A Chute For Every Plane, Even A Jet?

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The folks at BRS, the ballistic parachute company, seemingly won't be happy until everything that flies comes with a BRS chute installed. The systems so far have saved a documented 188 lives. A Symphony SA 160 set for delivery this week will be the first certified aircraft other than the Cirrus to have a BRS chute installed at the factory. Other certified aircraft have been approved for the chutes, but as an aftermarket retrofit. John Gilmore, BRS vice president of sales, told AVweb in Lakeland the company also is continuing its research into creating parachutes for the light-jet market. (And AVweb has learned BRS part-owner Cirrus may have a working name for its light-jet concept.) "It's essential to integrate the parachute system into the aircraft at the design stage," said Gilmore. Space, weight, and balance factors make it difficult to engineer a system that would be viable as a retrofit. Since Cirrus is a part owner of BRS and its ownership has been a big booster of the parachute concept, the possibility exists that the P-jet Cirrus is reportedly working on will include such a system -- if the engineers can make it work. The chutes are also popular with the new LSA models, available as options on some, and standard on the Flight Design CT.