Rocket Paraglider - Flying A Traditional High Power Rocket Back to You!

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Do you think this can work and do you this idea is worth following? Please explain you answer!

  • Yes, it can work!

  • No it can't!

Results are only viewable after voting.


Dec 16, 2021
Reaction score
So I may be new to this forum but I am not new to rocketry. With that in mind I cam up for this concept of what I like to call "active recovery" where the parachute is controlled in some way. The idea here is that after being inspired by an Radio controlled paraglider I saw, why not incorporate this paraglider mechanisms into a rocket? Using laser cut wood the idea is to create basically an RC paraglider that slides into a rocket and then can be either controlled by a headless gps system back to a st homepoint, or actually controlled using a radio controller. The whole system would be on rails and would be restrained by the shock cord, so that way it can be pushed out with a typical ejection charge. Also included in my design is a sort of emergency bail system that can release to let out a traditional parachute. The question I'm asking is whether you think this can even work in a 4" rocket tube. Also I am a novice going into RC so any help with picking out correct servo motors and stuff like that would be great, also if you know about anything like this, please tell me! I have included a CAD animation from Fusion 360 so you can see the idea, the order of events will be listed below! Reach out with any questions or concerns, if you want a fully interactive CAD model go to my website and scroll down to see it in depth. Thanks!

Video Steps: (The video is attached but here is the youtube link-)
1. The ejection charge pushes out the paraglider bay and the nosecone.
2. The arms inside move up and down to simulate the paraglider strings being adjusted.
3. The 3rd servo arm moves which frees the shock cord and allows the whole fuselage to come out, activating the emergency parachute.


  • Rocket Paraglider
    16.4 MB
I tried a similar RC system several years ago. I used a 72" x 34" 7 cell parachute. A scaled down version of a man rated parachute. The RC system worked, it was deployment that I never could get to work. That kind of chute is designed to be folded in a flat square and placed in a backpack with a drogue chute to pull it out. Trying to pack it into a cylinder and push it and the control unit out a 4" tube that could be in almost any orientation at time of deployment, just never seemed to work.

Hope you have better luck then I did.
take a look at this:
see the article by Gordon Mandell on extensible flexwings, especially the C3 model. This was designed as model rocket and it ejects the motor by streamer to lessen the weight. But you could devise a piston engine holder that just moves back to release the flexwings and exhaust the ejection charge. Add some servos and RC and there you go.
At DART a few months ago (October maybe?) there was a guy who showed off a similar system with his compressed air rockets. Entirely automated, just returned to the pad.
You should check out the Argonia Cup Challenge,
The Challenge: The goal for the 2022 Argonia Cup competition is to launch a rocket powered vehicle containing a golf ball payload to an altitude in excess of 8,000’ AGL and to recover the payload safely at a predetermined location on the rocket range.
How you return the golf ball is up to your team. Some have tried homing drones. The winners in 2021 used a homing glider (Okla. State Univ.). Each team entering the competition has to submit a video describing their plans. There are several year's worth of videos on youtube.
Full disclosure; I'm on "Team SWOSU" (Southwest Okla. State Univ.)