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Skydive with no chute

Instead of a parachute, dive with a long, spring-loaded pole.
  (+15, -5)(+15, -5)
(+15, -5)
  [vote for,

In some ways like a very long pogo stick, the user would hold on or attach himself to the top part of the pole. When nearing the ground, the other end of the pole would hit the ground first, with the pole acting as a long shock-absorber. Extremely dangerous if it isn't aligned to hit the ground squarely, and even if you do, the deceleration is probably going to be pretty hard. The pole itself would be like a pogo-stick, absorbing the energy of the dive over maybe 20 feet. A way to carry the pole alongside the plane, perhaps, would be a good thing, too.
youngpatriot, Aug 04 2009

Invented by a Frenchman 100_20feet_20platform_20shoes
100 feet = 5g - with drogue umbrella for stability [DenholmRicshaw, Aug 04 2009]

Teetering over the edge of "mortally extreme" 100_20Things_20To_2..._20You_20Will_20Die
Skydiving "with no chute" (or indeed any other clothing) was included in the 100 Things To Do And You Will Die book. [theleopard, Aug 04 2009]

Bungee jumping on the HB http://www.halfbake...chexpression=bungee
Maybe just a bit safer [csea, Aug 04 2009]

Hajile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajile
For dropping vehicles. It sort-of worked. The film is spectacular. [8th of 7, Aug 04 2009]


       I've seen lots of extreme sports that are just as dangerous. Recommended for anyone who hates the idea of growing old.
youngpatriot, Aug 04 2009

       It's actually not so impossible. If the pole gave a smooth deceleration, you'd be going from about 50m/s (terminal velocity) to 0m/s in approximately 1/3 of a second, or a deceleration of about 15G. This is easily survivable, though not very comfortable. You'd also want some very very good padding on the end of the pole, or else you'd land uninjured apart from a pole sticking out of your back.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2009

       The picture in my head is having the pole to the side and somehow affixed to the skydiver. The idea of being impaled doesn't appeal to me. Come to think of it, the idea of splattering into the ground at 100 mph isn't on my bucket list, either.
youngpatriot, Aug 04 2009

       Three poles; triangular carbon fibre frame; passenger suspended in middle.
8th of 7, Aug 04 2009

       Not bad, but you'd need two, like stilts, for the 'seven league boots' effect. Otherwise you'd just land, and where's the fun in that?
pertinax, Aug 04 2009

       See [link] for alternate deceleration method.
csea, Aug 04 2009

       Huge crumple zones.
Aristotle, Aug 04 2009

       //Huge crumple zones//
I once saw a feature on TV (Tomorrow's World, most likely) of an idea for crash buffers for mine hoists, using crumple-able giant versions of soft drinks cans. This sounds promising, but I think you'd have a wee problem emptying enough Coke cans to make this feasible.
coprocephalous, Aug 04 2009

       I'm thinking scale up the winners of those egg drop protection contests where an egg is dropped out of a 2-story building in a container designed to handle the shock and expected to survive.
RayfordSteele, Aug 04 2009

       Methinks your pole would want to be a good deal longer than 20 feet, to reduce the G forces on impact.   

       Here's my version: as long as will fit in a Hercules; the entire pole is a collapsing pneumatic cylinder with a small hole to let the air out. You're anchored to the pole by a full climbing harness, which is attached to a point a few feet below the upper end, and your feet are firmly wedged into side anchors. This prevents you getting shish-kebobbed.   

       Fins or a small drogue chute keep the business end pointing downwards.
BunsenHoneydew, Aug 04 2009

       I dunno about the length, but you've pretty much captured the picture in my head.
youngpatriot, Aug 04 2009

       Shoes are the answer - see link
DenholmRicshaw, Aug 04 2009

       Increasing the number of poles would decrease the chance of an offcenter impact failing to adequately slow one down. This converges on the many airbags / Martian rover method of cushioning impact.
bungston, Aug 04 2009

       Experts would show off with fewer and shorter poles. Telescopic deployment allows for more freedom while diving and fits nicely in the car on the way home. Elastic deformation allows for multiples of fun, yippee! Flesh it out with a nice title and more detailed descriptions and you got yourself a WTAGIPBAN.
daseva, Aug 04 2009

       //longer than 20 feet, to reduce the G forces on impact// 20 feet gives about 15G.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2009


8th of 7, Aug 04 2009

       [8th of 7] The Wikipedia article is missing the film...I want to see!   

