Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Wing Suit Flying:
For Gisellemartins!!!

 


alygator

Jan 10, 2013, 11:32 AM
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For Gisellemartins!!! Can't Post

http://nitrorigging.com/rigor-mortis-xxx


(This post was edited by alygator on Jan 10, 2013, 11:32 AM)


Bluhdow  (B 37052)

Jan 10, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Re: [alygator] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

"with a narrow window of controllability"

I'm not sure what the intended message is here, but it comes off as a huge negative the way I read it.


Trae  (Student)

Jan 13, 2013, 6:48 PM
Post #3 of 10 (1592 views)
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Re: [alygator] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Arm wings look good but praps it could use some more leg wing

Anyone thought of foot/leg extensions ???
praps tied into lower leg/ knee to give some leverage

oh yeah right that'll never work Cool


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Jan 13, 2013, 8:42 PM
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Re: [Trae] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Lurch tried foot extensions made of lexan. They... proved to be a bad, bad idea. Lurch, tell the story...


lurch  (D 27583)

Jan 13, 2013, 10:21 PM
Post #5 of 10 (1542 views)
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Re: [Skwrl] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Trae.
He's right. I did it. It had plenty of leverage. Leverage wasn't the problem.
Problem was overall loading. There's no amount of leverage that will allow a human body to control more than a fraction of its own weight, held at arms' length (or legs' length.) in a 3d environment where the load changes direction with every move. Tony's current suits work by distributing that weight evenly over entire skeleton. My test suits concentrated the load at the ends of the legs and distributed it to the calves. Which in turn put the whole load on my thigh muscles. Biggest muscles I can bring to bear, its got to work, right?
Um, no.
Setting up struts to transfer the load results in rigid, uncontrollable structures- get it in the wind just right, and you have it. Move away from that narrow window of controllability and IT has YOU.
Version 1: No leverage- 2 swim fins, fabric stretched between them, velcroed to the tail of a Birdman S-6. Swim fins put twisting force on top of feet. Painful. Somewhat controllable but bumpy. The fins just strectched and bent.
The fins would load up, rebound, load up again. Bouncing across the sky. Boing. Boing. Boioioing. Ouch.

Skybadiving for beginners.

It also started to pound apart very rapidly and nearly tore off within a few flights.
Needed to be stronger so I hit the workbench and made it a rigid exoskeletal prosthetic sort of thing.

Version 2.0 Final: 18 inches of lexan slab like swim fins but hard as stone and rigid enough to bear my weight. 6 inches wide, fabric between them. And snowboard bindings plus cross-linked cables from the toes to the armwing trailing edges. Sail effect. Hold it all taut and you have one giant 7 foot wingsuit surface where you can try to brace the tail against the cables from the armwings, allowing you to couple the load on your feet to your shoulders.

I could make it fly- briefly. The strain was unbelievable. Imagine trying to hold an anvil on the ends of your legs. With a gun to your head. You have to hold your legs out with all that strain on them. Fail to hold it out, and things got violent...
Epic struggle to stay alive. Back off from full extension in a fabric suit and it just folds, changes shape and relaxes. Back off from full extension with this rigid thing and it begins thrashing around in the relative wind all but impossible to control. With a surface area almost the size of 2 skyboards, if I'd lost control of that thing I'd have never got it back. After 6 test flights I retired the design before it could kill me. Even during the brief bursts when I DID make it fly, it revealed another layer of "bad ideaness." It was not steerable. Not even close. Handled like a school bus. Like my legs were made of wood- Numb. No control feeling at all, no options but brute force. Until then I did not understand how much of wingsuit flight is done by subtle toe input. Adding flight surfaces effectively bolted to the soles of my feet effectively deletes the toes. Like flying a wingsuit with stilts on. Controlwise, your legs become amputee stumps. To make it turn I had to fold one armwing entirely and jam it downward, digging in for all I was worth just to get a shallow bank turn. Which cost me as much working surface area as the tail added. Could not turn without my bodyshape being so crumpled and folded that I was falling out of the sky. Best fallrate was 44mph. I could do THAT with a stock GTI. Pitiful.

