Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy

The idea of a individual flight untrammeled by flapping arms or unwieldy wings is so appealing... that the US Navy thinks its getting close to having them.

Remember those sf ideas of yesteryear, like the flying harness from E.E. 'Doc Smith's 1928 novel Skylark of Space, the anti-gravity belt from Philip Nowlan's Armageddon: 2419 A.D. and the cool jump harness from Robert Heinlein's 1961 classic Stranger in a Strange Land?


(Cover of Amazing Stories August 1928)

"Floaters" are a later development of "jumpers"--rocket motors encased in inertron blocks and strapped to the back in such a way that the wearer floats, when drifting, facing slightly downward. With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost, controlling his direction by twisting his body and by movements of his outstretched arms and hands. Ballast weights locked in the front of the belt adjust weight and lift. Some men prefer a few ounces of weight in floating, using a slight motor thrust to overcome this. Others prefer a buoyancy balance of a few ounces...
(Read more about floater jumpers from Armageddon: 2419 A.D., by Philip Frances Nowlan)

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