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New Personal Mono-Wing 263

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the gi-joe-fueling-future-defense-research dept.
geekRECON writes to tell us that a new lightweight mono-wing is being tested by special forces as an aid to parachute deployment. From the article: "Fitted with oxygen supply, stabilization and navigation aides, troops wearing the wings will jump from a high-altitude transport aircraft which can stay far away from enemy territory - or on secret peacetime missions could avoid detection or suspicion by staying close to commercial airliner flight paths."
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New Personal Mono-Wing

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  • Bad ass!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by gasmonso (929871)

    Here come the "I'm Batman" jokes :)

    http://psychicfreaks.com/ [psychicfreaks.com]
  • by demonbug (309515) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:26PM (#15483178) Journal
    To get deep inside enemy territory.

    Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

    Seriously, looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
  • by TWX (665546) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:27PM (#15483188)
    Not to troll here, but how would a military mission be in peace? Isn't the purpose of our military to engage in wartime activities, like defending our territories and offensively going after the enemy? Wouldn't peacetime air traffic be suspended in a true war zone?
    • Other countries and organisations like the UN engage in military actions in foreign countries to help protect the populations from civil war, for example by providing a 'show of strength' to deter trouble.
      • by Qzukk (229616) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:33PM (#15483236) Journal
        help protect the populations from civil war

        Truly, war is peace.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:22PM (#15483562)
          "To be prepared for War is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
          President George Washington
          first annual address to Congress, January 8, 1790

          In pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello.
          "In peace, as a wise man, he should make suitable preparation for war."
          Horace

          Qui desiderat pacem, preparet bellum.
          "Who desires peace should prepare for war."
          Vegetius De Rei Militari III

          Funny how these quotes rarely are posted or modded up on slashdot, yet Orwell here has been beaten to a bloody pulp.
          • Funny how these quotes rarely are posted or modded up on slashdot, yet Orwell here has been beaten to a bloody pulp.

            Because they're obvious. How many times have you heard someone on Slashdot say we should disband the military? I'm sure some very deep things have been said by some scholarly men about how delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are, but unless someone takes the position that they're bad, it doesn't make a ton of sense to quote them.

            The complaints are generally about how the US has hist
        • A show of strength is not a war. Apart from everyone just getting along, the only way for there to be peace is for the "alpha wolf" to be (or appear to be) so much stronger that no one dares challenge him. In the human world, the equivalent of the alpha wolf might be morally good, bad, or (most likely) a mixture. But there will be peace (even if an oppressive one) until weakness, or the appearance of weakness, encourages a challenger.

          With two regimes, like in the cold war, a show of strength on both si

          • "part from everyone just getting along, the only way for there to be peace is for the "alpha wolf" to be (or appear to be) so much stronger that no one dares challenge him. "

            YEs, just like Saddam, pol pot, idi amin, stalin etc.

            "Only supernatural intervention can turn around the human condition."

            That certainly seems like a defeatist attitude to me. I for one think it's possible for humans to reason with each other and I think God (I am pretending he does exist and is the god of the christians) did too. He ga
      • Of course, secret missions kind of go against the idea of a 'show of strength' to promote peace. Maybe they meant piece-time missions, as in what will happen if the soldiers are having so much fun they forget to open their 'chutes?
    • by raider_red (156642) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:37PM (#15483262) Journal
      "Secret peacetime missions" seems to be a euphamism for insearting intelligence agents into other countries. I'm not sure why we'd need it for this however, since American Airlines seems to be the best way to send in a spy.

    • how would a military mission be in peace?

      Espionage, spying, extracting a turncoat....

      As for other peaceful missions. The US military helped out after the south east asia earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and other times simply because they are capable of getting many places and moving supplies quicker than most others. Something like this could be useful for first responders heading into an area just to find out what the status is. At least for areas where a helicopter couldn't necessarily land, anyway.
    • You're new around here, aren't you?

      One of the jobs of the CIA is basically peacetime war activities. As simple like that. Trying to stop a war. Trying to start a war. It really all depends on the time of day.
    • Secret Peacetime Missions == arresting dissidents, toppling Latin American leaders the government doesn't like, and just generally acting cool
    • As quoted from the US Army SF Center [military.com]:

      "Special Forces have the ability to be virtually everywhere at once; this guarantees that they are the first on the ground or already at a crisis location when trouble starts.

