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. 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.
“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
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.