Parachute maker BRS Aerospace announced it is developing a new electronic ignition system for its airplane parachute system. BRS has yet to determine the location of the activation switch or what it may look like, but BRS president Larry Williams said the system will be designed to prevent inadvertent deployment of the parachute. Williams also said there will be a backup battery for the electronic ignition system to ensure deployment in case of an electrical failure.
Williams said the new electronic ignition will make parachute deployment easier, particularly in high G, loss of control situations when manual deployment could be difficult. Also, electronic ignition deployment will be immediate. Manual deployment is delayed by 1.5 seconds due to the slight amount of slack built into the cable that connects the handle to the rocket that deploys the parachute.
The new electronically activated system will be installed as standard equipment in the four-seat C4 airplanes currently in development by FlightDesign. BRS is also working on a parachute system for unmanned vehicles as well as a project with with Kestrel Aircraft to determine the best solution for a parachute system for turboprop airplanes.