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Our project's goal - break the existing record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h) by reaching 800 mph (1,287 km/h)!
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NAE™ Project: Deceleration - High Speed Parachute Systems
One of the key methods used to stop the North American Eagle™ world land speed record challenger will be the use of high speed parachutes. From the untrained eye they appear to be standard drag racing type parachutes, but in reality they are aerospace technology. With dynamic pressures of over 1,600 lb psf (pounds per square foot) conventional drag race parachutes, with canopy deployment first, will not hold up.
Designed by Ed Drumheller II, of Drumheller Engineering of Kent, Washington, these parachutes can be deployed at speeds of 600+ mph (183+ m/s). As an integral partner in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo space programs and virtually every USAF test planes of the past 40 years, Drumheller Engineering is using the same design that was used to deploy the three parachutes on the Apollo space capsules. The parachute tube, called a mortar tube and sabot, has a breech like a cannon and fires the parachute like a bullet in a gun. This ensures the parachute is deployed (suspension lines first) past the supersonic vehicle.
Unlike drag racing parachutes that open suddenly, high-speed parachutes are open by triggering specialty design pyrotechnic devices for a smooth gradual opening. With 20,000 lb (9,072 kg) Kevlar webbing, the technology surpasses modern sport parachuting and drag racing's old engineered parachutes (+ 50 years).
In the past Stencel / UPCO successfully deployed the fastestest ejection seat / parachute system in the world at a speed of 720 knots. At Hurricane Mesa Supersonic Sled Track, NE of St. George Utah, they did a complete escape system test using a S4-SIII Ejection Seat and a ribless guide surface kevalar drogue parachute.
The NAE™ will utilize several parachute designs. For low speed runs less then 350 mph we will be testing a 15 foot ring slot and 16 foot ribbon parachute. For high speed runs, we will use a 8'-9" 20 degree connical ribbon parachute (Supplied by Aerial Machine & Tool).
Drumheller Engineering will use high speed cameras to record the one second event with over 40,000 fps (frames per second). This technology may someday help design safer and more efficient spin recovery parachutes and ejection seats for our nations top fighter jets. DARPA has been advised of the NAE™ program and a SBIR is being solicited for R&D Engineering Test Development of 700, 750 and 800 mph high speed (1.0+ Mach) new design parachute systems.
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