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How do you fold a parachute?

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accooper

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OK, I have been packing chutes for a few years, but I am always interested in seeing if there is a better way.

Can anyone describe how they do it?

What I do is pull the chute straight and roll it in the lines.

Andrew
 

kandsrockets

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OK, I have been packing chutes for a few years, but I am always interested in seeing if there is a better way.

Can anyone describe how they do it?

What I do is pull the chute straight and roll it in the lines.

Andrew
Well it all depends on the style chute and how big of a chute it is.
 

accooper

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I fly low power no chute over 24 inches.

Andrew
 

luke strawwalker

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I do it like I learned in G.Harry's "Handbook of Model Rocketry"...

Grab the chute at the apex (peak) of the canopy and the snap swivel, pull it tight to straighten/untangle the shrouds and pull the canopy to a point. I gather all the "billows" of loose material to one side with the shrouds on the other, fold the point (apex) up to the shroud line connection points, fold the billows over the point (if it's a bigger diameter chute with broad billows, so they're folded in half) and then start rolling it up snugly from the foldover toward the shroudline attachments, and then roll the shrouds a little looser around the resulting parachute cylinder...

Makes a nice, tight package that unfurls easily yet not "instantly" giving the rocket a bit of time to slow down so it's less 'violent' when the chute pops open. I usually use a good dusting of talcum powder, sometimes I put about a teaspoon of powder right in the apex of the chute for 'tracking powder' which gives the chute a little more mass, but that also helps it pull out away from the rocket and unroll as well, and gives a nice cloud "puff" at deployment.

I use the same method with plastic or nylon chutes, and chutes with spill holes, though those are a little harder to gather since you don't have a true "apex" (center of the spill hole)

Works for me! OL JR :)
 

DexterLB

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I do it like I learned in G.Harry's "Handbook of Model Rocketry"...

Grab the chute at the apex (peak) of the canopy and the snap swivel, pull it tight to straighten/untangle the shrouds and pull the canopy to a point. I gather all the "billows" of loose material to one side with the shrouds on the other, fold the point (apex) up to the shroud line connection points, fold the billows over the point (if it's a bigger diameter chute with broad billows, so they're folded in half) and then start rolling it up snugly from the foldover toward the shroudline attachments, and then roll the shrouds a little looser around the resulting parachute cylinder...

Makes a nice, tight package that unfurls easily yet not "instantly" giving the rocket a bit of time to slow down so it's less 'violent' when the chute pops open. I usually use a good dusting of talcum powder, sometimes I put about a teaspoon of powder right in the apex of the chute for 'tracking powder' which gives the chute a little more mass, but that also helps it pull out away from the rocket and unroll as well, and gives a nice cloud "puff" at deployment.

I use the same method with plastic or nylon chutes, and chutes with spill holes, though those are a little harder to gather since you don't have a true "apex" (center of the spill hole)

Works for me! OL JR :)
Same Here! Though I haven't got the Rockety Bible which I should really get by the way :D

This has proven the best LPR 'chute folding method (least tangling, at least for me)
 

Handeman

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I've used a lot of different methods but the one Luke described is the method I always seem to come back to. It is easy to pack and like he said, it takes a little while to open so it doesn't snap as hard.

I've used that method for nylon chutes up to 48", that the biggest I have. It's worked great so far.
 

MarkII

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I usually do the "Z fold." Grab the canopy by the apex in one hand and the swivel in the other, as _luke strawwalker_ described, in order to straighten it out. Then I gather the "billows" together to make the "spike " narrower. Next, I fold the tip and the upper one-third of the canopy down toward one side, and then fold that combination down again toward the other side. (So that if the canopy were partially unfolded after that, it would look like a "Z" if it was viewed from the side.) Finally, I roll the folded canopy bundle onto the shroud lines until it is completely wrapped in them. Sometimes I vary the last part by turning the canopy bundle 90° and rolling it onto the lines so that they wrap around the bundle "sideways." With the canopy folded into a "Z," it unfolds faster and pops open sooner. I should add that I almost always use nylon parachutes now.

MarkII
 

luke strawwalker

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Yeah, I 'second' the nylon chutes... I picked up one of every size they had at NSL 2007 in Muncie, IN from Top Flite and have been using those on everything larger than my Dr. Zooch models, which I usually use the supplied trash bag chutes in. For the larger rockets like the Eliminator on up, they are REALLY nice chutes to use-- much better than the Estes plastic chutes.

They were pretty reasonably priced as well, and they've held up well.

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

talkin Monkey

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My best guess is the dynamics of recovery is (sort of) the best answer.

My L2 rocket "hatched" its 20" TAC 1 drogue at apogee, spun around it all the way down to 700' and then "hatched" the 60" TAC1...It was then a nice happy/panicky ball o' Z-folded parachute even after the 500" redundant charge was heard.

It finally opened at the last second and (panic attack) then finally unfolded and landed safely.

Moral of the story, I think the slow/panicky opening "Z-Folded" main was more due to a slow/draggy decent rate from the drogue+looped shock cord than the packing method of the main itself.

Once again, expected/predicted dynamics of recovery is an issue all in itself methinks.

Some detailed fast/Medium/slow opening parachute folding techniques would be perfect here.
 

MarkII

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So far, I have only prepared flat sheet parachutes that are 24" or less in diameter to be packed into airframes that are 2.6" in diameter or smaller for motor-initiated deployment at apogee. Techniques for folding larger hemispherical drogues and parachutes that are to be deployed via electronics at different points in the descent are almost certain to be very different from the methods that I use.

MarkII
 

dave carver

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I see no one has mentioned packing methods for larger chutes, I use a deployment bag. With those packing is done almost hap-hazzard. I sew up a long cylinder nylon bag with an anchor loop on the bottom for attaching to the nose cone. The chute is attached to the main body then grabbing the top of the chute you grab a fist full of chute and stuff it into the bag, followed by the rest. The bag should be small enough in diameter that even stuffed it slides into the body tube without problems. Shroud lines and all go into the bag.

When ejected a small drogue on the nosecone large enough to retrieve the nose opens, the attachment cord goes taunt then pulls the chute out of the bag also giving a slow fill so that there no big shock when it opens. The nosecone comes in on it's own chute.

This works best for large rocket low altitude flights like my 6x Estes RAMJET. Other flights like dual deploy can use a bag, too. You just have to figure how and when to use them:cyclops:
 

Micromeister

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one pictures worth a thousand words.
these two pictorials were for Competition Mylar chutes but it works just as well with Plastic, nylon, Silk and Ripstop;)

One thing I have changed over the years I no longer wrap the shroud lines around the canopy, rather lay them on top after inserting the canopy in the model body atop the shockcord.
Hope this helps.

Crumpling-e_4 pic Page_05-15-04.jpg


Talc Powder&pack-i_& Fold mylar chute 8pic Pg_05-15-04.jpg
 

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