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Paratrooper Joe

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  • Paratrooper Joe

    On a whim, I picked up a cheap flare parachute on Ebay. It was 34" in diameter, but would stretch to 36". Made of thin fabric with sewn parachute cords. Figured I'd make a parachute harness or stuff it into a vintage parachute pack. But since it was a new toy, I had to go play with it first. I loosely wrapped it and tossed Joe into the air... and he came down with a billowing white canopy. Nice. Joe was a Walmart Man of Action repro with a Hasbro paratrooper uniform, ME boots, and a Cotswold helmet.

    Click image for larger version

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    In the above pic, you can see the relative size. I think it's a tad small for Joe. I'd have preferred it to be a little bigger (maybe 40 or 42") for a slower descent. This one comes down faster than I'd like... then again, less time in the air means less time floating around as a target for enemy fire!

    Click image for larger version

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    Here's Joe on his way down. His right arm and right leg are in an awkward position, but I was throwing with one hand and trying to catch a photo on my phone with the other. I was lucky to get a pic AT ALL!

    You may notice the parachute cord in the MIDDLE of the canopy. On the way down, it looks kinda like a white donut instead of a spherical chute. Not sure why a flare parachute has that center cord, but it didn't seem to affect the operation of the parachute. Maybe it keeps the rest of the chute deployed wider. I dunno. I thought it was a pretty cool parachute, though.

    I just used rubber bands to hold the parachute on for testing.
    I'll rig up a better harness later.

    Joe successfully completed TEN jumps without a mishap or issue.
    Thus, he earned his Jump Wings yesterday afternoon.
    "GiJoe, GiJoe, fighing man from head to toe..."

    - ATC

  • #2

    Flare chutes are the greatest! I have a couple of my parachute packs stuffed with slap flare chutes I launched in Korea. I think they may be a tad bigger. Is this the guy you gonna hoist with the drone?
    - Scott
    PH and Proud
    Bulletmann - Hyatta
    See photos of my collection on my Pinterest Page https://www.pinterest.com/scottbeckmann/gi-joe/


    • ATC
      ATC commented
      Editing a comment
      My drone experiment was a failure. After a bazillion wrecks, I realized that Joe's floppiness was screwing stuff up. If his arm or leg moved, even a tiny bit, it'd send the drone off in another direction, out of control. By the time I got it UNDER control, Joe would move again, ever so slightly, starting the debacle all over again. It would have worked with a totally static Joe with a rigid seat, but it seriously lacked the "play value" I was looking for. I've always got wind blowing across the farm fields, too, which usually make drone flights sporty even WITHOUT a Joe dangling underneath it. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained (or learned). ;-)
  • #3

    Great photos ATC! Great that the parachute worked.


    • #4

      Very nice! I still haven't tried the parachutes on any of my Joes.


      • #5

        That 'chut is cool. I picked up the parachute guy that came out in the late 90's and he worked pretty good. I also remember trying out the chute that came with one of my favorite vintage sets, Sky dive To Danger(I need a new mask for it though). I just couldn't get enough height for it at the time
        The Joe Collecting "Geek".
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        • #6

          My bride was throwing away a plaid umbrella. The pattern looked like a Scottish kilt. The nylon was very thin. I figured it looked about right for a Joe chute. So I attached parachute cords and tried it out with a 21C British paratrooper (he must have enlisted in Scotland). It worked great! Not very stealthy, though.


          • #7

            P.S. another thing that makes great parachutes is the thin plastic table covers for parties. Available in a bunch of different colors. One tablecloth can make a couple of chutes. They also make good tents and ponchos, too.


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