Several of my ancestors are known to have been keen on throwing themselves, attached to parachutes, from aircraft. I share their interest and today’s invention reflects this.
Members of the armed forces routinely descend on ropes, by abseiling techniques, from cliffs and helicopters around 60m high.
Now that we are seriously contemplating building space elevators using carbon nanowires, I suggest employing this ultra-strong, inelastic material as an alternative to parachutes. People in aircraft could abseil several thousand feet on a wire of this type and land in a more coordinated group. Each wire would be strong enough to support many laden troops at once.
The speed of their descent would allow a safer deployment (due to being harder to shoot at) and the final braking of many men could be via electronically coordinated friction brakes so that they could be dropped from only a few feet above the ground.
Injuries from their horizontal speed component could be guarded against by equipping them each with a heavily padded sledge on which they could then skid to a halt.