Military

Gryphon winged suit drops in for some serious air time

Gryphon winged suit drops in f...
The Gryphon winged suit has a 5:1 glide ratio, electronic guidance system and heads-up display
The Gryphon winged suit has a 5:1 glide ratio, electronic guidance system and heads-up display
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The Gryphon winged suit has a 5:1 glide ratio, electronic guidance system and heads-up display
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The Gryphon winged suit has a 5:1 glide ratio, electronic guidance system and heads-up display
The Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System is designed to be deployed in "high-altitude, high-opening" missions
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The Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System is designed to be deployed in "high-altitude, high-opening" missions
The Gryphon wing, ready to be deployed
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The Gryphon wing, ready to be deployed
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Are you were waiting for a good reason to join the armed forces? Perhaps you are just a kid who always dreamed of flying and never grew up, or maybe you are thinking of challenging Yves (Jetman) Rossy in the human winged flight game? This could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Get ready to duck … the Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System could be headed your way. Although engine-less, the Gryphon still has an electronic guidance system and heads-up display navigation and all equipment is cleverly tucked away making for better “stealth” flights.

Aimed at the military, this high-tech human gliding device allows parachutists to leap from planes and glide in any chosen direction (except up) at speeds around 60mph - a somewhat conservative speed suggested by the manufacturers - SPELCO (Special Parachute and Logistics Consortium).

Presently, a parachute is used to stop and drop a flier to the ground or at his target but SPELCO says it plans to develop a version that can be landed by itself.

The consortium, comprising two German companies, produces a variety of parachute systems, helmets, oxygen supplies and other gear and services. But the Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System is what has pricked most people’s interest.

SPELCO says the Gryphon system is designed for use in “high-altitude, high-opening” jump missions, typically carried out by Special Forces. This 6ft wing delivers great maneuverability with a glide ratio of 5:1, which means if you step out at five miles high (26,000ft), you can glide for 25 miles.

According to the consortium the suit performed over 50 test flights back in 2006 and it says the next step is to look at mounting small engines (as Yves Rossy does) which would increase its mission range, speed … and possibilities!

No response yet from SPELCO on when this might actually happen.

View gallery - 3 images
17 comments
Gruph Norgle
Surely increasing the wingspan (lift) would be more economic and effective than increasing the thrust (attaching an engine)?
robinyatesuk2003
I think invisibility is one of the pluses of this parachute system,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I know the British SAS use chutes in the hours of darkness ( not this system )small and fast keeps you in a low profile
Mr Stiffy
Dumb idea... not enough glide ratio. Need BIGGER wings.
Still while loafing through the sky like fat genetically modified blimp geese, they would make for great long range target practice.
I am told blimp geese taste like pork - when roasted.
spdfrk17_123
Increasing the wingspan is a bad idea because it makes you extremely easy to see, the engine that would be put on the glider won\'t put off hardly any emissions, and I\'d like to see you shoot something thats 200 yards to a mile away moving at 60 mph. Not to mention the people using this system will probably be special forces, which means it\'ll most likely be a halo jump which is done around 30,000 feet, and it\'ll be at night so they wont be seen anyway.
Facebook User
You gotta be kidding! Not enough glide ratio. Need BIGGER wings.
Burnerjack
Nothing says \"surprise\" quite like a HALO. Zoom, Boom. Trash ready for pick up.
REScott
Getting closer to Starship Troopers by RAH.
Jonathan Carcopo
When you say, \"But the Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System is what has pricked most people%u2019s interest\"; don\'t you mean piqued? I would hate to have my interest pricked. /Fail
taurusaero
5:1 is plenty, gives much greater cross range than normal HALO jump. These wings get the jumper much further from the jump point before he dumps the wings and deploys his chute. So, from 30,000 ft a jumper could be 25 miles from his jump point before he even deploys his chute- great for entering a country from outside it\'s borders or putting jump plane out of the reach of AA. You kids can get back to your Xbox, leave the thinking to engineers.
Raymond Johnson
I wonder what the pilot does with their hands during flight?