      Their missions include direct action operations, unconventional warfare, special recon, and counter terrorism. Their skills and training give them a thorough knowledge of foreign languages, customs and cultures. In addition, they are the masters of training and organizing insurgents, surrogate fight
    • by Ryan Amos (16972) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:15PM (#15483506)
      Nah, it's more how we sneak troops into a country we haven't invaded yet. Like Iran.
    • Whats scary is that someone questioning why special forces troops should be secretly deployed in foreign countries is worried about being called a troll. Of course its a legitimate concern, especially what with the current paranoia about 'sponsoring foreign terrorism'. I doubt these special ops guys are deployed to distribute pro-freedom leaflets.
      In the UK we'd be moaning about what it will cost.
    • Taking out baddies like Osama bin Laden, before they can do damage.


      Taking out Saddams nuclear fuel processing plants before he has nukes (1982?). That required a lot of co-ordination between Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia to turn their heads as Israeli jets flew over those countries to/from the bombing mission in Iraq. No one wanted Saddam to have nukes.

      Basic dirty tricks stuff you gotta do so that you don't end up like Sri Lanka.

  • Just one question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by martinultima (832468)
    Might be a stupid one, but what kind of legitimate peacetime missions would require such stealth? Hopefully this is only for cases with definitively-known criminals or something similar to that, and not an NSA/Big Brother type thing like just about everything else these days is.

    Just thought I'd ask.
  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:27PM (#15483194) Homepage Journal
    > "or on secret peacetime missions could avoid detection or suspicion by staying close to commercial airliner flight paths" Somehow that seems like it might go awry... I just can't quite put my finger on it though.
  • by spikeham (324079) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:29PM (#15483203)
    ... welcome our new delta-winged overlords.
  • From ACME! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:29PM (#15483208)
    One look at the image in the article [dailymail.co.uk] immediately reminded me of the beta version.

    Acme! [rr.com] The only Batman outfit worn by bats!

  • Book (Score:3, Informative)

    by jaysones (138378) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:32PM (#15483231)
    There's a great new book out on wing jumpers called Birdmen, Batmen, and Skyflyers [amazon.com].

    For full disclosure, I work for the publishing company, but this is a really fun read.

  • Obligatory (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrjb (547783)
    Power Extreme!!! Seriously now. FTA: "Now military scientists have realised the massive potential for secret military missions." That's a pity and a shame.
  • ...staying close to commercial airliner flight paths. Yeah, that's what these guys [wired.com] thought too.
    • You (and several other people) misread that completely. They weren't talking about these guys flying commercial flight paths - with current technology they're all but invisible to radar anyway. They're talking about the drop aircraft doing so, and releasing soldiers, who will make a beeline from there to their target drop location.
  • by ktakki (64573) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:42PM (#15483291) Homepage Journal
    Sounds neat, but the guy in that photo looks incredibly stupid with that wing strapped to his back. He looks like he's going to a costume party dressed as an F-4 Phantom.

    Fuck hazard pay, is there "OMG I look like a dork!" pay?

    k.
    • It's payback for those high school days. Don't worry about it.
    • Sounds neat, but the guy in that photo looks incredibly stupid with that wing strapped to his back. He looks like he's going to a costume party dressed as an F-4 Phantom.

      I think if he got his suit chromed, he'd be the spitting image of "Hawk" Masterson from the old Captain Power TV series, and be able to fight off a few Bio-Dreads.

      It might look a little clunky, but especially with some miniature turbines a la the "Birdman" video, this would be *really* cool to try out.
  • by Flimzy (657419) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:43PM (#15483297)
    These would take dog fights to a whole new level of excitement!
  • by Gregoyle (122532) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:44PM (#15483304)
    I'm intimately familiar with this community, and I can tell you a few reasons why this will never be used.

    This sounds a lot like one of the things that eggheads who never go to the front lines think would be super-cool or a "killer app".

    First and formost, this would add surprisingly little in the way of capabilities to the units that already insert from high altitude aircraft. A HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening) jump has nearly this glide range anyway, and uses tried and true, proven technology. The standard "killer app" of HAHO is the ability to fly the plane in or near commercial lanes in the airspace of another country and glide across the border into the place where we aren't supposed to be. You might be able to guess how often this is actually used outside Tom Clancy novels.

