Skycat parachute launcher for Drones

Dear reader,

We are now live at 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 and Twitter at

Fly safe - Let's keep our copters flying!



DJI Inspire 1 / Skycat X55-CF parachute integration by






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:




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    • Awesome Henri!  I'll be sharing this!


      • Thanks Gene!

  • Pixhawk automatic parachute recovery worked!

    Setup was our test quad copter with Pixhawk and latest beta 3.3 firmware. We used two Triggers: one for Pixhawk manual/automatic eject and one Trigger connected directly to RC receiver for backup. In case Pixhawk had failed we could have ejected normally using pilot radio. It is good to have two or even three triggers for different sources and radios for redundancy. Once ground station is able to eject we'll do Trigger for it also. 

    We tried two different kind of recoveries and two of each:

    1. Manual eject request. CH7 was set for eject request and it worked as should.
    2. Automatic eject. One motor was powered via relay (Skycat relay trigger) and from altitude approx 50 meters we shut one motor down by cutting it's main power (+ cable). Copter tilted immediately and started fast spinning one motor arm pointing to ground. It took perhaps 10 - 20 meters of fall and then parachute was ejected. Both attempts were visually similar.

    Video is on youtube today.

    It was only four tests we made but based on results I would activate automatic eject for casual flights. As video shows everything happens very very quickly and if pilot freezes on critical moment, then automatic eject is at it's best.  For over the crowd and other risk flights I won't use it yet and in all cases would recommend to use two eject sources: One for Pixhawk and one for pilot. If autopilot freezes, you still can take copter down using pilot radio.

    • Developer

      ah, excellent!  Bring on the video!

      • You'll see it first thing in the morning in Japan!

        We combine quickly two camera video today and sometime later make more comprehensive with all four cameras we had. This time we have for sure enough angles to view.

  • Now we tried something which nobody I have discussed with have believed to work; single rotor helicopter and parachute. It is impossible even as an idea level, or is it?

    More is coming soon!


    • Here is a short video where single rotor RC helicopter is recovered with a parachute. As you can see blades are stopped with force using parachute shock cord and tangling wasn't even close. Copter flew after two recovery tests.

      Launcher we used was standard X55-CF equipped with Fruity Chutes IFC-48-S parachute.


      • Developer

        very nice!

        • Thanks Randy!

          Here is another short video of multicopter motor failure:

's post on Vine
          • I've tried to post my problem in another forum, but without much success so now I'm trying here.

            In Denmark we have rules about overflight of people, with only can take place with a UAS with redundancy. The Inspire 1 as you know do not do that, and generally that safty redundancy gives can be discuss how effective it is on a DJI S900 or S1000 - it helps at least not by short-circuit, flyaway and at low altitude problems.

            I have found a system that appeals to me because it does not use either spring or pyro technique to get the parachute out, and then it is not so costly.

            The system comes from the company Opale Paremodels and can be seen here:

            Parachute Kit for DJI Inspire 1

            The system uses a ordinary servo to open a small folding door up and the parachute comes out.

            It's no problem for me to put a battery, a receiver and a ordinary transmitter and get it to work. That way will also offers the advantage of the system is completely independent of the Inspire 1 and its transmitter.

            But it is quite impractical to have an additional transmitter in the field, and the question is also whether I have time to react if a propeller, motor or ESC break down in 50 meters height, if I first have to get hold of the second transmitter and then release the parachute.

            I assume that it is not possible to connect an additional servo to Inspire 1 flight controller and operate it from Dji remote controller.

            Are there anyone who have a good idea for a 1CH RC system where the transmitter is so small that it can be placed on the side or back of the INSPIRE 1 remote controller?

            I've looked at these cheap wireless remote rc switch but I do not think it is a solution, as the range is quite short and I do not think you can just connect a ordinary servo to this system. I would like to have a range of at least 500 meters, and a 2,4 GHz system will be preferable

            no disrespect to Henri and Skycat, but the system with an additional transmitter with a button on a wire don't appeals very much to me.

            I have seen this video:

            Does anybody know what transmitter/receiver he is using ? It is about 45 sek in the video.

This reply was deleted.


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