Special Forces BAT WING: Revisited

JBS

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Some of you remember the new "BATWING" that allows a parachutist to actually glide to their destination. The carbon-fiber wing is rumored to be under extensive testing by U.S. Special Operations forces and could allow them to silently glide at very high speed into their target zone, in some cases over 120 miles- even while fully loaded with their gear. The wing has already been used by professional adventurers to glide over the English Channel, and appears to be stable enough to be used in other capacities.

News of the Batwing's testing, and potential use among Special Operations forces spread rapidly in the middle of 2006, before eventually fading out of discussion circles. Skydivers and professional adventurers, however, have been experimenting with variations on the Batwing theme, by using flaps of material on their arms and legs, to generate a similar "glide" effect. The wing-suits are so effective, and stable, that even BASE (Building Antenna Span and Earth) Jumpers have been using them to clear obstacles. BASE Jumpers leap off of bridges, sheer cliffs and other fixed objects, and must exercise caution to avoid collisions with the structures they leap from- unlike skydivers, who leap from aircraft or balloons. Although the carbon fiber wing is far more menacing in appearance, some aerial risk-takers are getting amazing results using mere silk and polyester!




This video shows a modified "Bat-suit" which allows the user to literally glide, before deploying his conventional parachute. It is amazing how far someone can use this suit to go. The actual carbon fiber wing must be even more impressive to see in action.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1rtxuIKnfo[/ame]
 

AWP

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The Batsuit will not be used by MFF jumpers. The carbon-fiber wing? I don't know.
 
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8'Duece

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I dont get it.

With a HAHO jump can't our freefallers roll up to 20 miles outside of a designated DZ ?

How much further and higher do the freefallers really want to go ??
 

Hitman2/3

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I don't know, I mean it would be great to be able to glide 120mi as the enemy would have not even a hint as to you being there, unless your unlucky or screw up. However, once they got on the ground what the hell would they do with the wing. They can't carry them with them, trying to successfully cache 12 of them seems pretty difficult depending on the terrain , and they don't look cheap so I don't think ditching them would be an option. Who knows.
 

JBS

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For a critical pre-invasion insert that is going to require eyes-on intel, the cost of the carbon fiber wing is irrelevant. What's a half-dozen or dozen $25K carbon fiber wings, in comparison to a successful mission? It's probably very economical when put it in perspective with the types of missions it would be supporting. Other assetts -much more expensive- have their limitations. What does a satellite or Predator cost? For all their expense, sophistication and usefulness, they can't actually put a man with his rifle on the ground.
 

HoosierAnnie

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I was just looking at the thumbnail. Per the listed features: Fuel tank holding 1/2 gal in wing times two wings = 1 gal Yet they also list being able to carry the soldier at 140 mph for 125 miles. Does anyone else see a problem??
 

AWP

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I dont get it.

With a HAHO jump can't our freefallers roll up to 20 miles outside of a designated DZ ?

How much further and higher do the freefallers really want to go ??

Further than that distance-wise.

As for the altitude question there are certain physiological issues to contend with the higher one goes. At some point, it just isn't worth it unless you are looking to set a record, not infil a team.
 
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8'Duece

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Further than that distance-wise.

As for the altitude question there are certain physiological issues to contend with the higher one goes. At some point, it just isn't worth it unless you are looking to set a record, not infil a team.


Guess that what I was thinking.

Isn't 20 miles or say 40 enough ? Unless you wann drop guy's 125 miles outside of downtown Kiev, then I still can't get my arms wrapped around the concept, really. :doh:

I'm not an avid skydiver, but I do hold my USPA "A" card. Not the same thing, I know. I've only opened high once, 8,000 AGL and it was a bitch to not be temped to just float to a whole nother state and pick out a corn field somewhere.
 
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8'Duece

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Guess that what I was thinking.

Isn't 20 miles or say 40 enough ? Unless you wann drop guy's 125 miles outside of downtown Kiev, then I still can't get my arms wrapped around the concept, really. :doh:

I'm not an avid skydiver, but I do hold my USPA "A" card. Not the same thing, I know. I've only opened high once, 8,000 AGL and it was a bitch to not be temped to just float to a whole nother state and pick out a corn field somewhere.

I've never dived high enough to be oxygen assisted. I understand the physio limits, especially without a pressure suit. It's cold enough at 12,000 AGL I can't imagine -45-95 degrees with oxygen.
 

AWP

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Guess that what I was thinking.

Isn't 20 miles or say 40 enough ? Unless you wann drop guy's 125 miles outside of downtown Kiev, then I still can't get my arms wrapped around the concept, really. :doh:

I'm not an avid skydiver, but I do hold my USPA "A" card. Not the same thing, I know. I've only opened high once, 8,000 AGL and it was a bitch to not be temped to just float to a whole nother state and pick out a corn field somewhere.

