Fastest Speed Skating Suit Ever – by Brian Schneider

Speed Skating Suit

November 8, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Wind Tunnel tests with custom designed mannequins and different Under Armour speed skating suit prototypes. Under Armour and Lockheed Martin, through a partnership are trying to create the fastest suit for the Sochi Winter Games. The wind tunnel testing took place at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel Building on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Schneider-15Four-www.ebrianschneider.com

Baltimore-based photographer Brian Schneider shares some behind the scenes photos of the new speed skating outfits being tested in a wind tunnel.

That was Under Armour’s goal as equipment sponsor of the US Speed Skating team for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. To accomplish this goal, they partnered with Lockheed Martin, a defense contractor known for making fighter jets, to create the most aerodynamic suit using computer models, mannequins of speed skaters, wind tunnel testing, and application of fabrics. It was really a match made in heaven; Under Armour has become a leader in fabrics and performance gear for athletes while Lockheed Martin is a premiere aerospace engineering firm. I was fortunate to join the team at 15Four as the stills photographer to document some of the making of the suit for a small new media project for Under Armour. The whole project consisted of about 5 days of filming on and off over 1-2 years, my part was one-day of wind tunnel testing at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel Building on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. The film crew did video interviews and b-roll while I documented all the parts photographically. This assignment was a dream for me because it gave me a chance to creatively document the engineering process. I’m also a huge Under Armour fan-boy because I love their product, story and their work to help the City of Baltimore succeed; and being a defense industry burnout, it was interesting to me to see Lockheed Martin’s involvement with the project. Besides, who’s not a fan of top-secret projects?!

Continue reading on Brian’s blog.

Speed Skating Suit

November 8, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; The insides of the custom designed mannequins. These were created using movie-industry motion capture of US Speed Skaters in Colorado and have hundreds of sensors to gauge the effects of wind during aerodynamics testing. Mandatory Credit: Brian Schneider-15Four-www.ebrianschneider.com

Speed Skating Suit

November 8, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Lockheed Martin engineers discuss during wind tunnel testing of the different speed skating suit prototypes at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel Building on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Schneider-15Four-www.ebrianschneider.com

Speed Skating Suit

November 8, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Different fabrics prototypes for the hands and arms sit on a table during wind-tunnel testing at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel Building on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park. An Under Armour designer was on-site with a sewing machine mixing and matching fabrics to test in the wind tunnel. Mandatory Credit: Brian Schneider-15Four-www.ebrianschneider.com

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