Sport: Air: Skydiving
Leap of Faith Skydiving   (+5)  [vote for, against]
Leave your parachute at home (or maybe bring it anyway)

This is a skydiving service where the users will not need a parachute. The service is based on a special purpose drone including a central platform to transport the user. The drone takes the skydiver up to jump altitude and after the skydiver jumps it will fly past the person and track the dive from below. When the skydiver reaches a certain altitude the drone positions itself under the skydiver, matches the fall velocity and approaches the skydiver so that the person can land on the drone's central platform and safely secure herself to it. The drone will then gently de-accelerate until it reaches the ground. It will obviously include multiple cameras to record the experience from an equal number of angles.

Disclaimer: although the drone is perfectly safe and will be tested with chimpanzees until a perfect record is achieved (RIP volunteer chimpanzees), it will be recommended that the client jumps with a standard parachute to safeguard for any, surely highly remote, possibility of drone malfunction.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 09 2018

No Drone Needed http://www.independ...ornia-a7164716.html
Skydiving without a parachute has already been done (into a big net). Obviously there was a leap of faith that the skydiver would actually encounter the net.... [Vernon, Mar 10 2018]

We think this is excellent, and wish to volunteer [MaxwellBuchanan] as the test pilot. Once he has proved out the system, then - and only then - you can start using chimpanzees.

We are, in fairly general terms, not in favour of causing unnecessary suffering to sentient creatures.
-- 8th of 7, Mar 09 2018

I recommend a fleet of smaller drones with a net for redundancy and availability.

How large of a drone would a single lifter have to be to carry itself, fuel supply, and non-optimally placed passenger caught in a random orientation?
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 09 2018

I wholeheartedly accept [8th]'s kind offer to pay for my skydiving. It is remarkably generous of him, especially considering that I wagered his house on the outcome of the 5th Triannual Mavis Knopff-Bladder Cross-country Badminton Hurdles. It's very difficult to resist 800:1 odds
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2018

Actually, thinking about it, this has sort of been done numerous times. A popular stunt at some DZs is to exit the plane at 12,000ft, after which the plane goes into a near- vertical dive, keeping pace with the skydiver, who then hauls themselves back into the plane.

The only videos I can find online (Google "plane to plane skydive") use a drogue chute to slow the diving plane, but it's been done without.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2018

<Sixth Sense>

"I see dead people".

</Sixth Sense>
-- 8th of 7, Mar 09 2018

[8th] , we at Leap of Faith Skydiving are thrilled at the prospect of using volunteer(ed) human test subjects! This is a whole new avenue we can explore, especially since the price of chimps has gone sky high in the last 12 months. Let's not stop here though. Maybe there are in-laws available, possibly a wife? I mean, who wouldn't want to take part of this exciting entrepreneurial opportunity?! I would just ask that you carefully fill out our form, especially the checkbox where it says if the test subject needs to be sedated.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 09 2018

Dear [Max], first of all let me tell you how excited we are to have you with us! Hopefully you'll be around for many, many test flights. If not, well, your name will be forever remembered in our company.

Second, let me address the point you make about the fact that re-entering a standard plane mid-flight has already been done. You could also argue that jumping without a parachute and landing on a net has already been done. However, that's not what we are proposing. Have you ever re-entered a plane mid-flight? I can't say I have myself but I've seen the videos. It's a hassle! Totally cumbersome! And the option of diving into a massive net from 12,000 feet? That's not exactly for beginners, is it? And it's not like the net is going to be following you around. For that you have one opportunity, you better not fail. That is exceedingly more dangerous than what our drone will be able to do.

And once again, welcome!
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 09 2018

// are thrilled at the prospect of using volunteer(ed) human test subjects! //

So are we ...

// This is a whole new avenue we can explore, especially since the price of chimps has gone sky high in the last 12 months. //

Not our fault ....

// Let's not stop here though. Maybe there are in-laws available, possibly a wife? //

The possibilities are unlimited...

// I mean, who wouldn't want to take part of this exciting entrepreneurial opportunity?! //

We think you actually mean, "who wouldn't want someone else to take part of this exciting entrepreneurial opportunity?! "

// I would just ask that you carefully fill out our form, //

Sp. "I would just ask that our form is carefully filled out ..."

// especially the checkbox where it says if the test subject needs to be sedated. //

It's all a matter of phraseology. "Please check the box if you do not wish to receive any futher marketing communications from us or our carefully selected partners, do not want you name or details passed to any third party, and refuse permission for us not to inject your nominated tester with large amounts of prescription sedatives".

It's all in the wording ....
-- 8th of 7, Mar 09 2018

[Ray], that's a fantastic idea! I'll have the math guys crunch the numbers, see how your approach stands against our model. The only thing is that our marketing team wants to stay away from nets. People get tangled in nets and there is also possibility that they will have a subconscious feeling that they are being treated as a fish. But still, excellent idea. We'll come back to you!
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 09 2018

Just a possibly, but during the initial testing phase, will there be an opportunity for pushing sedated humans out of aircraft without a parachute ?

If we supply the aircraft, the sedated human, and the lack of parachute, can we participate ? No charge to you.

