Series of test flights recorded as film clips for the evaluation of parachute assisted braking. The film clips consist only of numerical data relating to arrangement of the parachute trailed by the aircraft. A combination of broadside shots – camera follows the aircraft landing – and rear, end-on shots, enables the action to be seen in a pseudo effect 'three dimensions'.
Film opens with ground crew attending to a Gloster Meteor F8, serial number WH371. The trials are to test performance of various arrangements of brake parachutes. Pilot walks to the Meteor, taxis out and takes off to commence a series of landings; landing speed 120 knots. All the parachutes deployed have the same area as a ten foot landing parachute. The stability of single and multiple parachute clusters when the aircraft lands are investigated. Prior to release, the parachute/s are held in an external housing beneath the aircraft's tailplane
Details of the housing revealed in a photo clip.
Several test landings are made, the parachute release point is varied; the effect of deploying a (smaller) auxiliary parachute which then releases the brake parachute; a variety of parachutes of different aerodynamic shapes; all are recorded with high speed film for later analysis at slow speed. The three parachute cluster is more stable than the single format.
The material forming the parachute is very important; the swinging to left and right as the parachute fills with air varies with the type of material used; the ribbon type parachute is found to be the most stable when deployed. Text appears on the screen; explains the aerodynamics of the various parachutes in mathematical detail.
Variation due to landing techniques is examined; in tests so far the release point was at the instant of all three wheels touching the runway. The effect of the release point at two wheel touch-down, followed by release when four feet above the runway is seen.
Allowance must be made for cross winds; normally, on landing, the parachute is released when the aircraft comes to a halt. With cross winds up to 13knots, the release is whilst the aircraft is airborne at a speed or 65 knots.
The length of the landing runs (the distance run by the aircraft from touch-down to a halt) with and without brake parachutes for a variety of speeds and release points were determined; typically a run of 700 yards is reduced to 450 yards with the appropriate braking parachute.
The film closes with Meteor WH371 landing with braking parachute deployed.