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Flappy Man Suit

To make it possible to jump from high places
 
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This is not a human powered flapping flight idea but it might evolve in that direction if industry was focused on the issue which is:

To make a suit that allows the wearer to catch enough air when jumping from any height to prevent themselves from falling at terminal velocity. I imagine one strategy would be to have many small flapping structures that would catch air very quickly and operate no matter what direction wind was coming from. It would add just enough wind resistance at the minimal amount of weight, so that the person wearing it could jump from any height and land safely.

JesusHChrist, Jun 16 2015

Small! http://www.dailymai...s-safely-earth.html
About the world's smallest parachute. [neutrinos_shadow, Jun 16 2015]

[link]






       //catch enough air when jumping from any height to prevent themselves from falling at terminal velocity.//   

       That is what you said, but I don't think that is what you meant. A dandelion tuft will fall at its terminal velocity.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015
  

       Terminal as in finishes with death, I assumed.
pocmloc, Jun 16 2015
  

       Parachutes are that big for a reason, so your suit would need (approximately) the same active area. Very small parachutes have been used/landed, but they take an insane amount of skill to not die.
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 16 2015
  

       Two words: David Byrne
blissmiss, Jun 16 2015
  

       That was four words.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 16 2015
  

       incidentally, isn't Terminal Velocity really the maximum achievable speed (as opposed to the speed that would get you killed)?
theircompetitor, Jun 16 2015
  

       Terminal velocity is the equilibrium speed at which air resistance (which increases with speed) matches weight, ie forces are balanced and the item is no longer accelerating.   

       This would probably end up looking a hell of a lot like a small parachute. Probably made of even lighter and weaker materials and optimised for slow engagement to minimise shock loads.   

       As far as I'm aware, parachutes are much more efficient in terms of wing area if operated more like a ram-inflated wing, than a big circular flow impediment type.
Custardguts, Jun 17 2015
  

       You could overcome the terminal velocity problem on a conventional parachute by fitting one or more small engines with propeller blades, to increase speed. And perhaps redesign the parachute itself to have less parasite drag.
Ian Tindale, Jun 17 2015
  

       Evolve it a little more into wings, and you might not fall at all. Attach a prop engine and now you've got something. Quick, somebody call Orville and Wilbur!
RayfordSteele, Jun 17 2015
  
      
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