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Thread: 3-ring parachute release system - GIF, video, patent

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    Jon
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    3-ring parachute release system - GIF, video, patent

    A 3-ring parachute release system. Also called a "3-ring circus", it's used to reliably release a malfunctioning main parachute so that the reserve chute can be safely deployed.



    46-second video showing the 3-ring release mechanism in real-time, and again at 1/20th speed:



    Awarded patent #4337913 in 1982, to inventor William R. Booth.







    More:
    https://www.google.com/patents/US4337913
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malfunction_(parachuting)

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    Nice, thanks for posting.

    Ralph

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    Made me cringe to see how easily that one little element gets pulled free to release the whole thing!!!

    I realize when you get into trouble, you need to be able to get the release quick and easy, but you sure don't want it to get pulled by mistake.

    How is that release mechanism secured, to prevent accidental release, yet still be easily accessed when needed?

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    At first glance it would appear that the middle ring isn't needed. The large ring could be directly restrained by the small ring.

    However there's a lot of force (weight) pulling on the large ring and that force would be trying to pull the small ring loose from its restraint. Adding the middle ring seriously reduces the force on the small ring. Each of the two bigger rings pushes on the ring above it near the point about which that ring can pivot, its fulcrum. This purposely inefficient placement of the force near the fulcrum reduces the force with which the ring being pushed can push on the one above it.

    The rings must be circular. Any other shape runs the risk of hanging up and not sliding through the ring below when it comes free from its restraint.

    The design is exceptional. It's simple yet effective and easily constructed. It should be awarded some sort of design prize.
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    Regards, Marv


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    Jon
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    The design is exceptional. It's simple yet effective and easily constructed. It should be awarded some sort of design prize.
    Good call!



    More parachute-themed inventions from this same guy:

    Skyhook reserve parachute deployment system
    Means for releasably attaching strands
    Retractable safety ripcord

    More about the inventor Bill Booth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Booth

    Interestingly, Booth coined a rule about how risk increases with implementation of safety gear, here written about in the Harvard Business Review:



    This is a controversial theory known as Risk Homeostasis. If you've ever driven a vehicle faster when wearing a helmet, you've experienced this.


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