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Commercial airliner parachute system

Modular aircraft design combined with safety parachutes.
  (+3, -4)
(+3, -4)
  [vote for,

In the event of an extreme emergency, the system is actived remotely or from within the airliner. First, the wings containing the remaining tonnes of aviation fuel are jetisoned. Seconds later the fuselage breaks up into several components each with its own parachute system. Boy, that was a close one...
lukecleland, Apr 18 2006

external airbags http://www.nasa.gov...about/history/marsp
[yikes!!!, Jan 03 2008]

commercial airliner parachute system http://www.sptimes....em_saves_airp.shtml
[yikes!!!, Jan 06 2008]

commercial airline parachute system http://studio-5.fin...aViewer&Ticker=BRSI
[yikes!!!, Jan 06 2008]

commercial airline parachute system http://www.patentst...17-description.html
[yikes!!!, Jan 06 2008]


       I'm no expert, but I would have thought you'd need more than a parachute if you were exposed at 34,000ft?
Fishrat, Apr 18 2006

       How does the fuselage break up into several components? Is this one component per seat? Wouldn't it be dangerous to have the various components released at such high speeds with that much proximity? What would happen to people away from their seats?   

       You didn't think this one through, did you?
PauloSargaco, Apr 18 2006

       //How does the fuselage break up into several components? Is this one component per seat?//
First class has a parafoil.
Business class gets a standard drab-green cargo 'chute.
Economy has a bag of bedsheets, a roll of shock cord, and an instructional video.
lurch, Apr 18 2006

       Parachutes wouldn't help if the /extreme emergency/ was the plane crashed into the side of a mountain...it's already on the ground.
xandram, Apr 18 2006

       Very few aircraft emergencies happen at altitude. And almost all of those are passenger related. And of those few that are mechanical, almost none are going to make it safer to leave the aircraft rather than simply glide down to the nearest airport.   

       Your best use for these parachutes would be to cocoon each passenger before take off so that they cannot move. Then stack them like cordwood.
Galbinus_Caeli, Apr 18 2006

       This is a good idea.   

       I have yet to read the science that says it can't happen with large passenger planes.It would be a good real topic for mythbusters.   

       Ballistic parachutes already exist on some light planes, ultralights, hangliders and paragliders. They operate without jettisoning any part of the flying object.   

       The Ballistic Recovery Systems website saved list indicates they do save lives.   

       It would seem that they would eliminate the aircrash from a mechanical malfunction at altitude, as they would provide a safe way down, whereas instead, straight down she goes, or the pilot has to attempt a forced landing, often unsuccessfully due to the malfunction. Anywhere you live in the world, you will be reading about several of these kind of totally unneccessary accidents occuring with light planes every year in your area.   

       For ensuring survival in all but the onboard fire, or crash from altitude in the severest storm,(both uncommon) why are they not on all aircraft, including large passenger planes?   

       They could also be used for lessening impacts on take off and landing accidents.   

       Skydiver pilots could test prototypes on retired passenger planes from aircraft graveyards over deserts.   

       Including: multiple cell airbags for floatation and survival at sea. and impact from aircrash generally.   

       Existing technology, the parachute and the airbag (parachutes invented in the 1700's) why not deployed? The unsinkable chinese junk was invented thousands of years ago.
yikes!!!, Dec 27 2007

       One word: weight.
egbert, Dec 27 2007

       I'll take your "weight" and raise you "speed" and "loss of control".   

       I think all the parachute systems are on non-jets or you would need some crazy drouge chute to slow the plane down as even a working parachute would kill all occupants if deployed at 400 mph.   

       Now add loss of control or "great, now we have a 747 slowly falling towards Chicago, in front of a train or into the Grand Canyon." These are small problems for small planes, but HUGE problems for huge planes. Was this going to be a steerable chute?
MisterQED, Dec 27 2007

       from wikipedia..... Ribbon and ring parachutes   

       Ribbon and ring parachutes have similarities to annular designs. They are frequently designed to deploy at supersonic speeds. A conventional parachute would instantly burst upon opening at such speeds. Ribbon parachutes have a ring-shaped canopy, often with a large hole in the center to release the pressure. Sometimes the ring is broken into ribbons connected by ropes to leak air even more. These large leaks lower the stress on the parachute so it does not burst or shred when it opens. Ribbon parachutes made of kevlar are used on nuclear bombs such as the B61 and B83.
yikes!!!, Jan 01 2008

       See also BuzzB's Halfbakery External Airbags which describes NASA and a company researching external airbags for the pathfinder's Mars landing, which raises these issues. Quote from the NASA link, ..'The air bag system underwent a series of rigorous tests in Plum Brook's Space Power Facility, the world's largest vacuum chamber pressurized with a simulated Martian atmosphere. When the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere, it will be traveling about 17,000 miles per hour. A parachute and rocket braking system will slow the spacecraft to about 50-60 miles per hour. Then the air bags will deploy to protect the spacecraft when it impacts the surface. The Space Power Facility enabled the project team to test the air bag system in the extreme atmospheric conditions it will be subjected to when it reaches Mars.   

       The air bag system was tested on numerous terrains ranging from flat surfaces to steep, rocky inclines. While initial single-layered designs could not survive the jagged rocks, testing enabled the JPL team to concoct the perfect recipe for unbreakable, lightweight bags: multiple layers of lighter fabric instead of a single layer of heavier material. The outer layer was tearing, absorbing energy, but more importantly creating a buffer, like a soft blanket over the rocks. The second layer didn't get all the sharp little edges and corners digging into it.'   

       Mars has about one third the gravitational pull of earth.   

       Also Wikipedia ,Landing process :- Mars Pathfinder used an innovative method of directly entering Mars using an entry capsule, a supersonic parachute, followed by solid rockets and large airbags to cushion the impact.   

       This was almost a decade ago.
yikes!!!, Jan 03 2008

       I voted Baked, as I believe it would work if the system I outlined in the gliders on planes article was used.
Selky, Aug 17 2009

       //I vote Baked// err... you've seen passenger jets which blow out separately chuted compartments ?
FlyingToaster, Aug 17 2009

       No, but I've seen people parachuting from planes, and my idea is functionally similar.
Selky, Aug 17 2009

       you're [lukecleland] ? welcome back
FlyingToaster, Aug 17 2009


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