Aug 1, 2007

Things to do with an old DC-9

So, you say you've got your hands on an old DC-9 and were wondering what to do with it? Well, other than converting it to an RV or other live-in contraption, how about this:

The rear doorway was an "emergency only" feature on most early DC9s as a forward air-stair was also provided. This rear exit looks like a special "one off" made for skydivers. Obviously with that door opening in flight, the airplane must operate unpressurized. Someone says they are leaping out at 180 miles per hour (156 knots). I wonder if that's accurate? The Nine could probably slow down a little more for this maneuver... but maybe hitting the air at that speed is part of the thrill?

The other plane taking video is a Twin Otter. Does anyone know what the top speed of a Twin Otter is?


Gian-Paolo said...

I believe normal cruise on a Twin Otter with the -27 motors is around 160 knots; jump operations are usually flown at about 80 knots.

Aluwings said...

Okay - so the camera plane/Twin Otter could be doing 155 knots and keeping up with a jump taking place from the DC9 at that speed.

I've got to think that the air feels pretty "hard" when you hit it at that speed.


John said...

I wasn't aware Perris had their own jet. Used to be, one of the big things at the World Freefall Convention was to jump out of a 727 at similar speeds. I once made a high speed exit out of a CASA at around 170 MPH. It dislocated my shoulder (but I have bad shoulders). High speed exits are impractical for formation skydiving, other than as a novelty.

Aluwings said...

OUCH! I know there was an infamous hijacker who exited from the back door of a B727 in flight (they've since rigged those airstairs so they no longer open in flight) - no one knows what became of him.

And there was once some guy who called himself the "Human Fly" - or something like that. He strapped himself to a rig on top of a DC-8 and had himself flown around at about 180 mph?/knots?... Despite a special wind-proof suit, apparently he had significant wind burns all over his body when they got him down. Almost killed him. Crazeee Peeple ;-)