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"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is."
- Isaac Asimov

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.

From The Menace From Earth, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Fantasy House in 1957
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  More Ideas and Technology from The Menace From Earth
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