Parachute tests with a multirotor

A multirotor flight is very critical: if it happens an ESC, motor, propeller, RX failure or even if you get a lot of vibrations in the flight controller, the multirotor will crash. That's why I created a parachute and attached it to the quadcopter. This was the first test I've done with a parachute for quadcopter:

It had a stick so it kept the parachute away from the propellers. The problem is that the CG is difficult to keep in the center of the quadcopter and also because if the quadcopter hits the stick on the ground when it lands it's going to break the stick.

Therefore, I positioned the parachute on the back of the quadcopter without a stick. I've done a "wind tunnel" test (lol ;D) to check if the parachute would open:

As you can see, it seems to work, so I tried it in field:

Although it didn't land well, nothing was broken because the quadcopter arms are foldable and the ground was soft (grass).

The parachute is activated with a receiver channel and a servo. So when I get in trouble I press a button in my transmitter and it will release the parachute.

Currently i'm projecting a parachute launcher with springs, so it will  be launch vertically and thus it will open faster. Another option would be using a small rocket/gunpowder to pull the parachute, but i'm still thinking on the positioning to avoid unwanted burn to the parachute and the multirotor


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  • That´s a good idea Pableras, but my main problem is where can i get an adequate spring =/

  • You could fit this on a pringles chips can.

  • Ok. I started a project which aims to design deployment mechanism. My own deadline is summer 2014 but prototype should be done at the end of this year latest. If you would like to join, leave a comment here
  • No Henri, i still have not tried the mechanism

  • Randy,
    Have you tried your mechanism idea already?
    I'm going to order similar parachute either 12 or 7 kilogram version for approx 9kg copter. Physical deployment is something I also don't want to trust and therefore would like to do it some other way.

    I have whole winter time to invent and build something but need some point where to start. Tubular deployment pod feels so far easiest to arrange.

  • If you would like some info on pursuing the black powder ejection pm me and we can talk, however due to regulations it isn't something to be taken lightly or discussed publicly. As for qualifications, I hold a level 2 certification with NAR and have personally launched up to a K impulse motor, and assisted on launches up to an O impulse.
  • Jan, i've bought a confetti cannon but it's very difficult to turn the bottom and let the air flow. Moreover it's a little bit heavy because it's made of metal.

    Ken, that's also a very nice idea! We could limit the range of the trap: 0 to 90 degrees for example

  • Guys - Could a mouse trap spring device be adapted to throw the parachute?

  • That looks very good, Randy. The question will be how it performs when the quad is spiraling :)

  • Thanks for the drawing Randy ;) now i get it. We have to test to check it it can launch the parachute high enough, far from the propellers

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