An ultra-fast-opening parachute for use by U.S. Army troops who may have to bail out?
An ultra-fast-opening parachute for use by U.S. Army troops who may have to bail out at low altitudes from individual lift devices such as flying platforms, is being developed for the Army Quarter-master Corps under Air Force contract by the Oerlikon Tool and Arms Company of Asheville, North Carolina. It is the invention of Mr. Fred Stencil, an employee of that company.
Carried on the soldier's back, it is flexible in handling and operates in fractions of a second. Tests indicate that the parachute is capable of recovering the operator of a ducted-fan or rotary-wing type aerial vehicle at low altitude and at near-zero air speeds.
The parachute employs a two-stage pyrotechnic charge. One stage forces the deployment of the canopy pack vertically while the second charge affects an immediate radial spreading of the canopy.
Tests of the chute showed a stabilized rate of descent of 24 feet per second achieved within 0.8 second, and a loss of only 13 feet after chute ejection.
The ultra-fast-operating parachute is shown being demonstrated by the Continental Army Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia, recently.