Whole-plane parachutes have saved hundreds from small-plane crashes, so, what’s the hold-up with installing them on big passenger planes?
Parachutes capable of supporting an entire plane have saved hundreds of pilot and passenger lives by helping disabled small aircrafts float safely to the ground.
So, what’s the hold-up with installing them on big passenger planes?
The technology to make it happen exists, but there are some other issues that would need to be solved before that could ever happen.
According to one authority, a parachute large enough to support the weight of a Boeing 747 with 500 passengers and its cargo would be massive.
Actually, it would take 21 parachutes, each of which would be about the size of a football field.
Making one presents some problems, as does storing it.
Airlines would have to cut back on both passenger and payload to accommodate the mega-chute.
Further, they’d have to find an ideal location that would be impervious to accidental deployments.
More compact versions would be easier to manufacture, but then the plane itself would have to get lighter.
One possibility is making planes with detachable parts, so the passenger cabin could stay aloft while the wings and engines fall to the ground.
Unless, of course, the plane is flying over a bunch of buildings.