One day small commercial aircraft may have their own huge parachute to help them land smoothly if needed. The parachute, stored behind the rear seats, is fired with a rocket through the rear windshield; it’s attached with high-strength lines to the plane’s wings, nose and tail.
Ballistic Recovery Systems’ most advanced parachute can stand nearly 4,000 pounds. While small planes can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, it’s not enough for regional jets which weigh 80,000 pounds.
That’s why the company is working with NASA to design a emergency parachutes that would work on small jets and could be steered by pilots as they drift to the ground. But aviation experts question whether these parachutes will ever be attached to the larger jets, such as the Boeing 747, which speed and weight would seem to preclude a system like that.
Via Yahoo News.