The airplane I fly at work costs $262 Million, holds 269 passengers and 15 crew, yet NO parachutes!
I came across this article the other day, its about an inventions conference and one of the inventions is a parachute system for airplanes:
Do you think would work?
That's a joke, right? It would take a MUCH larger parachute to bring down a heavy jet, softly enough for anyone to live.
And unless the airplane was in a deep stall when the chute was deployed (like that Air France A330 over the Atlantic) if the chute was deployed at anything over about 150kts, (and that's very slow for a passenger jet) it would snap the lanyards holding it to the jet, or damage the jet. But if it didn't snap the lanyards, it would give everyone inside the jet a broken neck, when they suddenly went from 450 to 100 kts. The Air France guys could have used a tail drouge to get their nose pointed down.
In the Fighter Community (the pussy pilots, with ejection seats!) they call it "Opening Shock", when the parchute opens and you rapidly slow down. But if you punch out above about 500 kts., you are going to die of flail injuries anyway, but if you live through the ejection, you are supposed to wait until you slow down in the free fall, to about 150 to open your chute, or you'll never father another child!
Here's some ejection seat test vids. but they are not going very fast, less than 100mph. Now, imagine the opening shock at at say, 300.
No, they are not real pilots, it's 'crash test dummies' hard at work! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgcPhl1UIhA
I'm having trouble imagining under what circumstances you would need a parachute on a large jet. About the worst thing that can happen to you is have a motor blow up on takeoff, you are heavy, slow, you just left the runway behind you and now...KaBam!
Like that Delta 757 coming out of JFK a couple days ago, or Sully and his landing on the Hudson, or these guys: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47133601/ns/travel-news/
But that's why they started putting more than one motor on airliners, a long time ago, right? Redundancey = safety.
So...under what scenario would a jet need to pop a parachute? Even Sully was able to glide to a safe landing.
If it were a realistic option, and do-able, I'm sure the Military would already be doing it.