Airborne Systems Successfully Deploys World's Largest Autonomously Guided Ram-Air Parachute

    YUMA, Ariz., Sept. 24 /CNW/ -- Airborne Systems, a world leader in
parachute design and manufacturing, announced they successfully completed a
test drop of a precision guided cargo delivery system capable of carrying
42,000 pounds under a single ram-air parachute. The new system, called the
GigaFly, was successfully deployed from a C-130 aircraft at 15,000 feet
carrying a 33,000 lb load. The system landed fully autonomously at a gentle 14
feet per second rate-of-descent less than 275-m from the intended point of
    GigaFly is a 10,400 square foot ram-air parachute, also known as a
parafoil, with a wingspan of 195 feet it is nearly as wide as the wings on a
Boeing 747 (211-ft).  Designed for airdrop at altitudes as high as 25,000
feet, GigaFly guides itself to a designated point on the ground from up to 22
kilometers away using its specially designed on board GPS guidance unit and
    MegaFly(TM), a similar system featured on the History Channel television
series "Modern Marvels" and successfully dropped over 30 times, is capable of
carrying 30,000 lbs. "The demand for an accurate heavy payload aerial delivery
system led the army to develop this kind of new technology," said Brian
Bagdonovich, Program Manager, for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier RDE Center.
"The 42K parafoil has the potential to provide the Army with high altitude
precision airdrop capability for bulk supply, equipment and vehicles within
the existing capability range of LVADS (Low Velocity Aerial Delivery
    The GigaFly adds to the company's current range of precision delivery
equipment which is now capable of dropping from 100 lbs to 42,000 lbs.
Airborne Systems' entire family of JPADS platforms uses common hardware and
software architecture to ensure maximum interoperability and minimum training
and logistics burden in theater.  The U.S. Army selected Airborne Systems'
FireFly(TM) for their 2K (2,000 lb) platform and DragonFly(TM) for their
standard 10K (10,000 lb) JPADS platform.  The GigaFly test was conducted as
part of a U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development & Engineering Center
development program.  According to the program manager, "GigaFly is the
largest ram-air ever to be deployed successfully and without the use of
pyrotechnics.  What has been accomplished here both technically and physically
is remarkable."
    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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