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By mircea_de_arges
#6650
Have you ever asked yourself why there are no parachutes (or not enough for all passangers) in civil airplanes for emergency situations?
Well I have, but the only reason I found is that they are too heavy and take cargo space. Is it plausible to parachute 100 people in case of emergency?

What if there is a mechanism to parachute all passangers in their seats through the back of the plain. The seats should be similar with fighter pilot's seats with an incorporated parachute.

I do not know what is the amount of casualties from plane crashes, but there might be justifications for this mechanism to be implemented in future planes.

Reward: Safe airlines :)
By Doug_F
#6728
that would be the only way i'd ever get in an airplane
By presura
#6733
I was also interested in the question. Here is a nice link I found, and which oposses the idea:

http://www.seventy.org/nycu/2004/Should ... hutes.html

Besides the money problem, there is only ONE technical problem:

"would require planes to fly both lower and slower since at current speeds (550 mph) and altitudes (35,000 feet), it is almost impossible to jump from a jet and survive"

Which means, if you start a company which have planes with reasonable speeds and altitudes, and also have parachutes, you met get many thousands of people who otherwise woudn't fly at all!

Success!
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By Steve
#6734
It would be interesting to have some statistical data about airplane crashes. E.g. in which particular incidents of the past would parachutes have been helpful? From what I know, apart from planes that explode in the air (due to collisions, technical mishaps, terrorists), most accidents occur during takeoff or landing.

I don't think that slower airplanes are an option for a broader market. For a particular segment of customers who would otherwise be to scared to fly, it might be an interesting option, though. However, I would expect any current airline to offer such flights, because by doing so they'd suggest that their other flights are unsafe. ;-)
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By Michael D. Grissom
#6860
Small parachutes that will fit inside a breifcase or large purse are availabe as emergency chutes for hang glider/ultralite pilots as well as people why live or work in tall buildings. These are sometimes referred to as "Bone Crushers" because you land really hard but have about an 85% chance of survival when hitting concrete.

I've had one of these parachutes for over 20 years now and have carried it on every commercial flight even though I know the odds of my needing or even being able to use it would be like winning the lottery.

Point is that they ARE available and many in the twin towers that went down , for example, could have survived if they had had one. I should also point out that your chances of gaining any benefit from the chute would be greatly increased if you strap it to the front of your car to help with impact resistance.
By DirtpatchSmacky
#10405
Thats right Mr.grissom, about the odds issue. More people die from donky attacks every year than die in air plane crashes,, its true, look it up.
By Cobra
#12669
Giving people parachutes only helps if they know how to use them...
What if airplanes were built with ejectable cabins rigged with multiple parachutes (and backups). This kinda reminds me of Operation Dumbo Drop.
By AgentOrange
#12672
Awww, at the risk of looking like I have way too much time on my hands, I might as well throw in my two cents.

Operation Dumbo Drop would probably be your most feasible option, if it weren't for the altitude problem. See, you'd want to eject that sucker when the craft is oriented properly. And since there would be no way to guarantee that condition, once you've begun to experience a major systems failure, you might just have to eject at 30K feet, or not at all.

No, you wanna keep those passengers inside a pressurized cabin as long as possible. What you COULD do, technically speaking, is jettison the friggin wings. That'll do a few key things for you. It'll drop some of the heaviest pieces of the craft (the engines) away from the rest of the plane, it'll dump your fuel to minimize fire upon impact, and it'll line up the fuselage for a nice nose-dive. Very shortly after that, the tail section blows off, to release the Guiness Book of World Records' largest parachute ever made. At this point, the phrase "bucket up for safety" takes on a whole new meaning. Hopefully, this will slow the thing down to about 50 MPH. The first-class passengers simply become a portion of the crumple zone. (So does the crew, for letting it come to this. ; ). Ideally, the survivors just unbuckle, and look for the nearest exit.

There would be a fairly strong lobby to have it land tail-first. But sorry, that just wouldn't make much sense from an engineering standpoint.

I don't have the answer to a couple questions, just off the top of my head:

1. Just how large would a parachute have to be, to save at least a couple first-class passengers?
2. Should the in-flight movie keep playing?

If it ever got this far, though, the terrorists have already won. But, I can see the warning label clearly in my head. It says something like...

"WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T. PUSH. THIS. BUTTON!!!"
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By Michael D. Grissom
#12715
That time was apparently well spent AgentOrange -- humorous but true and well said.

There is an new composite aircraft on the market that has a built in parachute to lower the entire plane to the ground. See http://www.cirrusdesign.com/g3/safety.aspx

I had the delight of flying the SR22 for an hour with the company rep on board. He told me that during one qualification flight the test pilot lost control and couldn't recover. He pulled the parachute lever and nothing happened. Eventually he regained control of the airplane and made a dead stick (no power) landing in a field. After it rolled to a stop and he got out of the airplane, the parachute popped out.

There are many aircraft manufacturers starting to do this now and I believe it was motivated by the Kennedy crash where all on board would have been saved if they had been flying a Cirrus SR22 or the like.

During the 3000+ hours I flew my own plane, I crashed 3 times which is way WAY more than average. One of the crashes was a major engine and instrument panel fire that killed the engine in my single engine Grumman. It was caused by the shorting of the 'back EMF diode' across the starter motor. IF I had been over dense forestry I probably would have bailed out with my body parachute which I always fly with. Unfortunately on that rare day I had my wife and daughter along and they didn't have parachutes. So, for single engine airplanes, I really like the idea of the airframe parachute.

As for the question of parachute size for a fully loaded, wingless, tailless, passenger jet, you can deduce that by using the SR22 weight and size of parachute to determine diameter per pound and then multiply that times the weight of a fully loaded 747 passenger compartment for example. I wish I had the time -- that would be interesting to know.
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