Iris Ultralight Ensures Safety for M2 Drone in Type Certification as Fruity Chutes and Matternet Spearhead Applied UAS Safety Practices
Fruity Chutes, the leading and longest-standing provider of parachute recovery systems for UAS, today announced their partnership with Matternet in achieving FAA Type Certification. Fruity Chutes provided essential safety components including shock cords, harnesses and parachutes – namely, the drone-optimized Iris Ultralight parachute. The groundbreaking success marks Fruity Chutes as the first UAS recovery company to have a drone parachute complete the demanding four-year FAA evaluation process.
Fruity Chutes’ recovery components were integrated with the M2 drone over a six year collaboration between the two companies. To meet parachute recovery requirements, the combined 96” Iris Ultralight and M2 drone underwent third-party testing for ASTM F3322-18 standards, which requires flight testing of over 45 successful parachute deployments under varying conditions.1 Additionally, FAA Type Certification requires systems employing parachutes to complete (based on population density) anywhere from hundreds to thousands of flight hours without failure. The required hours double for systems without a parachute.2
“This long process is about arguing your safety case to the FAA, and the parachute helps you make that case. It lowers the statistical probability of injuries, fatalities, and other accidents,” said Gene Engelgau, founder and CEO of Fruity Chutes. “Safety has always been our priority, and this achievement reaffirms the safety and reliability of our parachutes.”
In a post-success review between Fruity Chutes and Matternet, Jim O’Sullivan, VP of Regulatory Strategy for Matternet, noted how Fruity Chutes parachutes were the optimal choice for mitigating ground risk: “Over the years, Fruity Chutes has been great to work with. They’ve helped us out with design and certainly helped us with product integration, and we’ve been happy with the quality of Fruity Chutes products.”
The two companies have fostered a sound partnership since 2015. Matternet settled on using Fruity Chutes parachutes as part of their safety strategy for FAA Type Certification in 2016. Moving forward, Fruity Chutes and Matternet will continue their collaborative efforts in spearheading safety practices for the UAS industry.
For more information on Iris Ultralight parachutes, visit fruitychutes.com/iris-ultra
About Fruity Chutes
Fruity Chutes manufactures premium quality parachutes for aerospace, corporate, institutional, university and consumer customers. Since 2007, Fruity Chutes parachutes have established a reputable history for dependable performance in unmanned applications employing multicopter drones, fixed wing, VTOL, rocketry, balloon research and other UAV. The company works primarily with drone manufacturers via direct partnership, with Fruity Chutes providing free technical support for full recovery system integration and obtaining certifications and waivers pertaining to FAA and ASTM standards as well as other national and international regulations. Fruity Chutes is the first UAS recovery company to have a customer using their parachutes obtain an Operations Over People Waiver, an Operations over Moving Vehicles Waiver, and FAA Type Certification.
1. ASTM F3322-18 Standard Specification for Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Parachutes, ASTM International