back to article Strap-on stealth jetplane for special forces

OK, so you're an elite special forces type. You're just checking that your beeper shows enough that the girls across the bar will notice it, when the damn thing goes off. You race into the barracks. It seems that there's this crisis somewhere - hostages, WMDs, cat stuck up a tree - doesn't matter. Somebody's arse needs foot …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bad thing...

    Nuf said about weapons are bad, war is bad and the like. Well yes, I have to admit. But this wingish thing is just bloody cool! Want one. Now. Fully equipped with jets.


  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Aw c'mon...

    Us poor paraglider types got enough to put up with wings that can collapse, people strapping lawn mower engines to their backs, mad beggers tying balloons to their chairs... and now some loon wants to drive a stealthed mini-jet through the sky?

    I hope he's read the Air Navigation Order - if he's got power, *he* has to give way to *us*.

    Yours watching the sky even harder,


  3. Nathan Billett

    me first... me first

    Please sir... can I have one.... with the added rocket booster packs, sir!?!

    i wan' it, I wan' it I waaaaaaaaan' it!!

    Absolutely, positively serious offer to be a human guinea pig (test pilot) for the Rocko-Gryphon(tm - by me, thanks) - Only compensation required woud be 2 of said Rocko-Gryphon(tm) and a life time supply of disposible rockets... a fair deal all round I think.

  4. Andrew

    very sutle

    strap-on and in really deep, shocking behaviour :P

    and yes how long before extreme sports pick it up :D

  5. Norman Wanzer

    Been Done

    Yves Rossy came up with this idea some time ago. He built a working model - with jets - and has been refining it ever since.

    Here is some video of his test flights:

  6. oxo

    It's been done already..

    By this daring swiss chap

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the meek have the earth

    I'm surprised they haven't developed a larger, stealthy, STOL transport aircraft; one that could move a small quantity of men and equipment at low level, at night, invisible to radar and infra-red, quiet, etc. Perhaps a helicopter. I imagine there would be formidable technical challenges, and it would be extremely expensive, but then again the govenrment has no shortage of money to waste on nonsense.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As detectable as a bird...

    Everyone always says that about stealth fighters and the like:

    A) Unless radars are operating as enormous power levels, and microwave frequencies (hot dogs anyone?), how is a non-metalic thin cloth parachute visible at all?

    B) Do birds often fly at 30k ft or several hundred kts? If the radars can detect them at all, shouldn't those charateristics be enough to flag them?

  9. David Morris

    Check out the videos

    Search for felix baumgartner and his Red Bull Delta Wing to see videos of his flight across the English Channel using one of these types of devices (erm do we really want the ability to sneak into French airspace - we don't want to suggest we're invading incase they hand us the keys).

    He has plenty of other videos of him using it to do tight turns in his special spandex suit.

    The Red Bull version has been around for a few years now but doesn't have Min-Jets yet.

  10. Ciaran Tracey

    This crazy dude already has the jet engines.....

  11. Anton Ivanov

    Peter F Hamilton being a prophet again

    This is quite close to his description of a British special forces rig in the Jeff Mendel series (Mindstar Rising, Quantum Murder, The Nano Flower). Hope that the rest of his novells does not come on us as fast as this bit. They are quite prophetic regarding global warming, human-computer interface, future labour governments and plenty of other nasty and unpleasant stuff to come.

  12. Ian Ferguson

    Safe like a missile

    Let me see... it barely appears on radar, can follow terrain in ground-hugging mode, and is about six feet long. How long before some poor beta tester is picked off by automatic anti-missile defences, like wot the Americans are always proposing...?

  13. Tom

    radar power levels ....

    You dont need a lot of power. Just sensitivity.

    And these so called stealth things tend to be 'invisible' only to high frequency radar - good old world war II short wave radar picks em up just fine.

    Thats why the US only ever attacks countries its sold the weaponry to!

  14. Robert McCracken


    Where and how much?!?!?!?!

  15. Ross Fleming

    How detectable?

    All this stealth stuff makes the thing 'as detectable "as a bird" on radar'

    If I remember rightly from my Top Gun watching days (i.e. today), they call the F14s and other aircraft "birds". Here's hoping they're not using the same lingo eh?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DSEi - over please

    No objections, but I live near the place and the surrounding DLR stations to the Excel centre in London have at least 6 police officers while this thing is on. The safest I've ever felt!

    Can't help but think why they're there - to prevent an attack on the place? Wouldn't there be something ironic about using violence to argue about violence?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prior art...

    I believe batman came up with that idea first.

  18. laird cummings

    Man-search radar

    Radar sets capable of detecting bare, unadorned humans have been around since the the late 50s. Mind you, back then it was found to be of limited utility - fixed, high-value positions only, and it only worked sometimes. Still, if it worked at all back then, it surely works better now, especially with all the nice radar-shiny metalic kit commandoes would be hauling with them.

    HAHO is an invitation to be met on the ground by a large and grumpy 'welcoming' committee. This superman suit limits, at the very least, the amount of time the bad guys have to search - well worth the cost, when you consider that the commandoes using them are pretty pricy in their own right. Anything that substantially reduces exposure to detection is well worth a good look.

    Plus, I can't wait until I can take a crack at one for myself - Looks to be as much fun as sex.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PHASST Anyone?

