Fly like a bird in Chicago museum's flight simulator

CHICAGO (WPVI) -- A new attraction at the Field Museum promises to allow you to feel what it's like to fly like a bird, by merging the physical and visual.

People have wanted to fly like birds forever. Virtual reality made that happen for one day only at the Field Museum with the Birdly Flight Simulator. Powered, by an immersive experience, Birdly gave some lucky folks Thursday the chance to have a full body experience of flying high.

The $200,000 machine is the work of Evanston-based D3D Cinema, a sister company to the producer of "Michael Jordan to the Max" and other big-screen films. Riders flap their arms up and down, and twist their wrists to bank. As one tilts down a fan blows, producing a flying sensation.

"It's a very active VR experience, which is unique because most VR experiences you just put on a headset and you sit there. This actually full integrates the body and movement and motion, so you literally feel like a bird and you're what a bird would be doing," said Don Kempf, CEO of D3D Cinema.

The contraption will leave the Field for a national tour including stops at the Tech Museum in San Jose, Calif., and the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

There is hope that providing the sensation of flight might one day become a permanent exhibit at the Field.
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