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Apologies if this is not the proper forum for this question -

Here's my situation:

enter image description here

I'm trying to drop a payload via parachute with some accuracy. I'm worried that in the above setup, the line will interfere with parachute deployment or - if not deployment - operation during flight (imagine wind pushing the chute into the line).

I haven't tested this yet but plan to. Does anyone know how the payload <> anchor connection might be engineered to ensure full deployment throughout the descent?

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  • $\begingroup$ Instead of a parachute, could you have a slowed descent by gripping the line a little tighter? $\endgroup$ – SnakeDoc Oct 20 '15 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @SnakeDoc - we've considered a slow-release pulley but unfortunately our "brand" depends on the parachute as a means of deployment. $\endgroup$ – RobVious Oct 20 '15 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ In that case, I believe it was Mythbusters (no idea what episode(s)) who used a 4 line (in a square) from the air-to-ground and the object was attached to all 4 lines. So when it fell, the 4 lines kept is centered. Maybe a similar idea would work for you (more anchor lines). $\endgroup$ – SnakeDoc Oct 20 '15 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ I'm afraid this has nothing to do with aviation, so off-topic. $\endgroup$ – mins Oct 21 '15 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ unfortunately our "brand" depends on the parachute as a means of deployment – nothing like letting your brand dictate engineering solutions! This seem backwards to anybody else? $\endgroup$ – egid Jan 25 '17 at 19:11
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I'm trying to drop a payload via parachute with some accuracy.

Cut a hole in the middle of the parachute, make its edge smooth and install a pipe through the center of the box that contains the payload. Run the line through the pipe and parachute and let the payload fall from the balloon. I believe the trick will work for small parachutes able to deliver up to 10 kg to the ground.

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If the hot air balloon is well anchored you can probably just use your original plan. The winds aloft will push the balloon in the direction the wind is going, so the anchor rope should be at an angle relative to the ground. When you drop the parachute, those same winds should keep the parachute/payload pushed clear of the anchor rope. So long as the drag rope connecting the payload to the anchor rope is sufficiently long and the mechanism connecting the drag rope to the anchor rope is sufficiently slippery, you shouldn't have a problem.

I worry about Energizer777's solution though. Mainly because the rope might be angled because of the winds aloft, as stated before. Payloads on a parachute like to hang right below the parachute (more or less), and if the angle on the rope is sufficient the payload will simply end up resting on the rope itself, which might foul up and collapse the parachute since it's load will not be pulling on it properly.

All of that being said, that solution will work if you do this on a day with very calm, or non-existent wind...

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Set up the payload and small chute on a bar, the opposite side of which has a counterweight with a small chute of equal size, so as to keep it parallel to the ground. Also consider setting up a bar with the payload attached and a large parachute, attached at both ends to two separate anchor lines. Both of these ideas have the advantage of modular, uncut boxes.

Chute```````````````Chute

Box-----Line-----Counter

Or

|...........Box+Chute...........|

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The problem is that you can't fix the angle with a single beam. Instead, use the following setup (90 degrees rotated for ASCII art):

            ,<)           __
/___________A____________/  \
\                        \__/

That is to say, use two beams to guide two rings along the anchor rope, and connect the parachute to the top of the A. Furthermore, connect the payload to the middle of the A (below the connecting bar) to balance the air friction of the parachute and the rope friction on the other side. This reduces the tilting torque.

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