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Comparing High Power Parachutes

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mad4hws

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Hi everyone,
Not sure if this has been covered before. If it has, I cannot find the thread. Here's some background: I recently attempted my L2. It was a picture perfect dual deployment. Everything went as it was supposed to go; however, when I went to retrieve my rocket (a 2.75x upscale design of the Quest 'Lil Grunt on a 5.5 LOC airframe), it was apparent that it came in too hard as a fin was oriented in a direction that it hadn't started the day in:
IMG_3976.JPG

The fins were made out of basswood and covered in 2 layers of fiberglass. The fiberglass was the only thing holding this onto the rocket. needless to say, my L2 attempt failed. My first reaction was to give up on the old school cardboard/wood fins and go with 100% fiberglass. But then I had a better idea. why not just fix the fin and do a tip to tip reinforcement with carbon fiber. So, that's what I did. 3 layers of 2x2 3k twill later and here's what it looks like:
CF_Fincan.JPG

It still needs a lot of finishing, but I like the look and hope it performs well. The other thing I wanted to do was to upsize the parachute. It was 11lbs at the pad and I had a 60 inch Durachute on it. As I was looking at alternatives, I found 4 (maybe there are others?).

* Durachute (Public Missiles):
* Fruity Chute
* Rocketman (standard and ProXP)
* Top Flight (Corossfire)

The Fruity Chutes are the most expensive, are they worth the price? The rocketman are the most economical and seem durable enough, is there a significant difference between them and others? Durachute is a fine parachute from my own experiences. What about TopFlight Crossfire? I might regret this, but I'm curious what everyone's experiences are and if anyone has any direct comparisons that would be helpful for me as I prepare for my next L2 attempt.

Don.
 

dhbarr

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There are several different designs of parachute listed here, which have different drag coefficients.

Off the top of my head Fruity makes the draggiest if you select their pull-down-apex/toroidal series. Not sure on the others.
 

rharshberger

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Fruity Chutes are worth the price, depending on the model they can pack compactly.
After looking up the recommendations for the PAR-60 its recommended max weight is 10 lbs usually that recommendation will keep the descent rate at about the recommended 20 fps. Depending on landing surface a larger chute may be needed. For cert flights I recommend going a chute size or two larger to put the descent rate closer to 15 fps.
All the brands of chutes you listed are excellent brands, to that list I would add B2 Rocketry/Skyangle and Recon chutes.
 
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mad4hws

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For cert flights I recommend going a chute size or two larger to put the descent rate closer to 15 fps.
Thanks Rich. That's exactly what I intend to do, maybe even closer to 10fps . My rocket design isn't the best since the fins will be the first thing that touches the ground every time - so I need to make sure it's as soft a landing as possible, even with the fincan reinforcement. I have plenty of room in the nose cone, so parachute "compaction" is not a big consideration.
 

ksaves2

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Fruity parachutes are reportedly the best quality and one pays for it. That said, if you are doing a single deploy rocket with a reasonable expected altitude, if one modestly oversizes their parachute they stand a better chance of success. In your case, the rocket probably was in a swing and the fin hit just right at touchdown to crack it. An unfortunate tough break. You'll nail it next time. Kurt
 
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cwbullet

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Fruity parachutes are reportedly the best quality and one pays for it. That said, if you are doing a single deploy rocket with a reasonable expected altitude, if one modestly oversizes their parachute they stand a better chance of success. In your case, the rocket probably was in a swing and the fin hit just right at touchdown to crack it. An unfortunate tough break. You'll nail it next time. Kurt
That is in the eye of the beholder. I prefer the spin and design of B2 and Skyangle.
 

ECayemberg

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Agree that you'll get it next time!!!

Regardless of the Coefficient of Drag (CD) or "efficiency" of the chute, my recommendation would be to obtain a chute that brings down the whole string at roughly 15 feet per second (since you said noted dual deploy....I'd *never* bring a single deploy bird home that slowly). Sure, some chutes might pack smaller than others, but the bottom line is that it doesn't really matter what it is, how efficient it is, etc. so long as you get the descent rate right.

I've personally used all the chutes you mention; my favorite after many years of flying is the standard Top Flight chute. I also really like the Crossfires and have several.

Why? I've destroyed every single chute you've listed. I'm a pretty meticulous flyer; most flights I make are typically "nominal" flights, yet I've managed to kill 'em all!:eyepop: Some are damaged or destroyed more easily than others. I look mostly at the following criteria for a "good chute". Reliability of opening every time, not blowing out panels, not shredding shroud lines, not bending fancy swivel-type stuff. When I look at those, I've honestly had the most success with Top Flight chutes. They are affordable and dependable; I've purged my inventory of all the "fancy" chutes and have plenty of success. If you're blowing up TFR chutes, you're doing something else wrong!:wink:

Your mileage may vary; there are many ways to skin a cat. Find a chute that provides the right descent rate and physically fits in your rocket and you're golden!

