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Parachute Packing Project

 

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JAMS1991

Jan 30, 2013, 8:14 AM
Post #1 of 26 (2669 views)
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Parachute Packing Project Can't Post

Hi All,
Firstly, allow me to briefly introduce myself! Im a 21 yo Engineering finalist student studying at Loughborough University in England.

Im very new to the sport and have been on a couple of courses with the British Army (who are sponsoring me through University). Ive not quite got my A licence yet....but I'm getting there!

Having completed a few jumps now, and having packed my own chute under supervision from the beginning, I noticed how time consuming and ineffective the parachute packing process is (specifically the bit where you stow the lines with rubber bands!). I got so frustrated with the process on my last few jumps that I decided to make a difference!

As such, I've chosen to base my final year engineering project/dissertation on redesigning part of the system. In short, I'm trying to replace the use of rubber bands! Think LazyBag but more academically proven and more effective!

I've been following the forums on here for a while now and have realised just how much knowledge you all possess...which is far more than me! I hope you'll consider supporting my research and contributing to a wide discussion on packing system redesign.

To start with I need to get some base research so if any of you have got a spare 30 seconds (and I really mean only 30 seconds) please could you fill in this survey;

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/X98F6BG

It is intentionally simple and crude, so please dont feel I'm insulting your intelligence/knowledge with the lack of technical terms. It is just an initial survey and gives me some data to work with.

In future I hope we can discuss some ideas you may have for later in the project.

If any of you would like an information sheet on how your data will be used/stored etc or just more info on the project please contact me at

j.a.m.staniford-10@student.lboro.ac.uk

I hope I havent broken any forum rules in posting this...please let me know if I have!

Thank you all in advance for you help :)

JAMS1991


Southern_Man  (C License)

Jan 30, 2013, 8:26 AM
Post #2 of 26 (2618 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

There are a number of semi-stowless bags already on the market. YOu can find information with a search here.


sundevil777  (D License)

Jan 30, 2013, 8:35 AM
Post #3 of 26 (2612 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Your survey asks about being a qualified packer. Realize that in many countries no rating of any kind is needed to pack for yourself.


JAMS1991

Jan 30, 2013, 8:36 AM
Post #4 of 26 (2610 views)
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Re: [Southern_Man] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Southern_Man,
Thanks for your reply. There are indeed a number of alternatives on the market already. However the question I will focus on at some point, is if they are really well designed/effective, then why aren't all student jumping centres using them at the moment?

Perhaps they are too expensive, not long lasting enough etc but there must be a reason. Part of my research will be to investigate this!

I understand the vast majority of people on this site will have their own kit so its a different issue but hopefully I can design something that will attract both the individual and jump centre markets...

JAMS1991


JAMS1991

Jan 30, 2013, 8:39 AM
Post #5 of 26 (2608 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Sundevil777, I didnt actually know that! It all adds to some interesting survey response analysis :)


JohnSherman  (D 2105)

Jan 30, 2013, 9:18 AM
Post #6 of 26 (2564 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
In short, I'm trying to replace the use of rubber bands!
So is everybody.

Rubber bands are used for a reason. Each release causes an acceleration of the mass. Each acceleration is a step toward full acceleration. Without these steps openings will be more sudden. Additionally, rubber bands keep the lines orderly, miniminize their entanglement potential.

Good luck on reinventing the wheel. Remember you must fully understand the original design before you can change it.

We made several thousand jumps with no bag, pilot chute or rubberbands. We just coiled the lines in the tray and pulled the canopy out by the bridle attachment with a pull-out handle. It can be done but there are complications. Remember, It must work the same way every time. Reliability of function is paramount. We did rubber band the slider up to the "B" line attachment.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jan 30, 2013, 9:26 AM
Post #7 of 26 (2554 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
if they are really well designed/effective, then why aren't all student jumping centres using them at the moment?

There are a couple reasons. One of them is that rubber bands have a proven track-record of being simple, cheap and easy to use. I would challenge any packer to stow their lines in a stowless bag faster than I can stow mine with rubber bands. In the eyes of packers, speed is everything, so they're going to want the fastest option.

