Re: Parachutes on passenger jets?

From:         Ernie Fidgeon <fidgeon@mbnet.mb.ca>
Organization: The University of Manitoba
Date:         08 Feb 95 01:21:19 
References:   1
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jkonecn@bgsuvax.bgsu.edu (Joe Konecny) wrote:
>
>       This isn't a joke.  Don't take it the wrong way.  But I have been 
> wondering... why can't there be some type of massive emergency parachute
> on todays jets?  It seems that with some of the new high tech fibers that
> are available that this would be possible.  Maybe something like those that
> slowed the re-entry modules in space craft.  Even if at least you slow the
> plane down during a crash the passengers would have a better chance.  I
> might even risk flying then!  ;)

Besides being a mechanical nightmare to configure and ensure deployment, 
the structural requirements for the "modified" airframe would be 
prohibitively heavy and probably reduce significantly the allowable
payloads (if not the ability of the airplane to fly).
ie- it might be feasible to employ but very little payload could be
carried:-)

Besides, statistics show time and time again that air travel is the 
one from of transportation least likely to incur accidents.  IMHO, the
cause fear may lie more in the catastrophic results of many incidents.


Ernie Fidgeon
fidgeon@mbnet.mb.ca