In fact, we will pay to be part of the trial. Cash money, up front.

Oh, and, er cats ? Could we nominate cats as candidate skydivers ? Just a few. Well, a few dozen. Or maybe more ...
-- 8th of 7, Mar 09 2018

If we strap a cat to the skydiver in the correct orientation, he should be facing the right way when the drone(s) catch him.

If you're going to have a fleet of drones in net carrying formation, you might as well have another separate few for the lifting job.
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 09 2018

//gently de-accelerate until it reaches the ground//

Why reach the ground? just juggle the human in mid air until his or her wallet is empty or the safety word is spoken.
-- wjt, Mar 10 2018

[8th] I love how your brain works! I'll have my lawyers contact yours and we'll carry on from there. Regarding the cats tough, I don't think it will be possible unless they are sedated, which I suspect would defeat at least 80% of your proposal's goals. cats are extremely erratic and there's a high probability that they would run out of the platform after the first landing. This would force the drone to catch the cat again, which would result in the panicked cat jumping of the platform again and so on, in a cycle which would end with the drone running out of fuel and crashing. Hopefully on top of the cat.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 10 2018

[wjt] I know that business model is a well tried one which has worked wonders for the Mafia and other similar organizations, but we were thinking more on the line of having our clients acquire our service on a voluntary basis (after the trials, that is). Your proposal would work well for the first customer but somehow I don't think we would be getting many more after that one.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 10 2018

Hi [Vernon]. I'm aware of that jump, one which I mentioned before, but you'll recognize that what we are proposing is not to be the first company to offer a the possibility of skydiving without a parachute. What we are offering is a convenient and safe way to do it which doesn't require decades of experience of the skydiver. The service includes the mentioned drone, which does not exist as of yet with the functionalities we are proposing.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 10 2018

I wonder how much energy it would take to pump enough air bubbles into a square kilometre of ocean to make it possible to survive a landing at terminal velocity? Apparently, a 76mph impact with ordinary water is survivable (presumably, as long as you go in pointy-end first). So 120mph into heavily aerated water ought to be OK. Of course, 120mph applies to a spread position, which is not good for landing; you'd have to adopt a head-down position in the last second or so before impacting the water.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2018

That's more or less what I got. What size envelope-back are you running?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2018

If you’re going to do that, then why not have a sea drone that maintains position directly under the skydiver and creates a huge jet of water upwards in which the skydiver dives.
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 10 2018

Come to think of it, why simply skydive? Why not be thrown around like a ball as subject to the whimsy of a programmed net fleet of drones, who play catch with you flying between end points?
-- RayfordSteele, Mar 11 2018

I have to admit that is a brilliant idea, [Ray]. Awful business case, but... hold on a second! I think there is actually an awesome business case for that! Let's see, and please bear with me, this may take a while. China! Xi Jinping has moved his chessboard pieces to change the constitution to remain in his seat for the rest of his life. So he can do freakin' everything! Next, which country has the absolute biggest love affair with betting?! Ok, so maybe it is the UK, but let's say China. And, which country in the world executes more prisoners per year?! C-H-I-N-A!!! (that was 1,551+ in 2017, for your reference). By now you are probably way ahead of me. Yes! We could setup [Ray]'s proposal in China where, instead of a service (I can't honestly think of anyone who would willingly submit to the treatment kindly proposed by [Ray]), it would be a form of Russian roulette where people would be allowed to bet on which minute the well fed convict would throw up, soil their pants, die of heart attack or which drone would let the prisoner slip through its claws into death by sudden deceleration. Punters would get info on the convict's personality, health stats, family health info and other meaningless data.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 11 2018

Interesting idea [Max]. But wouldn't reducing water resistance that way result in the skydiver being converted into a extremely deep diver? What kind of depth would the skydiver reach after landing? Terminal velocity is 200km/h on belly down position, but as previously discussed the skydiver would have to shift to a feet first position. So let's say the speed on impact could be 250 km/h. If we aimed at a 5G deceleration, the skydiver would reach full stop at a depth of 49 meters. That's still a bit of a stretch to come up for air. Maybe with an inflatable bladder embedded in the suit and a bottle of compressed air we could speed the ascension but the skydivers would have to make due with whatever air they had in their lungs. Inhaling compressed air at that depth and making an emergency ascent would not be very healthy.
-- PauloSargaco, Mar 11 2018

Well, people have survived chuteless landings into snowdrifts, trees and (quite recently) a ploughed field. In fact a bloke I know "went in" twice. So, deceleration over a few metres ought to be OK.

In fact, aerated water would work rather well: the bubbles will expand as they approach the surface, which means that deceleration will start gently and then get harder. Given that kinetic energy is proportional to the square of speed, this means that the energy dissipation will be roughly uniform throughout the deceleration, which is as good as it gets.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2018

// a bloke I know "went in" twice. //

You might perhaps want to rephrase that; after all, this is a public forum, and children, impressionable young marmosets, and sensetive and easily shocked Royal Marines may read this ...
-- 8th of 7, Mar 11 2018

"Going in" is the rather jolly phrase used by skydivers for the process of landing - usually against one's will - without the assistance of a functional parachute or other accoutrements.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2018

random, halfbakery