Delivery Drone Used Parachute Technology to Achieve FAA Type Certification

Fruity Chutes’ Iris Ultralight UAS parachute, shock cords and harnesses ensured the safety of Matternet’s M2 drone during the demanding four-year FAA evaluation process By Caroline Rees / 11 Nov 2022
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Fruity Chutes, a provider of parachute recovery systems for UAS, has announced its partnership with Matternet in achieving FAA Type Certification for the Matternet M2 delivery drone.

Fruity Chutes provided essential safety components including shock cords, harnesses and the drone-optimized Iris Ultralight parachute. These recovery components were integrated with the M2 drone over a six year collaboration between the two companies. 

According to Fruity Chutes, this success marks the company as the first UAS recovery company to have a drone parachute complete the demanding four-year FAA evaluation process.

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.”

The two companies have fostered a sound partnership since 2015, with Matternet selecting Fruity Chutes parachutes as part of their safety strategy for FAA Type Certification in 2016. 

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.”

Moving forward, Fruity Chutes and Matternet will continue their collaborative efforts in spearheading safety practices for the UAS industry.

1. ASTM F3322-18 Standard Specification for Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Parachutes, ASTM International
2. UAS Advanced Operations Certification, FAA

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact