Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ballistic Recovery Systems Aviation, 272 Lives Saved

Ballistic Recovery Systems or BRS is a company created in 1980 by Boris Popov of Minnesota. They specialize in parachutes that attach to planes. The parachutes open during engine failure, wing loss, or some other catastrophic accident that may occur mid air. The planes then gently glide to the ground with minimal impact, saving the occupants. Mr.Popov came up with the idea for BRS parachutes after he survived a 400ft fall when his hang glider collapsed. As he fell he felt frustrated knowing he had time to pull a parachute if one was available. Luckily for the 272 people who are alive today because of his innovation, he survived the accident.
Design and products
Ballistic Recovery Systems designed their parachutes to be ultra light, and as compact as possible. The parachutes took around 7 years, and $1.5 million in research, and development to become FAA approved. A major focus was on the right release time for the altitude of the plane. Through their research they were able to design their systems to release faster when the plane is at a lower altitude, and to release slower when the plane is falling faster to maintain the integrity of the frame that it is attached to. The parachutes they offer are capable of safely delivering 600-3100 pound  aircraft to the ground.

"BRS Quality Policy: It is the policy of Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) to engineer, manufacture, sell, and deliver exceptionally reliable, innovative, and high quality safety and aerospace products"

Awards and Contracts
BRS has been awarded four Small Business Innovative Research Awards by NASA to develop lighter parachute materials. They also received a grant to develop a product for light jet aircraft. Cirrus Design makers of the #1 selling single engine aircraft ship BRS systems as a standard component on their aircraft, Flight Design of Germany does the same. They even create parachutes for the government they are used for supply drops and safe recovery of unmanned aircraft. 

1 comment: