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Estes plastic parachutes - ugh!

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scsager

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Am I the only one having difficulty with Estes chutes?

I've tried substituting thin-mill nylon chutes - but they tend to be very susceptible to damage from the ejection charge requiring excessive amounts of wadding and dog barf.

I find the Estes lines tangle easily, and tear out of the plastic chute frequently.

Any helpful tips/hints. - or maybe I'm just easily frustrated today?!?
 

Bat-mite

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You are arriving at conclusions that many of us have reached. Nylon is the way to go, and yes, you have to protect them. In tiny body tubes, lots of dog barf is your friend.

If you want to stick with plastic (pun intended), consider hanging them upside down from a hook while not in use, and coating with baby powder prior to launch. A small swivel will help reduce tangles.
 

dhbarr

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If you're tearing a lot of lines, your delays may be off.
 

KenECoyote

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I've flown lots of LP (well, at least last year) and have used a lot of the plastic chutes...just talc the chutes well, pack when ready to launch, care with that packing, ensure enough dog barf/wadding and make sure the delay is right. Also they're cheap, so bring extra and don't fret if one gets scorched. :)
 

RickGr4

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I have yet to use dog barf for wadding but I am going to buy a bag tomorrow.

That being said, I am having FAR fewer problems with Estes parachutes since I started wrapping the parachute with one or two sheets of wadding before I wrap the cords around the chute.

Adding, last week I launched a rocket with a D engine and there was almost no ejection delay. It's not the first time. Of course the parachute ripped. Luckily the rocket landed hard with a partial parachute but it will live to fly another day.

Additionally, I am thinking there may be a bad patch of Estes 15" purple parachutes out there. I have had a few rip lately...



Am I the only one having difficulty with Estes chutes?

I've tried substituting thin-mill nylon chutes - but they tend to be very susceptible to damage from the ejection charge requiring excessive amounts of wadding and dog barf.

I find the Estes lines tangle easily, and tear out of the plastic chute frequently.

Any helpful tips/hints. - or maybe I'm just easily frustrated today?!?
 

dr wogz

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And cut a spill hole in each & every one..

Cut out the Logo.. Fold the chute as per usual until you get a nice thin pointy triangle, then chop off the top 1/6 of the chute..

Reinforce the cord attachment points with tape, both sides, then tie the cords back onto them. Scotch tape, packing tape.. a small square each side to help reinforce & distribute the load..
 

dhbarr

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I like doubling the plastic reinforcement circles meant for three ring binders, one on each side.
 

hcmbanjo

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Am I the only one having difficulty with Estes chutes?
I've tried substituting thin-mill nylon chutes - but they tend to be very susceptible to damage from the ejection charge requiring excessive amounts of wadding and dog barf.
I find the Estes lines tangle easily, and tear out of the plastic chute frequently.
Any helpful tips/hints. - or maybe I'm just easily frustrated today?!?
The Estes plastic parachutes are fine for most LPR rockets. Heavier rockets should have the rip stop nylon chutes.
The reinforcement rings on pre-made parachutes are probably paper, those tear under stress. I have replaced those with Avery plastic rings many times.

Here's some things I've posted about shroud lines:
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2014/09/weak-shroud-lines.html
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2011/07/100-cotton-shroud-lines.html
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2014/07/no-tangle-shroud-lines-article.html
https://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2016/06/estes-interceptor-build-1250-part-13.html
 

Micromeister

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I have tons of Estes, Centuri & Quest plastic chutes that i've flown for decades without much problem. There are several things we can do to increase chute longevity.

When using dog barf, don't use it alone. install 1 or 2 sheets of FP wadding, then two body diameters of loose dog barf and cap with another sheet of PF Wadding.
Cut a spill hole in each chute. 3/4" diameter is about as large as is need do the job correctly, Stopping Hard openings & excess oscillation on the way down.
Talc baby powder the heck out of both sides of your chutes.
Pre-soften new chutes by crinkle crushing the canopy (MANY times) between fingers and palm. This helps them open easier in all types of weather.
Reinforce those awful pre-made shroud-line tape discs with tape or better adhesive backed Chrome trim monokote tape discs (Both inside & Out)
Install a #10 or #12 Snap swivel to reduce line twist.

