Chutes, good and bad?

Discussion in 'Recovery' started by David Schwantz, Dec 6, 2019.

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  1. Dec 6, 2019 #1

    David Schwantz

    David Schwantz

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    Tell me what chutes you have used and the pros and cons of each. thanks.
     
  2. Dec 6, 2019 #2

    mpitfield

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    Fruity Chutes.

    Pros: excellent performance, quality of materials and workmanship, owner expertise and customer service
    Cons: price
     
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  3. Dec 6, 2019 #3

    manixFan

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    You might do better by asking what's the best chute for a given purpose. I've used nearly every kind of chute out there. I try to find the best chute for the rocket. For inexpensive, light weight mid-power rockets a 'flat' parachute is fine. For heavier, nicer rockets a PML style chute with gores and a spill hole works well. Same with typical HPR rockets.

    However, I fly a lot minimum diameter rockets where weight and size are a major concern. For those, a high CD parachute like those sold by Fruity Chutes and Rocketman work well. Rocketman also has a parabolic chute that is very small and efficient. However, the cost can by 2X a typical chute.

    The standard "pick two, pay with the third' rule applies to chutes. Weight, size, price. Pick two. Using Rocketman chutes as an example, comparing a high CD chute to a standard chute that will bring down a 30 lb rocket at 20 fps, the standard chute is 60% cheaper, but more than 2.5X heavier, and takes up almost 4X the space. A speciality chute like their NASA or SpaceX inspired chutes, while very good looking, weigh 4X as much and take up over 7X as much space, but at 1/2 the price. (In spite of that, I just ordered a SpaceX version for one of my rockets.)

    I have flown many PML, Fruity Chutes, and Rocketman chutes, among others. It would be silly to spend the money on an elliptical chute for every rocket, likewise, just as silly to try and cram a good looking specialty chute in a high-performance 38mm MD rocket. Try and pick the chute that meets the need.


    Tony

    (edit: standard chute price is 60% cheaper, not 40%)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  4. Dec 6, 2019 #4

    richP

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    I would also add another con, and that is the process of correctly folding and packing the chute. It does take a while when compared to less complex chutes. But they do perform much better when folded as per their instructions (Iris models).
    And more "pros":
    They have options for very lightweight and very small packed size.
    Their calculator is a great tool to determine ideal chutes.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2019 #5

    SeanW78

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  6. Dec 6, 2019 #6

    timbucktoo

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    Do you have any criteria or just asking in general?
    One that I really like is the SkyAngle. You can literally stuff them in a payload with minimal folding technique and have always deployed.
    Material thickness definitely plays a roll if you have limited space. Many manufacturers offer thin mil options too.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2019 #7

    crossfire

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    Top Flight Recovery. They been making chutes for almost 29 years. Great quality at a very good price. I would guess TFR has made and sold 200K chutes.
     
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  8. Dec 6, 2019 #8

    AfterBurners

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    I prefer chutes similar to Fruity Chutes. Something with a spill hole so it deflates when it lands and your not chasing your rocket when the wind picks up and drags it a half-mile. Not into flat chutes although they seem popular. I find they tend to be unstable and cause the rocket to swing while its on way down and they don'y keep it stable and directly under the chute. Just my 2 cents.
     
  9. Dec 6, 2019 #9

    djs

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    Hot pink in color. Easiest to spot in the sky and on the ground.
     
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  10. Dec 7, 2019 #10

    Buddy Michaelson

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    Rocketman Parachutes, our Parabolic chutes are only 4 lines, simple to pack, nearly impossible to tangle, do not oscillate or spin, are very stable, reinforced over every seam. Custom colors are available for no extra charge. We have been around since 1969, many of our chutes have flown in space and are used by the military. https://the-rocketman.com/
     
  11. Dec 7, 2019 #11

    GrouchoDuke

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    I've been extremely happy with Spherachutes. Julie, the owner, is great to work with, you get to pick custom colors and the chutes are very well made. Her ultra light line is perfect for record attempts and other rockets where weight & space are issues. https://www.spherachutes.com
     
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  12. Dec 7, 2019 #12

    Nathan

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    And I would add yet another con. I have a bunch of Fruitychutes Iris Ultra chutes (5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 ft) and have been using them for years. My only complaint is that they can be a real PITA to untangle. After a while it becomes necessary to remove everything from the swivel and start over. That involves cutting off some cable ties and rubber shrink tubing.
     
