SKYDIVER TO BREAK NEW FREE FALL RECORD

 

Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, performed a challenging test jump on Thursday March 15, 2012.

Felix Baumgartner has the right stuff. He is a well known BASE jumper. B.A.S.E. means Buildings; Aerials; Spans (jumps from bridges); and Earth (jumps from cliffs). He performed numerous stunts such as jumping from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, World Financial Center T101 in Taipei, and the Millau viaduct.

Yesterday’s jump test is just a stage in his attempt to break a new free-fall record. He jumped above Roswell, New Mexico at an altitude of 71,581 feet ie 21.8 kilometers; 13.6 miles; or Flight Level 716. He should then carry out another jump test before leaping again from a capsule lifted by a helium balloon at around 120,000 ft ie 23 miles or 37 km this year, and could become the first man to break the sound barrier while free falling.

 


 

MEDICAL CHALLENGE

This is not a simple leap in the sky. People may not understand how dangerous skydiving at such heights is. The air density is so low that it cannot brake movements as drag becomes poorer up there.

Therefore, a position mistake can make the human body tumble violently or spin very fast. High rotation speeds involve high-G forces due to the centrifugal force, and may lead to G-LOC (G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness), and even to the rupture of blood vessels.

Moreover, if a spacesuit were to leak (due to a dormant seal failure or a cracked/crazed faceplate, for instance), the blood could be boiling (ebullism at 37°C above 63,000 ft or 19 km) because of the very low air pressure, and the body could be swelling, and actually freezing to death as the external temperature can reach down to -70°C, and even lower, not to mention the risk of pulmonary barotrauma.

The current record is held by Joseph Kittinger (a former USAF pilot who is curently advising Felix Baumgartner on his project) who jumped from 102,800 feet in 1960. He temporarily lost the use of his hand which got twice as big as a glove seal was leaking during the final part of the ascent. With this test jump, Felix Baumgartner already belongs to the highest three skydivers along with Joe Kittinger, and Russian Eugene Andreev who performed the longest parachute jump from 83,523 feet (25.5 km).

The following video shows that this feat is not only a matter of pushing limits as researchers are working on this Red Bull Stratos project to prepare flight safety of the future spacecraft:

9/11 FIREFIGHTERS more likely to develop CANCER

According to a new study, New-York City firefighters would be 19% more likely to have cancer than their colleagues who did not work at the site following the 9/11 attacks:

Video – SAAB 35 DRAKEN tested as an interceptor

Austrian AF Draken - Saab J 35 - Photo © HoHun (2003)

The Swedish-made Saab 35 Draken was a second generation jet fighter. 644 of them were built. This fighter aircraft used to fly during the Cold War as early as 1955, and entered in service in 1960.

Maybe her particular double-delta shape was worth calling it « Draken » which means « kite ». She was more an air defense aircraft than a dogfighter aircraft.

She retired from the RDAF, the Royal Danish Air Force in 1993; from the SwAF, the Swedish Air Force in 1999; from the FIAF, the Finnish Air Force in 2000; and from the AAF, the Austrian Air Force in 2005.

Hereafter an interesting video featuring a Saab 29 Tunnan (Flying Barrel); a Saab 32 Lansen (Lance); and a Draken momentarily as an interceptor; with her rate of climb nearing 35,000ft/min, she could reach FL650 – more than 20 kilometres above the earth – to hit her target:

Snowbird – Canadian human-powered plane that flaps its wings almost as described in Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches!

Pilot’s G-suit

Anti-G coveralls   -  © www.tpub.com

… or ANTI-G COVERALLS

When in flight, the body can have trouble adjusting to stresses produced by rapid changing of speed or direction. In situations such as seat ejection, ditching, or parachute opening shock, the short duration of the excessive force has little effect on the body.

However, changing the direction of flight produces stress forces equal to several times the normal pull of gravity for much longer periods of time. These longer duration forces can have dangerous effects. At 5 g’s (5 times the force of gravity), the aircrewman’s body is exposed to a force that increases its weight 5 times.

This increased weight has many effects. Your body is pushed down into your seat. Your arms and legs feel like lead, and operation of equipment becomes more difficult. The extra weight on your internal organs causes stomach and chest pain. Most important, however, is the effect on your circulatory system. At 5 g’s, your heart cannot pump enough blood to your head. When this happens, you will pass out. Wearing anti-g coveralls will help prevent this from happening.

The Navy uses two models of anti-g coveralls (commonly called « G » suits). These coveralls provide protection against blacking out, loss of vision, and lowered mental efficiency caused by high g-forces experienced in high-performance aircraft. Figure 11-4 shows a typical anti-g coverall. Anti-g coveralls compress your legs and stomach to prevent blood from pooling in your lower body.

This increases your stress tolerance an average of about 2 g’s. Without an anti-g coverall, you may be able to withstand about 4.5 to 5.5 g’s without losing vision or blacking out. With a coverall, you can withstand 6.0 to 7.0 g’s.

This protection is available only for sustained accelerations of 4 to 5 seconds. Anti-g equipment does not offer protection in snap maneuvers where 10 to 12 g’s are applied in about 1 second. Such extreme forces for a short time are not as harmful to the body as are lesser forces sustained for a longer time.

www.tpub.com courtesy