    Anymore remember James Bond's 'Die Another Day' -- Switchblades?

    Switchblades - The Switchblade is essentially a one-man glider shaped like a fighter jet. It features retractable wings that control the speed and trajectory of the craft. Fitted with the same material that makes a stealth bomber radar-invisible, the switchblade allows Bond and Jinx to enter North Korea undetected. The switchblade is based on a workable model called "PHASST" (Programmable High Altitude Single Soldier Transport).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With the computer aided controls and the flying through the sky.......

    Is this the missing IT Angel I have heard so much about in other comments?

  21. Nick Palmer

    @ Anton Ivanov

    It's not the Greg Mandel stuff I'd be worried about coming true, it's the Night's Dawn series... *grin*

  22. Dan

    Only cool in flight...

    ...because on the ground, you'll look a right tw@t waddling about looking like a large penguin

  23. Chris

    Highest flying bird

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How much for one on E-Bay?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sporting life

    Can one do extreme ironing with this thing?

  26. John Stag

    Can they get past laser defences?

    Can they get past laser those automatic laser defences

    they keep on telling us about - the ones which can

    zap incoming shells, etc.

    If not....sizzled bacon.

  27. Jason Clery


    Oi Page. Where are those Gen 3 Night Vision goggles I told you to get for me in the first DSEi article?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mmmmm. Bacon. *drool*

  29. Rick Brasche

    I'd forgotten about the Hamilton stories

    can't wait for his radiation-free "electron-compression" devices next!:)

  30. Serge

    Has been done before by a very special person

    This was done a while ago already and has been in the works and testing for many years.

    Who did it first?


  31. Morely Dotes

    @ Ashley Pomeroy

    "I'm surprised they haven't developed a larger, stealthy, STOL transport aircraft;"

    How have they managed to make you believe it hasn't been done?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    JetCat engines

    Yves Rossy uses four of the smaller ones for his flight in the video (link is above) @ oxo et al. you can tell JatCat(tm) by their distinctive purple cowling. The latest according to their website is the p200 which outputs 45 lbs of thrust at 115,000 rpm and weighs five pounds they cost in the neighborhood of 15,000 USD so sixty thousand and a wing and you too can have one.

  33. PN

    A nice little cash maker

    These should be a nice little cash maker when this Government finally gets its borders all chipped up detecting illegal immigrants, & none can enter by normal ports of entry.

  34. Adrian Esdaile

    Best sentence of the week

    "Somebody's arse needs foot contact, and your team has the boots for the job."

    Who says Reg hacks can't write? I'm sure Shakespeare would have used a sentence as beautiful as that, had any of his plays had the right context.


  35. Andrew Norton


    ok, so now we got Ace McCloud, and the ISS is just the declassified name for Skybolt, can I be Jake Rockwell please? (I can't be the water one, since i don't have a porn-tash)

    oh, and will miss Krystal Kane please step forward!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can imagine if they use the phrase "Strap - on" in tha manual, it's going to read like realy bad porn.

  37. Darren Gallagher

    @Andrew Norton

    *laughing* Took me back to my saturday morning youth, awaiting Centurions with glee. You yoinked Jake Rockwell. No fair I wanted to have WEASEL.

  38. Mark Ireland-Spicer

    Buzz Lightyear

    That's not flying's falling with style!!!

  39. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Bede BD-5J Microjet anyone?

    Many years ago in a land far, far away (OK, it was Surbiton), I remember chatting to a guy who flew a promotional Bede BD5-J like the one in the James Bond movie "Octopussy". He said he was most unpopular with air traffic controlers as they regularly lost him on radar and had to call him up to ask his position! He also, on more than one occasion, nipped across to France and back without filing a flight plan.... And that was a design without any built-in stealth other than small size, and probably far more comfort than a strap-on jet kite.

  40. Roy Stilling

    @Anton Ivanov

    "future Labour governments"

    Shurely it was the "People's Socialism Party" that temporarily oppresses Britain in the Mindstar series, and it's been a long, long time since the Labour Party had anything to do with socialism.

  41. Roger Lee

    Check this out...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    HALO, HAHO, no. You want HIHO.

    The problem with this method of insertion is the acute shortage of dwarf special forces.....

  43. Dr. Mouse

    @ HIHO

    "The problem with this method of insertion is the acute shortage of dwarf special forces...."

    Shouldn't that be the acute shortNESS of dwarf special forces?

    ....Don't worry, jacket procurement is underway

  44. Jim

    “…you can tell JatCat(tm) by their distinctive purple cowling.”

    …Or by the big sponsor stickers on the wing?

    But who needs a cumbersome, rigid wing when you can just put on a pair of jet-boots?

  45. Jorge Salgado-Reyes

    Starship Troupers by Robert A Heinlein

    Heinlein wrote about this in 1959

  46. Vic Sub

    Neuromancer anyone?

    When I read the article, the first thing that popped int my head was the Screaming Fist mission from William Gibson's Neuromancer. "Microlights" used to covertly penetrate Russia's air defences in order to test a new virus against their nets.

    As for how the special forces evacuate the area after their mission is complete (or has failed disasterously) is obvious. They comandeer a Gunship Helicopter and haul ass to Finland where they are torn to pieces by said country's air defences with only one survivor.


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