Tag Archives: extreme sports

Chutes, Gravity and Drag

parachute BASE jumping, extreme sports, science, education
Bear sporting Chute jump

A field of science in Phyics states, in Newton’s First law: “An object will stay at rest or continue at constant velocity unless acted on by a resultant force”. So, how do these forces make skydiving, with a parachute, so popular?

No matter what mass an object is falling towards the Earth, science has found that they will fall at the same rate, if no resistance exists, and land at the same time. Calculations is done with use of the equations involving force, mass, and acceleration. Studies have shown that acceleration remains constant, for all matter with mass. This formula shows the most basic equation:

F=mg

The breakdown of this equation refers to the following:

F = force, objects being pulled to the Earth
m = mass of the object
g = acceleration rate due to gravity(g = 9.807 meters per second-squared (m/s2) )

Following mathematical rules will have us write out this formula as:

F= m x g

The use of this formula can get far more complex depending on which area of science, one is using it, such as in aeronautics, space sciences, engineering, etc.

The world of skydiving is a popular sport even though it can be a risk to one’s life. Not many can understand ‘why jump from a perfectly good plane?’ but there are enthusiasts who love the extreme sport of skydiving or BASE jumping- sports requiring one to jump from a plane or off a fixed object (cliff). These are considered extreme sports and may require a fair investment of funds in gear and equipment since rental for a plane may not be anything to sneeze about.

On topic, the meeting and creation of forces, involved with deploying a parachute. A person will jump out of a plane and find themselves falling through the skies, gaining speed along the way, since ‘a force of attraction exists between any two objects that have mass and the more mass they have, the greater the force of attraction. The closer they are, the greater the force of attraction will occur‘. I will hazard a guess that this particular stimulus creates a thrilling excitement not found in other sports, such as volley ball.

A parachute is deployed, and the chute creates a surface area, which slows the descent or rate of acceleration. This surface area creates ‘air resistance or drag force‘. The larger the surface area, the slower the descent. This ‘resistance or drag force’ creates a force that’s opposite to the force of gravity therefore creating a ‘push and pull’ force that are nearly equal.

The timing of deploying a parachute is important to note aka ‘pull altitude’. This is due to a shrinking drag force. As one slows down, the drag force gets smaller even if the surface area of air resistance, is larger than one’s weight. Also important is speed of the chute itself opening, therefore a deploying sequence with equipment is used, to prevent injuries, death or damage to the parachute. This helps to slow deployment of the main ‘canopy’ along with maintaining a tangle-free ‘chute opening’. Most skydivers will jump at about 12,500 feet above ground level, allowing for one minute of ‘free falling’ before deploying their parachute, a minimum of 2000-2500 feet for the more experienced.

The gear and equipment for skydivers and BASE jumpers are NOT the same. BASE jumper gear is designed to deploy quicker and at slower air speeds. BASE jumpers do not have ‘reserve’ chutes either as the skydivers equipment does. The science involved in these sports may be the same but both are definitely activities, not for the ‘faint hearted’. Is this where I say being a sports spectator is safe?

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts or share this article. Send me  an Email if you have a request on a topic of your interest, a guest post or to say Hello!

Learning in Motion

Extra Reading

Gravity Equations Formulas Calculator

http://www.ajdesigner.com/phpgravity/newtons_law_gravity_equation_force.php

Skydiving: How high is too high? How low is too low?

http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com/Photo_See_Ya.htm

United States Parachute Association

http://www.uspa.org/

 

Copyright Article (C) 2014, all Rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, micro business, health, science, technology and advocates on social issues.

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Learning Inboard Thunderboat Circuits

aHydroplaneBbThe contest of speed can be found in many sports such as running, driving, sailing, riding, etc. This includes the world of boats. There are risks involved when participating directly in these types of races but a regulatory organization can usually be found, and strict safety measures in place. Can you imagine being a pilot in a high speed boat race?

Hydrodynamic ‘lift‘ increases when the speed of a hydroplane increases.. Water is used for lift, propulsion and steering, rather than for buoyancy. A high speed boat used in the ‘Inboard circuits‘ refers to hydroplanes that race on inland waters such as lakes and rivers. These are usually built as a light speedboat with a shaped bottom which helps lifts the hull out of the water at high speeds.

A few shared features found on hydroplanes, is their ‘flat run aft‘. This refers to the near flat hull that runs in a near straight line from front to back (aft to stern) of the boat. The shape of the hull will cause the water into a ‘downward‘ flow creating an upward force, and mixed with speed, causes the vessel to ‘plane‘. Most hydroplanes will have short ‘wings‘ called ‘sponsons‘ which uses the science of hydrodynamics, and helps the boat stay stabilized during ‘take off and landing‘. Sponsons are considered a main element in the over all design of this particular boat.

A second detail that can be found, is an adjustable ‘canard‘ wing which is placed between the sponsons. This helps raise and lower the sponsons in/out of the water for easier maneuverability with controlling speed and turning corners. Most boats are built as ‘3 Point’ design meaning only 3 sections touch the water and this refers to the rear of the sponsons and propellor. Boat designers have learned that the less resistance in water attained meant more speed.

Other boats may use a hydrofoil design similar to an ‘air foil‘, which refers to ‘any surface that’s designed to help lift or control an air craft‘ and usually attached beneath the hull, which also helps lift the boat out of the water, when it’s moving forward, and helps reduce hull ‘drag‘. These can be quite expensive to have added to one’s boat.

A noise factor occurs when attending a Grand Prix race car event and this can also be found when attending a hydroplane race. This is due to the engine designs used ranging from actual airplane engines to ordinary car engines and usually all liquid cooled V-12 engines. This noise factor earned hydroplanes the nick name of ‘Thunderboats‘ and ‘Dinoboats‘. Today, some engines have incorporated the use of helicoptor engines. These particular types of engines help the hydroplane easily enter the ‘planing‘ realm and apply the ‘power-to-weight‘ ratio to gain acceleration from velocity of their boat and overcome the forces of gravity and drag.

Turbine engines from airplanes and helicoptors are favored and used in building these particular race boats. These engines basic function is bring air into the engine, through a compressor and increase up to 3-12 times, it’s original pressure. This helps propel the hydroplane with speeds up to 200 mph and still standing, record breaking speed, of 288.6 mph, by Ken Warby.

A hydroplane racing event usually provides a course, that has the boats running in an oval shape for 4-6 laps around. Food and gift vendors, music, along with beer gardens are available next to regular business sections of the hosting township. Spectators can meet with boat crews, the pilot and viewings of boats. Some may even get opportunities to ride in one of the speed boats. Seating of spectators is provided for the most optimum viewing.

The early beginnings of hydroplane racing had high fatalities of the driver aka the ‘pilot‘. Today, there is a process that must be followed that ‘builds the skills and experience‘ of a new driver, slowly, and assure that knowledge of all rules and regulations is in place. This is to help protect the life of the pilot though accidents cannot be foreseen and risk is known. People still enter these races hoping to break records, win titles, enjoy the camarderie of a team, enjoy the over all thrill of driving an extreme speed boat.

Check around your area to see if you have a Hydroplane race coming up or where your nearest one is being hosted. Experience a race that’s far different, though somewhat similar, from a car race. One that’s on water rather than tarmac. You may think you’ve gone to a car race till you see those boats flying across the water.

Learning in Motion 

Extra Learning

Boat Racing Facts Forum 

Inboard Hydroplane Racing 

Inboard Hydroplanes  

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Article(C)2013, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, second income idea’s, health, science, technology and society.

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