• JMC2

    Heaven Sent

    Simi Valley, California, United States

Project Summary

On July 30, 2016, Luke Aikins made a 25,000-foot jump from an aircraft without a parachute or wingsuit in front of a live audience and television crew. He survived, shattering a world record. To ensure Aikins’ safety, JMC2 was responsible for designing and overseeing the construction of the stunt site. The previous record was 343 feet and used an airbag technique to catch the falling individual. Since the height of Aikins’ attempt was much higher, the project team needed to design a new technique to safely catch him and meet challenges by outside agencies.

For the USD 8 million project, JMC2 used Bentley applications to create accurate 3D design models of the site. The models were shared as PDF documents with the media and all the stakeholders, including stuntmen, coaches, engineers, producers, and the manufacturers for all the parts. The team easily made design changes to the models using high-performance optioneering to produce plans for a 10,000-foot net with air pistons, cables, cranes, and guidance lights. The night before the event, one organization demanded project site plans that the team had not created. By using Bentley applications, the team created the necessary plans in approximately three hours. Without the ease and efficiency of the applications, the air jump would not have occurred.

The most important outcome of the construction project was that Aikins survived the fall. The stunt shattered the previous world record and successfully tested technology that has the potential to save lives from other high fall situations. The client saved nearly USD 1 million, achieved global exposure, and increased brand awareness worldwide. Bentley applications also helped reduce the environmental impact of the stunt site. The original design called for steel towers that would have needed to be built before the stunt and dismantled afterward. However, after viewing different 3D models, the team decided to use cranes, eliminating the need to cut down trees.

MicroStation’s ability to quickly deliver and share needed results ultimately saved the client USD 1 million on design and construction alone. The application was also instrumental in helping the project team create necessary, last-minute documents for outside agencies. PowerCivil simplified the site survey and development of the stunt’s layout, as well as developed the 3D models. The application also helped the team reposition the stunt so that no trees needed to be cleared.

Project Playbook: MicroStation, PowerCivil
  • JMC2 designed and oversaw the construction of a stunt site where a man jumped 25,000 feet out of plane without a parachute.
  • Bentley technology enabled the stuntman to survive the jump, and shatter the previous world record.
  • Bentley’s MicroStation and PowerCivil helped the project team design and build the project on time, despite last-minute requests from outside authorities, and with little to no environmental impact.
  • The client saved approximately USD 1 million in design and construction costs and received global exposure and brand recognition.
  • “We had a man (no parachute) falling 25,000 feet, his airplane pilots, helicopter pilots, spotters, observers, skydivers, medical crews, security personnel, hundreds of support people and their equipment in place and ready. And, right up until the very last minute, we were receiving communications from every agency, organization, union, or official that could have shut us down demanding schematics, diagrams, site maps, etc. We could not have responded so quickly and effectively to all these demands without the right software. At the 11th hour, it was Bentley that saved the day.”

    John Cruikshank President JMC2