Fail to hold it taut and it will thrash you all over the sky and it has enough leverage to break limbs. Bottom line: Really, really bad idea. I got some good results with mods derived from the strut cable concept applied to just the armwings but attaching big rigid stuff to your legs is a terminally bad idea for reasons not necessarily evident until you try it.

It was embarassing enough that I cut up and recycled the lexan version for the materials, and kept the swim fin attachment as a souvenir and a reminder that some of my brighter ideas, aren't, and all the theoretical ideas in the world don't mean squat when the wings hit the wind and the real effects emerge.

It all made sense when modelled and assembled on the ground, and no sense at all in the air. Its a rigid black and white solution to an infinite gray area and it does NOT work unless every bit of the shape is rigidly perfect, which it never really is. Lesson learned.
-B


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 14, 2013, 8:41 AM
Post #6 of 10 (1419 views)
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Re: [lurch] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Not exactly "extension", but my sailing buddy (former national champion in class) wondered why we don't stiffen the trailing edges of the legwing with battens, like they do the trailing edges (leach?) of sails. Don't have to be rigid, but just stiffer than fabric.


robinheid  (D 5533)

Jan 15, 2013, 8:55 PM
Post #7 of 10 (1245 views)
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Re: [lurch] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Trae.
He's right. I did it. It had plenty of leverage. Leverage wasn't the problem.
Problem was overall loading. There's no amount of leverage that will allow a human body to control more than a fraction of its own weight, held at arms' length (or legs' length.) in a 3d environment where the load changes direction with every move. Tony's current suits work by distributing that weight evenly over entire skeleton. My test suits concentrated the load at the ends of the legs and distributed it to the calves. Which in turn put the whole load on my thigh muscles. Biggest muscles I can bring to bear, its got to work, right?
Um, no.
Setting up struts to transfer the load results in rigid, uncontrollable structures- get it in the wind just right, and you have it. Move away from that narrow window of controllability and IT has YOU.
Version 1: No leverage- 2 swim fins, fabric stretched between them, velcroed to the tail of a Birdman S-6. Swim fins put twisting force on top of feet. Painful. Somewhat controllable but bumpy. The fins just strectched and bent.
The fins would load up, rebound, load up again. Bouncing across the sky. Boing. Boing. Boioioing. Ouch.

Skybadiving for beginners.

It also started to pound apart very rapidly and nearly tore off within a few flights.
Needed to be stronger so I hit the workbench and made it a rigid exoskeletal prosthetic sort of thing.

Version 2.0 Final: 18 inches of lexan slab like swim fins but hard as stone and rigid enough to bear my weight. 6 inches wide, fabric between them. And snowboard bindings plus cross-linked cables from the toes to the armwing trailing edges. Sail effect. Hold it all taut and you have one giant 7 foot wingsuit surface where you can try to brace the tail against the cables from the armwings, allowing you to couple the load on your feet to your shoulders.

I could make it fly- briefly. The strain was unbelievable. Imagine trying to hold an anvil on the ends of your legs. With a gun to your head. You have to hold your legs out with all that strain on them. Fail to hold it out, and things got violent...
Epic struggle to stay alive. Back off from full extension in a fabric suit and it just folds, changes shape and relaxes. Back off from full extension with this rigid thing and it begins thrashing around in the relative wind all but impossible to control. With a surface area almost the size of 2 skyboards, if I'd lost control of that thing I'd have never got it back. After 6 test flights I retired the design before it could kill me. Even during the brief bursts when I DID make it fly, it revealed another layer of "bad ideaness." It was not steerable. Not even close. Handled like a school bus. Like my legs were made of wood- Numb. No control feeling at all, no options but brute force. Until then I did not understand how much of wingsuit flight is done by subtle toe input. Adding flight surfaces effectively bolted to the soles of my feet effectively deletes the toes. Like flying a wingsuit with stilts on. Controlwise, your legs become amputee stumps. To make it turn I had to fold one armwing entirely and jam it downward, digging in for all I was worth just to get a shallow bank turn. Which cost me as much working surface area as the tail added. Could not turn without my bodyshape being so crumpled and folded that I was falling out of the sky. Best fallrate was 44mph. I could do THAT with a stock GTI. Pitiful.

Fail to hold it taut and it will thrash you all over the sky and it has enough leverage to break limbs. Bottom line: Really, really bad idea. I got some good results with mods derived from the strut cable concept applied to just the armwings but attaching big rigid stuff to your legs is a terminally bad idea for reasons not necessarily evident until you try it.

