Low Cost Low Velocity Parachute
The LCC is the first of three LCADS components to be developed. The second is a low-cost alternative to the 26-foot high-velocity ringslot chute. The low-cost chute is made from 3-foot-wide, woven polypropylene strips stitched in a crosshatch pattern to form 12 legs that give it the look of a giant spider. The chute has completed testing and became available in late 2005.
The High-V "Spider Chute" has a big brother - a Low Velocity (Low-V) parachute was developed. As with most older siblings, this is bigger and beefier than the little "bro". It may have up to twenty legs (instead of twelve legs like its smaller brother, the new High Velocity parachute) and each leg will be about 25-ft long. Its crown, the "body" of the spider, is about 30-ft square. Like the High-V parachute, this Low-V "Spider Chute" is made of a simple woven polypropylene fabric that costs less than $0.50 per yard. The polypropylene closely resembles the material you've seen used for sand bags and tarpaulins. Huge quantities of it are being made every day for use in construction, making it simple and quick to obtain.
As with the High-V chute, the lengths of fabric are stitched into a cross-hatch pattern to form the chute crown and its "legs", and nylon rope is knotted to the end of each leg to form the suspension lines. But unlike the original "Spider Chute", the Low-V chute is used to deliver loads from aircraft flying at low altitudes, about 500-1,250-ft above ground level. The High-V chute delivers loads from altitudes of 15,000 to 25,000-ft.
The LCADS low-velocity parachute, third component of the LCADS suite, offers an alternative to the G-12 parachute. For the contracting strategy, PM FSS worked with the Natick contracting division and leveraged a new small business program for firms owned and operated by servicedisabled veterans. The program (known by the acronym SDVOSB), allows federal agencies to contract directly with an SDVOSB provided it is the only one with the required capabilities. Market research confirmed that BA-Tech, Ltd., of Fall River, Mass., was the only small business owned by a disabled veteran capable of developing and manufacturing test quantities of the low-velocity chute. Contracting directly with BA-Tech shortened contracting time by a minimum of three months, meaning warfighters would get the product faster, so Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems made its first award under the new service-disabled veteran program. Both the standard A-22 container and the LCC are used during testing of the two parachutes in order to establish interoperability.
The Low Cost High Velocity Parachute is a component of the Low Cost Aerial Delivery System (LCADS) that will provide an affordable alternative to the c omponents of the current Container Delivery System (CDS). The High-V parachute, which will be the low-cost replacement for the existing 26-foot ringslot chute, is made of lengths of woven polypropylene material sewn at the crown in a cross-hatch pattern, with nylon suspension lines to attach to the containerized load. B.A. Tech has provided prototype High Velocity Parachutes that were used in Technical Feasibility Testing, and is familiar with the stitching techniques and packaging methods used. B.A. Tech s proven ability consistently to fabricate this particular parachute is an invaluable asset in maintaining the test schedule and quality.
The Low Cost Air Delivery System (LCADS) Hi-Velocity Parachute was developed by Product Manager Force Sustainment System at the Program Executive Office (PEO), Natick, MA. The delivery system has a weight capacity of 2200 lbs. and can be dropped from an altitude of 15,000 - 25,000 ft above ground level. This "black widow" chute has 12 "legs" that are knotted, not stitched, to the suspension lines. As it descends from the sky, the black triplecross canopy pattern, along with its "legs", gives the appearance of a spider floating down on an invisible web. This new chute is an immense improvement on the standard parachute used for one-time use applications. It's cheap and easy to make and its performance promises to be at least as good as the 26-ft.
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