The other relates to what I said above about speed, with no rubber bands or other devices to organize the lines, it's going to be harder to be neat. Being neat is a big plus in packing, and if you make it harder to be neat, you're moving the wrong direction.

As fas as their widespread use, that's another story. Unless the bags were an option at the time the container was purchased, it's not that simple to retro-fit a bag to a container. Each bag is individually sized to fit the container it's built for, so you would have to be ready to build bags in literally about 100 different sizes. Each manufacturer has a dozen different sized containers, then some of them add short/long/wide options, and even then some of them have re-tooled their patterns at some point, so a certain model is one size before a given build-date, and then another size after the re-tool.


crazydiver  (D 28022)

Jan 30, 2013, 9:36 AM
Post #8 of 26 (2526 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing to add is that everyone struggles with packing in the beginning anyway. I can pack a main in about 4 minutes. When I first learned to pack it took me 20+ minutes and I was drenched in sweat. I'm always up for better alternatives, but part of me wonders if the struggles in more in that it just takes some practice.

I would love to eliminate wasted rubber though which is why I like the "idea" of the lazybag, but I haven't even owned one myself since I can stow the bands so quick.

My two cents. I would also take advice from John Sherman and others who may post here like Bill Booth, etc.


JAMS1991

Jan 30, 2013, 9:51 AM
Post #9 of 26 (2507 views)
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Re: [crazydiver] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Davelepka and John,

Thanks very much for your input. Its exactly this sort of insight that I hoped to generate. Your thoughts and feelings are excellent qualitative data that I can use during the project and it certainly adds to the mix, so thank you for your time.

It might well be that there is no perfect solution and that I am indeed 'trying to reinvent the wheel', but the bonus of my project marking scheme is that equal weight is given to the process of researching, exploring ideas and thinking outside the box, not simply a final design. The intention is to develop something new and novel....who knows what the end result will be!

Crazydiver, a really good point. But if a new design could eliminate all the time and sweat in the beginning, you could have people packing efficiently without having to have amassed 100s of jumps of experience? I certainly expect any potential solutions to have a focus on being environmentally friendly and reducing the waste of elastic.

JAMS1991


Quagmirian  (A 110392)

Jan 30, 2013, 10:14 AM
Post #10 of 26 (2485 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

There will never be a better deployment method than the one we have at the moment, stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Also, there will never be a better canopy than the Paracommander, so don't bother trying to design a new canopy either.

Wink

Yes, there is a good chance that your ideas will have be thought of, tested, and tossed away before, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try anyway. I would love to see you come up with a new deployment bag design, and I wish you good luck with your project.


angle228  (B License)

Jan 30, 2013, 11:19 AM
Post #11 of 26 (2417 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Watch this video. Some good info about rubber bands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVAoiLl2B6M


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Jan 30, 2013, 12:11 PM
Post #12 of 26 (2372 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

There is nothing wrong with trying to reinvent the wheel. If nothing else, one generally ends up with a great understanding of the wheel, and of just how difficult true innovation can really be.

There's a post in here somewhere where Bill Booth (look him up if you don't know about him) says that in videos of openings, the line motion as it come off the back and out of the rubber bands is incredibly chaotic -- he stows as much line as possible.

You're trying to control the chaos of line deployment, while maintaining the canopy in a state where it will open in a measured manner (i.e. neither snivelling forever, nor slamming you senseless). There's a ton of lines, and if you make the stowing conditions too stringent, then "average joes" won't do it consistently enough.

Things about the use of rubber bands include that they're cheap, but also that they're reasonably easy to use by semi-trained people. That's an important qualification.

Wendy P.


scottd818  (C 41314)

Jan 30, 2013, 2:14 PM
Post #13 of 26 (2294 views)
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stayhigh  (F 111)

Jan 30, 2013, 2:28 PM
Post #14 of 26 (2271 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Your survey sucks,
who enjoys packing their parachute??

people pay 6 dollars for a reason.

For that reason alone I was able to make money for 4 years.

Easiest part of packing is quite possibly the rubber band stowing part.

Hardest part for most people is putting canopy in the bag part.

For me the hardest/most time consuming part is closing the container, and putting pilot chute in.

and None of them are enjoyable.

So now I unpack shit for a living. there.