It was embarassing enough that I cut up and recycled the lexan version for the materials, and kept the swim fin attachment as a souvenir and a reminder that some of my brighter ideas, aren't, and all the theoretical ideas in the world don't mean squat when the wings hit the wind and the real effects emerge.

It all made sense when modelled and assembled on the ground, and no sense at all in the air. Its a rigid black and white solution to an infinite gray area and it does NOT work unless every bit of the shape is rigidly perfect, which it never really is. Lesson learned.
-B

Congratulations on your survival and for the entertainment.

However, if you'd done a bit of historical research, you woulda known better than to try it in the first place, as others before tried and mostly died pursuing similar solutions.

Hard stuff does not work.

That is why almost all of the early birdmen died; they used hard stuff to make their wings rigid because they thought that was the solution.

No, they didn't have ram-air inflated airfoil wings, but the bottom line is the same:

Hard stuff kills. Period.

That is why what Patrick created, and what Jari and Robert first mass-produced, was so revolutionary: It dispensed with the hard stuff that killed and went with soft stuff that didn't.

Thus do we now have this vibrant and growing community of birdmen and birdwomen flying in ways the pioneers probably never even imagined.

And really, beyond the no-hard-stuff rule is the basic physics of human bodies versus avian bodies; just do some basic calculations about weight to muscle ratio, bone composition, and the size of the muscles that actually operate the wings in avian bodies compared to what you tried and the answer is pretty clear: No way, Jose.

But kudos and respect to you for giving it a shot -- and even more for living through what a little basic research woulda told you was a definitely futile and probably fatal series of experiments. You gots monster eggs even if you were standing behind the door when they handed out some of the other stuff.

44
Cool


lurch  (D 27583)

Jan 16, 2013, 12:28 AM
Post #8 of 10 (1222 views)
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Re: [robinheid] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, Robin. Smile

Scott Bland was at my home DZ one day during gearup for one of the test flights and he said something similar. He got a look at what I was assembling and preparing to jump, blinked at me a couple times with a strange look on his face and told me that my balls/sense ratio was, like... out there...

I ended up adopting this as a unit of measure when trying to figure out how workable an idea is. Like, wingscale divided by balls/sense ratio squared equals probability of... well, you get the picture.
But had you thought of why I lived where they died?

It wasn't futile. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I did it with a very methodical approach, starting with having already mastered wingsuits.

I knew I was stepping off the edge into the abyss, and the whole idea was, if I can make it work at all, I'll come back from the far side with certain experience and knowledge almost nobody ever survived the acquisition of. What I wanted was a way to jack up wingsuit performance. What I got was a very rare education, and, in the end, got some homemade suit tricks, obsolete now, that allowed me to keep up with the first-gen X-Birds with a raggedyass half-homemade S-6 when there was nothing else in the sky that could stay with em. I discarded the hardwing tails and ended up with some extremely effective zip-on wing panels added to the armwings that performed like a cross between monowing "sugar glider" suits and standard triwing designs depending on how you flew it. Jeff Nebelkopf dubbed it the "Godzilla mod" and the name stuck. I've still got the suit nailed to my wall.

I did do my homework, read up on previous attempts. I even read Leo Valentin's accounts of his experiments in his own words. But I had a bunch of assets at my disposal which they did not.

For starters, I was somewhere around 800-1100 wingsuit jumps already at the time, I think. Second, I snuck up on it, starting from a known controllability platform- The stock S-6. I'd done enough rodeos to know that I could control an object weighing more than I do, flopping around hanging from my shoulders while I'm upside down and I have all the drag. When I got good enough that I could recover an upside down and spinning rodeo who is still hanging onto my rig by flying under the passenger and picking her up on my back, I knew I could handle something the size of swim fins+fabric, and even if it seriously became violent or unstable I knew for a fact that it'd be rough but I'd be able to dominate it with my armwings and whatever tail surface I could apply. My "defensive control/recovery" mode was to pull knees up into a crouch, shutting down most of the tail, forcing the lexan slabs together into a clattering but contained mass under my ass, and my upper body still flying the suit with armwings full-out. I resorted to this several times in tests and just kept flying along, bumpy and crumpled but flying and still in control of the monster. It worked.

