Parachute technology doesn't seem to have got much lighter in the past few decades. It seems that most emergency parachutes designed for pilots still weigh about 15 lb. And yet a Cirrus BRS designed to support over 10× the weight of a human is only 30lb and you can get reserve canopies designed for ultralights as light at 2lb.

Compare Mid-Lite 26' (7lb) with Gin Yeti UL (2.6lb) that has the same weight rating and sink rate and presumably better sink rate stability due to being cruciform. What's the advantage to the Mid-Lite?

Where are the 2-5 lb emergency parachutes for aircraft pilots?

  • $\begingroup$ Do the lighter canopies require more skill and training to use? And are they certified for this use? $\endgroup$ Mar 18 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @TobySpeight: They shouldn't require more skill because they are the same design (round or cruciform) and similar sink rate. I'm not sure if any exist that are legal under 14 CFR 91.307(e), but if not, why not? What makes them safe for ultralights, but unsafe for bailing out of an aircraft? $\endgroup$
    – Zaz
    Mar 19 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ The whole-aircraft CAPS parachute is not comparable because it's designed for a much higher vertical speed at impact. The landing gear and fuselage take the impact, often getting destroyed in the process, versus your legs when you bail out. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Mar 20 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ @user71659: That's an excellent point! Doubling the sink rate would result in a roughly 4-fold reduction in parachute surface area. $\endgroup$
    – Zaz
    Mar 20 at 12:17


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