View Full Version : Plane funny!

19th Apr 2012, 22:50
Here's an e-mail I sent to the Guardian's Technology editor today and can't wait for the response:

Dear Technology editor,

Thank you for reminding me why China still doesn't have an aerospace industry of any significance. I am of course talking about your following article:

Parachutes for planes and hands-free umbrellas: it's the International Exhibition of Invention (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gallery/2012/apr/19/international-exhibition-invention-geneva),

the first page of which featured the picture I have attached with the caption below:

"Chinese inventor Yu Gao with the emergency landing system of multi-layer parachutes for planes".


Just please take this from a person with an understanding of physics and a grasp of common sense though I understand it may come as a shock: airplanes can glide.

Below are some educational links that you will find support this fact. I know they're from Wikipedia so not kosher from a research perspective. However, I thought that if you're so lazy to feature this photo as your first in an article about inventions and to make things worse you also feature it on your front page entitling it "Plane brilliant" then I will also be lazy in enlightening you with the reason as to why this is probably the most stupid invention in the history of inventions:

List of airline flights that required gliding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airline_flights_that_required_gliding)

In all honesty though it was hillarious so looking forward to more such comical gems!

20th Apr 2012, 02:05
Yeah, I'd create a new account too if I were sending such numbnutty emails.

20th Apr 2012, 02:37
The friction motor weight will make the 'bus plummet like a set of car keys....hence the 'chute.

Lon More
20th Apr 2012, 08:06
Ballistic Recovery Systems
Aircraft Loses Wing, Lands Safely (Under Canopy) - YouTube

20th Apr 2012, 08:13
What's quite impressive in that clip is the quick reaction time of the pilot deploying the chute. :)

Flap 5
20th Apr 2012, 08:14
It's a bit late for April 1st isn't it? :confused:

20th Apr 2012, 09:23
quick reaction time

Prolly felt motivated.

20th Apr 2012, 09:31
@Flap5- Not a joke- they exist and work!

20th Apr 2012, 13:28
That particular configuration would not work - the three main parachutes are stacked in a perfect air-steal. The upper two would not fully develop as they are shielded by the lowest. Anyone who thinks this particualr configuration is a good idea is welcome to be the test pilot.

air steal 9 parachute sqn - YouTube (http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DxNkA_v_xGzI&sa=U&ei=AlORT_3OLKO_0QXe4tH9AQ&ved=0CBUQtwIwAA&usg=AFQjCNFPNPDPJ0OXI7BbiWEGDnrMLYmclg)

This is quite apart from the expense of building, fitting and maintaining a parachute system attached to hard points (that don't exist) on the aircraft that are capable of withstanding the opening shock. Or were you planning on wasting all that kinetic energy in your airliner that you could have used for gliding until you reached a speed low enough to deploy your parachutes?

I am quite at home with the concept of ballistic recovery systems for light aircraft. BRS Aviation has installed 30000 units and their website claims that they have saved 276 lives. But on an airliner?

20th Apr 2012, 19:41
Just wait until they announce the helicopter version - THAT should be good.....

20th Apr 2012, 20:55
orgASMic said it all really :ok:

Bushfiva I guess you talk just as much :mad: usually so no more comments. I am actually new to the forum but unlike you I work in the industry.

FlyerFoto not sure how you could justify the weight and installation complexity in a helicopter given that from a design perspective you have autorotation as one of the main failure case mitigations.

20th Apr 2012, 21:01

I was merely thinking about the rotors cutting through the strings.....

20th Apr 2012, 21:43
@FlyerFoto: With you now in the context of that invention! :rolleyes:

But putting my designer lateral thinking cap back on, have a look at the size of that rotor hub and tell me that you couldn't think a parachute could at least in theory work. Not that it would be a good idea by the way...


21st Apr 2012, 07:40
Helicopters are not really my field of expertise, but one casual observation about putting a parachute recovery system in the rotor hub.

If or when the parachute deployed if the rotor hub was rotating at all wouldn't it either twist the rigging lines completely until the canopy collapsed or just spin the whole whole airframe in a rather disconcerting way until it all ran out of energy (probably at ground level, or a few inches below it...)? And if the rotor was still capable of rotating wouldn't it provided a better descent than a parachute, ie a conventional auto-rotation? The two situations that might benefit from the parachute might be tail rotor failure, or a blade separation from the main hub. I assume that helicopter emergency procedures have an established action for both situations, but would a parachute help at all in either situation?

21st Apr 2012, 20:16
.....as the original post was in the JB section, I decided to treat it as a humorous item - nobody told me anyone was going to try and get technical!!!

21st Apr 2012, 22:40
The two situations that might benefit from the parachute might be tail rotor failure, or a blade separation from the main hub. I assume that helicopter emergency procedures have an established action for both situations, but would a parachute help at all in either situation?

I think the established action in both those cases is to 'crash as soon as practicable'. That seems to be the accepted practise anyway. :}

21st Apr 2012, 23:11
Was there not a case put forward at one time of having helicopters fitted with an explosive head rotor device that would detach the head and then deploy a parachute?
Don't think it ever got of the ground (pun intended).

21st Apr 2012, 23:15
Maybe the solution for helicopters would be if they had retractable wings that could be deployed in the event of loss of rotor lift?

Then they could glide like a fixed-wing aircraft . . . :E

Loose rivets
22nd Apr 2012, 06:42
They don't even have to be retractable. They could hinge, the downward airflow causing them to bend onto little wheels for takeoff, then fold right down during the climb. In the unlikely event of an engine or rotor failure, springs would cause the wings to rise before the aerodynamic load would take over.

What about flying controls? I hear you ask.

Look, I've thought up the hard bit, you lot earn your keep and design the rest.:p

Ghost Vector
22nd Apr 2012, 12:23
Maybe they should put these parachute gizmos on F-22's. Might save a few billion dollars of tax money saving a few airframes for once.

22nd Apr 2012, 12:48
More interesting than the parachute idea would be a series of large airbags mounted around the fuselage to be inflated just before impact.

Instead of a crushing impact, the plane would just bounce along the ground before coming to a halt ... :) :) :)

It would be even more useful when ditching at sea - tow into harbour and apply a pin!