The Smithsonian’s National Design Museum to Spotlight Atair Aerospace’s Composite Parafoil as Part of Its “Extreme Textiles” Exhibition

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The Smithsonian has selected Atair AerospaceÂ?s (Atair AS) Composite Parafoil for display opposite the Wright BrothersÂ? 1902 flyer to contrast early to state-of-the-art textiles used in aviation. The exhibit entitled, Â?Extreme Textiles: Designing for High PerformanceÂ? will be on view April 8, 2005 through October 30, 2005 at the SmithsonianÂ?s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.

The Smithsonian has selected Atair Aerospace’s (Atair AS) Composite Parafoil for display opposite the Wright Brothers’ 1902 flyer. This display will contrast early to state-of-the-art textiles used in aviation.

Atair AS’s ‘Cobalt’ composite parafoil is being displayed as part of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum exhibit, “Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance.” Atair AS’s parafoils represents the state of the art in gliding parachute design. Also displayed will be a “Birdman Suit” constructed using Atair AS’s non-woven composite textiles and inventive manufacturing techniques.

Led by one of New York City’s own, Daniel Preston, Atair AS is revolutionizing the parachute industry with the development of composite textiles and manufacturing techniques. Atair AS is using its Composite Parachute Technology™ (CPT) to develop highly efficient, light weight parafoils with applications of great social consequence. Atair AS’s CPT is being implemented on autonomously guided parafoils for resupply, and unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance in IRAQ.

Atair AS’s autonomously guided parafoil systems were developed for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center (NSC) to transition the Army’s current WWII-era low altitude, low accuracy, high vulnerability airdrop practices into the 21st Century. Existing airdrop methods expose air and ground troops to threat from insurgents’ inexpensive shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Guided parafoil systems can be likened to a smart bomb but for safely delivering cargo. Atair AS’s systems can be air dropped at up to 35,000 ft., autonomously glide over 30 miles, and land cargo within 150 ft. of a target—thus saving lives and protecting assets. Cargo for ground and special operations forces includes food and water, medical supplies, fuel, munitions and other critical battlefield payloads.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Preston will speak on Atair AS’s enabling technologies during the Museum’s May 12 symposium at Rockefeller University entitled, “Extreme Textiles: The Space Between Science, Technology and Design.”

“Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance” will be on view April 8, 2005 through October 30, 2005. For further information on the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum visit

Atair AS is a Brooklyn-based defense contractor dedicated to modernizing military and industrial airdrop techniques through its range of innovative autonomously guided parachute systems, UAVs, and composite materials. Atair AS is under contract with the U.S. Army/DoD to continue developing state-of-the-art autonomous GPS and INS guided parafoil/parachute systems.

For more information on Atair Aerospace, Inc., please contact Rick Zaccari at, or visit Atair Aerospace’s website at

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Rick Zaccari