Developed in the USSR in the 1930’s(?) the mechanical KAP 3 is the earliest functional AAD known. For decades, the Soviet KAP 3 AAD was the only sensible device for parachuting. For example, in the USA, the similar USAF high-altitude bail-out AAD was hardwired to open at 14,000 feet ASL making that device impractical for civilian jumps.
KAP -3 is a Warsaw Pact AAD. A highly reliable device, all Soviet manned capsules and cosmonauts’ carried redundant KAP3s. You can check them out at the Smithsonian or the Boeing Museum. There are two-each of them mounted on the frame of a Soviet re-entry space capsule on display at the Boeing Air Museum in Seattle.... They were part of the kit for many drop zones around the world including wide use across America in the 50s -60s -70s.
KAP 3 was the Czech designation where they were manufactured, the Soviets called them PPK 3. You can still see them on rigs in Russia and eastern non-EU Europe. Long lifecycle and very reliable durable devices, don't "time expire" after a few years.
The AAD was mechanical and installed on the MAIN, and it fired on every jump, at the preset altitude. Basically, it was a "pin puller" type of AAD. Prior to parachuting one would wind the pin-puller like a mechanical clock. Some skydivers (in Checksolvia use KAP on the main canopy and Cypress on reserve. An Australian drop zone reports, “We have KAPs AND Cypress on our student Telesis SOS systems, possibly overkill but the KAP seems pretty simple to install on the single ripcord rigs we use, they do need regular maintenance though as the fire off on every jump.”
A typical KAP3 jump looked like this: -- Let's say you jumped from 10,000 feet. The safety pin was inserted into the AAD. The AAD was "armed" (by pulling the AAD's "pin puller" cable to some extension on the ground and locking it in this "pulled" position). You hooked up the safety pin's lanyard to the airplane (much like you hook up a static line to the airplane). When you jumped, the lanyard extracted the pin from the AAD, and the AAD started it's 5-second countdown (you could hear the mechanism "rolling"). It then stopped after the 4-th second, and waited until you reach the pressure altitude of however many feet you'd pre-set. It then fired after one second, whether your main was out of container or not.
Company Name AAD Model/Name Airtec GmbH Cypres Advanced Aerospace Designs VIGIL FXC Corporation Astra FXC Corporation Model 12000 Steve Snider Enterprises (SSE) Sentinel Sentinel Irvin Industries of Canada Hitefinder Mikrotechna Praha a.s. KAP 3p MarS Marsjev.cz MPAAD
* * * Developed from Dropzone.com posts and other references. Thank you all!
(This post was edited by patworks on Apr 2, 2010, 12:27 PM)
I agree with most of what you said except the date that KAP-3 was invented. I was under the impression that first-generation AADs were developed for second-generation ejection seats during the 1950s. Then AADs were adapted for skydiving.
For example, the 14,000 foot firing altitude on the USAF's first ejection seats - and AADs - is related to the height of the Rocky Mountains.
I'm not sure what kind of AAD they used back in the day. Nobody I knew had one when I first started jumping.
In 1970 I remember sitting in the Green Beret Parachute Club bar, downing a beer. We were supposed to be on detail but we ghosted out. Our sargent was awaiting orders for Nam, and I guess he didn't give a rip. He was a skydiver and he was trying to talk me into joining the sport. He even had a para-commander to sell me. I guess he figured he wouldn't need it where he was going.
At any rate, he started telling us some skydiving stories. I was a newbie Army jumper and I was in awe of anyone who did freefall.
One of the stories he told was of himself doing a style series. He was in the middle of a back loop, with plenty of altitude left, when his AAD fired. The openning shock about ripped him in half. When he got on the ground he ripped this AAD off, and threw it as far as he could throw it.
So, I guess they may not have been too reliable back then....
(This post was edited by steve1 on Apr 7, 2010, 11:10 AM)
I used a cap 3 on several jumps to open a 24 ft reserve that we had inserted into the back of an ejection seat. This was for a Carling Red Cap TV commercial.