And you can just shove it in the bag, and coil all the lines at the bottom of the tray and it will work fine. with significant trap door effect ofcourse.


theonlyski  (D License)

Jan 30, 2013, 2:29 PM
Post #15 of 26 (2269 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There's a post in here somewhere where Bill Booth (look him up if you don't know about him) says that in videos of openings, the line motion as it come off the back and out of the rubber bands is incredibly chaotic -- he stows as much line as possible.

Oddly enough, he is making tons of semi stowless d-bags...

I've even heard of a semi-stowless bag on a SIGMA tandem rig. (unconfirmed Angelic)


ChrisD  (No License)

Jan 30, 2013, 2:50 PM
Post #16 of 26 (2245 views)
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Re: [Quagmirian] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There will never be a better deployment method than the one we have at the moment, stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Also, there will never be a better canopy than the Paracommander, so don't bother trying to design a new canopy either.

Wink

.

Sombody ask Jerry B or someone else but did the Paracommander and all big long sleeve type bags use LESS rubber bands??

I just jumped a new deyployment bag and after double wraping all stows most of the bands were toast. I can't remember my old russian using anyway near the bands these new things do??

In fact I recall having to replace bands at the end of the season cause they got all stiff and crummy looking before they wore out???
C

Or was it because they were all Dacron and not Spectra/etc..


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Jan 30, 2013, 3:25 PM
Post #17 of 26 (2215 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Particularly on non-shortlined canopies, they used a TON of rubber bands. Didn't break them as often, but nevertheless they used a lot.

My Starlite used them for the crown lines as well as for the regular lines.

One way to minimize the number of pesky rubber bands is to make sure that your bag has the rubber bands at the outside edge, rather than halfway in the bag. Wider stows=fewer stows. Of course, I'm not convinced thats the best primary criterion.

Wendy P.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 30, 2013, 3:34 PM
Post #18 of 26 (2205 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Chris,

Quote:
Sombody ask Jerry B

What, what, some body is calling my name?

Tongue

The number of rubber bands is/was a function of the width of the stows and the length of the lines.

The ParaCommander came out with what we called a 'long' sleeve in that the crown lines were not stowed, just sat in the narrow upper portion of the sleeve. The CrossBow, which came on the market earlier, came with a 'short' sleeve in which the crown lines were stowed in rubber bands. Most of us eventually went to a CrossBow sleeve; for me it got rid of the unacceptable opening shock. Pirate

Bags were a Florida thingy and never caught out west until square canopies came out. Maybe Popenhager can comment on why bags were so popular in his part of the world.

Anything else?

JerryBaumchen


ChrisD  (No License)

Jan 30, 2013, 4:42 PM
Post #19 of 26 (2170 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

Hey Guys GALS!

Not so much the bag, allthough now that you mention it, they were long hu!

Anyways I can't remember ever changing the rubber bands on those long sleeves? Did they Break?? I remember the nice flap covering the stows area, but I certianly don't remember going thru rubber bands like we do now.
C

I'm looking for some highly technical explanation like: the sleeve on a round moves at half the speed of a main bag deployment??? I mean your average round is massive, so to speak compared with a 10 lb square of today??? Yes, no???

Or were rubber bands more robust of yesteryear?? Or the new spectra lines and similar are like sandpaper compared with dacron??

Just askin!


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Jan 30, 2013, 7:33 PM)


PigsInSpace

Jan 30, 2013, 5:36 PM
Post #20 of 26 (2140 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I certainly expect any potential solutions to have a focus on being environmentally friendly and reducing the waste of elastic.

What's more important: Saving your life, or saving an ounce of rubber?

Your focus should be upon saving your life. Fuck the rubber.


JohnSherman  (D 2105)

Jan 30, 2013, 7:05 PM
Post #21 of 26 (2103 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
One way to minimize the number of pesky rubber bands is to make sure that your bag has the rubber bands at the outside edge, rather than halfway in the bag. Wider stows=fewer stows.

I can't agree with that Wendy. The stows are the same length in both cases. The Bight of the stow is longer (25% of bag width). If people are making shorter stows on the bags with the hesitator loop moved inboard they are defeating the system. Stows should be width of the bag no mater where the rubber bands are located. With the inboard stows the mass of the stows is balanced limiting line dump.

