Skycat parachute launcher for Drones

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

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

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Other documentary videos:

Skycat Twin test session

OPENTX for parachute eject and 6POS switch

DUAL spring loaded switches - single RC channel for parachute eject, OPENTX

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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Replies

    • Hi Henri, nice tests!  This design of chute opens very fast.  It looks like one of the Fruity Chutes tests caught a thermal of something.  It just seemed to stop dropping.

      One idea, I would recommend a length of shock cord between the parachute and the load (copter).  It should be about 2 x the chute diameter.  This will make the descent more stable and sway less.  The longer the cord the better the stability.  I think you have some cord in there but it's not that long.  

      It would be good to get some closeup photos of the loaded copter with the chute, and how the recovery cords are arranged.    I get questions about that all the time and I don't have good photos.   Are you using a Y harness to connect the chute to the copter?

      Great work!

      -Gene

      • Hi Gene and thanks!

        It got thermal at the side of forest. I was sure it floats to forest but suddenly changed direction and almost stopped a while. Imagine what might happen when copter hits to thermal at really warm sunny day :). Now it was +5°C (41°F).

        Longer shock cord sounds good idea for stability of fall but as an exchange deploy altitude would be equally higher. I have in fact removed original shock cord from one Opale parachute and replaced it with steel ring. Both ways has worked fine and copter swings from side to another depending on eject orientation and speed.

        These both parachutes 4.0m2/IFC-60-S seems to deploy within about 5 meters from eject from standing copter. I think that would cover most of the situations where parachutes are needed assuming pilot reaction time and practice to eject being proper. One thing by the way is very important; piece of fabric shouldn't be more than one round around the parachute and it should be flown away immediately after eject.

        Here are images of the connections between copter and parachute. These are made for parachute test copter and for real camera copter it is not possible to do that simple because it needs to be taken care of what happens when ropes are tightened. I'll post images of the integration of my camera copter as soon as it is done. 

        Steel ring is Ø20mm and connection part is M3.5

        Shock_cord.jpg

        Connection.jpg

  • Header of this thread is updated.

    There is some new information about triggering and links to all videos done during this development process. One new video is about to how SimonK firmware works brake - option enabled with one ESC type.

    Brake seems to works quite nice and lowers risk of tangling especially with large props.

  • There on header is one new video.  We shot four different parachutes on the ground and captured all with high speed camera.

    • Hi Henri - I`ve been following this tread, and planning on building something similar..

      Could you share where to buy the tube for 6m2 parachute and the spring for it...

      Great tests you are performing by the way.

      best regards

      Stone

      • Hi Stone,

        Would you PM for me.

        Henri
  • Opale Paramodels 4.0m2 parachute just arrived. Thanks to guys at Opale Paramodels, stock were out of parachutes but they called one parachute back from a reseller for our tests!

    This parachute packs exactly in to same sized tube without any changes but is very tight. Although it fits we need to shoot it several times to be sure it really comes out every time without hesitation. This parachute needed very very tight packing with 5 folds as we used with 2.5m2 and 1.8m2 parachutes and is clearly close to the limit. Using 4 folds packing is easier and worth to try as well. It would require about 3cm longer tube.

    Total system weight of this 4.0m2 parachute in tube will be  420gr-470gr. Size is about the same than PINT beer can.

    Referential descent rates would be approximately like this based on one online calculator (http://www.onlinetesting.net/cgi-bin/descent3.3.cgi):

    5kg 4.5
    6kg 4.9
    7kg 5.3
    8kg 5.7
    9kg 6.0
    10kg 6.3


    This is quick screen capture from a video of testing:

    Opale_4m2.jpg?width=721
     

    • Cool Henri! When looking at how you have to pack the chute keep in mind that many people using these chutes will not have the skill needed to achieve a very tight pack.  So as you probably already know for this size chute, having a tube slightly longer and making it easier to pack means a better chance of success!

      • You are right Gene and we are trying longer tube.

        It took three attempts to pack parachute this tight until correct way to squeeze air out was found. Piece of facric was necessary for squeezing. Packing itself was similar as earlier images represents.

        What is your experience, how long parachute could be packed in tube or should it be always packed prior to flight what we have done so far?
  • Now latest drop test video is uploaded to Youtube and it is linked to header of this blog. Video contains only one drop because it ended to tree. 

    Today we planned to test again but wind is even stronger than last time. So we need to wait for proper weather and time. Next time we might be able to show some more parachute sizes as Opale Paramodels 4.0m^2 and Fruity Chutes parachute selected by Gene is coming.

This reply was deleted.

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