Once the thing fired as my brother left the seat by opening his lap belt at 12,500 ft ( we had exit at 21,500 ft), and the chute could not even be seen from the ground.
A police officer found the chute and seat about ten miles away from the airport.
We again used the same Kap-3 on the seat, and the guy who hooked it up put the small ring on the end of the device over the cable and not the pin, allowing the thing to just bend the cable when it fired. The seat, chute and all augered in on the back lawn of a farm house.
We tried to retreive it without the farmer knowing, but he caught us in the act.
That was the last time we jumped with the seat, but I had to admit, the Kap-3 worked great....when hooked onto the pin...not the cable.
The finished commercial can be seen on Tou-tube, and I think you can likely see the Cap-3 attached to the 24 ft reserve at the back of the ejection seat.
No....she was an actress, and I was only interested in getting the commercial done.
The guy who plays me in the commercial is Larry Costello, who handed me the chute on my 1st chuteless jump Aug 20 1969.
He is now a Doctor.
The girl????no idea who she was...where she is....but she would likely be about 70+ years old now, since I am in my 78th year.
I am not a drinker,... and Mike Swain from Sarasota Florida, says that I am the only guy he has ever seen order a glass of cold milk in a bar ( back in 1972 when we were filing my 2nd chuteless jump.)
Yeah, I didn't expect she still looks like that, but very attractive then!
I know/knew Mike, but never shared time in a bar with him. If I had, he might have seen someone else order a milk or coke as I'm also a non drinker. There were only a handfull of "straight" jumpers at Z-Hills when I was there and I was certainly one of the very few who didn't drink OR smoke though I certainly hung out with both groups. We used to play a game at the Valley View Resteraunt and Bar called Dead Ants. This was really hard on me as I was not intoxicated enough to absorb the impacts with the floor
As I recall it was Rod Pack who made the 1st chuteless jump (but I'm old and drink when I can). .. I think it was in Canada........ long time ago.
We practiced for chutless jumps at CG Wallace's 'Outlaw' DZ in Waller Texas in about '66 (?). Carlos tried to talk Skippy into being chuteless. Skippy sez,
OK, but what If you drop the reserve? What happens to it? So, let's go up with a spare 24' chest pack, huddle around it, let it go, and see if we can glom onto it prior to impact
So we did that. Being the low-jump turkey, they put me out last (5th). Feather-ass me is high. They Huddle. Release reserve (in OD container it blends)... I see the other 4 tracking like mad. Why for?? I continue the quest. I spy the reserve! It is floating slowly upwards. I zoom in. It zooms up. EEEeekkkk! Oh, my! It is falling slower than I can. It is ABOVE ME for opening!! I too track like a mother for the far horizon. We land.
Lost that reserve we did.
About 3 hours later an old pickup truck with an elderly rancher drives up. Fellow gets out, grabs an unpacked 24' twill reserve from the back, tosses it on the ground and sez,
I recon one of you lost this up there. It hit directly behind my barn. ... I apoligize for the delay to bring it back. Truth is, i'd turned of the mower to watch your jump and heard something hit the ground loud.... So, before I checked what it was I went up to the house first and had me a couple of drinks
(This post was edited by patworks on Apr 23, 2010, 10:36 PM)
I pulled this KAP-3 out of the attic the other day. It was given to me by the class of an AFF Instructor Course I was teaching in Denmark in the mid 1980's. It's been slightly modified! The blue color you see is tape that covers some of the displays used for jumping but are irrelevant for our purposes. We were playing this game of KAP-3 during the evenings at the bar.
It’s basically a game of Time Bomb. You put your foot in the red loop that is attached to the metal loop (that normally went around the top ripcord pin) and pull on the unit to cock it. The yellow lanyard is attached to the flexible pin that is normally pulled as a jumper leaves the aircraft and either starts the 5 second timer or the altitude firing function. For the game, you pull the pin out, let the timer click away a tiny bit, put the pin back in and pass it to the next person. The timer is very loud. When it finally fires, that person has to do a shot. It can get pretty crazy in the bar. And it’s not so easy to put the pin back in!
