July 23rd, 2010 at 7:51:49 AM permalink
I saw a piece on the SkyJump on Travel Channel's "Bert the Conqueror" show recently. The mechanism they use to control your fall is pretty neat. You're attached to a wire which comes off of a big spool at the top. The spool is attached to fan blades, which create most of the resistance and keep your speed at 40 mph or so. As you near the bottom, the radius of the axle decreases (think cylinder with a cone on one end), which increases the speed of the fan blades and in turn increases the drag on you. This makes for a nice, gentle deceleration, rather than sudddenly applying brakes to the 2 vertical guide wires. I assume there are brakes as well, which kick in in emergencies, or even for additional stopping power once you get to a certain height.
July 23rd, 2010 at 7:43:46 PM permalink
I did the SkyJump when I was there in May. It was great. I am headed back in Sept., and I plan on doing a night jump this time. Too bad I can't get the craps pit to comp me the jump............
Always borrow money from a pessimist; They don't expect to get paid back ! Be yourself and speak your thoughts. Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind, don't matter!
July 24th, 2010 at 1:15:47 PM permalink
The tower in New Zealand also features the SkyJump, which is slightly lower, but the jumper can reach up to 53 mph. The jump is guide-cable-controlled to prevent jumpers from colliding with the tower in case of wind gusts.