Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Dutch Mariniers Corps has tested a new flight suit that allows a person to move freely in the air. The trigger for the investigation was the desire to find new ways for boarding operations.

The 27 kg fly suit from Gravity Industries consists of a harness with an engine on the back and a double engine with a total output of 800 kW on each of the two forearms. It is controlled via a handle and the position of arms and legs. A flight can take between five and ten minutes. A speed of up to 50 km / h is achieved. The flight altitude is limited to 3.7 km. The purchase price for civil versions is in the mid six-digit euro range.

With the Fly Suit you can reach places that are otherwise practically impossible or only accessible with great effort. Water bodies, bogs, scree or debris can be overcome as well as artificial horizontal and vertical obstacles. Tactical tasks are, for example, overcoming minefields, walls and boarding ships. But rescue services can also reach the scene quickly in difficult surroundings (e.g. during floods).

The high-risk tests focused on flights close to the ground. Short distances were initially used to find balance and achieve stable flight operations. This was followed by similar routes and tasks in which the limits for practical flight operations were tested. For tactical reasons, flights at higher altitudes with increasing risk were only rarely necessary.

The special forces are now evaluating the tests and assessing the added value that can be achieved with the fly suit. Then rules of action (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, TTP) have to be worked out before a marine infantryman is “flown over” for the first time.

Gerhard Heiming