Air mattress finds invaluable use in the filming industry. That “Whoa!” moment you’ve just watched in a movie was most likely performed by a stunt person who landed on an air mattress. In this guide, we’ll dig deeper into more details on how this mattress works to protect a stunt person.
Ways in which an air mattress protects a stunt person
Though there’s a lot of physics involved in understanding this topic, we’ll try to explain it in as simple language as possible.
This is how the mattress keeps a stuntman safe:
It reduces the kinetic energy loss of the stunt person
For starters, kinetic energy refers to energy in motion. It refers to the energy a stunt person has when moving towards the air mattress.
Loss of this kinetic energy as the stuntman is landing could lead to an inelastic collision, where the colliding bodies (the stunt performer and landing surface) bond together. The resulting impact could pause injuries to the stunt performer.
An air bed is put in place to promote an elastic collision by reducing the kinetic energy lost by a stunt performer, so he/she bounces off the air bed with no loss of energy and speed (and no injuries!)
It controls the momentum of the stunt performer
Momentum is a physics concept used to describe a body in motion. When a body is said to be in momentum, it means it’s on the move, and stopping it will be a tad bit hard. An object in momentum can be stopped by applying force on it for a given amount of time.
In our case of the stuntman, an air mattress comes in handy by extending the time needed to stop the momentum of the landing stuntman. When landing, a stuntman’s motion is carrying him or her towards the ground, resulting in a large force extended over a short period of time (which will be a quite hazardous landing).
By landing on an air mattress, the time duration of the impact will be extended. This will, in turn, result in a decrease in the force (read impact), ensuring the stunt performer lands safely.
As we have just said in the beginning, an air mattress has proved to be an invaluable investment piece of equipment for stunt persons for many years. We have just offered you two ways in which this mattress ensures a safe landing of the stuntperson and prevents life-threatening injuries to the stunt performer.