Aven Flight Suit

Flight suits are a common type of apparel among the winged-posthuman aven species, serving many functions which enhance their natural flying abilities.

Design

Flight suits usually come in one- or two-piece designs, full-body outfits with long sleeves and pants. Built for both protection and comfort, they are meant to shield from wind, adverse weather, and temperatures while being light and convenient enough for everyday wear. Baggy components are avoided, which would create excess drag, but beyond this there is a wide variety of color schemes available.
  They are made of weather-resistant material, with varying thicknesses of insulation depending on designed environmental conditions—some are intended for fair weather, others for cold climates, still others are reflective for hot deserts, etc. Most modern suits have built-in warming and cooling elements for further temperature control.  

Accessories

More of a requirement than an optional add-on are a pair of flying goggles and a mask to protect the face, sometimes combined into one piece. The goggles typically feature displays showing things like altitude, speed, sink/climb rate, a horizon indicator, a map, and an air-mass visualizer for detecting thermals, wind shear, downdrafts, etc. Alternatively, instruments can be worn on the arm in a manner similar to wristwatches. In inclement or cold weather, a cap can be worn to protect the hair.
  Beyond these, a common accessory is a storage pouch strapped to the chest and stomach area, to enable the transportation of everyday objects like computer tablets, money, and snacks. A small water container can also be worn in a backpack for longer trips. In any case, the user must take care not to overload themselves—even with their optimiziations, avens are already quite large for Terran flyers and carrying too much extra weight will risk an increased stall speed which makes flight difficult (or even dangerous), if they can get airborne at all.
  Another useful add-on is some form of propulsion device to avoid the labor of using one's own wingpower all the time, especially for takeoffs and landings. In the old days this was compressed-gas rocket nozzles on the ankles for takeoff assists and a deployable propellor for cruising, now repulsor-boots are more common. A good pair of these can permit hovering about a dozen feet off the ground, and provides acceleration up to takeoff speed with minimal physical effort. These thrusters are powered by superconducting coils installed in the boots, back, or some other convenient place, and recharge off photoelectric fabric in the flight suit while the user is coasting.
  Navigation lights were made mandatory for night-time flying long ago, to prevent collisions, and are usually little lighting stripes implanted in one or more of the primary feathers on each wing, and set to activate when it is opened. They are sometimes accompanied by a flashing strobe attached to the back of the goggle strap. A red navigation light goes on the left-hand wing, and a green one on the right.
An aven wearing his flight suit. Note red and green navigation lights affixed to feathers.

Variants

High-Altitude Flight Suit

Designed for travel above the lower reaches of planetary atmospheres, high-altitude suits are less of an outfit and more of a wearable airplane, featuring hard-shell exteriors, robust heating systems, a full helmet with oxygen-condenser equipment for breathing in thin air, and dedicated electric-turbine engines. With one of these suits, an aven can fly up to a jet stream and hop between continents in a matter of hours. Being bulkier, they are not suited for everyday wear outside of flying, and are typically worn over a regular flight suit for use after arriving at one's destination.
  High-altitude suits are not all that common, only avens who are interested in long-distance personal flying will own or use one with any regularity.

Aven Power Armor

The aven version of power armor takes a high-altitude suit and adds further layers of armor and weapons. At this point all propulsion is provided by engines, the wings being reserved for lift and steering. The highest-end sets of power armor can even attain supersonic speeds.  

Aven Space Suits

Early aven spacesuits enclosed the wings in a backpack-like pouch, modern ones have morphing fabric complex enough to encase them in sleeves and leave them free for movement. While wings obviously provide no lift in a vacuum, they can still serve as manevering aids.

Culture

Flight suits are the most common form of aven fashion; if you see an aven out and about odds are this is what they are wearing. As such, there is a tremendous variety of manufacturers, retailers, color schemes, and customization options available. In some cases, uniforms given to aven members of organizations like the Star Patrol, Exploration Service, or national militaries double as flight suits.
  Aven children become accustomed to flight suits from a young age as part of their training. Children’s suits feature bright colors to reduce the risk of collisions, and usually lack artificial propulsion devices until a mastery of natural takeoffs and landings has been demonstrated. (The power-to-weight ratio of aven children is higher than in adults as well, so they do not need them as much.)



Cover image: by Vertixico

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
27 May, 2021 07:25

Great article! I love how you mix basic flying suits with high tech, and how you use propellers to get beyond the weight limit. It's interesting that in the most extreme version of the costume, the flight is mostly done by the propellers and that the wing are just there to stir :D   I like the idea of the googles and mask. Does the mask do anything beyond protecting from wind and flying insect or is it just a type of cloth mask?   I absolutely love the idea of your people using devices to assist them with take off :D And the superconducting coils that charge on their own sounds like a great idea. My only remark is that all of the thing your people are transporting seems like they would all be rather heavy. Though that may be one of the main reason devices to help with the take off have become necessary…   " high-altitude suits are less of an outfit and more of a wearable airplane," I love this idea XD   " At this point all propulsion is provided by engines, the wings being reserved for lift and steering." Reading this, I can admit that the laptop and water bottles don't seem that heavy now XD I like that you're using propulsion engines to circumvent the weight limit.   My only remark is that you haven't really talked about the material of the flight suit. I'm guessing this would be made with wool or of some artificial fibres, so that it's best able to provide all the protections required.

31 May, 2021 03:06

I am so excited to see an aven after hearing about them in your novel.   You have put a lot of thought into how this suit fulfills the needs of avens and it shows. The tidbit about children at the end is a great worldbuilding that is often overlooked.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Sage AntimatterNuke
M.J. Tremblay
9 Jun, 2021 22:56

One thing that got left out was the wings of aven children are high-vis orange, so you can keep track of them when they try to fly away :D

Parastellis, sci-fi with aliens, posthumans, and uplifted raccoons!
Current serial: Shadows of the Keepers
31 May, 2021 05:01

Wow, what a fantastic article!   First of all, there is something about *how* you write that's very pleasant to read. It was a breeze to go through the article, and I enjoyed every section of it. I'm not even a sci-fi fan particularly, but I was fascinated by all the details of the suit and how it worked. It looks like you really understand flight and take all parameters into consideration here. You don't compromise realism, and that elevates the material. Also, the art is excellent!   So, yeah, good job!


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
Sage AntimatterNuke
M.J. Tremblay
9 Jun, 2021 23:01

Thanks for the feedback! I've spent a lot of time mulling over a realistic-ish take on the winged humanoids trope, and avens are what I came up with.

Parastellis, sci-fi with aliens, posthumans, and uplifted raccoons!
Current serial: Shadows of the Keepers
2 Jun, 2021 09:12

Never enough sci-fi/sci-fantasy. I'm liking this on theme alone. <3

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
4 Jun, 2021 12:08

This is a great article! You thought out pretty well what kind of things a post human would need for their outfit. Especially the navigation lights was a fun addition xp But I think the goggles must be the most useful of all given the Aven the ability to really use of the environment.   The fact that it can even be expanded into a wearable airplane was a fun addition as well xp Was fun to read!

Feel free to check out my costume entry. :)
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