Airborne Systems Demonstrates Modular Heavy Payload Autonomously Guided Ram-Air Parachute


    YUMA, Ariz., Jan. 14 /CNW/ -- Airborne Systems, a world leader in
parachute design and manufacturing, announced they successfully completed a
test drop deploying an 18,000 lb payload from 17,500 MSL under a modified
modular ram-air parachute. This testing was conducted as part of a US Army
Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center development program
to investigate the use of a modular design for precision guided airdrop of
heavy payload systems.


    Two of Airborne Systems' products called MegaFly(TM) and GigaFly(TM), are
designed to carry heavy payloads (15K to 42K lbs) using GPS navigation to
"steer" bulk supplies, equipment or vehicles to an intended point of impact.
Both systems are modular and are assembled using five separate sections. When
the sections are connected together to form a single large parafoil wing, the
combined size is close to the wingspan of a Boeing 747 (211-ft).

    "One of the unique features of this design is the interchangeability of
parafoil sections to function as a modular system," said Brian Bagdonovich,
Program Manager, for the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center. "The MegaFly(TM)
parafoil was designed for 20-30K pound payloads. Using modular canopies to
carry heavier loads, the MegaFly(TM) system can easily be converted to a
GigaFly(TM) system by removing the 2,500 sq-ft center section of the
MegaFly(TM) and replacing it with a 3,900 sq-ft center section. The benefit of
this modular interchangeability is to allow the system to accommodate a higher
payload up to a 42K pounds."

    "Conversely, the modular concept can also be applied to accommodate
smaller payloads," said Bagdonovich. "By removing the center section of the
MegaFly(TM), making it a four section parafoil instead of its typical five
section configuration, the system will accommodate accurate delivery of
payloads from 15K to 20K pounds."  The four section parafoil configuration was
successfully demonstrated with an 18K pound payload. "From an Army standpoint,
the concept of modularity is just as impressive as GigaFly's ability to
deliver high payload weights to a precise location," said Bagdonovich.

    About Airborne Systems

    Airborne Systems has combined the core technologies of four of the
world's leading parachute brands: Irvin Aerospace, GQ Parachutes, Para-Flite
and AML (Aircraft Materials, Ltd). Airborne Systems is a world leader in the
design, development, and manufacture of best-of-class parachutes for military,
personnel, and cargo systems, space and air vehicle recovery systems, and
deceleration systems for high-performance aircraft. The company also provides
airbags, ordnance flare chutes and weapons delivery systems. Airborne Systems
has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada and in the U.K.
Information about the various Airborne Systems products and services can be
found on the World Wide Web at


For further information:

For further information: Gary Calvaneso, Executive Vice President of
Marketing of Airborne Systems, +1-949-933-8247, Web Site:

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