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In the movie Die Hard, near the end, John McClane ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps off the roof of the Nakotomi plaza building.

Would a fire hose really be able to support the weight of a man of that build at falling speeds?

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No offense, but I'm voting to close. This isn't really a question about movies or T.V. It's a question about physics triggered by a scene in a movie. Movies and T.V. often require a willing suspension of disbelief. I don't think "is x possible in real life" should be considered on-topic. –  David Stratton Aug 28 '12 at 6:05

2 Answers 2

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I suspect the fire hose would survive, but our poor action hero would not.

From this article:

So in the Die Hard fall its unlikely to stretch very much. Lets say in Bruce's jump a 10m fire hose stretches 1% i.e. 0.1m. Our force formula now becomes F = 7900 / 0.1 = 79000 N ... equivalent to the weight of about 100 Bruce Willis!

So what would happen to our action hero? Talking through all this one day with the actor and presenter Robert Llewellyn he quite rightly reflected "I think there would be a Bruce and somewhere else a Willis!"

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Fire hoses are designed to take huge water pressure - up to 290 psi - with bursting pressure up to 3 times that. I don't know what stress the weight of a man at the speed of falling would would be - but I suspect the hose would be adequate to the task.

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