-Eric-
 

mad4hws

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I've destroyed every single chute you've listed. I'm a pretty meticulous flyer; most flights I make are typically "nominal" flights, yet I've managed to kill 'em all!:eyepop: Some are damaged or destroyed more easily than others. I look mostly at the following criteria for a "good chute". Reliability of opening every time, not blowing out panels, not shredding shroud lines, not bending fancy swivel-type stuff. When I look at those, I've honestly had the most success with Top Flight chutes. They are affordable and dependable; I've purged my inventory of all the "fancy" chutes and have plenty of success. If you're blowing up TFR chutes, you're doing something else wrong!:wink:
Thank you Eric, This is exactly the feedback I was hoping to get.
 

burkefj

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I've had good luck with rocketman, along with their chute bags, four lines, minimizes tangle issues, easy to pack, and packs into a small bag. Make sure they get you one with the shroud lines that go over the apex, they sometimes, sew their shroud lines to the chute. I've also used topflite crossfire which work well, just more shroud lines and don't pack as tight as rocketman for the same decent rate sized chutes...I'm talking 60 to 84" sizes are what I've used. The rocketman chutes don't seem to need as much care in packing into the deployment bag just stuff in..not that it's what I do, I try to put it in in an orderly fashion.

Frank
 
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DavidMcCann

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Fruity chutes where awesome before they got into UAV money. Now I fly a lot of rocketman and top flight.
 

ksaves2

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That is in the eye of the beholder. I prefer the spin and design of B2 and Skyangle.
Agreed, I don't own a Fruity but the design and quality from what I see is first rate. I don't believe in spill holes 'cause (at least in my early days) I end up with "burn holes" so I don'ts needs 'em!:eyeroll::facepalm::lol: Kurt
 

ksaves2

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"Regardless of the Coefficient of Drag (CD) or "efficiency" of the chute, my recommendation would be to obtain a chute that brings down the whole string at roughly 15 feet per second (since you said noted dual deploy....I'd *never* bring a single deploy bird home that slowly). Sure, some chutes might pack smaller than others, but the bottom line is that it doesn't really matter what it is, how efficient it is, etc. so long as you get the descent rate right. "

Ahhhhhhh but Eric, Getting the cert in the can the first time might warrant a little slower, gentler descent rate. Yeah, if the venue and wind is against that
plan one takes their chances. Speaking of structures. I had a 4 inch cardboard rocket that had two wraps of 4 oz. cloth on it tip over (after the latest sewer
problem during clean up) and snapped in two right just above the first motor centering ring. I was going to trash it but since I vested so much time in the fincan,
I'm going to see if I can use a fiberglass coupler to effect a repair. That was an eye opener for me. I guess a 54mm M might not be a good idea for that one.
There's 5 centering rings in the stuffer tube so I'm not too worried about strength. Only thing is the anchor for the harness. Kurt
 

djs

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I don't believe in spill holes 'cause (at least in my early days) I end up with "burn holes" so I don'ts needs 'em!
I like to call these "unique, one of a kind, handmade, art pieces". I tried to sell one to CZTeacherman for $600, but he declined. He'll be crying when I sell one of my special Recon 30 parachutes for thousands of dollars.
 

markkoelsch

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Fruity chutes where awesome before they got into UAV money. Now I fly a lot of rocketman and top flight.
That was what kept me from buying a Fruity chute. The price for the chute is too steep.

I tend to fly a lot of Skyangle, and have since they first hit the market. That said, I do fly TFR chutes as well, and am trending more in that direction for several rockets. The size they pack in is great, they are sturdy, the quality is excellent, Gary provides excellent service, and I do not need to sell a redundant body part to afford one.
 

Bat-mite

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I do my Formula 200 (55# no motor) with a 15' military chute from Always Ready Rocketry. It cost about $80 shipped. I couldn't be happier with it. I stuff it in a Fruity D-bag with a TFR PAR36 pilot chute. Hasn't let me down in three flights, with an L, M and N.
 

o1d_dude

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Fruity Chutes have always worked well for me. Expensive but very high quality chutes and associated recovery gear.

Full disclosure: FC owner Gene E. is a club member and I see him regularly at the LUNAR and TCC launches.
 

DavidMcCann

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Fruity Chutes have always worked well for me. Expensive but very high quality chutes and associated recovery gear.

Full disclosure: FC owner Gene E. is a club member and I see him regularly at the LUNAR and TCC launches.
great quality, fantastic service, awesome guy. But they were already expensive before they doubled prices. Great stuff to be sure. But it's like putting racing tires on a ford escort now.
 