Which is why the swim fins. I didn't design it, I grew it. The construction was rough and the silicone material eventually started to give, I'd used a heavy machine to sew the fabric to the rubber of the fins with big coarse thread, but it proved that, added a little at a time working from a platform of known controllability, I could at least step briefly over the line and do a part-hardwing wingsuit and know I had a better-than-average chance of survival. More like, "scared shitless but if I keep my head I'll make out just fine."

I cut it closer than I thought I was with the lexan, but I had a whole library of "plan B"'s, and I couldn't afford the time it would take to make a 6 inch version, test it...8 inch version, test it... I already knew a 6 to 8 inch version wasn't going to have THAT much effect, and the roughly 12-inch fins version had already proven to be not TOO disruptive to basic wingsuit flight mechanics. Copying it but making it rigid crossed my mind but essentially, the fins were just the test of the method and didn't go far enough to learn what I wanted to learn, which was whether you could seriously augment suit performance with partial hardwing design.

Anyway after the fins version it wasn't that radical of a leap to make something bigger, much stronger, and rigid. I was definitely pushing the envelope, but unlike all the other dead hardwing experimenters, at least I HAD an envelope and a lot of practice at the edges of it.

I'd estimate I could have survived "flying" something up to about 24 inches extension but when I got a load of how the loading worked out in practice and how abrupt the working/not working threshold is for hardwings, more drastic the bigger the hard portion, I understood what I came to learn, which is that although yes, you can USE hard surfaces, the penalties in human flight apps exceed all the possible benefits, the complexity multiplies tenfold, the hassle of trying to use and develop it goes up a hundredfold, and the risk, a thousandfold.
Just, not, worth it.

But the education and experience alone were worth the trip. After you do something like that, bet your life on your wits against a 97% fatality rate with total commitment and walk away untouched, well, it does a lot for your confidence. I was once a somewhat timid person. That was a long time ago.
Smile
-B


robinheid  (D 5533)

Jan 17, 2013, 9:46 AM
Post #9 of 10 (1044 views)
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Re: [lurch] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanks, Robin. Smile

Scott Bland was at my home DZ one day during gearup for one of the test flights and he said something similar. He got a look at what I was assembling and preparing to jump, blinked at me a couple times with a strange look on his face and told me that my balls/sense ratio was, like... out there...

I ended up adopting this as a unit of measure when trying to figure out how workable an idea is. Like, wingscale divided by balls/sense ratio squared equals probability of... well, you get the picture.
But had you thought of why I lived where they died?

It wasn't futile. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I did it with a very methodical approach, starting with having already mastered wingsuits.

I knew I was stepping off the edge into the abyss, and the whole idea was, if I can make it work at all, I'll come back from the far side with certain experience and knowledge almost nobody ever survived the acquisition of. What I wanted was a way to jack up wingsuit performance. What I got was a very rare education, and, in the end, got some homemade suit tricks, obsolete now, that allowed me to keep up with the first-gen X-Birds with a raggedyass half-homemade S-6 when there was nothing else in the sky that could stay with em. I discarded the hardwing tails and ended up with some extremely effective zip-on wing panels added to the armwings that performed like a cross between monowing "sugar glider" suits and standard triwing designs depending on how you flew it. Jeff Nebelkopf dubbed it the "Godzilla mod" and the name stuck. I've still got the suit nailed to my wall.

I did do my homework, read up on previous attempts. I even read Leo Valentin's accounts of his experiments in his own words. But I had a bunch of assets at my disposal which they did not.

For starters, I was somewhere around 800-1100 wingsuit jumps already at the time, I think. Second, I snuck up on it, starting from a known controllability platform- The stock S-6. I'd done enough rodeos to know that I could control an object weighing more than I do, flopping around hanging from my shoulders while I'm upside down and I have all the drag. When I got good enough that I could recover an upside down and spinning rodeo who is still hanging onto my rig by flying under the passenger and picking her up on my back, I knew I could handle something the size of swim fins+fabric, and even if it seriously became violent or unstable I knew for a fact that it'd be rough but I'd be able to dominate it with my armwings and whatever tail surface I could apply. My "defensive control/recovery" mode was to pull knees up into a crouch, shutting down most of the tail, forcing the lexan slabs together into a clattering but contained mass under my ass, and my upper body still flying the suit with armwings full-out. I resorted to this several times in tests and just kept flying along, bumpy and crumpled but flying and still in control of the monster. It worked.

