Calvin19

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Everything posted by Calvin19

  1. With the way you were talking about experience crewing for gas balloons I kinda thought you worked for WorldView. Have you asked them for quotes on envelopes? (Cause I have, six years ago).
  2. Very nicely said. There are a few balloon companies now, launching from quite a few places around the world. Currently working for a stratospheric balloon company under one of the world's top balloon designer, I proposed this question. How would you set up a ballooning operation to lift ~10 jumpers to 50,000-60,000ft and make it equal to the price skydivers are paying for a nice complete rig? He provided his answer and I became curious if there was already talk in the community about doing this. As far as reusable balloons, they are not often used but I have used them. Some painter's plastics are actually thinner than what is used in balloons. For a true space jump (61mi+) a rocket must be used. The ride itself would not be expensive, ~$100,000. There is already a company with the resources. The test jumps, equipment, engineering, training, etc is the real cost. $3,000,000 for a package of equipment, engineering, testing, and a ride is very reasonable. I agree with everything here.^ (quote and response). My main points were the ideas of re-using envelopes, 'hovering' a buoyant unpowered aircraft, and other logistics of using a balloon. An airplane with a large window between mach and stall would be doable at 40000', and far more practical. coffin corner was the reason for the edit in my post a few responses back from 60k to 40-50k. And of course never said impossible, only very expensive and difficult. If you get the company together I would gladly help crew.
  3. I'm curious about that. Cheap is very relative. I looked into building several 130'k, 300kg payload zero pressure envelopes. large hangar/factory/warehouse, materials, parts and custom tools to just get started would be well past five digits. Assuming learning curve, R/D, testing, permits, airspace, certifications, is not included. After quotes we got from manufacturers in 2011, building our own envelopes was more attractive. Moot now of course. space jumping is so 2012. I didn't say not possible, just really expensive. And their initial business plan is WAY more practical than 20kUSD a head for jumping. Seriously, just use a plane. Or even a hot air balloon with fewer jumpers and 40,000'
  4. A gas balloon envelope that can take "~2000lb" (OP's number) to 60k MSL would be really really big. If you find a manufacturer that will make a re-usable gas balloon to those specs I will give them a gold star. A big high five to whoever pays for it. Who I don't want to meet is the poor ground crew gathering up a few million square feet and thousands of pounds of fragile, expensive balloon. Well then I deserve a gold star. It is called a super pressure balloon. If it is to be reused then it is never fully deflated, but brought down and stored in a hanger. The balloon would not be as big as you think, somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 cubic feet volume. Weight would be around 100-150lb at the most. Sorry, you have met a poor ground crew member who has cleaned up the plastic. At least we are on the same team as far as GC goes. (12 years GC experience and free PG drops whenever there was room). I also did consulting work for Google's Project Loon (super-pressure helium long duration communication flights) I find it exceptionally hard to believe that a 200,000cf envelope that can do anything but a one time, one-way trip would weigh 150lb. A super pressure balloon is normally not intended for multiple inflations or flights. Re-usable gas balloons, even those that are meant to stay more or less inflated and hangared are at best comparable in mass per envelope area to hot air balloons. It is not easy reusing a balloon but it is possible. I have personal experience unpacking, inflating, and launching a balloon with a 2,200lb payload and designed to float at 110,000ft. the weight of that balloon was only 60lb. granted a reusable super pressure balloon would need more robust film, but it wouldn't add a ton of weight. It could be more feasible to have a one time use balloon that weighs only 30-40lb. Reusing a condom is also doable. But let's not grab the lube just yet. The point of this theoretical venture is to get RAF felix wannabes to 40k or 60k MSL, somewhat reliably. ignoring this would be classified by any insurance company, aviation authority, or investor to be a commercial flight. Ignoring that even hot air balloons are comically un-dependable as reliable aircraft compared to fixed wing. I doubt a 'used' zero-pressure or super-pressure balloon made out of film that makes painter's plastic drop-cloth seem like bullet-proof kevlar would make anyone very confident. IMO you would be better off modifying an existing aircraft already capable of 60kMSL (edit:40-50k, 60k gets a lot more expensive) flight for jumping.
  5. A gas balloon envelope that can take "~2000lb" (OP's number) to 60k MSL would be really really big. If you find a manufacturer that will make a re-usable gas balloon to those specs I will give them a gold star. A big high five to whoever pays for it. Who I don't want to meet is the poor ground crew gathering up a few million square feet and thousands of pounds of fragile, expensive balloon. Well then I deserve a gold star. It is called a super pressure balloon. If it is to be reused then it is never fully deflated, but brought down and stored in a hanger. The balloon would not be as big as you think, somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 cubic feet volume. Weight would be around 100-150lb at the most. Sorry, you have met a poor ground crew member who has cleaned up the plastic. At least we are on the same team as far as GC goes. (12 years GC experience and free PG drops whenever there was room). I also did consulting work for Google's Project Loon (super-pressure helium long duration communication flights) I find it exceptionally hard to believe that a 200,000cf envelope that can do anything but a one time, one-way trip would weigh 150lb. A super pressure balloon is normally not intended for multiple inflations or flights. Re-usable gas balloons, even those that are meant to stay more or less inflated and hangared are at best comparable in mass per envelope area to hot air balloons.
  6. Can this be done at the same time as climbing to 40k' in a "reasonable" time? Very few planes can you take to 40,000ft and jump. But the answer to your question is anywhere from 1,000ft/min and up. It really depends on how much helium is wasted in the free lift. If 20,000lb extra were thrown into a balloon lifting only 2,000lb, it would take off like a rocket ship. Not asking how fast a balloon can climb, asking if you can "hover" a balloon over a certain area while at the same time climbing to 40k' in a reasonable amount of time? Longer answer: Assuming perfect conditions in the most ideal area in the world, maybe. If you use a tether. A 60,000' tether for something with ~4000lb inertial mass would weigh (assuming lightest material available) about 4000 pounds.
  7. Can this be done at the same time as climbing to 40k' in a "reasonable" time? Very few planes can you take to 40,000ft and jump. But the answer to your question is anywhere from 1,000ft/min and up. It really depends on how much helium is wasted in the free lift. If 20,000lb extra were thrown into a balloon lifting only 2,000lb, it would take off like a rocket ship. Not asking how fast a balloon can climb, asking if you can "hover" a balloon over a certain area while at the same time climbing to 40k' in a reasonable amount of time? Short answer. No. Long answer. Nooooooooooooooo.
  8. A gas balloon envelope that can take "~2000lb" (OP's number) to 60k MSL would be really really big. If you find a manufacturer that will make a re-usable gas balloon to those specs I will give them a gold star. A big high five to whoever pays for it. Who I don't want to meet is the poor ground crew gathering up a few million square feet and thousands of pounds of fragile, expensive balloon.
  9. Awesome. But still, it's really scary to have a person dedicate an epic amount of time and money to ruin something.
  10. It's true. If you watch videos of her interviews it is so obvious that everything is canned. sure, she sucks at public speaking, but it's so OBVIOUS that she does not fully believe what she is saying to the extent that she leads on. Girl is insane. Armchair diagnosis: Manic Hyperacusis -SPACE-
  11. I don't know Guy, would YOU want to personally piss off Kim?
  12. Being of the generation where internet porn has been free for as long as it mattered to me I am amazed that this post is not flashing on the side of my page.
  13. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/no-way-i-was-going-to-make-it-man-who-flew-on-chair-with-balloons-planned-to-skydive-into-calgary-stampede My favorite quote by our hero:
  14. Huh... that really is similar to a lot of scenes in that book.
  15. Until I looked that up I would have called 100% KG size and type BS. After reading about it a bit I call 99.9% BS. CARRIER Specific sensitivity? ... sounds familiar.
  16. "starring at static on tv for hours at a time, listening to washing machines, Did you really think these stories wouldn't get out?" ----"I was looking for patterns in the chaos, come on!" "It doesn't matter anymore! It's a joke to them..." Gold star to whoever can name that movie/book.
  17. If it is a towered or very busy airport you might have to do something civil. But If you can get a truck to the wreck, just tie it on a 20' line and drag it to the other side of the airport. Airplanes are light, especially with the motor gone. Oh, and aluminum does burn. Bring a couple 5gal cans and have a party. -SPACE-
  18. Save the skydivers!!! this is awesome... another parody article about how backwards K bird and her followers are. This is a local longmont/boulder publication that has no tie to skydiving, they just see how backwards she is. http://www.lhvc.com/index.php/news/799-5280-high-skydivers-clutter-rural-character-of-area-air-space -SPACE-
  19. Nope, but it is seriously entertaining! You can see where the daughters genes came from. Entertainment? that is one of three purposes of the internet. The other two are google maps and porn.
  20. Calvin19

