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reached terminal velocity after a swift dive he will still meet less shock load than if he opens the u ! 200 parachute immediately. ^ * 200 When jumping from a machine 400 400 travelling less than 119 m.p.h. 600 he should not delay the opening 600 \ unless, of course, it is safer to do 800 \ 800 REGION OF TERMINAL VELOCITY so for other reasons. N ABOUT II SECONDS AND 1200 FT 1000 1000 VELOCITY 118 MILES PER HOUR Most airmen who are open to \\ OR 172 FEET PER SECOND. t i 1200 the possibility of jumping for life 1200 t i UJ are mainly interested in the lowest z l40 - /utmrmu/NG BODY m VACUUM N 1400 u altitude for a safe leap. The O 1500 problem naturally depends upon 1500 | the position and direction of the 2 1800 v 1800 g \S0D/S /NA//? aircraft. Irvin air chutes open 8 2000 in ljt sec, a time that may be 2000 1 N o 2200 taken as an average. If the 2200 y \ horizontal speed of the machine 2400 2400 ^ is very high the chute will open \ Q 2600 2600 5 more rapidly than if the machine \ V is at stalling speed the moment 2800 2800 \ V the jump takes place, and the 3000 3000 REGION OF TERMINAL VELOCITY high speed will check the airman's ABOUT 16 SECONDS & 3000 FEET 3200 3200 downward travel. But a diving VELOCITY 200 MILES PER HOUR machine will impart a downward 3400 3400 velocity to him, so bringing him 3600 3 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 II 12 15 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 closer to earth before the paraT I M E IN SECONDS chute opens. In a spin it will probably be safer to delay pulling By courtesy of Irving Air Chute, of Great Britain, Ltd. the ring to avoid the canopy dummy its terminal velocity may be accepted as lower than ballooning into the tail unit. Thus these considerations make it difficult to establish a safe minimum altitude for 119 m.p.h. Further tests bearing upon the effect of weight, size and jumping. shape factors showed that a dummy weighing 115 lb., but One member of the Caterpillar Club escaped at 150 ft. of the size and shape of the 180-lb. dummy, reached its If we assume that he fell a second before pulling the ring terminal velocity at 85 m.p.h. in 10 sec. and add If sec. for the opening of the chute we see from the The slower rate of fall was apparent even to eye witnesses curve on our graph that he fell at least 100 ft. before his fall on the ground. When a 200-lb. lead weight of cubical form was checked, leaving only 50 ft. to swing him to safety. with parachute pack attached was dropped as a test similar Several pilots have leaped safely from stricken 'planes at to that imposed by military experts in England and America 200 ft. They have invariably risked the danger of a premaupon all Irvin types, it was found to reach 200 m.p.h. in ture opening, a danger that is not really to be feared unless 15 sec. from an altitude of 3,000 ft. the machine is flying slowly and perhaps dropped down to The curve drawn indicated that terminal velocity had stalling speed. nearly been reached as the weight hit the ground. As a concluding item concerning the velocity tests desIncidentally, this high velocity extinguished the flares on cribed, it was of interest to learn that English and American the dummy and electric lamps had to be used. experts experimented independently and reached identical A common fact confirmed by these tests was that in the results. case of a falling body an increase in weight or a decrease in projected area produces an increase in maximum velocity. COMPARISON OF AIRCRAFT. Now although it is proved that 175 ft./sec. (or 119 m.p.h.) Some Criticisms of Capt. Sumner's Article. is the airman's falling velocity, we must not assume that the maximum shock load imposed upon a parachute is By W. BAILEY OSWALD. determined by that figure, or that it represents the highest speed at which the parachutist can move. These matters Mr. Oswald, who is Teaching Fellow at the Guggenheim are determined by the speed of the aircraft. If a machine School of Aeronautics of the California Institute, of Technology, travels more than 119 m.p.h., as most military aircraft do, Pasadena, California, U.S.A., sends us the following article. the designer must not base his calculations upon 119 m.p h. I noticed with considerable interest an article by Captain because the moment the airman leaves his machine he travels at the same rate as the machine, and if this is above P. H. Sumner in the AIRCRAFT ENGINEEK, July 25, 1930, 119 m.p.h. and he opens the parachute immediately it will which was titled " Comparison of Aircraft." The subject is have to bear a higher shock load. And the variation applies one which is certainly worthy of investigation, and much when the machine travels less than man's terminal velocity. comment, for by comparison of aircraft we are urged to Thus the designer must disregard the terminal velocity in discard poor designs in favour of those of proven value. A preference for the top speeds of aircraft, but it is important comparison of aircraft has a distinct and primary position for the parachutist to be familiar with rates of human in the general aeronautical development of the age. It is only proper, therefore, that we use great care in the acceleration and terminal velocity because with a manuallyoperated parachute he controls the distance he falls and selection of suitable values of comparison, which may truly therefore to a degree the shock load. It is preferable in be regarded as figures of merit for the aeroplane considered. extreme cases that he should try to protect his parachute The writer has studied the ratio values proposed by Captain from excessive loads, as for instance when he jumps from a Sumner, both from the theoretical relations involved and machine in a terrific dive, though the designer does not from the tables of ratio values for aircraft presented in the depend upon his assistance, of course, when determining the article in question, and feels that the comparison that is afforded by the use of the ratio values is not justified. The strength factors of his parachutes. The horizontal velocity rapidly decreases as the vertical considerations that lead to this conclusion will, be briefly velocity increases, and if the airman waits until he has stated in the paragraphs to follow.

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