Is it safe to jump sarge?
on a mo
A good few years ago the company I worked
for designed a special detector called P7.
It could easily have been mistaken for
a large yard brush because it had a long pole for the handle
and a wide cylindrical head at the business end housing the detector
Fixed to the top of the handle was a
metal box containing the electronics and batteries.
The detector was used for looking for
a specific type of "ordnance" and we sold several hundred
We didn't make a lot of money from the
machine until about a year later.
We started to get special re-design
tasks, basically to strengthen the equipment.
P7 started to get pretty heavy as the
handle got beefed up, the bottom bracket holding the search head
was made stronger and so on.
This went on and on with the materials
changing progressively from a form of paxolin, getting thicker
and thicker and eventually to stainless steel.
Along with the design jobs, which were
handy to have as they kept engineers in employment, came orders
for replacement handles. Thousands of these were made and delivered
to our customer and as a result a reasonable amount of money
ended up in the company's coffers.
A few years later, in conversation with
a young soldier, we found out why they wanted all these spare
The equipment was usually deployed on
demand, as it were.
This involved travel by helicopter to
a particular place and on arrival there was no time to hang around.
Out jumped the soldiers and out came
After a number of these trips the soldiers
had found to their cost that it wasn't always that easy to judge
the height of a helicopter above the ground, immediately before
one jumped out.
To avoid sprained ankles and worse a
simple expedience was adopted.
Chuck out P7.
If the handle stayed attached jump out!
If it broke off, wait a moment and then
chuck another out.
Hence we used to get a lot of orders
for new handles!
I don't know how far you could chuck
one of the latest stainless steel types but I guess the newest
design bounced before the soldiers did.