    Second and probably most damning, the major problem with HALO and HAHO insertions is the fact the you can't bring very much gear with you on the jump; extra gear screws up the aerodynamics something fierce. You can jump some gear, but the more you jump the more trouble you'll have. Now take a look at the guy in the picture in TFA. This guy could jump in with a sidearm and a first aid kit, maybe adding a cell phone if he wanted to get froggy.

    Do you know the average weight of the gear carried on insertion by SF teams in the opening days of Afghanistan? Including weapons, ammo, body armor, hundreds of thousands of dollars cash, water, food, and clothing, it often exceeds the operator's body weight until the team has a chance to cache some of their gear. The things that make an SF team useful in a modern warfare environment are heavy and bulky.

    Do you wonder at all why most units insert on helicopters almost exclusively now?

    These wings will be used often in movies and books, and almost never in real life by real soldiers who have to deal with their limitations.
    • The article did say they could carry 200 lbs of equipment with them as well.
    • by KylePflug (898555) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:55PM (#15483377) Homepage
      Someone didn't read the "up to 200 lbs" portion. In fact, someone didn't read TFA at all. The problem with a HAHO jump is that you are slow-slow-slow coming down, have a pretty good sized rader profile, and are much omre vulnerable to winds -- which can play holy hell with even light aircraft at these altitudes. A rigid-wing glider like this makes alot more sense for high-altitude covert insertions, especially time-critical and covert operations.
      • Could a semi-rigid (ie unfolding) wing be used for a jump? You leap out similar to a HALO so you can have high speed descent, then halfway down you flip the wings to glide, and at low altitude lose the wings and open a chute.
      • Where could you possibly put 200 lbs of actual military equipment on that setup? I read the article, but I'm sorry; there's no way you could fit any kind of rucksack or real equipment on the back of a high-tech delta wing, which is already sporting a parachute for landing.

        Real equipment is bulky, not just heavy. Being able to carry a 200 lb brick of gold put directly in the center of gravity of the wing is very different from being able to carry a mission capable rucksack, laser target designator, and any
        • > Where could you possibly put 200 lbs of actual military equipment on that setup?

          You give your extra equipment its own set of wings with UAV electronics and let it follow you.

          > And parachutes have almost nil radar signature.

          But they leave you hanging up there all night instead of gliding to your target at aircraft speeds.
          • >But they leave you hanging up there all night instead of gliding to your target at aircraft speeds.

            That's the one benefit of this technology over HAHO as I see it, assuming you can actually pack as much equipment as the developers say you can. I just know military equipment designers and I sincerely doubt that the amount they claim at this point in development is going to be the amount usable in practice.

            Actually thinking about it, I think your radar signature would be bigger with this apparatus than w
        • From the article: "weapons, ammunition, food and water can all be stowed inside the wing."

          The one in the picture looks like it might be a bit small, depending on what you want to carry. It's probably the crossing-the-channel-as-a-publicity-stunt model though.
    • Now take a look at the guy in the picture in TFA. This guy could jump in with a sidearm and a first aid kit, maybe adding a cell phone if he wanted to get froggy.

      You might want to read the article instead of just looking at the pretty pictures.
      They claim that up to 200lbs of gear can be stowed in the wing itself.
      • Gee, that's a scary thought: you survive the harrowing high-speed descent and come to a full stop on the ground -- only to be crushed by the 200lbs that's sitting on your back.
        • Kind of like they do now, carrying 200 lbs of gear in a pack on their backs?

          You did note that they land on a regular parachute, right? Sticking the landing at 200 mph might be a bit tricky. Also, 200 mph forward glide speed at a 6:1 glide ratio means you're going DOWN at 30 mph.
    • A HAHO (High Altitude, High Opening) jump has nearly this glide range anyway, and uses tried and true, proven technology.

      So if Santa Clause flies in his sleigh at a similar height, does that make his descents down chimneys "HOHOHOs"?

    • Looks like he could put a good deal of gear IN the wing itself. I mean why leave it empty? it's a perfectly aerodynamic vessel just asking to be filled with lots of tiny brass-tipped explosives.