ECayemberg

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"Regardless of the Coefficient of Drag (CD) or "efficiency" of the chute, my recommendation would be to obtain a chute that brings down the whole string at roughly 15 feet per second (since you said noted dual deploy....I'd *never* bring a single deploy bird home that slowly). Sure, some chutes might pack smaller than others, but the bottom line is that it doesn't really matter what it is, how efficient it is, etc. so long as you get the descent rate right. "

Ahhhhhhh but Eric, Getting the cert in the can the first time might warrant a little slower, gentler descent rate. Yeah, if the venue and wind is against that
plan one takes their chances. Speaking of structures. I had a 4 inch cardboard rocket that had two wraps of 4 oz. cloth on it tip over (after the latest sewer
problem during clean up) and snapped in two right just above the first motor centering ring. I was going to trash it but since I vested so much time in the fincan,
I'm going to see if I can use a fiberglass coupler to effect a repair. That was an eye opener for me. I guess a 54mm M might not be a good idea for that one.
There's 5 centering rings in the stuffer tube so I'm not too worried about strength. Only thing is the anchor for the harness. Kurt
Hi Kurt,

I'm not sure I follow. I was implying that 15fps is relatively slower; do you bring yours down slower than that? When we're in Princeton, I'm less concerned about a bit more drift....but 15fps is really quite slow in my book. At my home field (Bong) a main deployed at 1000' given that descent rate can drift a bit.
 

ECayemberg

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great quality, fantastic service, awesome guy. But they were already expensive before they doubled prices. Great stuff to be sure. But it's like putting racing tires on a ford escort now.
Yep yep; purchased an 18" drogue while out in the desert...I was a bit surprised when the bill was over $50. That said, it was a really nice chute....but it came back damaged from its one single flight. Couldn't see deployment at 45k', but the rest of the rocket came back unscathed and I was left with a $50 crippled 18" chute. I'd rather shred a $7 chute for a drogue instead. That said, never ever have I killed a TF Ultra X....had several custom 18" drogues made for me...best drogues ever. But I digress...

Again, lots of opinions which are great! We're spoiled to have so many choices for hobby rocketry; pick a style, color, shape that fits your fancy; make sure it fits your desired descent rate, and push the button!!!:)
 

CzTeacherMan

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I like to call these "unique, one of a kind, handmade, art pieces". I tried to sell one to CZTeacherman for $600, but he declined. He'll be crying when I sell one of my special Recon 30 parachutes for thousands of dollars.
Nobody does "spill holes" better than Glen.
...
...
Now that I typed that, I realize it can be taken more than one way.
...
...
And I'll just leave that right there.
 

CzTeacherMan

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I was implying that 15fps is relatively slower; do you bring yours down slower than that? When we're in Princeton, I'm less concerned about a bit more drift....but 15fps is really quite slow in my book. At my home field (Bong) a main deployed at 1000' given that descent rate can drift a bit.
I was thinking that's really slow. But we're usually landing on dirt, grass, or corn stubble. Honestly, I don't even think about speed of descent... I mean, I shoot for 20-25, but if I see it coming down at a rate that I'm happy with, I leave it alone. If I'm not happy with it, I change the chute.
My favorite chutes are the Recon series. I've got a 20", 30", 40", and 50"... Actually have a couple of the 20" chutes.
I like them because the 4-gore/line design makes packing them very flexible, and I've never seen one fail to open.
Like Eric said though, it's all a matter of taste. I fly Top Flight on the bulk of my fleet (which is still mid-power through L1 stuff). I have a couple of fruity chutes which are nice, but I'd choose a Recon over a Fruity any day (my preference). Also not a fan of spill holes, but the only reason is personal preference; zero science behind that preference.
 
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Igotnothing

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I'm of the opinion that your 60" chute for an 11# rocket is fine. YMMV. I fly somewhat heavier rockets on 60" without breaking fins. Your fins are large, and your 3X T2T CF is an excellent means to repair/upgrade/and not have to paint.
 

djs

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I tried an auto correct on my mini pickle.. it got caught up in an updraft, and was never seen again.
 

dhbarr

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Quick, someone model up that pickle building from London in mini, mid, & max!
 

ChrisAttebery

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I've used Rocketman, Top Flight and Fruity Chutes. If you have the space Rocketman and Top Flight flat chutes work well.

The Top Flight Ultra X chutes are very bulky for their capacity. They look cool and I'm sure that they can handle high speed deployments better than the flat sheet type chutes.

Fruity chutes will pack into a smaller volume than the others for an equivalent capacity. If you have a high performance rocket with a small volume for recovery gear there is nothing better.

Disclaimer: I know Gene personally and professionally.
 

crossfire

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Never heard that one before. That the UXTs are bulky?
 

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Miss Julie at Spherachutes makes some pretty good laundry too.
 
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