This picture pretty much speaks for itself, but what you are looking at is the Gryphon parachute system, designed by ESG (Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, if you must know) -- though if we had a company named ESG that made this, we might call it the UFO and get all No Wave on it for a sec. Anyhow, wearing the Gryphon, parachutists -- if you really want to call them that -- can apparently fly for up to 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) at rather high speeds before opening their chutes. Not suprisingly, it's aimed primairly at the military market, where it could potentially be used to drop off soldiers far away from their target, allowing them to fly under radar cover. And if you're thinking it can't possibly get any cooler, ESG says they're planning on adding freaking turbo jet drives to the unit, allowing for even greater speeds and lower take-off heights.
The Gryphon parachute system -- only badasses need apply
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|June 2, 2006 2:18 AM