Faculty Advisor

Olinger, David J


Design of a single-parachute cargo delivery system that can alter its descent trajectory via mid-flight shape transformation can reduce costs and simplify cargo drops. Current systems use multiple canopies to deliver cargo to a predetermined drop zone. From twelve design concepts invented by this team, two were chosen for development and were tested through computer simulation and experiments. Developing two parallel transformation concepts has permitted the comparison of key performance parameters. In addition to the canopies, a servo-based system was designed and manufactured to initiate the transformation remotely. Drop tests from a Black Hawk helicopter at 400 feet have shown that a single-parachute cargo delivery system could be a viable alternative to the systems currently in use.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering