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McHenry Astro Spiral Jump, Part 2

Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:58 pm
by MSI
This is a continuation of the thread Question on James Bond Spiral Jump Stunt

June 2010: We were recently made aware of the 5 year old email exchange. We may post up PDFs of the 4 HVOSM volumes. The original source code of HVOSM76 was available from Federal Highway (FHWA). Not sure if still available from FHWA but we are kicking around posting up the original 'as distributed' source code.

This was an email from January 2005 Q: I was wondering if you have ever released into the public domain your computer program (or the theoretical eqations which can be translated into a program) which was used for the Astro-Spiral Jump in the James Bond Film 'Man With the Golden Gun'? I am a software engineer with an interest in the Astor-Spiral simulation purely in a non-comercial hobby sense and I would love to be able to run it on my home machine. I have already read all the published information I could find including your SAE paper, US patent and the article the 1972 Motor Trend magazine.
A: The computer program used to design the ramps for the stunt was the Highway Vehicle Object Simulation Model (HVOSM).
In additional to what is on that page, here are a few additional things on HVOSM:
  • It is in Fortran ANSI 66.
    With a few changes it can easily be made to run on a PC.
    Are you familiar with Fortran?
    Do you have a Fortran compiler?
    Some of the more recent Fortran compilers (Intel, Salford, Lahey) can handle 95% of the ANSI66 Fortran code
We would also recommend you order the 4 volume collection of Ray's et al work on HVOSM to bring you up to speed. The PB numbers are order numbers from NTIS Also most libraries in the states have access to all the NTIS documents

Re: McHenry Astro Spiral Jump, Part 2

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:00 pm
by brian
Sept 30, 2010 via email: Q: Am I understanding correctly that the basic idea for the spiral jump came from your work in simulating vehicle dynamics in different sorts of crash scenarios? It seems like the basic calculations of how to do the jump seem straightforward, but then again, that's just my undergrad physics mind working. What made that particular jump so difficult, and why hasn't it been done (much) since? As you can see, I am fascinated by this thing.

A: The idea for the spiral jump came to Ray as a unique way to validate the HVOSM simulation model that he created/invented. Most validations of computer simulation models involve running full scale or laboratory tests and then running the simulation to determine correlation of results. The inputs and modeling can be tweaked to improve the correlation to demonstrate the 'best' correlation possible (as had been done in the initial validations of the HVOSM)
But what Ray wanted was a unique and blind way to validate the HVOSM.
So while attending a 'thrill show' at the Erie County Fair in Buffalo, NY doing an activity with his wife and children (I being one of em!) (we occasionally got him to step away from the equations :-))
Apparently an idea came to him while watching the auto thrill show for a unique idea of validating the HVOSM simulation model; To design a ‘thrill show’ stunt. The basics of the stunt were to have a vehicle run up a ramp, spiral 360 degrees and and land on its wheels and continue driving. A sort of a spiral footballing of the vehicle.
The stunt would be impossible to create in the field. Most other thrill show stunts have been designed by the 'seat of the pants'. Meaning that in the old days stunts like ramp-to-ramp jumps were ‘designed’ by simply running a vehicle at various speeds up a ramp and landing on something soft to find the speed required for the distance. Vehicles were cheap…
Obviously a spiral jump would be too intricate a design to create by seat of the pants; what type of launch? What type of landing? The intricate nature of the ramps would be too complicated to build, run a test, rebuild, etc.
But it would be a great way to demonstrate the validity of the HVOSM computer simulation model. Simply set up a simulation of the vehicle and design/setup a ramp in the computer and design/setup a landing ramp. During the design phase you could ‘crash’ hundreds of simulated vehicles and thereby design without peril the takeoff and landing ramps.
NOTE: The Spiral jump was also done early 1970's, with mainframe computers and limitations on computation power and capabilities.
Then once the Spiral jump was designed with the HVOSM simulation model the ultimate ‘test’ of the simulation model would be to run a full scale test and see how well the HVOSM predicted the motions of the automobile?
He contacted Jay Milligan with JM Productions and the All American Thrill Show (The thrill show at the Erie County Fair at that time) to see if he'd be interested.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Although Jay claims in various PR related to the stunt that 'he'll take the secret of the spiral jump to his grave', the details of the stunt are no secret. There is the patent on the Spiral Jump stunt with Ray as the inventor (although the legal council at Calspan, where Ray worked at the time of the invention, were so scared of the liability of the ‘live’ stunt that they basically gave Jay the worldwide rights to the stunt).
Obviously the patent has expired and we have been approached by other stunt shows and TV programs (like TopGear) but all have been 'all talk, no contracts' since it would take some redesign of the takeoff and landing ramps (and therefore some form of a contract and insurance, etc etc) to design the stunt for a different vehicle.
The stunt design and implementation represents a unique situation: Ray worked at Calspan with all sorts of support staff without whom it would not have been possible. In particular the support of Bill Milliken who among other supernatural feats such as his finesse of the wary Calspan management to allow the stunt to be created was that he also was somehow able to get GM to measure the properties of the AMC stunt vehicle at the GM proving grounds!
Please see the other thread on our forum which contains additional information and links on various items related to the spiral jump
Question on James Bond Spiral Jump Stunt

Re: McHenry Astro Spiral Jump, Part 2

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:47 pm
by brian
Oct 13, 2010: On the Amazon Blog Car Lust, where "Interesting Cars Meet Irrational Emotions" there is an interesting article by Anthony Cagle entitled
AMC Hornet--The Best Bond Car Ever!

Yup. You read that right! Say what?
Check out the article for some tidbits on the car, the James Bond Stunt from the movie Man with the Golden Gun and the Astro Spiral Jump.

Re: McHenry Astro Spiral Jump, Part 2

Posted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:41 am
by brian