad circuit boards and fiber optic cables, the motor ran for the first time today.

12-11-2003 Today the fan blades were installed and the first flight occurred.

12-22-2003 Today John Suiter our first guest flier flew. This was John's 17th vertical wind tunnel. He tells us our jet and net quality are second to none.

1-6-2004 Today two fliers flew simultaneously for the first time in our facility. You can see pictures in the gallery . We have confirmed that the jet, as yet unmeasured, is very wide and unusually well suited to multi-flier use.

3-3-2004 Today we flew 3-ways, 120 MPH, and at night for the first time. We took our first airspeed measurements and made our first efficiency calculations. The jet is very consistent and the machine is very efficient. We were interviewed by Jen Markham of WLOS-TV, an ABC affiliate in Asheville, NC for a feature called  "Gen-X".

3-4-2002 Today we flew the first 4-ways. Visit the gallery to see pictures.

3-11-2004 Today we operated above 600 RPM for the first time, going to 625 and then 650 RPM. For the first time as a 180 pound flier I flew without a jumpsuit and had enough airspeed to fly really well.

4-29-2004 Today we enjoyed our first television publicity, a feature called Jen-X was broadcast on WLOS-TV in Asheville, N.C. at 5:55 PM.

8-7-04 Today we flew our first paying customers, five Tunnel-Rats touring VWT's on the way to Illinois for the skydiving convention. They tell us that compared to Sky Venture at full power, our machine is approximately as fast at 650 RPM and significantly faster at 670 RPM, as well as much smoother, more consistent, quieter and wider.

9-4-04 Today we had our first five and six-way flights.

9-11-04 Today another flier who has flown Sky Venture at full power told us that at 677 RPM our machine is as fast. Of course we are very happy to hear this because when our machine was designed and when construction began, Sky Venture did not yet exist. The L-1 was designed to be the perfect VWT for four-way skydiving teams and advanced fliers, not to compete with Sky Venture.

9-25-04 Today a person who worked for Sky Venture in Perris Valley told us he has flown many times at the highest speed they operate the machine, and that at 670 RPM we are as fast.

12-8-04  Today the U.S. ARMY's precision free fall team The Golden Knights- Competition, flew in our facility. They felt we had more than enough airspeed. They started at 605 RPM and eventually worked up to 662 RPM, the fastest they felt comfortable flying. One had to wear a dummy parachute container, the weight helping him to stay down with the rest.

1-10-05  Today AAC appeared in print for the first time since becoming operational. Our local newspaper, The Mountaineer, put us on the front page and the whole rear page of the first section. Click HERE to visit the PUBLICITY page to see this article.

1-19-2005 Today, for the second time in two months, a current skydiver told us that our machine is no louder than the sound of the wind in freefall.

1-25-2005 Today a problem with our drive system was discovered and repaired. The drive has run without shutdowns ever since.

2-26-2005 AAC appears for the first time in a skydiving publication, the March issue of "Skydiving", with a big 2 page article written by John Hoover.

8-24-2005 At aprox. 11:09 PM we felt an earthquake. It was a 3.8 The epicenter was aprox. 20 miles NE, 5 km deep in Hot Springs. The bleachers rattled and vibration could be felt. There was no damage.

1-2-2006 Our local Newspaper, The Mountaineer, republished a shot of John Suiter flying in our machine with four other photos titled "Top Photographs of 2005" Click HERE to visit the publicity page and see this article.

10-15-2008 Today was the first flight with our second generation fan. This new fan allows us, for the first time, to operate at full power. Until now we were limited to only 70% power.

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