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Parachutist "Flypaper"

For safety
  [vote for,

If a parachute fails to open, then the wearer is in trouble - even if they have a reserve, they can still have problems.

BorgCo are developing a system to allow parachutists in such dire circumstances to "self-rescue".

The parachutist wears a transponder with a "panic button".

At the parachutist's target landing zone, a launcher is set up. This has a direction finder, and uses a rocket to launch a cylindrical container to a position below the plummeting individual.

On reaching the target altitude, the dispenser ejects a parachute from which is suspended a long strip of stiff fabric, liberally coated with contact adhesive.

The parachutist jettisons their failed chute, and steers towards the strip. On (hopefully) contacting it, the fabric wraps itself around him or her, and sticks.

The emergency 'chute then serves to brake the parachutist to a safe landing, or rather a safer landing than might have otherwise occurred.

Applications for volunteers to test the system are now being accepted again. No experience necessary ... in fact, no experience preferred. Especially of BorgCo products, aerodynamics, or parachuting.

8th of 7, Aug 19 2017



       So, the chute is normally popped at 2000- 2500ft in sport skydiving. If it's a total mal (ie, nothing comes out of the pack), it will generally take the skydiver about 2 seconds to realize something is wrong. Depending on the deployment method, there are various recommended maneouvres to free the drogue chute from the turbulent "burble" above the skydiver's back, where it might be trapped. This will also take about 2 seconds. So, at terminal velocity, you're now down to 1500ft or so, and have about 8 seconds before bouncing. The rocket is going to take 3 seconds to launch and deploy its flypaper, giving you 5 seconds to spare. It might just be doable.   

       If it's only a partial mal, the rate of descent will be slowed considerably, but attempts to clear a line-over or other such partial malfunction will last a few seconds, so you're still down at 1500ft, but at considerably less than freefall speeds. If you don't cut away, you will have zero maneouverability, and hence won't be able to "steer towards the strip". If you _do_ cut away, you will take at least 5 seconds to gain enough airspeed to maneouvre effectively. So it's all a bit of a near thing.   

       A question: does the parachute deploy only after the skydiver has connected with the flypaper?   

       A properly packed and regularly inspected reserve chute will deploy fully in about 1.5-2 seconds, and will fail much less than 1% of the time, as long as the user cuts away a partially-deployed main. If they don't cut away first, the reserve has a modest chance of tangling with the main, but will still usually provide enough drag for a survivable landing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2017

       // Are you still offering the free bowl of petunias? //   

       Oh yes, and all the whalemeat you can carry.   

       // after the skydiver has connected //   

       Hmmm. Before. Probably.   

       // there is potential //   

       Yes, we think so.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2017

       //Before. Probably. //   

       Then there is a problem. Or rather, a subset of problems which could, collectively, be summarized as a problem.   

       First, it's quite difficult to get a chute to deploy properly without a considerable mass attached to it. Second, the chute, and flypaper, are going to be to all intents and purposes immobile once the chute has deployed. This means that the vexed skydiver will have only a small fraction of a second at the same altitude as the flypaper, making it almost impossible to rendezvous with it. Third, the skydiver - travelling at perhaps 120mph downward, will connect and adhere to the flypaper which is, to all intents and purposes, static. I'm not sure how that bodes, but I doubt it bodes well.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2017

       // the vexed skydiver will have only a small fraction of a second at the same altitude as the flypaper, making it almost impossible to rendezvous with it. //   

       Difficult, but not impossible. Any lack of skill or training on the part of the skydiver is not the responsibility of BorgCo, our employees, servants, agents, volunteers, or ghoulish onlookers with an unhealthy fascination with violent death (which may or may not include the aforementioned employees, servants, agents and volunteers) - something we have already explained at great length to the coroner, the surviving relatives of former testers, and the owners of the property onto which said skydivers made their uninvited (and final) landing.
8th of 7, Aug 19 2017

       Have you considered marketing this to nude skydivers as a depilatory?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2017

       hmmm... (+) y'all just jogged loose an idea that's been tickling the back of my head for some time now.   

       Good stuff.   


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