Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Straight Swinging

Swinging in a straight line on winched ropes
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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This swing would look like any other with a seat hanging from two ropes, though the crossbar need not be more than six feet high. At the crossbar is a winch that can shorten or lengthen the ropes depending on their angle from the vertical.

The ropes are shortest when the swing is hanging directly under the winch and fully extended when the seat is pulled, pushed or swung to its outer limit. This means that the swing pendulates by seeming to hover as it whips back and forth always two feet over the ground. Rushing towards the center would not mean heading downward, but speeding just over the surface.

One can always reach the ground for a helping kick at an outer point, which could be quite a distance away with long ropes. Also an orbiting winched swing with wide supports and only one rope would allow tracing ground-hugging, curved lines.

FarmerJohn, Nov 26 2004

Horizontal Power Whips http://www.diabolot...orizontalpowerwhips
Diabolo animation from a jugglers site. [baconbrain, Mar 12 2005]


       [fj] I think the winches would rob the swinger of gravitational acelleration on the 'downswing' and retard the momentum of the swinger on the upswing (what would be the 'upswing' but your swinger wouldn't go 'up') preventing the storage of potential energy.   

       Your winch would have to impart momentum, on both the forward and back swings until the swinger was directly below the pivot point, then do a controlled release of the ropes for the balance of each swing until the maximum outswing was attained, then quickly alter to power pull mode again. Too much 'pull' and the swinger will lift toward the pivot - each child would need a specific setting based on mass and aerodynamic body shape, factoring in wind speed, temperature, humidity and elevation to make it work.   

       Suggest a moving winch pivot point that has a travel of about a meter, so that the 'pulling' part of the cycle is more balanced, gentle and effective.   

       great idea (+)
ConsulFlaminicus, Nov 26 2004

       [cf] I agree that the “downswing“ would not have a downward acceleration element, but the “upswing” would be *less* retarded, not having to lift the rider against gravity – sort of like sliding on ice. The swing still seeks the central position and inertia moves it past that. The outer points may need soft turnaround via elastic rope or a spring suspended winch.   

       I was also worried about the rider’s mass affecting the winch, but still think that pull/release based simply on rope angle should keep the ride parallel to the ground.
FarmerJohn, Nov 26 2004

       so not a metaphor then?
dentworth, Nov 26 2004

       nor a simile.
FarmerJohn, Nov 26 2004

       Oddly enough, I played on a swing kinda like that when I was a kid. I don't remember quite how it worked, but it consisted of a long (in the direction of travel) stand and had a couple of support points, not just one. Maybe someone else has seen one more recently.
DrCurry, Nov 26 2004

       But do you "lose your stomach" still. Not in the vomiting sense, but in the funny feeling you get inside you, like on a rollercoaster.
macncheesy, Nov 26 2004

       Hmmm, Are mad? Oh I see... you are all card carying members of the flat earth foundation.   

       Indeed this will probably be seen in all the best gardens this comming summer. I will have to get my man to install one for the children of the village... (There will be no danger --- I will only watch...)
madness, Nov 26 2004

       I'd be concerned with momentum throwing the rider off at the ends since the seat would not be perpendicular to the pivot point, such as it is with a regular swingy swing.
waugsqueke, Nov 26 2004

       No worries just strap the rider in...   

       By the way lets say the "winch" operates like the sping loaded cord on a vacume cleaner... if the spring is capable of winching in the riders weight then no amout of flailing about of the legs is going to extend the rope very far....   

       I can see the tears now as dad pulls the little nipper back and wham! The sprog acclerates screaming into brightly painted garden equipment...
madness, Nov 26 2004

       [Tabs] I think those are called gliders.
bristolz, Nov 27 2004

       Hm, can't find one that looks like what I'm remembering, but the action looks right.
DrCurry, Nov 27 2004

       Could a version of this be done with bungee cords attached to the 4 corners of the seat? They would hang from individual poles spaced far enough away from the swing area to avoid messy collisions with heads and things. We could call it "bungee swinging".
Canuck, Nov 27 2004

       Musically speaking, it's an oxymoron.
Cuit_au_Four, Mar 12 2005

       Some jugglers also play with a toy called the diabolo, which is manipulated with string between two sticks. See link for an animation of straight swinging.
baconbrain, Mar 12 2005


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