how do you store and manage parachutes?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
69
My biggest problem from launch to launch is managing parachutes. Since almost the beginning of time I've used snap swivels on parachutes so they could move from rocket to rocket. Now I end up with an assortment of parachutes with broken lines, lines pulled loose, etc., and of course different diameters. I need a way to organize them in my range box so I can pull out the diameter than I want, and also keep separate the damaged ones from the good ones.

I have several real old parachutes in fairy good condition that I'm going to retire, but I have a lot of new ones that I need to build and start using so I want to be able to manage those well from the start.
 

Dipstick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
692
Reaction score
248
A large plastic storage container that is quite thin. I fold them separately and the lid squishes them in place. Its easy to see them to grab.

This is all theory. In reality they all get stuffed in, catch eachother and make a mess 🙂
 

timbucktoo

Well-Known Member
Staff member
TRF Supporter
Global Mod
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
8,706
Reaction score
1,531
Location
Cocoa Beach
I mark most with a Sharpie what size they are and stuff them in a ziplock or baggy of some sort in my range box. Those that are too big just get put on my bench and folded.
 

fyrwrxz

latest photo
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
117
Ziplocks. Really large chutes go with stuff sacks from sporting goods racks. Apollo size chutes just get stuffed back into the capsule as best I can. They kill a lot of grass if you just leave them lying around.....
 

Mike Haberer

DaHabes
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
840
Reaction score
571
Each chute has its size noted with a Sharpie on one of the panels at the bottom, including the chute size and spill hole size. If there is no spill hole that value is zero. I fold them as if I were packing them for flight and wrap a piece of masking tape around them. They then go into my range box. I generally don't repack them after launch until I get home. I have more than one of the most used sizes to jot have to mess wit any tangles at the field. Flying time is paramount.
 

RocketScientistAustralia

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
139
Reaction score
87
Location
Australia
Ziplocks and sharpies. Also great for leads, a complete set of nuts and bolts for your specific rocket, bottles /tubes of epoxy(just in case the cap comes loose)
 

David Schwantz

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
2,520
Reaction score
1,350
Location
MN
All are repacked into rocket a field. Night or two before next launch all are removed as I set up recovery, repacked and everything is marked RTF.
 

hball55

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,851
Reaction score
194
Location
Oroville, CA
Ziplocks and sharpies. Also great for leads, a complete set of nuts and bolts for your specific rocket, bottles /tubes of epoxy(just in case the cap comes loose)
+1 on the ziplocks and sharpies. I mark the ziplocks based on rocket weight and the ability of the chute to support that weight at 20 fps descent rate. < That’s for the large chutes. For the small chutes (10”,12”, 15” Estes type) I just store in the rocket they came with (afterall, they’re too difficult to remove).

The large chutes I get them out the night before a launch. If a certain size is used in multiple rockets, I carry a spare in case a rocket is lost.
 

teepot

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
1,749
Reaction score
1,297
Location
Pahrump, Nevada
I also mark the size on the chute with a sharpie. I put each chute in a baggie folded as it would be for flight. I also mark the size of the chute on the baggie. Some bags have multiple chutes of the same size. I have a large tool box to carry the chutes in.
 

AfterBurners

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2012
Messages
7,963
Reaction score
526
Honestly I don't have that many chutes, but zip lock bags work well. Mark the bag of size chute. I switch out chutes and harnesses between rockets.
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
69
I'm primarily talking about light 12" and 18" Estes-type parachutes.

I cut strips of printer paper, rolled them into a tube and taped them, then I pull the chute into a spike, fold it over once and slide it into a tube. This keeps them separate and untangled. Per suggestions above my next step is to mark things better and maybe segregate different sizes within different ziplock bags.

It didn't take me long to figure out that if I started with 5 rockets it wouldn't be long before I had less than 5 usable parachutes so I put snap swivels on them and switch the usable ones from rocket to rocket.
 

rklapp

NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
2,279
Reaction score
1,730
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
I've given up on Estes plastic parachutes and have 10", 12", and 15" Top Flight chutes in the side of my range bag. I can then connect the chute before launch or the night before.

IMG_8414.JPG
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
802
Reaction score
69
I've given up on Estes plastic parachutes and have 10", 12", and 15" Top Flight chutes in the side of my range bag. I can then connect the chute before launch or the night before.

View attachment 475228
I understand and some of my larger LPR have picked up fabric parachutes. However I have a lot of the old plastic parachutes that I can still use. I've found the deficiencies of the Estes parachutes to be shroud lines not strong enough, attachment to the plastic not strong enough, and plastic susceptible to heat damage. I can't do so much about heat damage except to be diligent with wadding, but I have new nylon string to use for shroud lines and I am going to experiment with stronger attachments to the plastic material. So I will use the plastic parachutes for however long my supply lasts. I may get around to a separate thread on this eventually.
 

rklapp

NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
2,279
Reaction score
1,730
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
I understand and some of my larger LPR have picked up fabric parachutes. However I have a lot of the old plastic parachutes that I can still use. I've found the deficiencies of the Estes parachutes to be shroud lines not strong enough, attachment to the plastic not strong enough, and plastic susceptible to heat damage. I can't do so much about heat damage except to be diligent with wadding, but I have new nylon string to use for shroud lines and I am going to experiment with stronger attachments to the plastic material. So I will use the plastic parachutes for however long my supply lasts. I may get around to a separate thread on this eventually.
I also have a large ziplock of plastic chutes but I've given up all confidence in them so they sit in my parts box. I've also become addicted to Qualman baffles which rarely burn the chutes. I sprayed the nylon chutes with fire protective spray which seems effective. The spray doesn't soak in and leaves a residue on top when dry.
 

