Remember how cool Jetman Yves Rossy looked on his jet-powered wing? Soldiers may soon be zooming across the sky on a similar-looking wingsuit with Gryphon’s new Next Generation Parachute System.
Described as a modular upgrade for parachute systems, it can help soldiers glide across the sky during high altitude jumps. On a typical 30,000 feet drop performed by US Special Forces, the wearer can glide stealthily for up to 30 miles at around 60 mph, allowing the team to launch much further from the target destination. When fitted with a small jet engine like Rossy uses, that can easily double up to 60.
The Next Generation Parachute System consists of a 6-foot wing that provides a glide ratio of 5:1. All equipment can be hidden in a lifting body, allowing the soldier to fly in with a very low chance of showing up on any enemy radars. The wingsuits will include a guidance system and display navigation – after all, it doesn’t make sense to float up in the air with no clue where you’re going.
While it will allow soldiers to glide in undetected, there’s a problem: they’ll still need to launch a parachute in order to land. You can fool all the radars in the world as you enter the territory, but if you’re falling from the sky with a big-ass canopy, someone’s bound to catch you all the same.
According to the Gryphon, they’re trying to develop ways to perform landings without the aid of a parachute to overcome the obvious problem. Now, when they do manage that, these soldiers will literally be swooping down like Superman. Or Mighty Mouse, since his size makes him stealthier.