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Physics/Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).

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Dear Prof Steve

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_Recovery_Systems
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_B--xSUxBA
http://www.cirruspilots.org/Content/CAPSHistory.aspx
http://cirrusaircraft.com/innovation/
http://www.flymach1.com/caps.html
http://www.damninteresting.com/retired/cirrus-airframe-parachute-system/
http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/modifications-maintenance/first-cirrus-chute-r
http://fearoflanding.com/accidents/cirrus-parachute-system-in-action/
http://www.askcaptainlim.com/-air-crash-aviation-34/233-could-mega-airplane-para

Could this systems be useful in commercial aircraft carriers where Total weight of the aircraft is the main parameter for safe landing in emergency conditions ?.


Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
I'm not going through all those websites, stop sending me 8 tons of research on behalf of whoever you pose the questions for.  A ballistic recovery system for a commercial aircraft is totally possible if the aircraft had many, many small recovery systems.  If they can engineer a supersonic parachute to land a rover the size of my Mini Cooper, they can engineer a ballistic parachute to recover a larger airplane...given that they may have to engineer the aircraft to withstand the stresses imposed.  The heavier the aircraft, the more small deployment systems one would need in order to land the aircraft at a speed close to safe...the bigger risk is fire.  One would have to jettison the fuel from the wings or detach them for the aircraft to land safely.

Steve

Physics

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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