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  1. #1
    Join Date
    5th January 2011
    Location
    Cambridge MA
    Posts
    1,493

    L3 Parachute Advice

    I'm looking for a main parachute for my 30 pound (dry mass), 6" diameter rocket but I'm running into serious indecision and could use some help. I could go with a TFR 120", because it is cheap and just a larger version of many of my other parachutes. I was hoping to get something with fewer shroud lines though, because it seems like a pain to deal with the 16 shroud lines of the TFR. I have been looking at the Skyangle Cert 3 Large and Cert 3 XL, but my rocket weighs slightly more than the recommended weight for the large and is on the very bottom of the range for the XL. I would really appreciate it if someone could report their descent rates with these parachutes so I can get a better idea of what I need. I was also considering the TFR Crossfire 120" and couldn't find many reviews for it. Finally, if anyone has other parachutes that they use for rockets of this size, I'd love to hear about your descent rates and packing experiences.

    Total Impulse 2011 - 2017: 10629 Ns

  2. #2
    Join Date
    29th December 2013
    Location
    Bayport MN
    Posts
    160
    I used a rocketman chute. He has a 25% off sale now too. Look on his website - he has a very thorough chart for descent rates.

    Sent from my LG-H811 using Rocketry Forum mobile app

    L1 - Madcow 4" Phoenix I180 Skidmark 1651 feet
    L2 - Darkstar 2.6" J145 Skidmark longburn 4787 feet
    L3 - Terminator 5" M1297 White Lightning 8602 feet

    TRA 15743
    NAR 30949
    http://www.rocketreviews.com/karl-tyrrells-page.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    11th January 2012
    Location
    Commonwealth of VA
    Posts
    1,561
    I use the Fruity Chute Ultra Iris. It is very compact, and has a high coefficient of drag. They have a good calculator on the site to help choose the correct size. They are not inexpensive, but they are worth the money in my opinion.

    -Bill Riley

    TRA: 12294
    NAR: 89196

    A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode.
    Astronautics, issue 38, October 1937.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    29th May 2015
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    622
    I flew a very similar size rocket for my L3, a 6" Ultimate Wildman that came in right at 30 lbs dry. I went with the SkyAngle Cert3 XL, it was on the low end of the scale for this chute, brought it down at a slow 14 fps. Like you said, the weight of this rocket fits right in between the 2 sizes, I would opt for the larger of the 2 and go with XL. It will fit the 6" air frame with room to spare.

    Also mentioned was the Rocketman chute option, great chutes and they are on sale right now for 25% off. You might save a few bucks going that route.

    http://www.the-rocketman.com/chutes.html

    Good luck on your flight.
    Jeff Jones

    TRA 04736
    NAR 75968
    L3 KF5YYI




  5. #5
    Join Date
    13th June 2014
    Location
    Cocoa Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,554

    L3 Parachute Advice

    +1 on fruity chutes but pricey. I used an 84 Ultra Iris for my L3 which was 28.5 lbs dry. I think you can get a NAR discount using coupon code in annual Sport Rocketry magazine.
    Tim
    L3 NAR 98225

  6. #6
    Join Date
    22nd September 2014
    Posts
    2,559
    How high is it going? Could you get creative with split sections or even the motor hardware coming down on separate parachutes?

    Of course Fruity probably makes the in between size you want, and if they do it will work well and be of excellent quality.
    - punishing the punishers, nuking the nukes -

  7. #7
    Join Date
    10th July 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by PokerJones View Post
    I flew a very similar size rocket for my L3, a 6" Ultimate Wildman that came in right at 30 lbs dry. I went with the SkyAngle Cert3 XL, it was on the low end of the scale for this chute, brought it down at a slow 14 fps. Like you said, the weight of this rocket fits right in between the 2 sizes, I would opt for the larger of the 2 and go with XL. It will fit the 6" air frame with room to spare.

    Also mentioned was the Rocketman chute option, great chutes and they are on sale right now for 25% off. You might save a few bucks going that route.

    http://www.the-rocketman.com/chutes.html

    Good luck on your flight.
    +1. Exactly what he said.

    I have a SkyAngel L and XL. The L recently stopped my 1/2 scale Apache from 270fps almost instantly (no drogue). Almost no worse for wear, and stopped the rocket from core-sampling .
    TRA 13430, Level 3

    "Everybody's simulation model is guilty until proven innocent" (Thomas H. Lawrence 1994)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    15th February 2009
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    567
    I also agree to go with the next larger size - my rocket was nearly the same as Jeff's - 30# and 6" diameter. I also used a SkyAngle Cert3 XL.

    However you need to be extra careful that you don't put the main out at top as the much slower descent rate could cause you to drift well outside your recovery area if the winds aloft are fairly strong. At BALLS several years ago an L3 flight to 18,000' that put the main out at top drifted 4 1/2 miles. Not a big deal at Blackrock but at a lot of sites that would be well outside the recovery area. So you really need to dial in your shear pin retention.

    I would also highly recommend a deployment bag. With big chutes you have a lot longer suspension lines and a lot more canopy material to deal with and a bag really helps. But they do complicate the entire rigging process and you have to make sure you have a good layout. For my L3 I did a full on setup where the nose cone pulled off the bag and recovered separately. That's the most reliable way but of course you have an extra part to track and recover. Since then I've done it where everything stays together but it takes some practice to get everything laid out and setup properly.

