Dear reader,

We are now live at www.skycat.pro. The development project continues, and updates are added to this blog in random intervals.

We have parachutes launchers available in many weight ranges; optimal 1 - 6 kg and these could be extended with higher impact level up to 11 kg. For larger up to 23 kg multicopters we have XL - series with pilot chute principle.

For those who wants to digest all information available of products, we have left this blog as it is. This blog follows closely main steps we have gone through while developing parachute launcher. Blog might feel like Do It Yourself kind and to be honest, in the beginning it was.

After hundreds of hours thinking, designing, prototyping and testing our patent pending launcher turned to be the most reliable parachute launcher for professional use. We have searched all possible boundaries of technology and from this blog you'll find results of these successful tests but also not so successful tests.

You never know where The final limit of technology is without experiencing it. That's the reason why we have done tests for scenarios which might not be even realistic on flight.

For production versions of Skycat we could proudly to say that we have experienced zero mishaps, never failed a single eject and parachute has deployed every time. This includes rescue scenarios with every imaginable scenario copter could face in air. Check this out as one sample of our test sessions! 

Skycat parachute launcher has been tested beyond all imaginable abuses copter possibly could experience in flight. We have sink it to water, it has been heated hours to 90°C and exposed to extensive moisture, we have frosted, defrosted and frosted it again, it has been in mud and snow and still it has worked. Same overshooting tests we have done also for electronics. This is not promise you can use our products outside of submarine but we have tested it so :)

This blog will still be updated as well our Facebook pages www.facebook.com/skycat.pro and Twitter at https://twitter.com/skycatpro

Fly safe - Let's keep our copters flying!

Henri

Skycat.pro

 

DJI Inspire 1 / Skycat X55-CF parachute integration by www.remotevision.ch:

Other documentary videos:

Skycat Twin test session

OPENTX for parachute eject and 6POS switch

DUAL spring loaded switches - single RC channel for parachute eject...

Brake enabled SimonK firmware

Ground eject demonstration in slow motion 

Water test

Aerial test No 2 for Opale Paramodels 2.5m^2 parachute 

Aerial test No 1 Opale Paramodels 1.8m^2 parachute 

A moment of deploy

Tower test 3

Tower test 2

 

Manufacturers contributed to this project:

- http://www.opale-paramodels.com/

http://www.fruitychutes.com

- www.vectorheli.com

- www.3drobotics.com

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Hi Henri, I'm here ready to help when it comes to the coding changes in arducopter to help support the moving of a servo or relay to deploy the parachute either when the copter thinks it's in trouble or when the user wants to activate it with ch7 or ch8 auxiliary switch.

Thanks Randy! Coding is most difficult part of project for me. I'll post updates here whenever is something to tell or ask.

Subscribed ;)

What's the size of the parachute?

Welcome Bernardo,
Parachute is 6m2 7kg version. Weight 300 grams. I think this is possible to do scalable for different sizes. Parachute: http://www.opale-paramodels.com/index.php/en/shop-opaleparamodels/1...
Some updates.
I ordered two springs just for testing how parachute could be shot from container. First container type I'll test is a tube, maybe a little conical. There are three different types of air blower for ground testing: 3kw and 7kw centrifugal blower and one farm dryer blower.

I have two known problems now: 1. Does this system need pilot parachute or does it help anyway? 2. How parachute should be packed in a tube?

Tubular construction should be done so that when parachute is deployed, copter hangs from ropes somewhat in balance. It means that container needs to be installed in the middle of a copter (not an option) or it has to be in the middle of copter after deployment. I have one idea how it can be done but it needs some cardboard tube/rope testing.

Hopefully there is someone who is experienced enough for answering those questions or give a tip where to study?

After Googling and consulting one skydiver friend I found better to try this with pilot chute. Construction might be lighter that way also.

But, where I can find suitable pilot chute? Main chute arrived yesterday.

These has suitable chutes for pilot use but shipping is so expensive: http://aeroconsystems.com/

Ah, that's a good idea.  Only $12 as well.

Today is quite windy day and I did some tests.

Now I know one method how this cannot be done; small tube without pilot chute. I tried 70mm tube. Anyone could repeat this by pushing fabric in to tube so long until it is stuck. Tube needs to be way bigger.

Then I tried pilot chute prototype and it didn't fail at all. I tried several times and chute opened every time.

Next I'll try to catch it in to video for your judgement. Perhaps you'll see it later today if rain stops and allows change to try.

Now I have an idea how chute could be pulled out and some ideas how it needs to be packed. In fact there might be several ways to pack because I'm not sure if I did it twice same way. Also I have tried an idea how tube could be mounted between motor carbon tubes as counter weight for batteries (triangle form if two batteries) and after deployment it is in the middle.

I attached some images of 10 minute work prototype.
Attachments:
Other images drop out. Retry.
Attachments:
And last image.
Attachments:
Now pilot chute test is done and video is uploaded to tube: http://youtu.be/lb7LlgimUXg

I used trash bag as a pilot chute. Wind on video is about 5-8 m/s. 36" and 60" chutes for as a pilot chute are on the way to here but delivery from US might take two weeks.

Next week I'll receive 0.4mm three crossed layer plywood. I'm planning roll that as form of tube. It is strong and lighter than plastic. And it is very easy to form.

Main principle idea now is following: main chute is in a tube as in video. Following components are circular plate, spring attached to first plate, second plate which is attached to spring as well, pilot chute and finally the hatch. Main chute tube is for instance 100mm in diameter. First circular plate is about 10mm larger in diameter. At the end of main tube is attached another tube which inner diameter is 110mm. So first plate is on shoulder and spring could be compressed against hard shoulder. Pilot chute pulls spring assembly out as well and it will hang in between a main chute and a pilot chute.

I'd like to do a 3D model for this but my home computer motherboard broke and I can't do it now. Perhaps later after prototypes I'll document this using CAD.

What do you think of this idea? There are only few subscribers but visitors are welcome comment also.

Very interesting Henry!

A drogue might be an idea to open the main parachute but it would take longer. In your video, it openned very fast because it seems to be very windy, but imagine if there was no wind and your multirotor had a problem and started to fall? It would take some meters until you had enough airspeed to pull the main chute

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