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Dave Frieder, a professional photographer, was kind enough to send us pictures of the real parachute jump. Dave specializes in photographing New York City bridges. For more of his pictures go to Dave Frieder’s Web site.
Dave writes: Did you know when the Jump was FIRST installed at the World’s Fair it had only 4 guy wires for each Parachute? The Arms of the Jump at the end came to a triangle. Then when it was moved to a different area of the fairgrounds in 1940, additional steelwork was added to the Arms and the ends were given a “Round” configuration. Eight guy wires were then used per parachute to prevent them from swaying into each other on windy days. That configuration was kept when it was moved to Coney Island.
Dave Ware writes: The horses for the carousel were made from a photograph of a real carousel horse. My wife traced them and colored them for me. Flashing lights were added to the base.
Turn the crank and duck!
Dave Ware writes: This is the model as revised by Gilbert in 1949. Use of the OI segment of 72 tooth gear allowed for a simpler mechanism. This innovation and the increase of the height to almost 6 feet made for a much improved model. The action was now completely automatic. Parachutes were homemade using silk cloth and swizzle sticks.
First I had to make some parachutes. I followed most of Bruce Hansen’s instructions, although I used “Sandwich Picks” for the sticks and glued with Elmers. Rubber washers (faucet gasket type) were used instead of pop rivets. I also made the chutes larger (8”) for a slower descent.
As for the parachute jump, I used 4 parachutes and two drive shafts, one geared from the other at a right angle. Each drive shaft powers a continuous loop of cord which takes care of 2 chutes. Thin strings tied around the cord at intervals serve as pick-ups for the chutes. When the chute reaches the top the string pulls through the rubber washer releasing the chute which glides down the cord. Using a trick that I learned from Larry Worley, I used a length of wire to catch the chute at the bottom so it wouldn’t lay on the landing pad and tangle up with the pulley. After tying the ends of the cord together, I put a drop of Elmers on the knot. After it dried, I cut the ends off. This lump also served as a pickup. The cord rides over the various pulleys fairly smoothly and rarely jumps off a pulley.
The loop of cord was strung as follows: From the landing pad pulley of one chute to the top, over a sheave pulley to the center, over a pulley and down the center to the bottom. Around the drive pulley to the OTHER side, around the other landing pad pulley and back up to the top, over the other sheave pulley to the other center pulley, down to the bottom again, around a free pulley on the same shaft of the drive pulley (free pulley is going the opposite direction as the drive pulley) and back to the first side landing pad.
The 2 chutes above are opposite each other, not like Gilbert’s original design. The other 2 chutes are at right angles to the first two and are driven from the second drive shaft which is at right angles to the first with another loop of cord like the first.
Bill Klein writes: Climb the stairs to the airplane ride for higher thrills.
Bill Klein writes: The original four parachute jump was used in the military to train guys to parachute from airplanes.
Bill Klein writes: The jump is eight foot six inches tall and fifteen inches across at the base. It is powered with an A49 motor and modified heavy duty winch.
Bill writes: This small airplane ride has Kaster kit airplanes.
Here is Bill’s version of Dr. Prune’s model.
Bruce Hansen writes: This 1940-49 version of the parachute jump model was built from a 1946 No. 9 1/2 set. The CS wheel segments were blue this year making the look of this model unique. The finished tower is about 5 feet tall.
The parachutes run up/down on a string tied between the top of the tower and a board at the base. The NT cones run up/down on the same string as the parachuters. The cones are raised by an additional string running over pulleys at the top of the tower and down through the tower to drums attached to the motor.
The action of the model is completely manual. The operator engages the motor which turns the drums and cranks the cones to the top of the tower. Then the motor is switched to neutral, and the heavy cones drop and wedge on washers at the top of the parachutes. The motor shift lever is engaged again and the cones/parachutes lift to the top. A washer on the string near the top of the tower knocks the parachutes out of the cone and they flutter to the bottom of the tower.
Top of tower view: The string from the motor drums goes up through the center and passes through a turret plate in the center. The string continues up and over pulleys and down over AQ pulleys to the cones.
Bob Writes: This picture shows a full view of my double Ferris wheel built with type 3 erector parts. The model is 58 inches high and is powered by 2 erector battery controller boxes and 4 plastic gear box motors. Transfer of power is by erector chain, sprockets, custom built drive pulley mechanisms, auto string tightening system and flax waxed string. The wheels with gondolas can be run with the main H frame at a standstill which simulates the real operation of a full size unit.
Here is Bob’s first place model of a giant parachute jump (8 parachutes, 8 feet high) from the 2003 ACGHS convention in Tulsa.
Also see Tom’s notes in the Model Building Tips Section.