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Spring Loaded Parachute

For the new low flying manned quad-copters
  [vote for,

These things work, see link, but you've zero room for error with them. Something breaks, you hit the ground.

This would help above 20 feet or so, a spring loaded parachute.

To reduce the number (and weight) of springs, you'd have the chute partially deployed as a canopy above the pilot seat. Four spring loaded tubes would be released upon motion sensors and motor monitors sensing a crash. The pilot seat and pilot would remain attached to the deployed chute as the quad-copter dropped away.

doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

Flying bathtub https://www.youtube...watch?v=_9x_Y19dSbY
[doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]

It would look something like this in flight. http://c8.alamy.com...rse-used-HRTD75.jpg
Without the donkey obviously. [doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018]


       I believe that "rapid deployment, low altitude" chutes already exist. I think the chute is deployed by a small rocket rather than a spring, probably for a good reason.   

       On a related note, the drogue chute of a reserve parachute is spring-loaded. This is partly for speed, and partly because if the skydiver is tumbling in an emergency, a regular drogue chute can get trapped in the burble.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2018

       I know about those, but I'm thinking cheap and home made and specifically for it to be fully deployed without relying on movement through air to open it at all.   

       But like I said, might be asking a lot of a spring system that's powerful but light enough to not add another hundred pounds to this body you're trying to slow the descent of.
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       Maybe the way to do it is to have it partially deployed, like a canopy over the whole pilot compartment so it only expands to 10 times its size or so requiring less time and energy to deploy it.   

       I'll change the post.
doctorremulac3, Jan 19 2018

       //cheap and home made //   

       If I'm going to go up, cheap and home made might be OK. But if I'm going to come down, I think I'd go with something professional. Oh, and it would be best to jettison the horse.   

       [the space below is left intentionally blank so that [8th] can discuss JATOs, PRVs, and the other obvious alternatives]
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 19 2018

       We have carefully considered both the obvious and non-obvious solutions ( one of which is a ventrally-mounted "airbag") but on balance, since this involves "assisted suicide by rotary wing flight" the optimum solution is a streaming video system which allows an audience to enjoy the last moments of stark terror of the occupant over and over again.   

       Flashing subtitles in red that read "ROTARY WING, VERY STUPID" would be mandatory.
8th of 7, Jan 19 2018

       Could the perimeter of the parachute be sprung to open up like those nylon circular discs that collapse to about a third of their size, or would that simply be too much bulk for a parachute pack to deal with?   

       I'm thinking you don't need much of a spring, just a small section to open up and encourage the rest of the chute to open. Perhaps some stiff plastic along one portion of the perimeter.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2018

       I was thinking of a crossed spring affair at the center of the square, compressed chute. These would push the square to say 10 times its original size and as the angle of the 4 posts it was attached to changed, it would lift the seat with the pilot out with it.   

       //"assisted suicide by rotary wing flight"// LL. Yea, getting into these things is a cry for help.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Is the flying bathtub for real? It looks good, but the props are quite small and, at the end of it, there's a "waking up from a dream" shot. It's either very cool or very good CGI.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

       They show it flying indoors as well in another clip, with no gantry in view. What battery are they using? The energy density seems impressive.   

       The props look similar to what my father used to propel his quadracycle down the road. With a 1 hp motor it would do 40 mph with a terrible wind drag issue. So I think the props are capable. But the batteries and motors? I'm thinking they took short hops for the clips and not a full trip.
RayfordSteele, Jan 20 2018

       I know I'm still seeing the occasional article for the "Impending Flying Car" that look like they're clipped right out of a 1940s magazine with the exception that the new ones look like the came out of the Apple factory rather than the General Motors, Pontiac flying car division. Story's still the same, they're coming any decade now. The reality is, every few years somebody with too much time and money on their hands manages to build something that wobbles around their estate about 3 feet off the ground long enough to shoot a video but that's about as far as it goes.   

       Not that much to be gained from putting these things a few feet off the ground. With a high density of traffic you'd need some kind of automatic collision avoidance system and very clearly designated roadways in the sky complete with on and off ramps.   

       Just put these things on a designated long flat slab of pressed asphalt, take the wings off and replace the propellers with wheels and bam! Problems solved.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Apart from the actual flying part, yes ...
8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       That IS the problem.   

       Conversely, here's my alternate design for the high speed train they're building between San Francisco and LA.   

       1- Greatly reduces air friction. 2- Eliminates crossings at automotive intersections. 3- Reduces need for heavy wheels, shock absorbers etc. 4- Travels at over 500 miles per hour. 5- Offers spectacular views. 6- Can easily be re-routed to an infinite number of alternate tracks. 7- With a little extra fuel, can travel anyplace on Earth. 8- Requires no additional infrastructure. In fact, you just go to the airport and buy a ticket.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Most of the problems with "flying cars" are solvable within a decade or so. However, there is one insurmountable problem with anything lifted by a vertical thrust reaction engine. Those bastards are LOUD, like REALLY LOUD. You would be livid if your neighbour landed in his back yard at 2am. Supermarket car parks would be utterly deafening. Towns would become uninhabitable except by the growing numbers of people with hearing loss.   

       I see deaf people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       Another benefit to my very, very, very low "flying" car.   

       Whisper quite.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Flying cars will be banned within about ten minutes of the first muppet running out of fuel at 10,000 feet above a major city.
Wrongfellow, Jan 20 2018

       Good point, in fact...   

       aren't flying cars just crappy airplanes?   

       Take an airplane or a helicopter, eliminate any glide ratio or auto-gyration, stick a 1950s smiling family in it complete with dad wearing a fedora, mom wearing gloves and two smiling kids in the back and there you are. Flying car! Until it's a "plummeting into a ball of fire car" because dad forgot to fill up before the trip to McDonald's.
doctorremulac3, Jan 20 2018

       Flying cars will be perfectly feasible, once all control is removed from the pilot other than specifying a destination.   

       The only insoluble problem is the noise. You just can't push enough air downwards fast enough without making a huge amount of noise. You can't solve it with software, electronics, better motors or anything else.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

       Graviton polarity generators ... your species will work out how to make them any century now ...
8th of 7, Jan 20 2018

       It's not the graviton polarity generator that's the problem , it's the controllable power density to cycle it.
wjt, Jan 20 2018

       //Graviton polarity generators //   

       Jeezus, don't tell me the Borg used those? That's great, but expect your collective testicles to go green and drop off in due course. There are some parts of the body that are just not designed to withstand that kind of neutron flux.   

       Have you heard of professor Benjy Höölstadt? No. Exactly. Nobody has, for some time now. And now you know why.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 20 2018

8th of 7, Jan 20 2018


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