The ballute (a portmanteau combining "balloon" and "parachute") was invented by Goodyear in 1958. It is a parachute braking device optimized for use at high altitudes and high supersonic velocities. The original ballute was a cone-shaped balloon with a toroidal burble fence fitted around its widest point. A burble fence is an inflated toroidal structure on a ballute intended to ensure flow separation. This stabilizes the ballute as it decelerates through different flow regimes (from supersonic to subsonic).
The ballute is either inflated by a gas generator, or by air forced into the structure by ram air inlets.
Ballutes have also been proposed in stacked toroidal and tension cone form factors, in additional to the more standard isotensoid ballute.
The ballute has been used as a retarding device for freefall bombs dropped from aircraft.
Armadillo Aerospace used a ballute in the testing of its STIG-A rocket in early 2012.
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