Experiments

Can You Cushion Fall with Fabric Awnings

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Mega Movie Myths."
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Finding: PLAUSIBLE

Explanation:The MythBusters jumped into movie magic territory to test whether falling off a building and landing on an awning, a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, is survivable.

First, they rigged up a series of three acrylic fabric awnings like the ones Indy springs onto. Then, MythBusters Kari Bryon, Tory Belleci and Adam Savage outfitted their fearless stunt dummy, Buster, with g-force shock watch stickers to measure the impact of his fall. When they tossed Buster off a rooftop, he fell through the first awning, and the second one bounced him onto the ground below.

To Adam's surprise, the shock stickers showed that Buster would've made it through alive, as the landing force didn't reach the lethal limit of 100 Gs. And when Tory suited up in stunt gear to replicate the experiment, he ripped through all three awnings just like Indiana Jones, earning the movie myth a plausible status.

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