Originally Posted by Irishman
Yeah, if you have a lot of time to make an elaborate construction, you might have time to try other methods. That's why I limited the construction to tying corners together. I figure rope from the four outer corners gives you the most useful surface area, as tying ends together both takes up material in the knots, and reduces effectiveness by bunching the sheet ends inward. Rope allows to let the sides out as much as possible. But constructing a net or a harness would be too labor intensive.
I was just trying to back of envelope get a scale of what it would take. So 6 king sheets might get somewhere close, but you're relying on your knot skills and having some rope to allow as much spread as possible. Tying the outer corners to hold onto is going to significantly reduce effectiveness, but how much?
"Well, see, if you have 10 king size sheets and tie all the corners together...."
You could still tie nots inbetween the corners to make a more effective chute. It will chew up surface area though. And just 4 ropes isn't going to distribute the weight very well. You'd likely end up with the plummeting sack with only a few sq.ft. of effective surface area. The very early concepts of parachutes tried to account for this with a wooden frame, though I don't know if there's any conclusive evidence that any of those ideas were ever tried.
Also if you land on something soft, you could live. You may never walk again, or even regain conciousness though. But I knew a Green Beret who survived a malfunction. A lot of broken bones. But the guys who knew him figured he survived because he landed on his head