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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Levitators  
  Allows free flight in the interior volume of a vast sphere in space.  

"It is most simple" - famous last words.

In the air above were darting figures, men and women of Scarta — flying. Strapped between their shoulders were torpedo-shaped things, and these glowed a brilliant phosphorescent green. These were levitators, Jor Therol explained; nullifying gravity; controlling its effect in any desired direction and intensity.

“But,” objected Coler, “what of gravity in the city itself? How is it that overhead the pull is opposite in direction?”

“It is an artificial gravity.” Jor Therol took three levitators from a rack and examined their mechanisms as he spoke. “The energies are in the shell which incloses us. In the center of the sphere the attraction is equal in all directions; therefore our artificial sun needs no support.”

“I take it you expect us to use those things?” Kal Turjen asked, looking dubiously at the levitators...

Jor Therol showed them how to adjust the straps of the levitators so the mechanisms were securely fastened to their backs. Then he withdrew the control cables and placed a slender tube in the hand of each of the newcomers.

“It is most simple,” he assured them. “One merely points the control tube toward his destination and then governs, his speed by varying the pressure on the spring — so.”

From Lost City of Mars, by Harl Vincent.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

And what does it feel like to soar in a vast, circular space inside a planetoid?

Jor Therol leaped from the roof, soared above them a moment, then swung his control tube around and dropped lightly to his feet.

“Our destination is there,” he said then, pointing toward a parklike area some sixty degrees away. “Follow me.” With that, Jor Therol’s levitator glowed brightly, and he shot out into space with the ease and speed of a Mercurian fire bird.

Kal Turjen grinned. “Here goes,” he said, and was off after Jor Therol in a wabbling, lurching rush.

Coler directed his own control tube and depressed the spring; the circular building fell away from him. His experience in ethership piloting served him well and, in a few minutes, he had no difficulty in controlling his flight to a nicety.

The rush through the cool air of Scarta was exhilarating, and he let himself go until he had overtaken and passed his companions. To the right and left, before him and behind, high above — everywhere — was the vastness and magnificence of Scarta.

Compare to air tank flying from The Power Planet (1930) by Murray Leinster, the Dragonfly sky-bike from Rendezvous With Rama (1972) by Arthur C. Clarke and the bat wings from Limits by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lost City of Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Harl Vincent
  Tech news articles related to Lost City of Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Harl Vincent

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