BRS Testing Next-Generation Parachute System

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Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) has completed a series of successful development tests of the Next Generation Parachute System, which could operate on aircraft weighing as much as 5,000 pounds, BRS spokesman John Gilmore told AVweb on Wednesday. The system would work on aircraft such as the Diamond D-Jet, which is expected to have a BRS parachute as standard equipment. The system now being tested consists of a single landing parachute, which could be deployed once the aircraft had slowed down to about 180 knots or less, Gilmore said. Other designs still being considered could include a two-stage system that would deploy a drogue chute to slow the airplane down, then a larger chute for landing. "There's still more testing ahead, but we're making progress," Gilmore noted. At this point, he said, "We're months, as opposed to years, away" from having a system prototype. Tests of the new system were recently performed in the southwestern U.S. using a former military aircraft to drop the new, larger canopies with heavy payloads. Canopy strength tests will continue over the next several months before the parachutes will be available for integration and entire system testing. Additional tests and further development will be required before the Next Generation Parachute System is commercialized.