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Everything posted by Calvin19

  1. one of my favorites. and I -LOVE- the xkcd low-bit drawing of Saturn V in that comic. but my favorite xkcd is HANDS DOWN (and a shout-out to all the other rocket nerds here ) I have the full-size poster framed on my wall of this one:
  2. It's about time NASA. But doing well! YEAH!!! -SPACE-
  3. My friend owned a Quicksilver Sprint II (two seat single surface) with a 582. We used it as a jump ship sometimes, but we quickly learned that flying the thing is literally 10x more fun than jumping from it. I came from aerobatic and commercial flying (I owned a Citabria and had unlimited access to a Super Cub, Pawnee, C180, Twin commanche and C206). And you're right. the MOST fun flying I have ever had is in the ~100 hours we put on that Sprint II and the ~200 hours on my quick. It inspired me to buy my Quicksilver MXLL. For flying, when measured in fun, BY FAR, by exponents, the most valuable aircraft are Quicksilvers. I do want to get a Kolb firefly (or buy a firestar and pretend it's a part 103 firefly), but I have a feeling I will miss the Quick. I love taildraggers and the challenge and back country capability that provides. But I promise that my new quicksilver MXLL (I'm modifying it to be lighter and slower, I'm dubbing it a Quicksilver LongSport) with the 503, C gearbox, big prop. I promise that I will be able to out-perform (in STOL and maneuverability and aerobatics) any ultralight Kolb out there. (Other than cruising speed) -SPACE-
  4. Damn, that's a helluva bank angle. Is your ultralight stressed for aerobatics? It's a Quicksilver MXLL, this machine is very rare. Only 5 of these kits sold according to the manufacturer. It's basically an MXL with extended wings (30' wingspan instead of the standard 28') I am in the process of rebuilding it and had a hell of a time with the aftermarket sail manufacturer, they had never seen the extended wing version and I had to send the sail back to have an extra panel added. Obviously not OEM As for stress, the Quicksilver and ultralight community seem to all agree that the Quicksilver wire-braced airframe is the strongest on the normal market. Claimed to be +5/-3 G. realistically, it would be very hard to get it to +5, you would have to be trying to break it to break it. 'Trying' as in putting it well past VNE (75mph) and full back stick. I have been above 75mph in a dive, it's a dirty dirty airplane. And I have been to about -0.1 G on a parabola pushover, at least that is what it feels like, I was held in the seat by my belt. NOT a happy airplane to be in any kind of negative load. I have seen some video of these coming apart due to negligent maintenance, etc. The manufacture laughed when I said i was putting a BRS on it. With good inspections and maintenance it won't break. I'm more worried about mid-airs than anything else. A good friend has a very similar quicksilver and we have FUN. In flying, two airplanes make flying way more fun than one airplane. (1+1)>2 Also, it's not like we are usually flying high enough for a BRS to be able to save me Once I finish this rebuild and the new BRS system is installed I will confidently do some 'real' aerobatics and higher speeds. All +G, of course. not in a legal 103 ultralight. Has to be less than 254lbs(not including parachute), carry less than 5 gal of fuel, must have a full power level speed of less than 55kts and can only have one seat.
  5. Fermi's method of estimating the power of the Trinity A-bomb test in 1945. \ For some visual learners; There are a few ways a bomb can kill people, irradiation(if it is nuclear), heat radiation(if they are close enough and the bomb is hot enough) and the pressure wave. the difference in pressure between the front of the wave and the behind the wave. (and how quickly that change happens). There are some very, very scary non-nuclear bombs in existence today.
  6. You mean as in a standing person in the path of a shock wave/sonic boom? We could figure that out, actually. it depends on the energy in the wave (pressure difference between high and low and the size of the wave as well as the cross-section orientation of the subject. Or were you asking in the same sense of the common wuffo question about how when someone opens a parachute 'how far do they get sucked back up?" after seeing an external tandem video. -SPACE-
  7. That is SO not a good plan. Why not? I regularly give them the items/my address as Special Agent Calvin Hecker International Financial Fraud Investigations (Followed by the local FBI Office address)
  8. For anyone who has not seen the best re-scam (true) story ever. -SPACE-
  9. That's a cool idea. Start a collection! Yep. I had thousands of dollars worth. They even threaten to sue you if you don't cash it and send them back what they are "owed". It's fun to see how long it takes them to realize that the scammers have been scammed. They're just as gullible in their greed as their innocent victims in their ignorance. Years ago I was selling a paraglider worth about 1500 USD and had a scammer send one of those checks to me. It was my first experience with a 419'r and I brought the check to my bank and they identified it right away as a fake. The teller explained the scam to me and I decided to keep the scammer (now my 'mark') on the hook for a while. I eventually got death threats, him telling me he has 'people' that work for him in the states and he can 'kill me in my sleep in an instant'. i recorded all of this, of course. Finally, I got to the point where we were instant messaging through some weird website, and he even CALLED me at my house on the land line. An interpreter was translating for us. Must have been expensive for him. . In the end he asked me if I wanted to help him scam people, to be one of his helpers. At that point I got a little freaked out and never heard from him again. Now, all I do is try to waste their time as much as possible without them asking me to be an accomplice. -SPACE-
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Yep, and I ended up selling the client who owned this funky pin reserve a new harness with a better reserve closing cable (and integrated reserve instead of the belly tumor reserve). She had no idea about the pin design and had never practiced reserve deployments. I did have her try to deploy it and like you said, you're pulling the pin with your hand, not letting a pilot chute do it. I would have no problem/worry using this pin to close my paraglider reserve but it freaked her out. It's a testament to the importance of people needing to know their gear intimately and not just trusting what someone else sells them. -SPACE-
