Drogue parachute
Overview
 
A drogue parachute is a parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute. It was invented by Giovanni Agusta in 1911.
A drogue parachute is more elongated and has a far smaller area than a conventional parachute, and thus provides less drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

. This means that a drogue parachute cannot slow an object as much as a conventional parachute, but it can be deployed at speeds at which conventional parachutes would be torn apart.

The drogue parachute's simpler design allows for easier deployment.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
A drogue parachute is a parachute
Parachute
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon...

 designed to be deployed from a rapidly moving object in order to slow the object, or to provide control and stability, or as a pilot parachute to deploy a larger parachute. It was invented by Giovanni Agusta in 1911.

Design and operational characteristics

A drogue parachute is more elongated and has a far smaller area than a conventional parachute, and thus provides less drag
Drag (physics)
In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

. This means that a drogue parachute cannot slow an object as much as a conventional parachute, but it can be deployed at speeds at which conventional parachutes would be torn apart.

The drogue parachute's simpler design allows for easier deployment. Where a conventional parachute could get caught in itself while unfolding and fail to inflate properly (thus not slowing the falling object as much as it should), the drogue parachute will inflate more easily and more reliably to generate the expected amount of drag.

History

The drogue parachute was applied for the first time in 1912 by a Russian inventor Gleb Kotelnikov
Gleb Kotelnikov
Gleb Yevgeniyevich Kotelnikov , was the Russian-Soviet inventor of the knapsack parachute , and braking parachute....

, the same man who had introduced the knapsack parachute a year before. On a road near Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located south from the center of St. Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.-History:In...

 (now part of St. Petersburg) Kotelnikov successfully demonstrated the braking effects of parachute by accelerating a Russo-Balt
Russo-Balt
Russo-Balt was one of the first Russian companies that produced cars between 1909 and 1923.- Russo-Baltic Wagon Corp. :...

 automobile to the top speed, and then opening a parachute attached to the back seat.

In aviation, drag chutes were used for the first time in 1937 by the Soviet airplanes in the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 that were providing support for the famous polar expeditions of the era, such as the first manned drifting ice station North Pole-1
North Pole-1
North Pole-1 was the first Soviet manned drifting station, primarily used for research.North Pole-1 was established on May 21, 1937, and officially opened on June 6, some from the North Pole by the expedition into the high latitudes Sever-1, led by Otto Schmidt. The expedition had been airlifted...

, launched the same year. The drag chute allowed airplanes to land safely on the ice-floes of smaller size.

Parachuting

Drogue parachutes are sometimes used to deploy a main or reserve parachute by using the drag generated by the drogue to pull the main parachute out of its container. The most familiar drogue parachute is the one used in this manner in parachuting
Parachuting
Parachuting, also known as skydiving, is the action of exiting an aircraft and returning to earth with the aid of a parachute. It may or may not involve a certain amount of free-fall, a time during which the parachute has not been deployed and the body gradually accelerates to terminal...

. Such a drogue is referred to as a pilot chute
Pilot chute
A pilot chute is a small auxiliary parachute used to deploy the main or reserve parachute. The pilot chute is connected to the deployment bag containing the parachute by a bridle. On modern skydiving rigs three types of pilot chutes can be found:...

 when used in a single user (sports) parachute system. The pilot chute is only used to deploy the main or reserve parachute; it is not used for slowing down or for stability. Tandem systems are different; to reduce the terminal velocity of the pair of tandem jumpers, a drogue is deployed shortly after exiting the aircraft. It is later used to deploy the main parachute as on sports systems.

Deceleration

When used as a method of decreasing the landing distance of an aircraft below that available solely from the aircraft's brakes, the device is called a drag parachute or braking parachute.

Braking parachutes are also employed to slow drag racing
Drag racing
Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared automobiles or motorcycles compete two at a time to be the first to cross a set finish line, from a standing start, in a straight line, over a measured distance, most commonly a ¼-mile straight track....

 and land speed record
Land speed record
The land speed record is the highest speed achieved by a wheeled vehicle on land. There is no single body for validation and regulation; in practice the Category C flying start regulations are used, officiated by regional or national organizations under the auspices of the Fédération...

 vehicles.

Stability

Drogue parachutes may also be used to help stabilize direction of something in flight, such as a thrown RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
RKG-3 is the designation of Russian series of anti-tank hand grenades. It superseded the RPG-43, RPG-40 and RPG-6 series of grenades.-Design:RKG stands for Ruchnaya Kumulyativnaya Granata . When the pin is pulled and the grenade is thrown a four-panelled drogue parachute is deployed by a spring...

.
It is often used to gain control of very fast descents, including those of spacecraft during atmospheric reentry
Atmospheric reentry
Atmospheric entry is the movement of human-made or natural objects as they enter the atmosphere of a celestial body from outer space—in the case of Earth from an altitude above the Kármán Line,...

, or nuclear bombs such as the B61
B61 nuclear bomb
The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear weapon in the U.S. Enduring Stockpile following the end of the Cold War. It is an intermediate yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design....

 and B83
B83 nuclear bomb
The B83 nuclear weapon is a variable yield gravity bomb developed by the United States in the late 1970s, entering service in 1983. With a maximum yield of 1.2 megatons, it is currently the most powerful atomic weapon in the US arsenal...

.

External links

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