Airborne Systems and ILC Dover Team on Advanced Airbag Landing and Flotation System for Orion Vehicle

Combined efforts focus on optimal design solution for land and water landings

FREDERICA, Del., Jan. 30 / / -- Airborne Systems North America (ASNA) and ILC Dover LP have signed an agreement to work together on the Orion airbag landing and floatation system. A new study initiated by NASA is underway for a "singular" landing system that works for land and water landings and protects the Astronauts in contingency landing situations. ILC and Airborne have combined their engineering and analysis teams and their Orion Gen-2 airbag designs for the new study.

Testing is underway at NASA Langley Research Center for the Gen-2 airbag systems produced at these companies prior to the teaming agreement. Results from these tests will be used to help select the best features of each design.

Peter Johnson, Vice President of Airborne Space and Recovery Systems commented "ILC and Airborne have unique strengths for design, analysis, and manufacture of landing systems. Together with NASA's and Lockheed Martin's Orion vehicle design team we provide a very strong technical team that will yield the optimal design solution."

The airbag team will be looking for design optimizations and mass savings in the singular landing study while NASA and Lockheed Martin are reassessing the entire landing architecture.

NASA has convened a landing tiger team for DAC-2 that will conduct evaluations and trades through February and reassess the nominal landing decision in early March this year. Their goal is "develop the best occupant protection system that maximizes crew safety during ascent, ascent aborts, landing, and post landing recovery" according to a landing system strategy published by John M. Curry, NASA Orion VI Block Manager, on January 7th. The strategy also indicates water landing is nominal and land landing is the contingency.

Bill Wallach, President of ILC Dover, commented, "This teaming agreement provides a better value to NASA not only because of the combined efforts, but the more open communications with everyone involved in the landing system. We look forward to collaborating with NASA, Lockheed, and ASNA to optimize the inflatable landing solution."

About ILC Dover

Since 1947, ILC has been active in the design and development of products for both government and industry. Most ILC products are comprised of softgoods materials -- products that are flexible by nature and result in innovative solutions to customer problems.

Whether protecting personnel in hostile environments, containing pharmaceuticals, or developing unique inflatable devices, ILC has an enviable record of performance. By drawing from a blend of highly qualified personnel and a sound base of proven and innovative technologies (the same attributes that helped us put man on the moon and cushion rovers on Mars), ILC continues to develop reliable hardware and unique softgoods.

Commercial, military, and NASA customers rely on ILC's multi-disciplined technical expertise to provide innovative solutions for a wide range of applications. ILC Dover -- "Creating What's Next" for over 60 years. Additional information can be found at

About Airborne Systems North America

Airborne Systems has combined the core technologies of four of the world's leading parachute brands; Irvin Aerospace, GQ Parachutes, Para-Flite and AML (Aircraft Materials, Ltd). Airborne Systems is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of best-of-class parachutes for military, personnel, and cargo systems, space and air vehicle recovery systems, and deceleration systems for high-performance aircraft. The company also provides ordnance flare chutes, airbags, and weapons delivery systems.

Airborne Systems' North American headquarters is located in Pennsauken, NJ and Airborne Systems Europe is headquartered in Llangeinor, Wales in the U.K. Information about the various Airborne Systems products and services can be found at .

Source: ILC Dover LP

CONTACT: Doug Durney for ILC Dover LP, +1-302-572-0903,

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