Emergency Deployment Airbrake


I am seen many years how safety of F1-drivers and the publics on the site has increased tremendously.

But still there is a specific occasion when driver is out of able to do nothing to oncoming crash. We remember sadly Ayrton Senna’s, Michael Shumacher’s and Mika Hakkinen’s (twice) accidents to name a few. Any kind of like can happen again; nobody can’t quaranted at worsest case can not happen. (Not either with this device)

Those named cases is minor common denominator a lost of race cars control.


Nowadays on Car Race Circuit are very  well designed, and almost every curve have a large flat sand and/or grass field to give space to reduce speed and turn needed direction to avoid collision on any obstacle.

Only exeption is a Street Raceways whose (my opinion) should avoid at any possibilities. And obviously that this presented idea doesn’t have enough time to work there.


I decided to give drivers to last possible emergency handle if everything goes wrong – except speed!


It’s a retarding parachute as acts like air brake.

Basically this idea based on to fighter airplanes ejection seats (where it’s are work fine and reliable for few decades) but is impractical develop real ejection seat to F1-race car. So let’s use wholly race car as a safety seat – as indeed it is now days!


I try be as simple as possible and describe it only basics.

In hi-tech F1-world that idea should be advance to functionality and reliability of device to be worth of trustworthy safety equipment on every F1-race car.


Space and weigh was apparent not a real problem. I figured it’s a diameter about 5 – 8 cm and by length about 50 cm. Weigh is what it’s comes. Can’t be much.


Probably its best place of launching  tube is just behind Roll bar – front of engine intake. Parachute real anchor point should tested and judged rules for it. For best stability effort is near and little behind of center of gravity.


Parachute is wrapped in tube what also contains (or separate adjacent tube) a solid rocket (or nitrogen or spring released weight i.e. – to avoid any flame which may ignite probably ruptured fuel lines if lost of control is happened for car collision {extra factor on N2: ingested into engine intake cause stop of engine running}) and deployed - launch almost straight UP onto free air slipstream for rapid opening and quick slowdown to reduce impact speed so much as possible.


Brake parachute release handle should be into cockpit and operable within second when driver decided at control over his race car is lost and speed is still too much to avoid collision on tire wall or worst.


Secondary handle should be operable of outside of race car for staff security: if accident was happen without use of parachute, then accidentally released parachute system may be a potential hazard to rescue crew. So first as they reach a wreck they pull a handle to blow parachute system out of way to neutralize its deploy system which should be so fast for immediately deploy on speed as if it work stand-still situation after impact it may be hazardous on people nearby.


Control from emergency handle to parachute blow/rocketing device  should be fool-proof: steel wire, etc. so as not any malfunction of F1-car systems can avoid release of parachute.


To concentrate:

Single or double tubes behind cockpit, parachute anchored by cable to race car, inside and outside release handle connected to tubes.


That’s the basics.


Of course, the shape and structure of parachute itself should studied and tested carefully for any aspect which could afford a effectivity of deploying and braking effect.

And same for ejection system and also activating controls.

But rest of that is Your everyday technical development work. And ask opinions from drivers itself!


Optional thinking is a cases where F1-car is rolling around it’s axis.

Should there be an sensor? What decides F1-car position and delay deployment so at car was rotate upward before deploy? To prevent deploying  parachute down to solid earth!


Then comes a rules of after EDA-brake are used successfully, mean it’s stopped a race car before impact. Where shall driver drove, not back to race track while dragging parachute behind! Should it be releasable? (No, I think) So, using this emergency device automatically rejected participant out of race. Saving his life and health would be worth of best prize enough! (Otherwise it’s become a “standard” procedure to use it via pushing drivers out of safety limits for testing race track surface friction on critically corners).



We (F1-wordl spectators) not need any fatal or even serious accidents on raceways – race itself is enough fascinating!

And every person – driver and pit crew, circuit officer or announcer – is valuable human, who not to be sacrifice his health for this (or any) sporting.


I am very pleased if some system like described above is developed and named something like EDA –Emergency Deployment Airbrake. (my friends call me Eda!)


I am interested F1-races since 1958 when I read a marvelous driver named Juan Manuel Fangio. Those days news from F1-world are very rare; good if annually F1-race championship winner is mentioned our newspaper. Only enthusiastic sport books describes what was happen on previous years race circuits. Still I was excited to read any news and articles of F1-racing news.


But since 1980 is information gradually increased in Finland of this sporting and now I is satisfied to watch every race week-end from local TV-network MTV3 and Creavideo and decided to buy digital satellite receiver and maybe (even once in my life) to travel on for real F1-race happening.



                                Sincerely Yours

                                Ernst Ekstrom OH2LXB