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Phantom Parachute Deployment Test Results and Video

Florida Drone Supply

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On Monday, February 4th, we planned an intentional deployment of a Phantom parachute system. The purpose of the deployment was to test the product’s effectiveness and the ease of being able to re-pack the parachute and continue flying if necessary.

While we were familiar with the manufacturer (we also sell and have tested the parachutes for the Matrice line) we had not yet tested the Phantom parachute. Knowing that there are probably more Phantoms out flying than any other DJI aircraft, we wanted to give everyone the comfort that they required to know this is a worthwhile accessory for their aircraft.

The test was done in a wide open area - void of people, traffic, etc. We were approximately 2 miles from a small, un-towered airport and were monitoring the airport frequency for traffic.

The test began at 300 feet - but it took some altitude to get the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced to full power off while in flight. Our exact deployment height is unknown.

We filmed the deployment with drones and ground based cameras as well as a couple of action cameras we attached to the Phantom (which added weight to the aircraft - specifically the landing gear).

Our first test was a complete success - no damage to the aircraft or property and no person was injured.

We then re-packed the parachute onsite and sent it up to deploy again

Our second test was nearly a complete success as well; the only difference being some very minor damage to one side of the landing gear at the point it meets the aircraft frame.

All in all, having powered off a Phantom twice at approximately 300 feet and walking away with extremely minor damage on one side of the landing gear - we are satisfied that the parachute works as advertised and is a good value at $299.

While Parazero (manufacturer) was involved with the FAA as the parachute standards were written, this parachute alone will not get you a “flight over people” waiver. In addition to all of your other safety mitigation factors, you would need to get the ASTM standard kit - which is currently only offered through Parazero. We have been told the kit contain all of the written documentation the FAA needs, the audible buzzer that is required (this is standard on an M200 parachute) as well as a way to manually deploy the parachute by the pilot.

At Florida Drone Supply we like to test and review all of the products we sell - and while testing parachutes means risking aircraft we think it is worth it. We hope you find it useful and consider making your parachute and any other drone or accessory purchase from us.

The video below is a documentation of our initial testing, re-packing the parachute and the second test.

Thanks - enjoy (and share)!

 
Thank you for publishing this valuable trial. Your work is much appreciated!

I'm curious to know how much the added weight/drag of the system degrade the flight performance - i.e. battery life, speed or attitude control.

What is the minimum deployable height from testing or observation or best guess? ie how far does the aircraft fall before the parachute drag slows the descent to acceptable velocities?

Also since the unit covers the GPS receiver module, to what extent is satellite visibility affected?

The reason behind these questions is to understand whether a parachute equipped aircraft could meet the recent Transport Canada SAFE Compliance requirements which specify kinetic energy impact limits and also specify the requirements for after market modifications to a system. These requirements are specifically with respect to operations near people (class B operations) or operations over people (class C operations).
 
Thanks for the review! Judging from the force of the second impact, if there was a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt or roof, the damage would be quite significant.
I agree it would have definitely been more...not sure how much more because I think in a real world scenario the aircraft would have descended a little slower. The extra Go Pro cameras, their cases and the velcro, tape and zip ties all added an unnatural amount of weight and created a unique balancing situation that a regular "in service" aircraft would not have had. All of that considered, we are prioritizing safety to people first, to other property second and protection of the aircraft third - and even with the small amount of damage the aircraft sustained on the 2nd deployment we were fairly satisfied with our results.
 
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True, but I wonder what additional influence two additional camera on payload influenced it.
Agreed - they certainly had some influence on the impact (force and angle) and the speed at which the aircraft was coming down. Without the extra weight the aircraft should have come down slower and may have done a little better on the landing (bit of a guess on our part).
 
I guess we’ll have to wait for other tests. Test without the additional cameras added as well as tests conducted on the hard surfaces.
Florida Drone Supply, do you feel like doing another test?:)
We sure will. We would like to plan a date and time where more people could come see it first hand. Sounds like the weekends are going to be the best options for the members that have sent us messages.
 
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Thank you for publishing this valuable trial. Your work is much appreciated!