Which is why the swim fins. I didn't design it, I grew it. The construction was rough and the silicone material eventually started to give, I'd used a heavy machine to sew the fabric to the rubber of the fins with big coarse thread, but it proved that, added a little at a time working from a platform of known controllability, I could at least step briefly over the line and do a part-hardwing wingsuit and know I had a better-than-average chance of survival. More like, "scared shitless but if I keep my head I'll make out just fine."

I cut it closer than I thought I was with the lexan, but I had a whole library of "plan B"'s, and I couldn't afford the time it would take to make a 6 inch version, test it...8 inch version, test it... I already knew a 6 to 8 inch version wasn't going to have THAT much effect, and the roughly 12-inch fins version had already proven to be not TOO disruptive to basic wingsuit flight mechanics. Copying it but making it rigid crossed my mind but essentially, the fins were just the test of the method and didn't go far enough to learn what I wanted to learn, which was whether you could seriously augment suit performance with partial hardwing design.

Anyway after the fins version it wasn't that radical of a leap to make something bigger, much stronger, and rigid. I was definitely pushing the envelope, but unlike all the other dead hardwing experimenters, at least I HAD an envelope and a lot of practice at the edges of it.

I'd estimate I could have survived "flying" something up to about 24 inches extension but when I got a load of how the loading worked out in practice and how abrupt the working/not working threshold is for hardwings, more drastic the bigger the hard portion, I understood what I came to learn, which is that although yes, you can USE hard surfaces, the penalties in human flight apps exceed all the possible benefits, the complexity multiplies tenfold, the hassle of trying to use and develop it goes up a hundredfold, and the risk, a thousandfold.
Just, not, worth it.

But the education and experience alone were worth the trip. After you do something like that, bet your life on your wits against a 97% fatality rate with total commitment and walk away untouched, well, it does a lot for your confidence. I was once a somewhat timid person. That was a long time ago.
Smile
-B

Glad I posted, Lurch, or we wouldn't have heard the second chapter of your amazing adventure.

More kudos and respect, man, starting with these key takeaways from your second chapter:

"It wasn't futile. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I did it with a very methodical approach, starting with having already mastered wingsuits."

This is the biggest one. Whereas you had "already mastered wingsuits" when you started the "hard stuff" experiments, the old birdmen were trying to do both at the same time. No wonder most of them died!

"I did do my homework, read up on previous attempts. I even read Leo Valentin's accounts of his experiments in his own words. But I had a bunch of assets at my disposal which they did not.

For starters, I was somewhere around 800-1100 wingsuit jumps already at the time, I think. Second, I snuck up on it, starting from a known controllability platform- The stock S-6. I'd done enough rodeos to know that I could control an object weighing more than I do, flopping around hanging from my shoulders while I'm upside down and I have all the drag. When I got good enough that I could recover an upside down and spinning rodeo who is still hanging onto my rig by flying under the passenger and picking her up on my back, I knew I could handle something the size of swim fins+fabric, and even if it seriously became violent or unstable I knew for a fact that it'd be rough but I'd be able to dominate it with my armwings and whatever tail surface I could apply."


These three elements are big too: You did your homework, you started from a proven platform and, as you say, you snuck up on it, by testing your skillset with analagous control and planform-deviation challenges.

All in all, a great addition to the annals of out-there experimentation, innovation and invention -- and I'll leave you with something Thomas Edison is reported to have said in the January 1921 issue of American Magazine about his efforts to make a viable incandescent lightbulb:

"After we had conducted thousands of experiments on a certain project without solving the problem, one of my associates, after we had conducted the crowning experiment and it had proved a failure, expressed discouragement and disgust over our having failed to find out anything. I cheerily assured him that we had learned something. For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn't be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way."

Rock on, Lurch. Can't wait to hear about your next invention adventure.

44
Cool


DontfallOff  (Student)

Jan 18, 2013, 12:05 AM
Post #10 of 10 (964 views)
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Re: [robinheid] For Gisellemartins!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

+1



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