Wiki Ninja

Ballistic Parachute Test. 60% Fail > 100% Fail


At Maker Faire, Chris said auto-land is a hard problem. While I don't have much to contribute to that yet, I did want to try deploying a ballistic parachute mid-air to bring a plane down. A few others have 
shared successful parachute systems before.


So obviously the parachute shock cord just ripped straight out. The lesson is you can't use that simple paper shock cord mount design you glued into little model rockets as a kid to slow down a 3 pound Bixler mid-cruise.


I am kind of surprised that the ignitor circuit worked on the first try, and that the Sugru + masking tape tube mounting held!


I was also surprised at the pitch moment; I guess I could have computed it beforehand. I didn't think the rocket's moment arm against the vertical CG would cause it to flip forward that much. Also, the parachute was slightly burnt. I should switch to that "dog barf" fiber insulation instead of using recovery wadding.


Here's the pre-fail overview.


If I get around to finishing a lighter and more reliable parachute deploy, I might try using my MaxSonar to detect an approaching object (like the ground) and deploy it automatically.

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  • Ellison,  They use a pin and spring. With the cable attached to a lever in the car and also to the pressure release on the blower.

  • What shoot deployment system is used for drag racing cars?

  • I have developed 2 parachute systems for flywing skywalker and X8. this is X8

  • Developer

    I love flying down there. I haven't been to Candlestick in ages.


  • Wiki Ninja

    Hi Veikko. Thanks - I like that. Some of the other parachute systems I've seen before used similar releases, but I really wanted to try a faster method. I don't know if I'll get there, but wouldn't it be great if you could fly with more confidence close to challenging terrain? To do so, you'd like to arrest a plane quickly. I think ballistic deploys might be slightly more reliable, hence why the controversial Cirrus CAPS system uses it.

    I thought about spring loaded systems and CO2 deploys too. I think for a v2 I would go to the extra effort to source a small amount of black powder and make my own ejection charge. I'd save weight, 5 seconds, tube length, the front-facing nose cone would be solid, and less hot rocket exhaust seems like a good thing.

  • Distributor

    Awesome! Reminds me of this little bird:

  • Thanks for experimenting and sharing!

  • wooo .. ! excellent video...

  • you could try using a charge that strong to deploy a smaller chute that would pull out the main chute.  Cool video, can't wait to see the next one.

  • Developer

    Who cares if it was a failure, as long as it looked cool! :)

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