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Old 05-23-2017, 08:19 AM
hpdmp3486 hpdmp3486 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Magnolia Tx
Posts: 6
Default RV9A BRS

Looking at a used RV9A. Wanting to know if anyone has placed a BRS parachute in their 9 or 7? Looking at weight and balance and how much weight is lost. Thanks!!
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:32 AM
rv9builder rv9builder is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 787

The system weight is 44.48 lbs.
RV-12iS Fuselage
RV-9A Project: Sold

VAF donation made for 2019

Last edited by rv9builder : 05-23-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:40 AM
RVbySDI's Avatar
RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tuttle, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,541

Originally Posted by hpdmp3486 View Post
Looking at a used RV9A. Wanting to know if anyone has placed a BRS parachute in their 9 or 7? Looking at weight and balance and how much weight is lost. Thanks!!
I don't have an answer for the weight question other than it would be my belief to be a substantial weight penalty to the point of not being practical. However, that is not the key problem to overcome. There would have to be some substantial engineering analysis to work out in order to install a whole airplane parachute system. Keep in mind, in the case of Cirrus, they have the parachute cables embedded into the composite skin of the aircraft. The attach points are fore and aft of the center of gravity. When deployed the cables rip through the skins until the cables are free from the confines and support the airplane via the hard attach points. That is an entire design process someone would have to work out if setting up a similar system in an RV. Something I most certainly would not be comfortable doing on my own. Even with expert assistance I would want some serious testing that would involve an awful lot more of . . . well, everything (money, effort, time, experience) that I do not have.

Live Long And Prosper! 🖖🏻
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:35 AM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
Posts: 1,206

To specifically answer your questions, you would need to look at the weights and arms involved, and plug them into the W&B worksheet for that specific plane. Each RV will be different. That being said...

The ACS page has a link to the install documents. It is not a simple process, and involves a lot of external fairings that will alter the appearance of the plane. The price, weight penalty (much of which is quite aft), installation, and looks, probably make this a non-starter for most people (myself included).

In my 9A I can have full fuel, two real adults, and 100lbs baggage. This means a lot to me as we use it for traveling a good bit. I doubt this would be possible with a BRS, greatly limiting its utility to me. The excellent glide performance, crazy-low stall speed and conservative decision-making means I am quite comfortable with the safety of the plane without a chute. A few weeks ago a cirrus flipped on landing here in CLW in a very strong, gusty crosswind, killing the pilot. These are the types of accidents I focus on avoiding.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16

Last edited by YellowJacket RV9 : 05-23-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:03 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195

There was a guy a few years ago that installed one in a 6 or 7. He installed the chute on the R side of the fuse, with a more or less "blowout Panel" on the right side somewhere. (I think in the baggage compartment.) It also took a fair amount of custom bulges and metal work to accomodate. It appeared he accomplished his goal, but IMO the engineering and aesthetics were not-so-desirable.
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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Old 05-23-2017, 12:55 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 8,274

Do a google search on

RV airplane chute

You will find a bunch of info

Here is one photo you will find
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:36 PM
skelrad skelrad is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 146

Just my opinion, but I think the BRS method/kit is quite a bit better looking than some of the other homegrown methods you'll see online. At least it's had a bunch of engineers' eyes on it too and is a full kit.

With the BRS kit, the CG does obviously move aft, although not so much that it can't work. If it were me, I'd probably look into extending the engine mount a few inches to help out with the CG. A few inches wouldn't be enough to negate the BRS being behind the baggage compartment, but I think it would help to offset it enough that you could load the plane fairly normally (minus some baggage potentially). The gross weight is another issue - how small are you and how many big passengers do you plan on flying with on top of full fuel and baggage?
Issaquah, WA
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:48 PM
ssturges ssturges is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 44

I have a BRS installed in mine, still under construction but getting close. Realistically you will have to increase your gross weight to 1800lbs and have a fixed prop with a crush plate weight or a CS prop to make W&B work well. I did all the math before I installed it.

Installing the BRS is not difficult if you do it at construction time. The required fairings for the deployment straps do detract from the looks. The instructions are very good.

My reasons for having it:
My passenger wanted it, it made her comfortable in the plane
I want to fly point to point over rugged terrain
I want to fly at night
I want to fly in light IFR

I know the stats for cruise flight failure is not high risk but I like the piece of mind and the fact the passenger is happy
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:37 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,262

A couple of thoughts on installing a BRS in an RV, any RV.

1. The impact on W&B, already mentioned
2. It is untested. If you think your life depends on this device, there is no way to know if it will work or not until it is tested. Just installing it and "thinking" it should work is not good enough.
3. Do you know its placement will not burn you when it is activated? What could be a non-event landing might turn in to a trip to the burn unit.
4. What are the maximum deployment speeds? The RV's are fairly fast and if you pop the shoot and it (partially) rips partway off, you now can't float to the ground nor safely land.
5. Do you really want to fly a plane with a pyrotechnic device so close to your backside? What triggers it? I have had the sun heat up my cabin so much that my circuit breakers won't work. (I have since replaced the offending breakers.) What if it was triggered while sitting on the ramp, or in flight?
6. It seems that a number of SR20/22 accidents happen on takeoff and landing and the BRS at those altitudes are useless.

The -9(A) can fly so slow, if you have a problem, trim it for best glide, and unless you hit a wall, you "should" be OK.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC

Last edited by N941WR : 06-02-2017 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:50 AM
ssturges ssturges is offline
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 44

On the triggering: It is trigger by pulling a rip cord type handle(red) located between the seats that also has a safety pin. This pulls back a firing pin on a blank shotgun shell. This in turn ignites the rocket motor. The rocket motor forces the access panel off the plane and pulls out the chute. It going to be a pretty dramatic event.

The system deploys from the side of the plane so it works with either canopy.

It very unlikely that the motor could be triggered by some other means. My main concern is that someone could pull the handle, Best to keep your canopy secured or somehow lock the system.

If the system is ever deployed to can expect to replace at least your fuselage as the forces and attachment points would likely damaged or stress enough to bring in to question. The attachment is basically a nose around your fuselage and attachment to your motor mount to create a 4 point sling.

The untested nature of the system is a concern. BRS requests that you a number of installation images of all aspects of actually installation to them for review and approval.

There UTube there is video of a RANS 7 in Argentina losing a wing and deploying the system. I sure do not want to be the first RV builder to deploy the system however!!!

It is interesting to read the Cirrus documentation and look at the training. A key thing they stress is deploy the system ASAP vs trying to make an off field landing if you the altitude to deploy. If you have the altitude it safer to deploy vs the stats of off field landings. Upside down after an off field landing is not a place I want to be and that were most A models end up at.

One thing the RV for has going for however it is that it is made of aluminum which is not going to be as stiff as a composite air frame which gives you better survivablity on impact. To me something like a Lancair with it's high stall speed and stiff frame is not a happy place.

E = 1/2 mv^2 so the additional knots of lower stall you get in 9 are really going to help. besides the math, in studies there there a direct correlation to stall speed and survivablity.

One thing I should say also is that I am a low time pilot, another reason for picking a 9 and having the BRS. A lot of people here have 20K+ hours and a life time of flying, they look at things from a different viewpoint. I practice hard but know it will not make up for the skills of those doing a lifetime and I understand my limitations.
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