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Scrumpot

"Wingboarding"? For Real?? - Coming to a DZ near you???

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You mention in your promo video that the wingboard rider would be able to perform "right in front of a crowd". Besides my skepticism about the crowd-drawing appeal of such an act or competition, I also wonder how you plan to deal with low-altitude emergencies.

I can't see how the wingboarder would be able to be close to the crowd - meaning close to the ground - and still be able to save his/her ass with a parachute in the event of an emergency that required ditching the board.

BTW, are you a skydiver?
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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His first posts answers both questions:

Quote

Parachute Deploy Height: The great thing is that when you are on tow, you can deploy the parachute without losing much altitude (10-20 feet). Deploy parachute and then automatically timed cut the tow rope a second or two later. Canopy is fully inflated and you have barely come off tow. Think of how a parasail is deck launched from a standing start



At least I interpreted that as SHTF at low altitude -> save your ass thanks to high horizontal speed, which is extremely optimistic view point.

Quote

Though with only a few skydives under my belt...



Which probably explains the optimism.
Your rights end where my feelings begin.

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EWRookie

Not going to happen. This might make its way as a stunt one day.. but not a main stream sport...The take off alone would be incredibly dangerous. Think of the Youtube video of longbaorders who get the speed shakes / wobbles.... If they configured it so it was safe with high quality wheel and frame the board would be to heavy and a dangerous if it become detached from the plane..

a cool idea but not plausible



My belief is you are correct about it being at most an elite stunt activity. As far as the take off goes, you could solve that problem by using a wheeled dolly that stays behind. The only reason I give any thought at all that this may happen is the impressive credentials claimed by the developer.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Arvoitus

His first posts answers both questions:

Quote

Parachute Deploy Height: The great thing is that when you are on tow, you can deploy the parachute without losing much altitude (10-20 feet). Deploy parachute and then automatically timed cut the tow rope a second or two later. Canopy is fully inflated and you have barely come off tow. Think of how a parasail is deck launched from a standing start



At least I interpreted that as SHTF at low altitude -> save your ass thanks to high horizontal speed, which is extremely optimistic view point.

***Though with only a few skydives under my belt...



Which probably explains the optimism.

So the wingboarder uses the parachute at 50 feet and is still oscillating, spinning, or whatever when strikes the ground. Perfect.

I'd say the inventor has his work cut out for him to perfect his low altitude strategies.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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I hope that WingBoard purchase costs will be on par with mid to upper range hang gliders ($5k-$10k). I do envision a structure similar to glider clubs though where the club owns the WingBoard/tow plane and several people use it. As far as tow costs, looking at glider towing costs, it would be in the $25-$70 range per 15-20 min flight.

As far as safety goes, there is still a lot to prove, and that is the goal of the 40% model, particularly the emergency safety features and protocols. My threshold is for it to be as safe as wingsuit flying before actually strapping a person to it with a target of as safe as skydiving. As I plan to be one of the first riders and have a family, I am not planning on taking unnecessary crazy risks.

One question I ask... If you saw a bunch of other people able to do it successfully and safely, would you do it?

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Cooolwyp

My threshold is for it to be as safe as wingsuit flying before actually strapping a person to it with a target of as safe as skydiving.



To say you hope to make wingboarding as safe as wingsuit flying is to say you hope to make it as safe as skydiving in general. While there are some risks associated with wingsuiting that don't exist in regular jumping, training and protocol development in wingsuiting have made the safety statistics for the two comparable if BASE and proximity flying are left out of the numbers.

I don't think I ever saw an answer - are you a skydiver?
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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I have been skydiving several times, though have not yet finished my certification. I do plan on finishing it and building more experience. Yes I am not very experienced in the sport, though very willing to learn.

Please continue with thoughts/suggestions/concerns, as they help to make the design more robust and safe. Also, for concerns, what options do you know of that might help minimize/eliminate the issue? This is a very unique cross of airplane and skydiving, so there will be much to learn and resolve, but then again, who said doing something new was easy.

Thank you to everyone for all of their help and suggestions.

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There was a crazy kite builder in the 1960's who thought way outside the box. Mr. Jalbert invented the ram air parachute which was considered by most to be impossible to jump, let alone to survive the opening shock. Let this dude do his thing. It is his dream, it was jalberts dream. Who are we to piss in his Cheerios. Thinking out side the box is what it takes to come up with something new. This is the early stages of this guys idea. It could mutate into the next great thing. I can't personally see the commercial use of this thing but, I would love to see it fly.

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EWRookie

Not going to happen. This might make its way as a stunt one day.. but not a main stream sport...



Sounds kind of like what people probably thought about sport skydiving in the early days... Well, skydiving isn't really a mainstream sport, yet, but it has far surpassed what was thought possible time and time again. Let's be supportive until it's proven we need to be otherwise.

