New French gadget - flying soldiers

New French gadget - flying soldiers

This is a discussion on New French gadget - flying soldiers within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This new French flying hoverboard has come a long way since the flying backpack that guy used in the 1970's to fly into football stadiums. ...

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    VIP Member Array HotBrass45's Avatar
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    New French gadget - flying soldiers

    This new French flying hoverboard has come a long way since the flying backpack that guy used in the 1970's to fly into football stadiums. This thing looks very fast and maneuverable. It may have some application for certain military and police missions. I can't find anything on range, but apparently someone is going to attempt to cross the English Channel on one. The audio is French. Video of the guy flying starts about 0:30 in

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    That's pretty well developed at this point. I'm wondering how they are stabilizing the thing; it seems quite solidly in place in the air.
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    THe flyer made a clear target when silhouetted against the sky. I would not want to hover over battleground on that craft. And if vertical envelopment of the enemy went tactical I would prefer warriors going in by helicopter, roping doen if necessary, to flying in on such hovercrafts.

    If vertical envelopment was a battle tactic it would be better to use helicopters and rope down if landing was out of the question. It allows for concentration of force. A squad of infantry in a Blackhawk is, in my opinion, a more realistic attack that the members of the squad flying in on hovercraft. The hovercraft is like the Bastille Day military parade: looks good and that is all.

    Now an unmanned hovercraft with that speed and maneuverability with camera and small weapons would be a Super Drone. I would not mind having some of them in a ground fight.
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    4 miniature jet engines with their thrust angles controlled by gyro(s). As the pilot leans in the direction he wants to go the gyro(s) move the engines thrust accordingly. Kind of like a flying segway. Those motors gobble fuel like their big brothers so range is limited i suspect. I believe the top speed is 80mph on that model.

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    Senior Member Array Frodebro's Avatar
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    I suppose that might work out okay if used against an enemy that doesnít have skeet shooting as a popular sport.

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    Word is that the French will use this device in shock raids for confiscating the three mostly highly illegal substances under French law - deodorant, soap and toothpaste.
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    I'd think unmanned heat seeking drones in swarms, delivering small anti-personnels would be cool.
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    To this idea I say, "PULL!"
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    For certain special forces missions this would be an interesting option. For example, would allow you to get a squad onto a roof top simultaneously, rather than roping down 2x2 from a helicopter.

    Helicopters also make large targets for ground fire, and a hovering helicopter is very vulnerable. An individual on one of these is a much smaller target that wonít show up on radar.

    I canít imagine the training accident rate, however. Clearly not something for the average infantryman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    For certain special forces missions this would be an interesting option. For example, would allow you to get a squad onto a roof top simultaneously, rather than roping down 2x2 from a helicopter.

    Helicopters also make large targets for ground fire, and a hovering helicopter is very vulnerable. An individual on one of these is a much smaller target that wonít show up on radar.

    I canít imagine the training accident rate, however. Clearly not something for the average infantryman.
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    A vertical lift aircraft (which is what this technically is), that has that much of its mass configured vertically, hovering out of ground effect (HOGE) would be inherently very unstable. It would be "dancing on the head of a pin." The gyros that keep it stable would have to be computer-synchronized. If there is any glitch, electronically or mechanically, it's gonna go down fast and hard. Also, there are devices available to security services now that can disrupt the electronic systems on small drones and bring them down. My guess is coming up with something that will do the same thing to this device would be very possible.

    That being said, I can see some limited usefulness for it, for reasons posters have already mentioned.
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    A magnetic pulse gun would be just the thing to counteract this.
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    Think cover of night, IR suppressing clothing, multiple angles of attack, and you get an idea of how they can be effective even in situations with multiple skeet shooters of guard.
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    Aerodynamically unstable aircraft have been in service for quite some time. Example: F-117. That one has four redundant flight stability systems and should the pilot lose all four, ejection is the only solution.

    On the other hand, the most devastating type of attack on electronics, apart from high energy nuclear radiation, would be RF (EMP) in nature. The technology to protect from RF attacks in military equipment is quite effective. In addition, there are robotic devices that can withstand extremely intense high energy nuclear radiation. Those devices were in development before Chernobyl, and have advanced quite a bit since Fukishima.

    The weak spot on such a manned device as shown in the video is still the quite easy-to-kill human pilot/passenger. I can see some special operations which could benefit from the capability. A great deal depends on the noise signature, (jet engines in that mode are easily detectable in the audio, visual, and IR spectrum), and the sophistication of the target.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    Aerodynamically unstable aircraft have been in service for quite some time. Example: F-117. That one has four redundant flight stability systems and should the pilot lose all four, ejection is the only solution.

    On the other hand, the most devastating type of attack on electronics, apart from high energy nuclear radiation, would be RF (EMP) in nature. The technology to protect from RF attacks is quite matured. There are robotic devices that can withstand extremely intense high energy nuclear radiation as well. Those were in development before Chernobyl and have advanced quite a bit since Fukishima.

    The weak spot on such a manned device as shown in the video is still the quite easy-to-kill human pilot/passenger. I can see some special operations which could benefit from the capability. A great deal depends on the noise signature - jet engines in that mode are easily detectable, and the sophistication of the target.
    Think helicopter. I recall hearing conversations as a lad when my father's Corps buddies were making fun of the Army's adoption of helicopters as things that were inherently dangerous, unstable in the air, and would all be shot out of the sky thereby killing the troopers stupidly flying in the things. Every generation of warrior has been naturally suspicious of new technology, every one. Perhaps this one will turn into something amazing, perhaps not, but the idea of warriors being more mobile and being able to independently move without huge infrastructure and reliance on other services is inherently alluring for battleground planning.
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