Manufacturing and delivering parachute products of the highest quality is the foundation and heart of Airborne Systems. This expert workmanship has been a trademark of our reputation and reflects the confidence that our customers place in our parachute products. This experience encompasses manufacturing of personnel parachutes such as the Intruder®/RA-1, T-11 and MC-6; guided precision aerial delivery systems (GPADS), such as the FireFly® and DragonFly®, and deceleration parachutes used on military and commercial aircraft and space capsules.
Every aspect of production is carried out with meticulous attention to detail from the measurement, cutting and stitching to precision assembly and inspection. Airborne Systems fully complies or exceeds the requirements found in all current parachute manufacturing specifications such as MIL-DTL-6645, MIL-P-7567 and MIL-STD-849.
One key to our success is our skilled operators. Airborne Systems continuous production of parachutes over the decades allows us to hire and retain only the best sewers. Every new employee is thoroughly tested and only hired once we determine they have the proper skills. Training is a formal process and is in place for new employees and experience sewers alike. A culture of accountability exists and each team member ensures they only produce the highest quality work.
In addition, our manufacturing team has expertise with the materials used for production of modern parachute systems. As a sustaining member of the Parachute Industry Association, Airborne Systems participates in creating and managing the material specifications for the broad and narrow fabrics along with the hardware used within the industry. This intimate understanding of the material requirements and testing ensures we utilize the latest and most effective fabrics for optimized fit-weight, aerodynamics and structural performance.
Our flexible manufacturing operations are capable of fast set-up to produce any system component. With multiple facilities in North America we have the capability to move and balance production to ensure we always meet our customer delivery requirements. No other parachute company in the world can match the high volume production capacity and short lead times of Airborne Systems multiple manufacturing facilities. With our high capacity, Airborne Systems is capable of ensuring full Berry Amendment compliance for any requirement.
Manufacturing capabilities include:
- Precision laser cutting on multiple machines
- Automated material handling systems
- Full capability to manufacture all fabric components Secret clearance facilities for classified work
- High-density pressure packing
- Vacuum and heat setting
- Radio frequency bonding
QUALITY ASSURED THROUGH TESTING
We go the extra mile to assure the highest degree of reliability with every product.
- We procure and inspect all materials received to ensure they meet strict specifications for the Military, the Parachute Industry, and our own Engineering requirements. Most parachute companies will conduct a visual inspection, but we go far beyond that by conducting thorough testing of critical material properties such as tensile, elongation, pH, and permeability as well as verifying proper construction and documentation to independently verify key material properties. All tests can be conducted in the specified environmental requirements using our calibrated temperature and humidity chamber.
- Most parachute companies meet the ISO 9001 standard, but Airborne Systems also runs an AS9100 quality system at its largest manufacturing facility. This aerospace standard has over 70 additional requirements, is more stringent, and is harder to obtain. Our compliance ensures strong controls on material traceability, defective material handling, inspection processes and continuous improvement systems.
- Airborne Systems has driven quality into the design and manufacturing process, not relying solely on final inspection to capture any defects. We have added significant automation and error-proofing steps to dramatically reduce the opportunities for mistakes to occur resulting in high quality systems with very few manufacturing defects.
- We use Lean and Six Sigma tools such as running Statistical Process Control to ensure our Critical to Quality features are monitored, controlled and improved to ensure the highest quality. We also measure process capabilities to ensure we constantly build compliant products in accordance with the customer specification requirements.
- Throughout the entire manufacturing process, quality inspections are added at strategic points to ensure we catch any possible issues early on.