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Anonymous Poster #1

Parachutes For Planes

03/20/2014 5:45 AM

Why cann,t aeroplanes have parachutes fitted to them,so that if there is a failure in the skies,they have the parachutes to at least bring them down more comfortable and safer.

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#1

Re: Parachutes for planes.

03/20/2014 6:56 AM

There is a STC (supplementary type certificate) approval of this device for several single engine aircraft. The pilot must deploy this system manually. To automate this and to use it for high speed jets, which may be in a super sonic dive (where you would want to use it), would not be a simple system. If it ever accidentally deployed (or via terrorism) could result in a bigger problem. It's not a bad idea, but implementing it to have a safe outcome is not trivial.

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#2

Re: Parachutes for planes.

03/20/2014 8:32 AM

There are, and they are doing well, I believe they are based in Minnesota

BRS (Ballistic Recovery Systems)

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#3

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 9:46 AM

Airplanes already have wings (...duh) which allow the pilot to pick a landing spot, rather than just come down wherever the wind would take the plane.

The problem arises when there are obstacles in the emergency landing zone. In which case a braking parachute and a huge airbag to cushion the crash might be of some use.

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#4

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 9:49 AM

If you have the misfortune to be in a flying fireball, its moot.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 1:01 PM

Oh? In that situation I think taking it's time to touch down would be anything but 'moot'.. especially to those on board.

too costly for many reasons..

Why not put them on blimps and hot air balloons too?

..anything more than HLR (horizontal landing rockets) is just a big waste.. and a gamble.

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#5

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 10:44 AM

A friend of mine developed this years ago for lite planes. The problem occured when the chute was deployed at a high speed (its an airplane) and the load on the airframe was excessive and caused structural damage. As luck would have it they jumped before the plane did a hard jerk and the test plane ended up crashing into the side of a mountain near Mt Ranier.

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#7

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 1:14 PM

I will say that it's been addressed and has no merit as most crashes happen during take off or landing. In those cases a parachute would have done little good.

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#8

Re: Parachutes for Planes

03/20/2014 1:20 PM

To get an idea of what would be required, this is the recovery system of one of the solid rocket boosters for the shuttle....read the linked article to see the complexity, weight and size, of this system...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Solid_Rocket_Booster#Descent_and_recovery

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#9

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/20/2014 2:43 PM

Non-starter. Cost vs need is way too high. At least a million dollars per commercial plane.

It's also totally impractical. There is absolutely NO WAY to retrofit this system into existing aircraft.

Also ozzb is right.

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#10

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/20/2014 3:34 PM

It does work and had been working for at least ten years of more. It is limited to light planes now due to the differences in light planes and passenger planes. The difference is in the mass to surface areas of the two planes and also the weight/mass ratios.

A small plane needs less speed and more surface area to become airborne and maintain flight. The larger plane needs more speed and less surface to weight ratio to get in flight. This all means you get more up with more speed in the bigger one. The disadvantage is that it is also more difficult to stop or slow down, especially the slow down part. A much greater surface area of parachutes would be necessary to get the big plane down to the speed of a parachute restrained small plane. Due to the larger ones mass it would also have to be slowed down to a slower speed to avoid total impact crushing of the fuselage.

The small airplane uses a small chute to pull the larger chutes out in a gradual deployment. The larger plane would also have to do this but in many more stages. When finally all the necessary chutes were deployed the plane would have descended so much that the ground would probably been reached already.

All this at the expense of maybe never needing it, reinforced airframe and wings, stronger fuel tanks, passenger restraints since the final descent would probably be vertical and many other costly factors. All this would be financed by the passengers tickets. How many people would agree to spending three times as much for their tickets to pay for a system that would never be used? Not me!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/20/2014 3:36 PM

I believe it was deployed over 300 times. company claims it save that many anyways,,,,,,

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#12

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/20/2014 11:38 PM

Ignator got most of the reasons, but a bigger reason is that in-flight and at altitude, where the parachutes would be used, is the safest portion of the flight.

The risk at altitude is almost zero. The takeoff and landings is where the real risks are.

Well, there are those lavatories, too...

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#13

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/21/2014 12:12 AM

A link was sent to me, many years ago, when the incident, I believe in Atlanta, Georgia, when a jet airliner crashed due to wind shear during a severe thunderstorm. There were many fatalities. An inquiry was formed, and a Senator was grilling an Aeronautical Engineer about the same subject: "Why can't we make a plane , that , when it crashes , can ensure the safety of all aboard?" The Senator was a Senior woman in the Senate. The old Air Force Veteran, and Engineer calmly stated: "Well Ma'm, we can do that….." The reply was: "Then why hasn't it been done…'' His response: "We just can't get the thing to fly…" Badaboom…..

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#14

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/21/2014 12:33 AM

Sorry ... (For the fact that I am still limited to this tiny iPhone screen for editing responses ... expect to be back to work soon!)

Has NOBODY thought to suggest looking at THIS thread... (CR4)?

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/22722/Airplane-Parachute

All-too-often, all-too-many "posts" truly DESERVE a single, one-liner Reply...

<wink>

Apologies for the fact that you need to copy and paste the address into your browser. Using the iPhone (Safari) browser does not afford you the ability to insert hyperlinks.

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#15

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/21/2014 8:25 AM

http://cirrusaircraft.com/

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#16

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/21/2014 8:12 PM

"How Do They Do It" had an episode about this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_B--xSUxBA

It's not as easy as it would seem. The area of the parachute has to be large enough to support the weight of the airplane, it has to be light, and it needs to be packed in a small space and yet be deployed while the plane is moving fast.

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#17

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/22/2014 7:45 AM

Stall recovery/spin recovery chutes are often used on planes for an additional just-in-case level of safety during stall/spin recovery testing and certification. It isn't a feature that you see on production planes. The fact that chutes are actually installed at one point on planes but subsequently removed once certified suggest any potential benefit is not sufficient to justify cost, weight and drag penalties.

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#18

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/23/2014 5:02 PM

they do on some smaller craft

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Parachutes For Planes

03/23/2014 6:42 PM

As I said, easy to certify on private aircraft and those aircraft do not fly at 40,000 feet and 600 mph.

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