Owner and Chairman of Aerodium
Ivars Beitans is the owner and chairman of Aerodium based in Sigulda, near Riga, in Latvia. He, too, is a man of the first hour and associated with a legendary brand. It was Ivars’ vision that took over when the originator of the concept that would make indoor skydiving possible, French Canadian Jean Saint-Germain (1937 – 2016), started to run out of steam.
The first vertical wind tunnel as a sporting venue was built between 1979 and 1980 near Montreal. Saint-Germain – an ingenious tinkerer, an eccentric inventor and a parachuting instructor – came up with the idea for the benefit of his own children, whom he was training in advanced free fall techniques at the time.
Deriving the purpose of his contraption from the title to the U.S. patent that it was based on – “LEVITATIONARIUM FOR AIR FLOTATION OF HUMANS” – would have been impossible. Hence, Saint-Germain came up with a brand to communicate the essence of what his apparatus was all about: AÉRODIUM.
After collaborating with AÉRODIUM Canada for a number of years and improving the original designs during this period, Ivars Beitans accepted Saint-Germain’s offer for a buyout in 2009. “They realized that we were developing their business better and faster than they could,” Ivars says, “so they suggested that we purchase the company outright.”
From there, Latvian Aerodium set out on a global conquest. The man who brought a truly unique background to his job as the company leader – academic studies in philosophy, psychology and business; hands-on experience as a stuntman in the movie industry – has not looked back ever since.
Aerodium provides a full line of tunnels: indoor, outdoor, with or without recirculation, in all sizes and for all purposes. Fact is that the company specializes in building wind tunnels to the specific requirements of the client. Like the the one Ivars designed for the producers of the most recent MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie with Tom Cruise. Read up on it here!