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Bespoke Design

In 2016 we were commissioned to design and build an ignition system for the smoke flares for the Tigers Free Fall skydiving team’s boots. Smoking Boots indeed!

Blue, purple and grey smoke trail from the boots of paragliders as they swoop through the air

All the components had to be as small as possible, with safe operation paramount. A premature ignition in the aircraft prior to the jump would have potentially disastrous consequences, yet the unit had also had to be easy and quick to operate once the jump had started.

Another unusual commission was to address the problem of excessive numbers of feral pigeons on the island of Bermuda. For many reasons, normal methods of control which used either poisons or shooting were not possible, so a new solution was sought.

A custom made net launcher stands on the grass as seen from the side. A black metal frame on two wheels’ houses pneumatic equipment, a net launcher protrudes from the front above a white bucket.

The method we adopted was a net capture system whereby a 10-square metre net was launched at pigeons feeding on bait using the power of compressed air to propel four weights towards the target which in turn dragged the net with them. The compressed air reservoir was recharged from a diving cylinder and the whole rig could be moved about like a wheelbarrow. After considerable bureaucratic problems, the device has finally been proved in action.