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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Platform Flyer  
  A small craft suitable for journeys close to the ground.  

"Gersen dressed himself in an airsuit, left the ship. Opening the forward hatch, he winched down the little platform flyer,... set out...skimming low to the ground,the thin atmosphere keening over the windshield."
From The Star King, by Jack Vance.
Published by Berkeley in 1964
Additional resources -

Compare to the flitter from 'Doc Smith's 1941 story Vortex Blaster, which is one of the earliest implementations of this idea.

Thanks to an anonymous reader for contributing this item in comments.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Star King
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Star King
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

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