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AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF PARACHUTES AT MACH NUMBERS FROM 1.6 TO 3
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON D C
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A wind-tunnel investigation was conducted to determine the parameters affecting the aerodynamic performance of drogue parachutes in the Mach number range from 1.6 to 3. Flow studies of both rigid- and flexible-parachute models were made by means of high-speed schlieren motion pictures and drag coefficients of the flexible-parachute models were measured at simulated altitudes from about 50,000 to 120,000 feet. Porosity and Mach number were found to be the most important factors influencing the drag and stability of flexible porous parachutes. Such parachutes have a limited range of stable operation at supersonic speeds, except for those with very high porosities, but the drag coefficient decreases rapidly with increasing porosity. Author
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