      But my main disagreement is this: they will also be used at air shows.
    • The article states that the jumper can jump with over 100kg of gear stowed inside the wing itself, without affecting the performance.
      Though i agree with you that they probably won't be used much, if at all in real world applications, I disagree totally with your reasons.
      The article disgrees with your reasons as well, maybe you should have read it.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:45PM (#15483316)
    ...is a 50' high elastic band catapult to send the merry little winged trooper on his way!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @05:48PM (#15483339)
    Where is the link to the relevant item on ThinkGeek ?
  • The monowing will become the new extreme hobby. I'd do it in a heartbeat. 220mph? Damn!
    • I'll stick to a 50 mph hang glider that actually flies instead of just falling semi-gracefully. Fly for hours instead of ten minutes, and no need to carry oxygen or get frostbite!
  • Wing Suits (Score:2, Informative)

    by Is0m0rph (819726)
    Sky divers and BASE jumpers have been using wing suits a long time. Some guys even fly similar fixed wings like this. I watched the HALO training shows on the military channel a couple days ago and there's no way they'd be training people to be combat ready in 20 days on a HAHO jump with a fixed wing. Wouldn't seem like the amount of effort involved with be worth it. One of the coolest and craziest wing suit jumps I've seen: http://my.break.com/Content/ViewContentPublic.aspx ?ContentID=1OZuGdvMCdS0QN4Gg [break.com]
  • Da Vinci (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alienpeach (930248)
    The first things I thought of were the crazy Leonardo Da Vinci flight sketches. I almost laughed because of the blatant similarities.
  • It's not enough to quote will smith, I also have to type something here.
  • ...until someone straps some of THESE BABIES [swbturbines.com] onto it!
  • it's the beginning of the starship troopers style of MI.
  • I vaguely remember seeing something like this in an episode of G.I. Joe...
  • No, no, no.

    We were definitely promised jet packs.

    *Personal* jet packs.

    You scientists can't fob us off with a pair of unpowered plastic wings - even if they are painted black and worn with a cool black suit and helmet.

    It's just NOT good enough.

    I clearly remember being PROMISED personal jet packs.

    Bah.
    • Don't forget the flying cars (not Moller's - the ones that fold up into a briefcase), robot butlers (ASIMO doesn't count, damn it), food pills, and 3d videophones that make you look great on the screen even if you just woke up on the morning after the night before and you haven't taken your hangover pill (there's another one) yet.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:25PM (#15483967)
    That's the jump-jet infantry from Tiberian Sun.
  • It will likely be in the next Bond flick, he'll strap it
    on at a moments notice zoom for 23 seconds, land lightly on
    the balcony of a magnificent mountainside stronghold/resort,
    toss off the wings, strip down to his tux, slip inside and
    kiss some bimbo. Damn I want that job.
  • Here's some info about THIS suit from the manufacturer's web site; see below for next generation info.

    From: ESG gives you wings - the parachute system for special operations [www.esg.de]

    In the future, high-tech wings will make it possible for parachutists to quickly cover a distance of up to 200 kilometres. (Berlin, 15 May 2006)
    ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH and Dräger (both part of the SPELCO Consortium) have designed a parachute system for the special operations units of the German Bundeswehr.

  • avoid detection or suspicion by staying close to commercial airliner flight paths

    An airliner might typically fly at around 900km/h, but will this glider be able to match an airline signature? Speed, return signature alluding to size and transponders will be required to look like an airliner. Also, the spec-ops guy might get sucked into the engine of one of those airliners or actually be eye-balled by airline pilots.

    I think the spec-ops guys should be dropped from space, in something that looks like a big ro
  • People tend to work in taller buildings, than they live in. Some of those may be towering enough to allow a glide home from the roofs...

    Anyone to cross the Hudson from, say, the top of the Empire State building? Getting permission to do that from the building's owners might be difficult, but if that weren't a problem, would you do it?

  • by Macka (9388) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:23AM (#15485579)

    Now wait for the legislation banning these from sale to the general public for "anti terrorist" reasons.

    Some politician will read this and think .. hmm .. now a terrorist can jump out of a plane 120 miles away from Washington, armed with 200lb of high explosives, and suicide himself on top of the White House with no warning.

    What a world we live in!

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