RE: WTC and Low Tech

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 08:27:26 MDT

John Clark wrote,
> How about a strong lightweight elastic tube, you fasten the tube
> to the building throw
> the other end to the ground, stretch the tube wide enough to get
> in and then jump.
> The energy needed to stretch the tube as you went down would slow
> you down as
> you fell, the fatter you were the more it would stretch and the
> more energy it would use up,
> so it might work for both large adults and small children.
> Perhaps I just imagined it but
> I think I actually heard of something like this somewhere.

I have actually seen a working version of this being tested. It does not
work for very tall buildings. The weight of many people going through the
tube quickly becomes too much. Also, the friction of sliding through it
causes a lot of heat and damage to the tube and the people going through.

The question of how to get down from a burning building is not really a new
situation. I think helicopters hopping back and forth between rooftops is
probably the best evacuation method on a large scale. Having separate
stairwells in all corners of the building, and a lot of shorter stairwells,
instead of combining all stairs into a central column spanning the full
height of the building, would be a good architectural recommendations. If
the WTC had fire-escapes at all four corners, not all of them would have
been blocked off at once.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:54 MDT