Wednesday, May 23, 1962 – Paraglider Wing Wind Tunnel Test

The Ames Research Center has begun the first wind tunnel test of the inflatable paraglider wing, using a half-scale model of the wing intended to bring Gemini flights (after the first one) to a touchdown on the ground. This is the first large-scale paraglider wing in the full-scale test facility. The objective of the test program, to run over two months, are to understand the basic aerodynamic and loads data for the wing and spacecraft system, and to identify potential aerodynamic and design problems.

The Manned Spacecraft Center has agreed to McDonnell’s proposed sequencing for the paraglider recovery system. If the reentry is normal, then a drogue parachute, pulling the recovery compartment away and stripping the paraglider from the recovery compartment, is to deploy at 60,000 feet. At 50,000 feet the rendezvous and recovery section will be released. At 10,000 feet all the remaining propellant from the reaction control system is to be dumped. The paraglider wing will be jettisoned shortly after touchdown.