    You need a lot of room where you can lay out the payload section, the recovery harness, chute, bag, nose cone, and all the related connections. It's really hard to do in the house (especially if you have cats that want to 'help') since the entire setup will typically be 40' to 70' long.

    The majority of L3 projects I've seen fail are due to recovery issues. Practice packing and manually deploying your rigging several times at least. If possible pack it before you get to the field where it is generally much harder to lay things out in a nice, controlled environment.

    Good luck,


    Tony
    why do people put so much stuff in their sigs?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    18th March 2012
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    9,084
    Quote Originally Posted by manixFan View Post

    You need a lot of room where you can lay out the payload section, the recovery harness, chute, bag, nose cone, and all the related connections. It's really hard to do in the house (especially if you have cats that want to 'help') since the entire setup will typically be 40' to 70' long.

    The majority of L3 projects I've seen fail are due to recovery issues. Practice packing and manually deploying your rigging several times at least. If possible pack it before you get to the field where it is generally much harder to lay things out in a nice, controlled environment.


    Tony

    This. Recovery can be a royal PITA. I have the luck of living in a dorm for college, so I can lay out my recovery setup in the hallway stretched all the way out (definitely gets me some interesting looks from the RA's).

    Practicing packing my recovery gear is something I wish I could have done before I flew my L3.
    Matt, Tripoli #14257
    L1 11/13/16
    L2 2/25/17
    L3 Spring 2018....
    Facebook Youtube



  10. #10
    Join Date
    5th January 2011
    Location
    Cambridge MA
    Posts
    1,493
    The feedback I got in this thread and the Wildman sale pushed me towards the Sky Angle Cert 3 XL. Time for some college dorm hallway parachute folding practice!
    Total Impulse 2011 - 2017: 10629 Ns

  11. #11
    Join Date
    22nd January 2009
    Location
    Hurdle Mills NC 27541
    Posts
    3,414
    I have a few spare rocketman R14s if you are interested. I think one might be new.
    Jim Scarpine
    Underboss of The Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Tripoli NC
    TRA 1377 NAR 51510
    L3 TAP L3CC


    ICBM
    VAST
    QCRS
    Indiana Rocketry
    ROSCO
    Chicago Rocket Mafia


    www.starleopardrocketry.us

  12. #12
    Join Date
    17th January 2011
    Location
    Spring Green WI
    Posts
    2,707
    A Top Flight Recovery CF144 would make a great chute for your use. And also is a great price.
    TRA 2225
    TWA
    QCRS
    WOOSH

  13. #13
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    6,973
    Slow coming down on a cert flight is a good thing, since if you break a fin on landing, no cert.

    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

  14. #14
    Join Date
    13th October 2014
    Location
    SouthEastern, WA
    Posts
    5,707
    I used a Cert3L on my L3 shakedown flight and a borrowed Cert3XL for the cert flight iirc for my 5.5" Cherokee D @35lbs RTF both worked great.
    Rich

    NAR# 99154

    L3-4x upscale Estes Cherokee-D- AT M1297W 5/28/2016 http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...r-rharshberger

    TriCities Rocketeers NAR section# 736 http://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    26th November 2009
    Posts
    4,912
    I have a candidate rocket, a Dominator 4 from the introductory sale I found I couldn't cram a large enough chute into. Was going to use a 60" Starchute which should work but my redesigned bay really couldn't cram it all in. Bought an 84" one which
    should work better but I'm going to make a longer ebay and use a longer tube for the upper bay to have ample room for the main chute. It turns it into a long neck rocket then. The 84 inch Starchute should work fine.
    I was going to use mag switches for a clean look but am going to use two Quantums instead. Adding weight, length and drag isn't so bad when trying to keep an M powered 4 inch rocket under a waiver.

    The Starchute was available for a relatively short period of time from the Rocketry Warehouse and the person who made them unexpectedly died. They are an interesting design. Too bad they aren't available. Kurt

  16. #16
    Join Date
    5th December 2013
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    6,973
    Quote Originally Posted by ksaves2 View Post
    I have a candidate rocket, a Dominator 4 from the introductory sale I found I couldn't cram a large enough chute into. Was going to use a 60" Starchute which should work but my redesigned bay really couldn't cram it all in.
    The Starchute was available for a relatively short period of time from the Rocketry Warehouse and the person who made them unexpectedly died. They are an interesting design. Too bad they aren't available. Kurt
    I have a Starchute! Inherited it. Didn't know what it was, and don't have anything to fly it on at the moment. We're talking a silk chute that is star-shaped, right?


    John S. ---- NAR #96911 ---- TRA #15253 ---- MDRA #067 ---- BARC #028
    L1, 3/15/14: Aerotech Sumo, CTI H133BS
    L2, 6/21/14: Giant Leap Vertical Assault, CTI J240RL
    L3, 3/12/16: MAC Performance Radial Flyer, CTI M1101WH
    Altitude: 13,028', L3 flight; Speed: Mach ???, L3 flight

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