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Really bad gear ideas

 

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Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 19, 2002, 7:39 AM
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Really bad gear ideas Can't Post

Having taken part in the discussion on last hope ropes in the ParaCommander thread, I thought it was time to have fun with some ideas that seemed good at the time.

Like the aforementioned last hope rope, plastic reserve handles, and other innovations. This could be fun. Me, I have 2-3 reserve rides just from experimenting with gear "innovations" in the late 70's. Did you know that you can take the spring out of an A-3 pilot chute and use it as a hand-deploy? Except it doesn't work for long. Likewise the home-made square pilot chute.

Doesn't mean that innovation isn't good; just that some ideas need a little more thought about contingencies. One thing: it would be good to explain why some things were bad ideas. The "last hope rope" as usually implemented (with a wooden toggle for pulling, on a barely-tacked-down string) was a tangling hazard. But less hazardous than a reserve that didn't open...

Wendy W.

(two more words: dot snap)


(This post was edited by wmw999 on Sep 19, 2002, 7:43 AM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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Sep 19, 2002, 8:06 AM
Post #2 of 66 (6860 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

How about the ever so popular Ripcord stops? Crazy


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 9:10 AM
Post #3 of 66 (6825 views)
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Quote:
Did you know that you can take the spring out of an A-3 pilot chute and use it as a hand-deploy? Except it doesn't work for long. Likewise the home-made square pilot chute.
If you attach your pull-out handle to the nose of your free-packed main, you can dispense with the pilot chute altogether.

Mark


ramon  (D 26115)

Sep 19, 2002, 9:23 AM
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detachable D-bag and pilot chute [In reply to] Can't Post

This is not necessarily bad, just weird/different.

I saw this this weekend. A Texas swooper (friend of ours and realy close to Freaksis Smile) has rigged up an RSL release between his D-bag and Main. The release is somehow connected to his slider.
So far when his main is inflating tension on the line between the slider and the RSL release removes the D-bag and bridle and shoots them down the lines with the slider.

The swooper stows his d-bag and pilot chute with the slider and now has a VX with nothing dragging behind his wing.

I can imagine several potential problems with this, but the swooper says he thought of all the angles and has not had a problem yet.

interesting to see where this goes.

ramon


(This post was edited by ramon on Sep 19, 2002, 9:37 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 19, 2002, 9:24 AM
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Some ideas are just ahead of their time.
Some ideas have to wait for materials technology to catch up.
For example: cross-bracing and loading more than 1 pound per square foot were tried and rejected on P.D.'s Excalibur. We had to wait until durable Zero porosity fabric was invented before the concepts became practical.
Another example is plastic ripcord handles. Plastic hardware would probably work with modern plastics that do not degrade as quickly in sunlight.. Certainly the aerospace industry has access to pretty sophisticated composites that would make cool and groovy hardware, but the price would be sky high!


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Sep 19, 2002, 9:26 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

I made quite a few jumps on a Security Unit with maybe one stow of lines on the bag and the rest just coiled in the packtray. 'Course I also made quite a few jumps on a Volplane with an hydraulic reefing system. Not to mention a StratoStar with ropes 'n rings.

Also blast handles and early belly-mount PC where the bridle could be twisted. And early plastic reserve handles. And....on and on.

HW


(This post was edited by howardwhite on Sep 19, 2002, 9:34 AM)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 19, 2002, 10:53 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
early belly-mount PC where the bridle could be twisted.
At least it was on the belly strap so you could see it... Wink


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 10:57 AM
Post #8 of 66 (6758 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Security Unit with maybe one stow of lines on the bag and the rest just coiled in the packtray ... Volplane with an hydraulic reefing system ... StratoStar with ropes 'n rings ... blast handles ... early belly-mount PC where the bridle could be twisted.

None of these were really inherently bad ideas the way that Jesus straps and gravel plugs were. They were simply state-of-the-art at a time when the art was in its infancy.

Mark


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 19, 2002, 11:12 AM
Post #9 of 66 (6744 views)
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Security Unit with maybe one stow of lines on the bag and the rest just coiled in the packtray ...

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None of these were really inherently bad ideas the way that Jesus straps and gravel plugs were

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Dunno. The "1 line stow and coil the rest of the lines" technique was not one of the better ideas out there. Most of the really gross ideas were afterthoughts (like the aforementioned ripcord stops).