  13. Dec 7, 2019 #13

    AfterBurners

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    this is a great thread. Lots of good info. Didn't know that about the Iris chutes but it makes sense. What about the standard elliptical Fruity Chutes? I would assume less lines and less tangles?
     
  14. Dec 7, 2019 #14

    richP

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    To be clear, regardless of their "cons" that are listed, I still consider them to be among the very best of available chutes (along with some of the others mentioned above). My usual recipe is to use their elliptical for drogue and Iris for main. When folded and packed properly, they open beautifully, look awesome and fit in little tiny spaces.
     
  15. Dec 7, 2019 #15

    David Schwantz

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    I do have a L3 cert rocket I am looking for drouge and main. wanted to hear what others have used, both what was good and was bad about them.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2019 #16

    GrouchoDuke

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    They definitely have amazing space & weight to drag ratios. I'd like to try out an Iris Ultra Light one of these days.
     
  17. Dec 7, 2019 #17

    richP

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    I very recently did my L3 with a Fruity 24" elliptical drogue and an 84" Iris Ultra Compact. Both worked exactly as expected. Actual descent rates were spot-on with calculated.
     
  18. Dec 7, 2019 #18

    David Schwantz

    David Schwantz

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    hey Rich, how heavy was she?
     
  19. Dec 7, 2019 #19

    David Schwantz

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    Rich, were they easy to pack? what dia is your rocket? Thanks, Dave
     
  20. Dec 7, 2019 #20

    richP

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    Instructions can be found here:
    https://fruitychutes.com/help_for_parachutes/how_to_fold_a_iris_parachute.htm

    I won't lie to you, it did take me a few tries at home to get it folded right (at first), but does get easier once you do it a few times. The jig does help to get started, but you could easily make a widget to do the same thing. My rocket was 5", and the chute fit very easily with plenty of room to spare, without a deployment bag. I had around 14-15" of payload space for the chute, 35' of kevlar and a nomex blanket. Weight was 29lbs. after motor burn. Descent was around 70fps under drogue and 18 fps under main.
    There are some chutes that allow you to just roll-up and stuff into your rocket, the Iris is NOT one of them. Like I said, if you take the time to fold them, they give a very quick and predictable deployment. Did I mention how great they look?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  21. Dec 8, 2019 #21

    Joe Rocket 97

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    BAMA Chutes, BJ custom taylors your chutes to your needs, I've got from 9 inch rotofoils for my kids Estes rockets, and put an order in for my Darkstar extreme last week, 7 foot star chute and matching drogue . I must have about 50 total
     
  22. Dec 8, 2019 #22

    David Schwantz

    David Schwantz

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    I heard Bama was no longer making chutes??
     
  23. Dec 8, 2019 #23

    GrouchoDuke

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    Look at https://www.bamachutes.com - he just had a holiday sale. Looks pretty active to me.
     
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  24. Dec 8, 2019 #24

    crossfire

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    One never knows when he is open or shut down.
     
  25. Dec 8, 2019 #25

    David Schwantz

    David Schwantz

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    I did look at the site. But I kkkknow that I red he wasss selling out the last of stock a while back.
     
  26. Dec 8, 2019 #26

    Joe Rocket 97

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    yeah. he had a great black friday sale. check out his site and facebook page
    looks like there is still a couple designs on sale
     
  27. Dec 8, 2019 #27

    David Schwantz

    David Schwantz

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    To bad I missed it.
     
  28. Dec 30, 2019 #28

    BSNW

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    Top Flight is (IMO) the best product/value out there. The standard chutes are great and I have a large Crossfire-line chute from Top Flight that I absolutely love. They also have great service. The nylon is strong and NOT stiff. The material seems to want to open when it hits air. They are also priced very fairly. Great product great value.
    Andrew
     
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  29. Dec 30, 2019 #29

    mikec

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    +1. You simply can't beat the price/performance ratio of the TF products.

    If you want a prettier chute that may pack a bit easier, Spherachutes is well worth looking at.
     
  30. Dec 30, 2019 #30

    rharshberger

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    Top Flight, Bama, Dino Chutes, SkyAngle are just a few of my favorites.I have more TFR chutes than any other brand.
     

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