Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
crl848

Record freefall attempt

Recommended Posts

I've read about this guy before - a retired French army parachutist is attempting to break various world records including highest parachute jump. The record is currently held by Joe Kittinger of the USAF who made a balloon jump in 1960. He was later a POW in North Vietnam IIRC. Jump was scheduled yesterday but should go today.

 

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080526/tod-...te-7f81b96.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/sports/o...amp;oref=slogin

 

Those interested in pilot gear might notice that he appears to be wearing a French partial pressure high altitude flight helmet & suit EFA type 21 (see http://www.flightgear.dk/efagear.htm). I have one in my collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, I remember reading about this on BBC...the line that stuck out the most was "it's pretty simple; if the suit fails, I die".

 

Isn't there something inherently stupid, and awesome, about trying to break the speed of sound? Even at an altitude of some obscene number, Mach 1 is at least 600 MpH, and I can't imagine freefalling to that point.

 

My initial reaction was also one that questioned friction - is there any likelihood he'll burst into flames or something?

 

Well, best of luck to the guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surface heating due to air friction doesn't become noticeable until you pass Mach 2.5 at high altitude. It's lower at low altitude, but air density prevents you from going that fast easily. Anyway, I think bursting into flames is probably the one thing he does NOT have to worry about!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surface heating due to air friction doesn't become noticeable until you pass Mach 2.5 at high altitude. It's lower at low altitude, but air density prevents you from going that fast easily. Anyway, I think bursting into flames is probably the one thing he does NOT have to worry about!

That much is true. My high altitude sciences are a bit rusty...

 

Nonetheless, though, I think we all know it's a ridiculous stunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mach 1 at 100K feet is less than 200 knots indicated airspeed.

 

This should prove interesting:

 

The next year, Kittinger set two more records, which he still holds. On August 16, 1960, Kittinger surpassed the altitude record set by Major David Simons, who had climbed to 101,516 feet (30,942 meters) in 1957 in his Man-High II balloon. Kittinger floated to 102,800 feet (31,333 meters) in Excelsior III, an open gondola adorned with a paper license plate that his five-year-old son had cut out of a cereal box. Protected against the subzero temperatures by layers of clothes and a pressure suit--he experienced air temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius)--and loaded down with gear that almost doubled his weight, he climbed to his maximum altitude in one hour and 31 minutes even though at 43,000 feet (13,106 meters) he began experiencing severe pain in his right hand caused by a failure in his pressure glove and could have scrubbed the mission. He remained at peak altitude for about 12 minutes; then he stepped out of his gondola into the darkness of space. After falling for 13 seconds, his six-foot (1.8-meter) canopy parachute opened and stabilized his fall, preventing the flat spin that could have killed him. Only four minutes and 36 seconds more were needed to bring him down to about 17,500 feet (5,334 meters) where his regular 28-foot (8.5-meter) parachute opened, allowing him to float the rest of the way to Earth. His descent set another record for the longest parachute freefall.

 

During his descent, he reached speeds up to 614 miles per hour, approaching the speed of sound without the protection of an aircraft or space vehicle. But, he said, he "had absolutely no sense of the speed." His flight and parachute jump demonstrated that, properly protected, it was possible to put a person into near-space and that airmen could exit their aircraft at extremely high altitudes and free fall back into the Earth's atmosphere without dangerous consequences.

 

Source: http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Ex...tinger/EX31.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the balloon set a record, but the skydiver was left behind.

 

All things aside, this guy has put everything he has/had into this and to be left on the ground. What a heart breaker, hope he does get the chance to jump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess he was scared of the commitment...didn't want to tie the knot. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess he was scared of the commitment...didn't want to tie the knot. :biggrin:

 

thanks! reading that while eating lunch, I just pushed a sandwich through my nose......

 

:rofl::haha:

Edited by Typhoid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..