Larry Worley's Erector 8-Chute Parachute Jump

Larry writes: "As I was beginning to dismantle my Parachute Jump, I thought 'Wonder if I could make this a continuous action model with eight chutes instead of the standard four?' This model was difficult because the tower is 6-sided, while the top and base are eight-sided. Thus I had a real problem getting the angles to align and look right.

First, I added 22" to the height of the tower, at the base, just for grins. I tried to devise several transmissions that would operate each chute continuously, yet individually. Realizing that I would need 18 more P48 Pulleys, I decided to try the Flexible Coupling route. I merely removed the cable from inside an old Speedometer Cable I had lying around, cleaned it, and cut it to length. Small, plastic tubing is forced inside the B girders which the coupling threads through. This not only cut down the friction, but allowed better and stronger alignment of the Flexible Coupling and Pulleys.

To pick up the chutes, I tied a small piece of Foam Rubber on each string. When it reaches the top, the Chute hits the stop and the foam rubber pulls through the center washer and free-falls back down the string quite nicely. Trial and error is the only way that I could determine how much foam rubber would be enough to pick up the chute, but not 'jam' as it reached the top. The wire structures extending from the base catch and hold the chutes until the foam rubber makes it's return and starts the lift cycle again.

I will admit that the transmission runs a bit "jerky and wobbly", but it does work. At times one of the strings will jump off the Pulley and causes the unit to bind, if I don't see it quick enough and stop the motor. But, this is the best that I could do. No doubt some of the more experienced builders could devise a better drive mechanism. I would like to see that if they do.

     

This model is 92" tall to the top of the flag. The chutes drop exactly 72". I had fun building this and hope you enjoy seeing it. I know it isn't perfect, but I consider it a 'prototype'. (Ha ha)

     

I have three regrets on this model; 1. I wished that I'd taken the time to paint the plywood first. 2. Since the thing is so tall, it could only be built inside our living room. Beth has been very patient, but need I say that it must come down soon? 3. I really regret that I don't have a Steam Engine with enough power to operate this model. Bummer!"