    Shackle

    I have a couple of them, I used them in rope rigging for a while. They are not very strong and with any appreciable load they are very hard to release. I recommend. snap shackles or 3-rings.
  21. I'm curious too. A friend of mine owns a balloon company and uses living social to sell a lot of his rides. I know it has a really bad name (deservingly so) in the skydiving world, so I would like to hear more.
  22. Not if she does her job properly. https://www.instrumart.com/products/24262/extech-407732-sound-level-meter The only issue I would have with someone using that is I am fairly certain that it just measures any levels of sound, instead of being able to isolate the otter. It's quite possible that a bird or lawn mower or freeway would register a loud enough signal on the meter without being the otter that's flying overhead. I don't know squat about audio stuff (yeah, I'm a radio guy and admit that) but I would think a bit of common sense would need to be employed. I also don't think sounds "stack". In other words, if there's a lawn mower nearby giving let's say a 60db reading and then a plane flies over at 100db, I think the device would simply read the same 100db that it would read if the lawn mower wasn't present. Either way, the way to do it would be to take several readings to get a typical average and also consider other sound factors in the testing. Sound is a wave, two different frequencies (separate noises) do not stack as in 50db+80db=130db, but it can resonate in a particular way that certain waves within two individual 'noises' can 'stack' to increase the power of the noise. Things like a gas engine in a lawnmower or motorcycle could be close to the same frequency as a spinning aircraft propeller and actually register a higher reading. I don't think that would happen in this case, but it could.
  23. I strongly prefer coated cable with a good 10cm of play, but be sure the handle leash is long enough to extract the cables. The only way curved pins work for a PG/HG reserve that I am comfortable with is when the area around the grommets and on the pin cover are velcro, so the pin is sandwiched and held in place by velcro, but easily is ripped when you pull on the handle.
  24. nope. If I was modifying a harness I would (and I have modified skydive systems quite a bit before[legally] after talking with manufacturers). I do this for a living. I design parachute parts for anything from tiny UAV reserve parachutes to BASE equipment to reverse engineering 1950s ejection seat parachute components. My other job is selling PG gear and teaching speed flying. Danger is very relative, and complacency is far bigger a killer than a controlled testing environment where the test pilot/jumper is aware of the situations and potential issues and where appropriate safety systems and backups are in place.