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dzswoop717

There was a crazy kite builder in the 1960's who thought way outside the box. Mr. Jalbert invented the ram air parachute which was considered by most to be impossible to jump, let alone to survive the opening shock. Let this dude do his thing. It is his dream, it was jalberts dream. Who are we to piss in his Cheerios. Thinking out side the box is what it takes to come up with something new. This is the early stages of this guys idea. It could mutate into the next great thing. I can't personally see the commercial use of this thing but, I would love to see it fly.


I agree, you gotta give credit to trying to go outside the box, only thing is I can't get The Green Goblin in Spider-Man out my head after seeing the vid!

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I would do it. For sure, sounds like fun adventure.

But are you sure that the wing will only cost between 5k and 10k? and you get towed for between 25 to 70 bucks for 15 min flight?

How do you land this thing?

What happens if the tow line breaks?

Does the wing have enough controllability to glide and land on it's own?
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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Cooolwyp

I have been skydiving several times, though have not yet finished my certification. I do plan on finishing it and building more experience. Yes I am not very experienced in the sport, though very willing to learn.

Please continue with thoughts/suggestions/concerns, as they help to make the design more robust and safe. Also, for concerns, what options do you know of that might help minimize/eliminate the issue? This is a very unique cross of airplane and skydiving, so there will be much to learn and resolve, but then again, who said doing something new was easy.

Thank you to everyone for all of their help and suggestions.



Thanks for the reply. One thing I would try include in the design is the ability to release the wingboard from the tow rope and land it like a glider. That would eliminate a great deal of the risks. I think it's the low altitude "what if's" that could hold the thing back as a viable product. You might even change the design so the pilot is seated until reaching maneuvering altitude to make a release and landing easier.

Just a few thoughts for you.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Cooolwyp


One question I ask... If you saw a bunch of other people able to do it successfully and safely, would you do it?



No, not based on your design. Lots of people proxy fly wingsuits 5' off the ground every year too, and lots of them died this year as a result.

Even if using a rear airborne launched platform such as a skyvan or casa, which eliminates the take off low ground risk, what happens if the person flying the wing does an abrupt climb in altitude and destroys the rear tail control surfaces such as the rudder or elevator with the tow line?

I would be more inclined to try it with a rear air launched type design, but would still be concerned about the hazards of launching an inexperienced flier and the potential for damage to the plane.

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From a regulatory perspective, as long as it's launched at altitude, and the flyer-jumper uses a tso'd rig that is deployed at a safe altitude, why should the faa regulate it much differently than skysurfing?



His own (promotional) video shows the entire aparatus being launched, from the ground! :o ...Then, his narrative voice-over further expounds that this all would be continued/done "right in front of the spectators faces"!!

Presumably, meaning pretty much ALL - from start to finish - right at relative "ground-level" proximity.
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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Cause I've seen premature tow-line breakage on a glider launch. Could've been non-fatal if the guy choose to fly straight and land in the bushes, but the dude decided to turn 180 at like 200-100 ft to land on the adjacent runway and nose dove into the ground.

or this explains things clearer.

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=68209
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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I also work in aviation but on the air accident investigation side prior to my current role. So you plan to get a helicopter to test with board pilot and at least a 150ft of rope. I am intrigued as to where you have a found a pilot prepared to risk a rope release pr break with subsequent risk of fouling main rotor. What country would allow this in their airspace? You also say you going to deploy the canopy and then cut away the rope, this will load the rope period so when you cutaway the risk of recoil and main rotor foul will be even higher.

Good luck :S
Dont just talk about it, Do it!

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I'm skeptical, too. I remember when I was skeptical of that dude who thought a pile of boxes was all you needed to land a WS, though. I also remember that the denizens of this website are know-it-all assholes.

Good luck, wyp guy. It's a crazy stupid idea but, hey, whatever. Maybe it'll work.
Don't let the fact that I sound like I think that I know what I'm talking about fool you. I know that I don't know what I'm talking about

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nutellaontoast

I'm skeptical, too. I remember when I was skeptical of that dude who thought a pile of boxes was all you needed to land a WS, though. I also remember that the denizens of this website are know-it-all assholes.

Good luck, wyp guy. It's a crazy stupid idea but, hey, whatever. Maybe it'll work.



The difference was he was not endangering an aircraft and pilot and the basic physics of crashing into card board boxes was well understood, hence having used them for decades in high jumps from building stunts in films. This is a whole other ball game, or tow line into aircraft game or wingboarder into runway, crowd game. Still the FAA are always up for high risk endeavours I am sure they will approve and certify in a heart beat.:S
Dont just talk about it, Do it!

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