As to what is enough and what isn't? I'm not an MFF guy so I couldn't answer that. I have some thoughts, but that isn't my lane so I'll stay out of it.

I did get out of a Cessna once at 9k and did a hop n pop about 5 miles from the airport. We had a good tail wind that day and paralleled State Road 100 here in FL for the jump run. My canopy was a Raider 220 loaded about .9 or so. I was still able to pass the occasional car and arrived over the airport with plenty of altitude to spare. The guys under the loaded Stilletos were really working their rear risers, but my nice fluffy F-111 let me ride without any control inputs. It was a good jump.

Later "Oh shit, where's the airport" spots led to some high openings under my Jedei 120 loaded at 1.7. That took some rear riser action to make it back to the airport and not land in a trailer park somewhere.

What methods the MFF guys use (rear risers, toggles, nothing) is unknown to me. For distance I've had the best luck with my rear risers.
 

JBS

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Hmm... apparently there are several generations of this thing. The first generation was much larger- the one from 2003 was pretty huge. Since then, they've made some improvements in the design which make it much smaller. Much smaller than I thought it was, anyway. Here's a video of the guys walking around with a newer version of the things. If they are made of carbon fiber, then the glider versions could theoretically weigh less than 20 lbs / 8 kilos, although I'll have to research that to confirm the actual weight. Not much to carbon fiber, after all.

http://www.freesky.de/Other/VICHY.mov


The one with the RED BULL LOGO is the first generation, I believe.
 

AWP

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Despite the drawings and assurances of the manufacturer I don't see where a 100 lb. ruck will go or how you cache something like that on the DZ. The other issue no one touches on is one of currency on the device. You don't strap that on after a jump or two and take it to combat.

From my outsider looking in perspective I don't see it as practical.
 
T

The Bodizepha

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Guess that what I was thinking.

Isn't 20 miles or say 40 enough ? Unless you wann drop guy's 125 miles outside of downtown Kiev, then I still can't get my arms wrapped around the concept, really. :doh:

I'm not an avid skydiver, but I do hold my USPA "A" card. Not the same thing, I know. I've only opened high once, 8,000 AGL and it was a bitch to not be temped to just float to a whole nother state and pick out a corn field somewhere.

Stop talking, your annoying me. :D:cool:
 

Hitman2/3

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For a critical pre-invasion insert that is going to require eyes-on intel, the cost of the carbon fiber wing is irrelevant. What's a half-dozen or dozen $25K carbon fiber wings, in comparison to a successful mission? It's probably very economical when put it in perspective with the types of missions it would be supporting. Other assetts -much more expensive- have their limitations. What does a satellite or Predator cost? For all their expense, sophistication and usefulness, they can't actually put a man with his rifle on the ground.

I agree with the price, for that type of mission we could afford it. However, like freefalling stated again trying to cache 12 or even 4 of those things on a DZ is going to be pretty impractical unless they've got a way of breaking them down into a nice compact package. If they can do that then hell yeah, but I'm thinking the version with the mini jets and fuel tanks that can get you that 140 mi will not have that option. Now that I think about it a jet engine, even a small one, has a distictive smell. If your haj or whoever marching along in the desert or jungle and all of a sudden you get a wif of JP-8 after smelling nothing but your buddies ass for the past few days or weeks, some warning bells might start going off. I dont know I think its a good concept, but when put into tactical terms for a snoop and poop mission I think it raises more problems than solutions.
 

JBS

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Yeah, those jet engine models will probably not allow much gear along for the ride.


Here's a realistic scenario where this technology could be good, however:

a.) We've made contact with supportive locals, who have weapons and gear. We have a cultivated, established relationship with those locals, and plan on giving them assistance.

b.) The border to this scenario nation is closed

c.) The military power that has closed the border also has short range, low grade SAM's or other air defense; certainly not an impossible situation, but dangerous inside of 20 miles.

d.) We want a clean, clandestine insert of a 12-man team, plus 4 other observers/technical/language people

e.) The window of opportunity to insert is between midnight and 5 a.m., (cover of darkness, lowest level of alertness, etc.) This could be important, when you take into consideration HAHO and the TOT that comes into play.



Every one of these conditions is real-world, and every one of those conditions could be completely satisfied with these flying batman wings.

A potential drawback is that your team would be dropped in with only a very light ruck, LBV's, and minimal weapons until after they hit their DZ, since the use of the wing limits what can be carried. In the event of a catastrophic failure enroute to the DZ (for example GPS systems all failed, or some crazy thing to that effect) the team would find themselves on the ground in hostile territory without immediate access to their liaison / local force, and only lightly armed, since the bulk of their gear was to be provided by the liaison.

My thinking is that HALO and HAHO will not soon be replaced, and will probably remain one of the primary means of insert for a long time. This batman wing is more likely going to be one of those things that gets put in the "grab bag" for elite units where TIME is of the essence, and where getting a helo or fixed wing very close to the target could compromise the team before they touch the ground.
 
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