I find it ironic that a device that has certainly saved many lives over the years has been converted to put many people into the dirt!
With all my due respect, I must inform you that you are wrong. please, let me explain You:
In 1936, after the death of 2 famous soviet parachutists, the USSR Government issued a prize for an Automatic Opener for Parachutes.
The Commission reviewed more than 300 inventions, winning Brother´s Doronin device. It was called PPD-1, and entered in service with the VDV (Soviet Parachute Forces) in 1938.
During the Second World War the Doronin put in service a lot of devices relating Parachute openers, cargo devices, and a large etcetera.
The PPD-1 had problems with the straight arming pin, so the designers replaced it for a flexible one in PPD-2.
In 1948 a very good engineer called Leonid Savichev designed the PAS-1, introducing, for the first time, an Aneroid Capsule system. Thank to this feature, the jumper could jump out of an airplane without became worried about the pilot was flying at the correct altitude... Higher or lower, The device would activate at the predetermined Pressure.
In 1949 the USSR Government, afraid of 2 great designers competency, ordered Savichev join Doronin´s factory, now called 2MPZ (www.2mpz.ru), and issued a new requeriment for automatic openers in order to replace all the others. From these orders were designed the following devices:
PPD-10, the last chronometric device from Doronin´s. capable of freefall up to 10 seconds KAP-1, designed for the Soviet Air Force Requeriments KAP-2, designed for the VDV requeriments. KAP-3, designed for a multipurpose device. AD-3, a chronometric device for mass dropping, and emergency parachutes.
So, I must report to Your Person that the KAP-3 is a Second generation Soviet device, entered in Active duty in 1949, and was replaced in 1970 for the PPK-U System. Currently, the PPK-U System is being replaced for the AV-2.
Of course, You have the choice not to believe me. Hoping to have expanded your mind,
Blue Skies, and safe Skydives!
Juan Fraile Nuez Military Parachute Rigger Spain, Europe
I remember Dead Ants from Bergie of Windsor while jumping at Simcoe Ontario as St Thomas Parachute Club. Ever wonder wether Dead Ants or under skilled newbies with small canopies caused more pain. It was all self induced so sympathy wasnt much of a factor. Tecumseh has a Hellfish Party each year with the Kap -3. It usually starts sitting on the floor in a circle. Less distance to fall and less chance of missing the puke bucket that wiil be used by everybody
The dropzone where I trained in 1980, South Florida Parachute, used KAP-3s instead of static line. (They also used PCs when everyone else were using T10s) The first jump was a 5-second delay, and the jumpmaster had us believe that we pull, or we die. He didn't mention that the KAP-3 was set to pull at 7 seconds.
Nothing like a little pressure to get the newbie to perform.
I took my first jump in Indiantown, FLA in 1980. Allegedly at that time they were the only school in the country using what they called a Czechoslovakian kap 3 and no static lines. Us first-timers were not told this device was in place and were convinced we had to pull our own chutes. We were also not told that our helmets were wired with a speaker to the ground. As soon as our canopies deployed. Some one cooed gently in your ear " Beautiful canopy opening #7! Now reach up for your right toggle." I was so freaked out , ecstatic etc I thought it was God at first. That first blush of silence before the voice started sure was divine. Th 5 second free fall was also extremely long. I have not jumped since but am thinking about it again. I sure enjoyed all your comments about this device. I hope to find a reputable school in upstate NY (or nearby). I will never forget that day (my 23 b'day) and the jump masters parting words to us as we left the bar "be careful this is the most dangerous part of your day".
(This post was edited by michelle73 on Oct 31, 2010, 4:16 PM)
This is my first post round here so will do an intro as well. I am a collector interested in MACV-SOG operation in Vietnam and have been looking for a KAP-3 AAD for a number of years. It doesn't need to be functioning as it will be used for static display.
Can anyone help?
I am in contact with a number of SOG veterans involved in the HALO programme so I am sure they would appreciate this.
and a second question; Does anyone know what model of Altimeter was used? it was mounted on the reserve chute.