See:http://www.jumpshack.com/...OW&SortBy=DATE_D
and http://www.jumpshack.com/...ag&SortBy=DATE_D


potatoman  (Student)

Jan 30, 2013, 10:54 PM
Post #22 of 26 (2040 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

JAMS, don't look for an easier way to pack, build a machine to do it. at 6 dollars a pop, you would become a billionare quick.

I can pack my main in 7minutes, because I have done it millions of times, and have done it faster if I was late for a load etc. (I do a trash type pack, but it works for me).

To cut time off that would be difficult, specially if you consider the safety factors involved. Good luck.

Also, do a readup on changing a flat on a bicycle, which was an issue for pro road cyclists. They came up with a few new inventions over the years. Quick release on the hubs, Instant gas inflaters, lightweight pump with double action to pump faster etc.


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Jan 31, 2013, 2:27 AM
Post #23 of 26 (2007 views)
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Re: [JAMS1991] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
if they are really well designed/effective, then why aren't all student jumping centres using them at the moment?

Lets start with the premise that stowless bags are significantly better and easier to use than bags with bungees. I'm not saying that's correct, but lets just assume they're miles better for a moment. Why then aren't all student rigs using them?

1) They've not been around for long. Student kit is usually old and battered. They would almost certainly have been bought before stowless bags were available.

2) Student kit, especially in the UK, is generally purchased by a risk averse community who like to stick to tried and tested methods.

3) They're a cost option. Student rigs are basic, with no bells and whistles as they are bought as part of a commercial operation.

4) Many DZ's who teach packing, especially military DZ's teach flat packing with check stages. It's easy as an instructor to leave a student to stow lines in bungees and disappear to check on other student's and come back when you're done to check. 1 instructor can teach 12 people. It would be harder to check that a stowless bag has been correctly stowed if you're not watching over a student. 1 instructor can teach 1 or 2 people. That impacts profitability.



Now on to stowless vs bungee bags. A lot of people who have used them say that it actually takes longer to pack them than using bungees or at best there's no time advantage. That may or may not be true for all and may come down to familiarity. I'll refrain from commenting further because I don't use a stowless myself so can't give direct input.

You're focusing on the use of bungees as being difficult because clearly you've had difficulty with them. I took your questionnaire and from that it's clear you found the bungees a problem. I don't think they're a problem at all. They take seconds. In fact, I wanted to rate bagging the canopy 4 and all the rest 1 but your quiz wouldn't let me.

I teach packing courses a lot and most people have issues with bungees until shown the correct technique and then once they've had the opportunity to practice that technique a couple of times it's a doddle. Ever watch a girl put her hair in a pony tail? She was a wiz at it right? She's done it like a million times. It's exactly the same hand movements as taking a line bite in a bungee.

By the way I don't use bungees. I use tubestows, a slight variation on bungees. They're slightly tougher so you have to pull on them a bit harder than bungees but they still only take seconds. They wear out less quickly than bungees so I prefer them, in spite of many saying they represent a slightly increased risk. I joke that I'm trading safety for convenience.

Most people find bagging the canopy the hardest bit. Now if you could address that you'd have something. In fact, I started reading this thread thinking, "great - someone's finally going to have a crack at a packing machine!" I'm guessing that you didn't have a problem with bagging the canopy as it's an old shagged out student canopy with an F111 bottom skin. Try a brand new ZP canopy and you'll discover a whole new world of hurt.


piisfish

Jan 31, 2013, 2:54 AM
Post #24 of 26 (2001 views)
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
[ In fact, I started reading this thread thinking, "great - someone's finally going to have a crack at a packing machine!" .
there is one in France (DZ Chlon) that is used for big canopies, you need to set the brakes, and the machine does the work till bagging. You then need to stow the lines. It is not super fast, but not super slow either. And it saves you lots of energy


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Jan 31, 2013, 3:53 AM
Post #25 of 26 (1973 views)
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Re: [JohnSherman] Parachute Packing Project [In reply to] Can't Post

I've certainly seen them shorter when done that way. I agree it doesn't have to be so.

Wendy P.


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