#2278: Bandrop

There have been many crazy schemes for dropping soldiers from the sky to the ground.

Today’s invention is in that proud tradition.


Imagine a bungee cord attached to a soldier via a harness. The other end of the bungee is wrapped around a high speed winch in a helicopter.

The winch adjusts the cord length continuously so that its stretched length (based on the weight of the individual soldier) is always 1m less than the altitude of the helicopter.

The soldier jumps out with a laser tape-measure attached to his boot.

When he comes to zero vertical velocity, at 1m above the ground, the tape measure detects this and sends a signal to detach the bungee from the winch.

The soldier then can drop from 1m without harm (but needs to avoid the descending cord).

(This provides a more rapid drop from low altitude than abseiling and with the required degree of derring-do).