I'm curious to know how much the added weight/drag of the system degrade the flight performance - i.e. battery life, speed or attitude control.

What is the minimum deployable height from testing or observation or best guess? ie how far does the aircraft fall before the parachute drag slows the descent to acceptable velocities?

Also since the unit covers the GPS receiver module, to what extent is satellite visibility affected?

The reason behind these questions is to understand whether a parachute equipped aircraft could meet the recent Transport Canada SAFE Compliance requirements which specify kinetic energy impact limits and also specify the requirements for after market modifications to a system. These requirements are specifically with respect to operations near people (class B operations) or operations over people (class C operations).
Your questions are excellent. We have been working with one of the FAA IPP test sites for BVLOS flights and kinetic energy on impact is a hot topic for those operations as well. The manufacturer of this system (Parazero) was involved with the FAA's development of the parachute standard and had their parachute mounted to an aircraft for a very early flight over people authorized by the FAA. I would imagine that their design works for both here in the US with the FAA as well as Canada with Transport Canada. Their parachutes are currently flying on drones all over the world.

As for the GPS, the impact is extremely minimal as the components are primarily plastic - just like the shell of the Phantom. We have not seen a measurable degradation of satellite reception.

The weight and drag will have some impact. I do not have a specific amount to report. I can probably get that information from the manufacturer.

Finally, the minimum deployable height for the parachute to be fully opened and deployed and have slowed the aircraft's descent is about 31 feet.

Thanks for the great questions and if we can get you any further information, just let us know.
 
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On Monday, February 4th, we planned an intentional deployment of a Phantom parachute system. The purpose of the deployment was to test the product’s effectiveness and the ease of being able to re-pack the parachute and continue flying if necessary.

While we were familiar with the manufacturer (we also sell and have tested the parachutes for the Matrice line) we had not yet tested the Phantom parachute. Knowing that there are probably more Phantoms out flying than any other DJI aircraft, we wanted to give everyone the comfort that they required to know this is a worthwhile accessory for their aircraft.

The test was done in a wide open area - void of people, traffic, etc. We were approximately 2 miles from a small, un-towered airport and were monitoring the airport frequency for traffic.

The test began at 300 feet - but it took some altitude to get the DJI Phantom 4 Advanced to full power off while in flight. Our exact deployment height is unknown.

We filmed the deployment with drones and ground based cameras as well as a couple of action cameras we attached to the Phantom (which added weight to the aircraft - specifically the landing gear).

Our first test was a complete success - no damage to the aircraft or property and no person was injured.

We then re-packed the parachute onsite and sent it up to deploy again

Our second test was nearly a complete success as well; the only difference being some very minor damage to one side of the landing gear at the point it meets the aircraft frame.

All in all, having powered off a Phantom twice at approximately 300 feet and walking away with extremely minor damage on one side of the landing gear - we are satisfied that the parachute works as advertised and is a good value at $299.

While Parazero (manufacturer) was involved with the FAA as the parachute standards were written, this parachute alone will not get you a “flight over people” waiver. In addition to all of your other safety mitigation factors, you would need to get the ASTM standard kit - which is currently only offered through Parazero. We have been told the kit contain all of the written documentation the FAA needs, the audible buzzer that is required (this is standard on an M200 parachute) as well as a way to manually deploy the parachute by the pilot.

At Florida Drone Supply we like to test and review all of the products we sell - and while testing parachutes means risking aircraft we think it is worth it. We hope you find it useful and consider making your parachute and any other drone or accessory purchase from us.

The video below is a documentation of our initial testing, re-packing the parachute and the second test.

Thanks - enjoy (and share)!

Do you have them for the inspire 2 and what is the price for a phantom and I am ready want to know what it cost for the inspire 2
 
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Do you have them for the inspire 2 and what is the price for a phantom and I am ready want to know what it cost for the inspire 2
The company that made this particular parachute (Parazero $299) doesn’t currently have one for the Inspire 2 but there is other company Fruity Chutes that does have them however the cost is around $995USD.
 
A great video, thank you! It seems to me that a little more parachute surface would reduce the kinetic energy without adding much weight. Why isn't it larger?
 

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