An interesting one was someone who pulled down the apex of a cheapo, and gutted all of the 550 cord. Made it pack smaller, y'know... As far as I know, it lasted just fine; just weird.

Wendy W.


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 12:03 PM
Post #10 of 66 (6722 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
An interesting one was someone who pulled down the apex of a cheapo ...
Pulling down the apex of the canopy is a way to increase the projected (open) diameter, one reason why a 24' Para Commander has the descent rate of a much bigger conventional round. However, you have to add crown lines for the pilot chute attachment, and without other modifications, openings are inconsistent (at best!) and the canopy is quite unstable. With practice, it's possible to consistently stand up a cheapo in light winds, so the lower descent rate isn't necessary. Sounds like a fun experiment, though.

Quote:
... and gutted all of the 550 cord.
On a cheapo, the lines are continuous from link to canopy skirt, inside the radial seam, over the apex, and down through the opposite radial seam to far link. The lines are sewn to the canopy skirt and to the lateral band at the apex, but are free inside the radial seam, allowing the canopy to absorb severe opening forces without damage -- and in their original application as military reserves, deployed canopy first (canopy opens, then you fall to the end of the lines), opening forces could be quite high. Removing the lines from inside the radial seam was a common way to reduce pack volume, while keeping sufficent strength for civilians using canopy sleeves or bags.

Since many cheapos were packed in converted military rigs, the reduced canopy pack volume compensated nicely for the volume of sleeves or bags which the military containers were not designed to include.

I have not heard of gutting the suspension lines themselves, and I think this would be a laborious task since it would involve replacing all the lines on the canopy.

Mark


hagar  (C 68063)

Sep 19, 2002, 12:45 PM
Post #11 of 66 (6690 views)
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I only got a year in this sport, could someone please explain these things for me?

-Jesus straps
-gravel plugs
-hydraulic reefing


flyhi  (D License)

Sep 19, 2002, 12:54 PM
Post #12 of 66 (6685 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Not to mention a StratoStar with ropes 'n rings.

(Editor's Note: This is to the best of my recollection and may be clouded by several years and one or two beers.) My second rig was a used StratoCloud that was cutting edge/state-of-the-art. The owner had removed the reefing system and sewed a patch of cloth (approx 10" X 12") to one of the end cell. It was sewn down the middle and the ends were free. One end had grommets on it and the other end had the rubber bands. After packing the parachute up, this cloth was wrapped around it and the lines were stowed. This was supposed a variation of a previously designed deployment system called a Diaper pioneered at Raeford. Thus it was named, the RaePer. How appropriate. Can't understand why that one didn't catch on.Wink


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 1:33 PM
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Re: [hagar] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Jesus strap: Suppose you pulled your reserve ripcord, but the container didn't open because the closing loop was caught on a grommet?

This isn't very likely on the gear we use now, but it was more likely on the gear used in the late 70's. The difference is that then instead of using fabric closing loops, we used military-surplus metal cones (about 1" diameter base, 1" high) with a ripcord hole drilled through parallel to the base. Much more durable, don't have to worry about loop fraying. Unfortunately, the hole could develop a burr, which could catch on a flap grommet, preventing the container from opening.

When the reserve was mounted on your belly, this wasn't a big problem, because you could just reach down to manually open the flaps, but with a back-mounted reserve, you can't reach around to do that. The Jesus strap (last-hope rope, etc.) was a piece of suspension line attached to a flap of the reserve container, routed over your shoulder, and attached to the reserve ripcord. When you pulled the ripcord, you also pulled the container open.

Unfortunately, if you dropped the ripcord, it would sometimes entangle with the reserve.
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Gravel plug: When dinosaurs walked the earth, skydivers did a lot of PLFs, and sometimes got dirt and gravel inside the ripcord housing. Gravel plugs were donut-shaped plastic inserts for the end of the ripcord housing, intended to let the ripcord move, but keep dirt out. However, making the housing narrower made it more likely that any dirt that did get in would jam the ripcord. Annoying if it's your main ripcord, and really annoying if it's your reserve.
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Hydraulic reefing. Tried jumping your parachute with the slider packed at the links? The original squares came without sliders, and there were a number of experiments done to try to get the openings slow enough to be tolerable. The Volplane's hydraulic reefing system was one such idea. It could be adjusted for the speed, so before you packed, you could set it for a slower opening (terminal freefall) or faster (hop-n-pop). However, if you changed your mind after you packed, you could get a really snappy opening (set for hop-n-pop, but taken to terminal), or a very, very long snivel (set for terminal, used for hop-n-pop). Later versions of the Volplane were equipped with sliders.

