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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  • Developer

    AC3.2-rc2 is out in the Beta Firmwares area now.  This includes Parachute support although it's only enabled for the Pixhawk because we've run out of code space on the APM2.  Before the official AC3.2 release we will make some alternative binaries available which turn off other features so that the Parachute can be used.  A good option might be AutoTune because it's not something that people need to run regularly so they could upload the standard version which includes AutoTune then move to the alternative binary which includes Parachute.

    Anyway, for those with Pixhawk, all feedback on the parachute code would be very welcome.

    I'll come up with the wiki page description for the parachute set-up at some point in the near-ish future I hope.

    • Quite a progress you guys have! OpenSource code and development is that fast.
      Good job!
  • hello, thanks for the previous answer, I have another question. Whats the weight of deployment system?

    • Stefhan,

      Current design for 4.0m2 / IFC-60-S without parachute as "Ready To Eject" including everything else weights about 220-230gr. For 2.5m2 / IFC-XX-S it weights some grams less as tube is shorter. That "XX" is not tested but I assume Fruity Chutes has equivalent size.

  • New video is uploaded to Youtube and linked on header of this blog.

    This video is made for instructing and demonstrating how to setup Taranis (OPENTX) for parachute eject. It also instructs how to setup 6POS switch. Taranis switches are three position switches and therefore it is 9POS switch. Three extra positions are configured for stabilize.

    Idea of all this was to make eject as simple as possible without increasing risk of mishap eject; pull BOTH front finger switches up and that's all. This should work with any autopilot even without parachute support if flight mode changes goes by changing PWM values of one channel.

  • Developer

    AC3.2-rc1 should be out within 1 week and will include parachute support.  There's a bit of an issue with the flash size meaning it might need to be a special binary but that's not decided yet.

    • Randy,

      I did few days ago new frame for testing APM parachute code. It has three slots for parachutes and is capable to carry two simultaneously for short period of time. One could be triggered by APM and one by pilot if we find a bug. Of course we don't find but just in case :).

      Do you have an idea how to simulate realistic problems?


  • Here is attached latest log file which contains data from flight ending to eject from Loiter flight mode. I uploaded this just if someone wants to see how APM/OpenTX works for this purpose without extra components or code.

    Accelerations on impact is also seen there.

    2014-05-04 09-37.log

    • Edit time ended, I was trying to add that copter weight was about 3kg and parachute 2.5m2.

This reply was deleted.


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