An extra step to prevent ejection charge burn off of the provided cotton shroud lines is to replace them with 13lb (2 strand) Kevlar ( 600yd roll) from Micro-Mark costs about 20 bucks. Make new tape discs from Chrome adhesive backed trim Monokote (it's thinner then other colors).
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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One thing I think adds to the twisting of shroud lines is actually the act of wrapping them around the chute in the first place. When the chute unrolls, I think there is already a twist that was put there by wrapping them.

For nylon chutes for HPR and MPR rockets, I never wrap the lines around the chute. I lay the chute out, folded in half with the shroud lines to one side and the attachment points of the two halves stacked on top of each other. One by one, flake the gores to one side, stacking the attachment points on top of each other. You'll end up with a triangle with all the gores to one side, all the attachments on top of each other, and all the shroud lines pulled parallel in a straight line. Then open the triangle in the middle so you end up with half the gores on one side, and half on the other, lines extending straight from the middle. Make sure the lines aren't twisted. Grab the lines in the middle and pull that toward the top of the triangle (center of chute), then lay the lines down the middle of the chute, so that they are doubled over and the swivel is right next to where the lines attach to the chute. Fold the chute over the lines so they are on the inside. Then fold or roll the chute up from the top of the triangle, and put it in the rocket. When the chute is ejected, the lines simply pull straight out of the middle. They don't have to unroll. The chute opens faster, and the lines don't get as twisted.

I haven't flown many Estes rockets since getting started with MPR, but I have helped some LPR folks prep rockets, and it seemed to work doing it this way with plastic chutes.
 

AfterBurners

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Am I the only one having difficulty with Estes chutes?

I've tried substituting thin-mill nylon chutes - but they tend to be very susceptible to damage from the ejection charge requiring excessive amounts of wadding and dog barf.

I find the Estes lines tangle easily, and tear out of the plastic chute frequently.

Any helpful tips/hints. - or maybe I'm just easily frustrated today?!?
I like making my own out of heavy Hefty bags
 

MALBAR 70

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I've made chutes out of Hefty bags, space blankets (shiny silver Mylar) and thin vinyl tablecloths. All of them work fairly good.
I mostly use nylon chutes now and prep them the way Thirsty does, even for LPR.
 

jazzviper1

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Am I the only one having difficulty with Estes chutes?

I've tried substituting thin-mill nylon chutes - but they tend to be very susceptible to damage from the ejection charge requiring excessive amounts of wadding and dog barf.

I find the Estes lines tangle easily, and tear out of the plastic chute frequently.

Any helpful tips/hints. - or maybe I'm just easily frustrated today?!?
I haven't had a significant problem with Estes plastic chutes in 40 years worth of flying. I do hate how the new ones are too thick and stiff. For a stronger more reliable chute use 12 lines instead of 6 less tangles too. Dust the chute and roll it snugly so it opens slower.
 

Flyfalcons

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The only Estes chute I have problems with is the 6". It seems no matter what I do, they only open 1/3 of the time. Fortunately they're usually attached to a light enough model that landing with a wadded chute doesn't cause damage. My Fletchers will come in ballistic though, so I've equipped them with 9" chutes.
 

hcmbanjo

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I should add, shroud lines get tangled when you do the standard "loops through the screw eye" tie.
Shroud lines also get tangled if a youngster retrieves your rocket and runs back with the parachute still open, swinging in the wind.
The nose cone will flip in and out of the shroud lines.
To eliminate any chance of the nose cone getting into the lines add longer shock cords and tie the parachute on about 1/3 the way down from the nose cone.
 
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