David Schwantz

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
2,520
Reaction score
1,350
Location
MN
rklapp, don't know what a Qualman baffle is. Can you describe? I also have a fire spray, but it does soak in and there is no residue left over. Got it at Jo Ann's.
 

David Schwantz

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
2,520
Reaction score
1,350
Location
MN
Pretty sure that is the exact same stuff I have. Never noticed the crystals before. Guess I should put on my glasses once in a while. :(
 

rklapp

NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
2,279
Reaction score
1,730
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
I’m also using the thin mil nylon chutes from Top Flight.
 

Sooner Boomer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
1,640
Zip lock bags - snack and sandwich size, used prescription pill bottles. Crystal Lite "cans". I can store several Estes plastic chutes, each in its own zip lock, then put all of one size in a Crystal Lite can. I have all sizes pill bottles. I can fit an Estes nylon chute in the largest. The key thing is to seperate by size/materiel, and LABEL what they are!
 

Rmowens54

New Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
My biggest problem from launch to launch is managing parachutes. Since almost the beginning of time I've used snap swivels on parachutes so they could move from rocket to rocket. Now I end up with an assortment of parachutes with broken lines, lines pulled loose, etc., and of course different diameters. I need a way to organize them in my range box so I can pull out the diameter than I want, and also keep separate the damaged ones from the good ones.

I have several real old parachutes in fairy good condition that I'm going to retire, but I have a lot of new ones that I need to build and start using so I want to be able to manage those well from the start.
Not the same thing as using a gear box but I hang mine, sorted by size on a set of small finish nails in the back of a closet. All are on snap swivels. Depending on anticipated wind conditions I pack the chutes at my house before departing for the launch site.
 

dr wogz

Fly caster
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
7,012
Reaction score
2,245
Location
Land of Poutine!
I have a fan pointed vertically, and runs 24/7. I then clip my chutes to the fan grill / guard.

So, when not in use, the chutes are in a constant free fall & always fully fluffed & deployed.. Looks cool too!!

:D :D

Zip lock baggies, & Tupperware containers for mine. The big cloth ones get hung up; allowed to freely hang.
 

rklapp

NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 8, 2020
Messages
2,279
Reaction score
1,730
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
I have a fan pointed vertically, and runs 24/7. I then clip my chutes to the fan grill / guard.

So, when not in use, the chutes are in a constant free fall & always fully fluffed & deployed.. Looks cool too!!

:D :D

Zip lock baggies, & Tupperware containers for mine. The big cloth ones get hung up; allowed to freely hang.
oHEUIpB.gif
 

Donnager

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
453
Reaction score
341
I have an issue packing parachutes in rockets and leaving them packed for months, because they get stiff and wrinkled and don't seem to open very well without significant fluffing up. As a consequence, I have lots of parachutes hanging loosely in my garage workshop. Pros--They open easily and aren't wrinkled, Cons--They are everywhere.

I may look into the bag thing. I've got to do something.
 

Stewman

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
65
Reaction score
41
Location
AR
I will add a couple of things to this. I also use zip loc bags for all of my LPR and MPR birds. I put a label on each package with the name of the rocket and the chute size. (using a sharpie is just as good). But I also have a file folder for each of my models and the baggie goes into that. I add some talc powder to the baggie (just make sure it is zipped well). On launch day, all the file folders are taken with us, so we have our flight records and parachutes together.

I try to use nylon chutes for as many models as I can. If the parachute gets badly damaged, lost, or otherwise needs replacing, I paper clip a note to the file folder that I need to make a parachute.

For HPR rockets, they are either stored inside the rocket or in a large bag that has the chute size on it. Keep them in a computer paper box.
 

rocketman4h

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Messages
40
Reaction score
5
I also don't like creases in my parachutes. What I do is hang them from hooks on my peg wall. simple as that some chutes hang for a year or more. I would hate to see what theu look like after being folded in a bag for that time.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
784
Reaction score
674
I carry a few extra plastic chutes with me in the range box just in case I need them but for the most part I have made the investment in nylon chutes for anything larger than a BT50. I still use the old plastic chutes or a streamer for those rockets since they are so tight.

I'll use a marker and write the size directly on the chute so that it is easily identified. From there store them in gallon sized freezer bags. One for plastic and streamers nd the other for Nylon. Just smash them down flat and zip them up.
 
Top