Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self folding parachute

It's pantagraphtastic
  [vote for,

Highly elastic strips are sewn, fully stretched and end to end, into an expanded parachute to mimic the shape of an Hoberman semi-sphere.
Unless forced to by air pressure the chute simply will not expand, and when it does open it will resist doing so.
A spring wound spool gathers the lines in through a single aperature so they can not tangle and adds its own resistance to the expansion making for a much more gental opening of the chute.

Once safely on the ground the lack of tension on the system causes the spool to rewind as fast as the elasticised Hober-chute can contract and the whole kit'n'kaboodle repacks itself in its turtleshell looking pack before it touches ground.


       I'm worried about the terminal velocity of such a device. As the chute is opened, air pressure is reduced due to a diminishing velocity, so the chute will begin to close. The balancing forces will create a terminal velocity presumably somewhere higher than the standard chute. [ ]
daseva, Nov 06 2010

       Marketing: If the parachute fails to open, you no longer have just yourself to blame.
ldischler, Nov 06 2010

       //A spring wound spool// Failure of which would result in the death of the user? On the whole, I'd prefer a parachute with the minimum number of such components.
mouseposture, Nov 06 2010

       The thing I'm thinking is "no".
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 06 2010

       Your mouth is saying no, but your eyes...your eyes are...well they're also saying no, but your body language, yes, now that is saying you would very much like me to test the prototype.   

       If the spring spool fails it would just no longer retract, there would be no death of the user if it malfunctioned.   

       The tensile strength of the elastics could be calibrated, (is that the right word?) to maximize the shape of the canopy automatically for users of different weights for a more constant rate of descent.   

       I think...wait, , , yep, m'pretty sure.   

       //If the spring spool fails it would just no longer retract, there would be no death of the user// Does not the spring spool operate in both directions, not only retracting but also ... what's the opposite of "retracting? " Extending?   

       The word "rewind" implies that at some point it unwound. And if it fails to unwind, there will indeed be death of the user.
mouseposture, Nov 06 2010

       hmmmm, I suppose you are right, though I don't see a whole lot that can go wrong with a single spool. Surely we've perfected the wheel by now.
The winding mechanism for the spring could be separate from the basic spool so that any failure would result from it and not effect the unspooling.

       I doubt you can make it retract during landing. Retraction will be a button push mechanism or some such, activated upon landing. To avoid the problems of my first annotation. I think. If I remember correctly, parachutes are a delicate subject here, and I'm not referring to the drug use variety.
daseva, Nov 06 2010

       There's a parachute drug? Ah man, and my experimentation window is behind me now.
normzone, Nov 06 2010

       //Parachute Packing for Dummies//
Well that's not very nice, I had envisioned military and swat applications for this where speed is of the esscence. Those guys and gals aren't going to dig that I think. We might want to go with more of a high-tech/ macho-ish/ no-human-error type spin.

       [daseva] all of the listings for parachuting other than the only one I knew a few minutes ago are now permanently on my 'things you just can't unsee' file.   

       [-] for grossly unnecessary expense and risk. [++] for awesome futuristic imagery of clouds of parachutists lightly hitting the ground and walking off without pause.
DrWorm, Nov 07 2010

       I just did.
normzone, Nov 07 2010

       [+] but I want the light-aircraft model, to assist in shortening take-offs/landings.
FlyingToaster, Nov 07 2010

       If it's done right, the parachutist hits the ground very lightly.   

       As for extra components, in this case I'm of the 'simpler is better' school of thought. More bits = more things to go wrong. I even go so far as to strongly prefer a manually-thrown pilot chute to a ripcord for exactly that reason.   

       [+] for the image, [-] for the extra risk. Overall neutral.
Freefall, Nov 09 2010

       Sounds like a product liability minefield.
infidel, Nov 10 2010


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