Parawing or parafoil recovery

Back in the early 60s NASA Gemini engineers did not expect spacecraft to continue to fall from a chute into the ocean like the Mercury program. They began to look at other ideas like the inflated paraglider based on the Rogallo wing. Early successful test of Aerobee rockets gave this idea some merit. The Parasev rigid parasail was constructed to test runway landings .

After that North American was tasked in building the TTV test vehicle. On return through the Earth’s atmosphere Gemini spacecraft would deploy an inflatable paraglider wing, which was stowed away within the Gemini spacecraft. Once deployed the astronauts would fly the capsule down to a runway landing.

Watch this video on TTV-1

But what about model rockets?
I was interested in this as an alternate means of recovery.

During research I came across the interesting 1987 patent:


I would like to test a Parawing or Parafoil type recovery in a small rocket that fully recovers with Parawing or Parafoil and maybe build a Gemini model in which the capsule returns using Parawing. As the Gemini engineers envisioned.

Here is a great Parafoil chute for such a project

 There are many Parawing boost gliders plans and kits. I am looking to see if I could use one and modify for recovery.

Here is an old model plan from CMR for the PW-11 which is a Parawing boost glider

QCR Flex Wing

(scroll down to Flex Wing)

And last but not least. Apogee’s Tim Van Milligan’s great video instructions on building a Rogallo Wing Glider

Perhaps I can modify this to be the small rocket’s recovery system.
Has anyone tried this?
and for inspiration a video of a capsule test in 1963 gliding back from a plane drop. 


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One Response to Parawing or parafoil recovery

  1. Allan E. Gaines says:

    See Timothy S. Van Milligan’s book, “Model Rocket Design and Construction” {THIRD edition}, starting on page 184.

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