"Deadlies" Nominee: Man Cannon

Nominated by erewhonCandidates for the "Deadlies" -- our search to find the most dangerous technologies of all time -- seem to come in two flavors. One group of gear is dangerous if mishandled. The second seems almost deadly by design.dn9170-1_384.jpgCount Darpa's "man cannon" -- a high-powered ejector seat designed to forcibly shoot an unfortunate soul onto a roof -- in category number two. Here's how Defense Tech described it back in May...

An inclined (ha) member of the military or emergency services simply seats themselves -- and in around two seconds experiences what can only be described as being 'sneezed' to a height of five stories...Darpa were happy to provide their inspiration in the patent:"Circuses have amused crowds by shooting performers out of cannons. For recreational enjoyment, certain traditional devices for launching subjects catapult subjects to experience a free-fall sensation similar to the sensation of bungee jumping or skydiving. Aircraft ejection seat technology and aircraft carrier launching systems, such as catapults, are also capable of launching payloads, however, most of these designs have unpredictable and uncontrollable trajectories and/or cannot be immediately reset and reused."I'm glad to see they did their research; it's been a tough year since 'Captain Crazy Clowns Emergency Roof Cannons' filed for bankruptcy - all those burnt cats..."What is therefore needed is a launcher that is controllable, and able to launch payloads through a repeatable and predictable trajectory. Furthermore, the launcher should have a substantially short recycle time thus a user can launch another payload in a relatively short time after the previous launch."And consider his life insurance plans, while he's at it.
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