In 1912, Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt leaped from the Eiffel Tower in a combination overcoat-parachute of his own design. He expected to fly but, as this video demonstrates, his scheme ended tragically (via trendbeheer.)
But one can count on German engineering to make the Icarus dream come true. ESG has developed some fetching mono-wings that will allow force troops to jump from high altitudes and then glide 120 miles or more before landing.
Fitted with oxygen supply, stabilisation and navigation aides, troops will jump from the aircraft which can stay far away from enemy territory. Weapons, ammunition, food and water can be stowed inside the wing, but concealing the 6ft wings after landing could prove harder than burying a parachute.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, so far mainly used by the army in Iraq or Afghanistan, are about to be launched by the police in Los Angeles to help carry out surveillance and rescue operations.SkySeer, which should be put into service later this month, has a camera attached to its belly, can be assembled in 5 minutes and is powered by a small battery. A video link sends data in real time down to a ground station. But the developers are working on a “cyber command post” to enable images to be viewed, anywhere in the word, in real time.
The UAV utilises an onboard compass and GPS system for its command and control. It flies to a location that is predetermined by the operator on a laptop.