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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Storer-Gulls Wings  
  Recreational aid for lunar colonists; lightweight wings for cave flying.  

This excellent short story is about a 15 year-old school-girl named Holly Jones. Holly was born on the Moon; her hobbies are designing star-ships and flying in a natural cavern called "Bats' Cave", Luna City's air reservoir.

Just as people on Earth use water reservoirs for recreation, so the people of Luna use the Bat's Cave for recreational flying, using specially designed bat's wings. Remember, with one-sixth of Earth's gravity, it is much easier to stay aloft. With the right equipment, of course.

They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones, tension-compensated wrist-pinion and shoulder joints, natural action in the alula slots, and automatic flap action in stalling. The wing skeleton is dressed in styrene feather-foils, with individual quilling of scapulars and primaries. They almost fly themselves.

I folded my wings and went into the lock. While it was cycling I opened my left wing and thumbed the alula control -- I had noticed a tendency to sideslip the last time I was airborne. But the alula opened properly and I decided I must have been overcontrolling, easy to do with Storer-Gulls; they're extremely maneuverable. Then the door showed green and I folded the wing and hurried out, while glancing at the barometer. Seventeen pounds -- two more than Earth sea-level and nearly twice what we use in the city; even an ostrich could fly in that. I perked up and felt sorry for all groundhogs, tied down by six times proper weight, who never, never, never could fly.

Not even I could, on Earth. My wing loading is less than a pound per square foot, as wings and all I weigh less than twenty pounds. Earthside that would be over a hundred pounds and I could flap forever and never get off the ground.

Technovelgy from The Menace From Earth, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Fantasy House in 1957
Additional resources -

Compare to air tank flying from The Power Planet (1930) by Murray Leinster, the levitators from Lost City of Mars (1934) by Harl Vincent, the Dragonfly sky-bike from Rendezvous With Rama (1972) by Arthur C. Clarke and the bat wings from Limits by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Menace From Earth
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Menace From Earth
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Storer-Gulls Wings-related news articles:
  - Sports In Space
  - Moon's Huge Lava Tubes Perfect For Heinlein's Bat Wings
  - Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
  - Lava Tubes On Mars And Moon May Be Huge

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