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Dave Ware's Erector Parachute Jump

Dave writes: "This Parachute Jump borrowed heavily from Larry Worley's 8-chute version. But first I had to make some parachuters. I followed most of Bruce Hansen's instructions, although I used "Sandwich Picks" for the sticks and glued with Elmers. Rubber washers (faucet gasket type) were used instead of pop rivets. I also made the chutes larger (8") for a slower descent.

As for the parachute jump, I stuck with 4 parachuters and used two drive shafts, one geared from the other at a right angle instead of Larry's flexible drive. Each drive shaft powers a continuous loop of cord which takes care of 2 chutes. Thin string tied around the cord at intervals serve as pick ups for the chutes. When the chute reachs the top the string pulls through the rubber washer releasing the chute which glides down the cord. Like Larry, I used a length of wire to catch the chute at the bottom so it wouldn't lay on the landing pad and tangle up with the pulley. After tying the ends of the cord together, I put a drop of Elmers on the knot. After it dried, I cut the ends off. This lump also served as a pickup. The cord rides over the various pulleys fairly smoothly and rarely jumps off a pulley.

The loop of cord was strung as follows: From the landing pad pulley of one chute to the top, over a sheave pulley to the center, over a pulley and down the center to the bottom. Around the drive pulley to the OTHER side, around the other landing pad pulley and back up to the top, over the other sheave pulley to the other center pulley, down to the bottom again, around a free pulley on the same shaft of the drive pulley (free pully is going the opposite direction as the drive pulley) and back to the first side landing pad.


The 2 chutes above are opposite each other, not like Gilbert's original design. The other 2 chutes are at right angles to the first two and are driven from the second drive shaft which is at right angles to the first with another loop of cord like the first. For drive pullys I used 2 flanged wheels butted together with rubber bands wrapped around them to get enough friction. That works great. The motor tends to stall before the string slips."