Mark


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 19, 2002, 1:42 PM
Post #14 of 66 (6666 views)
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Re: [hagar] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

There's an explanation of the Jesus strap (aka last hope rope) in the Para Commanders thread; it was a string attached to the reserve cover flap, going over the shoulder to a toggle. Allowed the jumper to pull something else in the event of a loop lock on the reserve. The toggle (usually tied down with thread, or threaded through a piece of parachute line) was a snagging hazard. Also, it kinda sorta was a modification to the reserve container, not done by a master rigger.

The plug was a stopper of some sort (rubber band, lead stop, whatever) placed on the ripcord, generally pretty close to the top of the (one of the) pin. It was to prevent the ripcord being lost. With ripcord-deployed mains, that was a lot more likely than it is now. Kinda hard to lose a hand-deployed pilot chute. Again, a snagging hazard, particularly when a reserve had to be deployed.

Hydraulic reefing was how squares' openings were controlled before the slider. Bunch of metal rings on the bottom of the canopy,with a rope running through them. The rope slides through the rings. Once someone came up with the slider, the ropes and rings were gone.

Wendy W.


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 1:54 PM
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Re: [flyhi] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
the Raeper ... Can't understand why that one didn't catch on.
Most round canopies in use today use diapers to hold the skirt of the canopy closed until line stretch, and the Raeper did the equivalent for squares. The 3-stow version was the most popular, but a few folks also used just a piece of webbing with a single grommet. One line stow was enough to keep the strap closed. These systems are used without a bag; the canopy is "free packed" in the container (which looks scary but is no worse than what's going on inside most main bags), allowing the canopy to fill the corners, giving a more pleasing shape and making for an easy close.

Most folks quit free-packing when they found they could half-hitch their lines around their main container flaps. The solution to that was stowing the lines on the diaper or bag, so they're lifted away from the container in an orderly fashion. It's possible to stow your lines on a diaper, but it makes a big mass that's hard to pack into the container. Ugly = out-of-fashion, so no diapers any more.

Interestingly, the Pioneer X210R had a tail-mounted full diaper. I believe it was the only square reserve TSO'd without a free bag.

Mark


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 19, 2002, 2:06 PM
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Re: [flyhi] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

My second rig was a used StratoCloud that was cutting edge/state-of-the-art. The owner had removed the reefing system and sewed a patch of cloth (approx 10" X 12") to one of the end cell. It was sewn down the middle and the ends were free. One end had grommets on it and the other end had the rubber bands. After packing the parachute up, this cloth was wrapped around it and the lines were stowed. This was supposed a variation of a previously designed deployment system called a Diaper pioneered at Raeford.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually, that's what I use on my square (the current one -- a 1982 Firefly). Home made and everything. I wrap the diaper around the base of the square, and all but the last 2' of lines stow on it. I've got about 500 openings on it. I don't think I've had any cutaways in that time.

I felt more comfortable making my own diaper than making my own bag...

Wendy W.


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 2:07 PM
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Quote:
Hydraulic reefing was how squares' openings were controlled before the slider. Bunch of metal rings on the bottom of the canopy,with a rope running through them. The rope slides through the rings. Once someone came up with the slider, the ropes and rings were gone.
Oops! Hydraulic reefing was just that, a mechanical device (fluid, piston, cylinder, etc.) used to gradually release the lines.

Ropes-and rings came in two flavors. The original version was on the top surface of the canopy: rings all around the edge, rope through the rings, runs to the base of the pilot chute. Pack the parachute, all the rings are near each other, makes a really loooong pilot chute bridle. Open the parachute, pilot chute retracts! However, upper-surface ropes-n-rings requires reinforcing to carry the loads through to the suspension lines.

Lower-surface ropes-n-rings was similar to upper surface, but the bridle passed through a vertical cotton (so no nylon-to-nylon burns) channel from bottom to top to attach the base of the pilot chute.