       Better make sure to land on solid ground.   

       Or, use a single long, pointed pole, and have a buddy on the ground with a cannon to launch coconuts (or similar) at you, which must be speared to slow you down.
sninctown, Aug 04 2009

       //better land on solid ground//
wouldn't be the problem; landing on a tilted surface would be.

       [8/7] film ?
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2009

       [Ian Tindale], you wouldn't need to be over an ocean. Hitting water at terminal velocity (which would be really high because of the nice streamlined capdsule you're in) would be like hitting concrete (irrespective of the pointy-nosed streamlining), so it doesn't really matter what you are skydiving above.
The [neutrinos_shadow] version of 'chute-less skydiving: an flared open-top vertical wind tunnel (ie. like one of those indoor skydiving things). Airspeed at the bottom at or slightly above maximum human terminal velocity, big flared top to reduce the speed over some reasonable vertical distance to zero. Skydivers aim must be good (final diameter of tube ~20m).
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 05 2009

       // Skydivers aim must be good //   

       No "best of three" option, then ?
8th of 7, Aug 05 2009

       //Hitting water at terminal velocity (which would be really high because of the nice streamlined capdsule you're in) would be like hitting concrete (irrespective of the pointy- nosed streamlining)//   

       I beg to differ. Here is the thought experiment.   

       Take a block of concrete, and attach to it a very very long lance (as long as you like), pointing down. The lance has a needle tip, and gradually widens to a couple of feet.   

       The block falls toward the sea, as blocks of concrete are wont to do, until the tip of the lance hits the water. Does the lance-tip break? No. Does the block immediately come to rest, balanced on the lance? No. The lance penetrates the water. Does this slow the block down at all? Yes, very very slightly. As the lance gets wider (as gradually as you like), it pushes more water aside; the force to do this comes from the vertical motion of the block, which is slowed more and more.   

       With a sufficiently long, smoothly-tapered lance, you could slow the concrete block gently until it just settled onto the surface of the water.   

       Likewise (ipso reducto ad bunnem et piscum), a skydiver in a correctly shaped craft could dive into the water from any height. The craft would perhaps have to be unfeasibly long and thin, but done it could be.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2009

       Better yet - use a clutch/flywheel/propellor combo to create a personal freefall helicopter. You freefall for the best part of 12,000 feet, during which time a teeny tiny turbine spins up a large flywheel. At the critical moment, you engage a clutch and the flywheel now dumps its energy into a modest- sized propellor, designed to work helicopter-fashion and slow you at the critical moment.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2009

       //ipso reducto ad bunnem et piscum// [marked-for-tagline]   

       Reducto ad absur-bun.
coprocephalous, Aug 06 2009

       Reductio ad cinnamon bun.   

       [edit: thought so... "reductio"]
FlyingToaster, Aug 06 2009


       If the skydiver wears a pack containing a calcualted mass of water with a pyrotechnic pressurisation system, then theoretically, by ejecting the water at high velocity in the direction of travel could provide controlled deceleration ....... <wanders off to find pencil and envelope to scribble on>
8th of 7, Aug 06 2009

       ...or, the skydiver could 'land' on top of a fast-moving column of air, such as might be obtained from a jet engine on the ground pointing upwards. Of course, the skydiver might die horribly by falling too fast and being minced by the fan blades, or might be roasted alive by the superheated gases, or might miss the crucial updraft zone, or some idiot might have mounted the engine the wrong way up, but these are, I think, acceptable risks.
hippo, Aug 06 2009

       Wouldnt you bounce back up?
shinobi, Aug 06 2009

       I rather like the idea as first outlined (practicalities aside, that is), so a bun from me.

8th, the DMWD. What a great place to work!
DrBob, Aug 07 2009

       // What a great place to work! //   

       Recommended reading: "The Secret War" by Gerald Pawle.   

       Could a man-lifting jetpack operate as a parachute, if suitably controlled ?
8th of 7, Aug 07 2009

       I would recommend against a collapsable pole. Perhaps a long bendy pole-vault pole might do the trick...
RayfordSteele, Aug 07 2009


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