  13. That was the consensus I was looking for.
  14. Truth. I just thought it was an interesting pin/thinking out loud. I agree there is not a problem with the modern skydive pin. And the more I think about the tension of skydive containers compared to the paraglider reserves I pack I agree it could cause a bigger problem. Then I think about the sigma main container design and wonder; are there less frequent accidental main bag openings on sigma tandmens? There is that extra safety (bent->curved pin) keeping the main release pin from coming out before the bridal is deployed. I've seen videos of paraglider reserves coming out on launch, and seen video of skydive containers coming open on climb out and almost bringing down airplanes and helicopters. All from the pin having literally nothing but friction holding it in place. this old Korean paraglider reserve is the only place I have seen this kind of pin. I'm glad I'm getting feedback on this even though it is mostly negative. Maybe it is more applicable in a pull-out system(that is closer to the paraglider reserve deployment concept)
  15. Obviously the one I make (If I do) will be smooth-edged. Paraglider pins are stamped metal usually and crappy. My personal paraglider reserves (I have 3 harnesses and 4 rescue parachutes) are almost all coated cable closures, way more reliable. I've never had an accidental pin pop. I just thought the pin was unique. I don't see a need to fix what is not broken, I just thought it was a cool design. Probably not necessary in skydiving with tight pin tension. I paragliding the reserves are usually loose and the pin is held in place with a velcro cover that holds it together. -SPACE-
  16. I found this while repacking a clients' paragliding rescue parachute. I have never seen it before but it's very interesting. The rig it is on is a front/belly mount container. The deployment handle is mounted on the top, easy access in nasty situations while paragliding and the wing is a ball of shit or twisted up. For those who don't know, paraglider rescue parachutes are just a round parachute that the pilot deploys while still connected to the paraglider (only specialized and newer paraglider kits have cutaway and direct bag deployment systems, but they are not for beginner or even most experienced pilots). If the glider goes out of control, a pilot grabs the reserve handle that is connected to the container closing pin and also connected with the deployment bag. The pilot throws the handle (that is connected to the deployment bag with the parachute inside) away from the glider and once it reaches about a meter away the deployment bag opens and the parachute falls to line stretch and opens. It seem scary to skydivers, but it has a fairly good history of working reliably. I packed and repacked and tested the deployment a few times hanging, sitting, etc. With this pin it takes an extra few KG of pull force to pull the pin out. Obviously the point of this pin design is to keep the container from opening accidentally from normal use and launching, etc. I think it has merit. I will CAD a similar design (I have some changes to make that will make it safer for skydiving use), have it CNCd and install it on my skydiving container for the main pin system. It does seem scary, but really is not as scary as it seems the more i think about it. It could save a few accidental container openings. I doubt it will stick, but it's a cool design and i like new things.
  17. I am selling my aircraft engine on Craigslist. I have one serious buyer and then two people trying to do a paypal scheme on me. I have the day off and am looking to have some fun messing with them. Any ideas? both are doing the standard; "I am working offshore and am buying [generic copy->paste my item title] I can have my personal shipper pick up your item after payment clears in your account" I've had these happen a lot to me, and I'm not a good mark.
  18. I have a feeling she was wearing a restraint.
  19. I'm not looking, but is there one for model airplane propellers. So, my first ever Powered paraglider flight was in the dead of winter. I was wearing gloves. My instructor told me I did not need a net on my motor, I still had the prop cage, but no net. On launch I did my standard torpedo PG launch, hands back charging hard. Then BAM! my arm goes through the nettles cage. huge noise and pain in my left hand. I get off the ground, and look at my gloved arm. My pinky is MISSING. I'm in shock, still at full throttle. So much pain masked by the shock of sharp pain, cold, and adrenaline for getting off the ground in dead wind and snow. I fly around for a while, trying to ignore my missing finger, knowing that I will be glad for the 5 min flight no matter how long i'm in the hospital, or if my finger is gone forever. Finally, I shut down the motor, still throbbing in pain. I land, sit back on the motor unit, unstrap and take off my glove to asses where the amputation took place. The finger is still there. black and blue, but the glove finger is missing. Broke the bones pretty bad, but no permanent damage. I still have the glove as a reminder to "don't be an idiot" and "use a net" on PPG. But shit yeah... propellers are spinning disks of death. airplanes to electric RC planes. nasty. -SPACE-
  20. Oh, one more. razor blades. I've cut myself open WAY to many times as a modeler and amateur carpentry. To the bone, white fat, pink strings, blah. no fun. lots of stitches. I've been lucky to never cut any tendons completely. -SPACE-
  21. My biggest fear is wires. As in low visibility power lines, tram cables, etc. There is NOTHING more scary than crashing a flying machine into something you see a second too late. I'm afraid of water. Submerged things, seaweed, etc. -SPACE-
  22. ""Houston, this is Snoopy! We is GO and we is down among 'em Charlie!"" haha! -SPACE-
  23. The battery thing sucks... No matter what, this is a HUGE freaking win in a time when space travel has been getting hit hard. Elon better stick that bottom booster on the pad. It will save 2014.
  24. I have a recurring daydream of being on Apollo 8, and adjusting the trajectory so the pericynthion is within double-digit meters of the surface. Around 1km/sec that would be a hell of a ride. It's off topic, I know, but that would be FUN. True that. ebenfalls. Edit:Thanks champu