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Larry Worley's Erector 12-Chute Parachute Jump

Larry writes: "Hi Doc, it has been a long time since I have written, but I finally got up enough nerve to write and tell you of my latest failure. Can you recall the first 'Continuous Action Parachute Jump' which I built and had great success with it? Well, I decided to build an even larger model, similar to the beautiful 'Texas Chute-out' at Six Flags Over Texas, just down the road in Arlington, Texas. That ride is beautiful and is nice to watch as the riders enjoy the experience. I see it often as I travel about here.

The particular design which I had in my head was to operate twelve red, white and blue, separate chutes. My model was over nine feet tall and was also painted in red, white & blue. (My favorite colors.) The finished model was to have decorative, yet functional trim. It would have been operated by four A49 motors; each driving three, rope feed mechanisms which took the rider slowly to the top. The chutes were released as the lifting foam piece was pulled through the hole just before the AQ pulley mechanism. They were to float down slowly and land on 'catchers' to keep them from tangling in the ropes. The catching mechanisms were bent in such a way as to add a pleasing touch to the whole landing pad area. There they would wait until the rope's lifting foam made its way around again, and so on and so on...

The four MX Houses were to have steps leading up to the jump area. Ropes and railings would have enclosed the whole thing. The center of the landing area was to have more decorative trim, accented with various Gilbert advertisements, two of which are shown in one picture. The blue sides of the tower would have had large stars installed down them. I think the finished model would have looked nice and would be eye-catching, especially if it had operated. LOL! The problem was that I never got more than three chutes operating at once. The feed mechanisms were redesigned several times, all with little improvement. Finally, after about a year of frustration I gave up. It was a little embarrassing as our visitors would see it each time they came over, noting also that no progress had been made. Just before Christmas 2008, I dismantled the thing and stored it in the attic. It is all up there in storage until I feel like fooling around with it again. Perhaps it will never come down, but I have a feeling that it will.

So, I am embarrassed by admitting to you and others that some things just above my technical skills. It is really hard for me to do this, but maybe someone can make a working model and let me know how they did it.
Regards, Larry"