The idea of using the pilot chute itself (rather than the slider) to provide the drag to stage openings continues in some ParaFoil accuracy canopies, where the pilot chute is attached to an X-shaped slider which retracts the pilot chute as it descends down the lines during opening.

Mark


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Sep 19, 2002, 2:15 PM
Post #18 of 66 (6644 views)
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

>None of these were really inherently bad ideas the way that
> Jesus straps and gravel plugs were.

I think I'd have to argue that blast handles were a pretty bad idea, inherently. A reserve ripcord that prevented you from pulling under some conditions? (unless modified of course.)


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 19, 2002, 2:17 PM
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Absolutely right! Sliders had already come out when I started jumping, so I was demonstrating my ignorance. Boy it's great to be too young for something!

Wendy W.


cobaltdan  (D License)

Sep 19, 2002, 4:21 PM
Post #20 of 66 (6618 views)
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

"Later versions of the Volplane were equipped with sliders. "

we have "slider #1" hanging on our wall, signed and dated by greg yarbonet (slider inventor). its pretty cool simply a webing X with d rings in each corner. we also have the original very first canopy to be fitted with a slider, dubbed "bumble bee".

i'll see if i can post a pic for anyone interested.

sincerely,

dan<><>


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Sep 19, 2002, 6:52 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

"At least it was on the belly strap so you could see it..."

Well, you could but lots of people didn't.

HW


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Sep 19, 2002, 6:57 PM
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Re: [markbaur] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, you're probably right about most. It's just that after the fact of having survived all of the above, I thought in retrospect that they seemed bad.

OK, the Reuter wrap, a deployment sequencer from Pioneer. Killed a JM at Orange MA.

HW


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Sep 19, 2002, 7:10 PM
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Re: [cobaltdan] Really bad gear ideas [In reply to] Can't Post

In addition to what Mark said about the conditions for Volplane hydraulic reefing systems, temperature was a factor. If you packed it in warm weather and jumped in cold weather, the silicon oil would thicken and considerably slow the opening beyond what you planned. I never had it happen to me, but I know someone whose hydraulic system blew off its end cap on opening, releasing all the oil and resulting in a slammer. In one of my mals, the system released but the line going around the flare did not clear the canopy so I chopped; as soon as I did, the main opened beautifully.

I still have my HRS in my garage somewhere, and occasionally take it to the DZ for the edification and amusement of newbies.

I later put a Yarbonet slider on my Volplane. If I remember correctly, Greg died in a tandem accident in Connecticut.

HW


markbaur  (D 6108)

Sep 19, 2002, 7:41 PM
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Quote:
the Reuter wrap, a deployment sequencer from Pioneer
For the unitiated, the goal was to get line stretch before canopy inflation. The Reuter wrap was a piece of (1"? Type 4/square weave?) tape which wrapped around the lines at the base of a round canopy. One of the suspension lines had a straight closing pin (like the kind used on a pull-out) sewn to it, and the line had to be drawn up to insert the pin in a channel at the end of the tape. The idea was that at line stretch, the pin would pull down out of the channel, release the wrap, and allow inflation to begin. The concept is not much different than with a 2-bight diaper, which uses half the lines to lock the diaper, pulling the bights out at line stretch. The Reuter wrap was not in production very long before Pioneer switched to 2-bight diapers.

Another wrapping "deployment sequencer" was the OSI, Opening Shock Inhibiter, used to stage the deployment of a Rogallo-type parachute, the Parawing. The OSI was a strip of fabric about 6" x 60". Packing required wrapping the OSI around one set of colored lines, then including a set of different colored lines in the next turn, and repeating the process until all the lines were wrapped up. When the canopy came out, the lines would theoretically be released in sequence until the parachute was open entirely. Later Rogallo-types (like the Paradactyl) used sliders.

Mark


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Sep 19, 2002, 8:17 PM
Post #25 of 66 (6553 views)
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Re: [ramon] detachable D-bag and pilot chute [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The release is somehow connected to his slider.
So far when his main is inflating tension on the line between the slider and the RSL release removes the D-bag and bridle and shoots them down the lines with the slider.

I was thinking the exact same thing... Tieing anything off to the slider just seemed like a bad idea to me, possibly encouraging a slider-up mal...

The individual in question certainly has a hell of a lot more knowledge then me, he can do what he wants with his main.

_Am


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