Packing a 120” thin mil chute

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jkovac

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First time using a Top Flite thin mil chute, and this one is 10 feet in diameter. I have used large SkyAngle chutes and those are easy to fold and pack, but I just tried to practice pack this one and I clearly need to figure out a better approach. I have never used a jig but would be open to that, or anything else that would make for better folding and packing. Any input from folks who have used a chute like this would be greatly appreciated.
 
The technique is the same as what's shown here, just more material.

Especially with larger chutes, having an assistant as well as some weights can be very handy. Find somewhere you have enough room to stretch things out, and have your assistant hold the end of the lines, while you hold the apex of the canopy. Taught, but not tight.

If you don't have an assistant, tie the end of the lines to the leg of a chair, or just stick the leg of the chair through the loop at the end, if there's room.

Take the time to flake out the gores and get things laying out evenly. On a chute that big, your best method is a deployment bag. If you don't have one, pull the lines up into the canopy (neatly!), then fold/roll it to the size you need. Take your time and keep the fabric in place as you're doing it.
 
Take your time and keep the fabric in place as you're doing it.

That's the tricky part with thin-mill parachutes. They are so slippery it seems almost impossible to get them to lay still while packing them and afterwards. I had the same issue with a large silk (I think) surplus 'chute and ended up using a deployment bag.

If you do decide to use a deployment bag, be sure to pack it correctly. You still have to properly fold the parachute - not just stuff it in the bag. But the bag makes it a little easier.
 
That's the tricky part with thin-mill parachutes. They are so slippery it seems almost impossible to get them to lay still while packing them and afterwards. I had the same issue with a large silk (I think) surplus 'chute and ended up using a deployment bag.

That's calendered nylon - reduces the porosity, but makes it very slick.

That's where an assistant and weights come in handy. If you look inside a rigger's toolbox, you'll find a variety of beanbags that they use to hold things in place.
 
I like to hook the bridle to a door handle, tent pole, etc., so I can pull tension on the canopy and lines as I fold the chute and then roll it down the lines.
 
That's the tricky part with thin-mill parachutes. They are so slippery it seems almost impossible to get them to lay still while packing them and afterwards.
I should have been more clear about this in my initial post, but that is exactly what I am referring to.
 
I should have been more clear about this in my initial post, but that is exactly what I am referring to.

It really comes down to practice, and having things to help hold the fabric in place.
 
I actually just ordered the same chute about 2 days ago. What trouble are you having and with which rocket?
It’s the slipperiness of the material, as jadebox noted. No problem getting the chute into a 4” Frenzy XL, even by just wadding it up. The issue is neatly folding and packing it.
 
To give you an idea, here are a couple pictures from a friend and I packing a Rocket Rage toroidal that's made from calendered nylon - this is one of the two chutes for the Gates Brothers' Jayhawk.

The first gives you an idea of the size of this canopy - the person in the picture is about 6'. You can see some sandbags at the skirt, holding it in place, along with more on the lines. The second shows the canopy folded and ready for folding into the deployment bag - notice the judicious use of sandbags?

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To give you an idea, here are a couple pictures from a friend and I packing a Rocket Rage toroidal that's made from calendered nylon - this is one of the two chutes for the Gates Brothers' Jayhawk.

The first gives you an idea of the size of this canopy - the person in the picture is about 6'. You can see some sandbags at the skirt, holding it in place, along with more on the lines. The second shows the canopy folded and ready for folding into the deployment bag - notice the judicious use of sandbags?

View attachment 642602View attachment 642603
The sand bags are a great idea. Thank you for this.
 
I'm a big fan of the Fruity Chutes toroidal chutes, especially when space is at a premium. They take a little more effort to pack because of the central riser, but for a given volume of fabric, you get more drag.

-Kevin
 
That's calendered nylon - reduces the porosity, but makes it very slick.

That's where an assistant and weights come in handy. If you look inside a rigger's toolbox, you'll find a variety of beanbags that they use to hold things in place.


Kevin,

I haven't heard that term before... I wonder if my Apollo Chute from RocketMan is Calendered Nylon.

Maybe that is part of the reason it was soooooo slippery and helped come right out of the Chute Release at 5500 Feet
during my LVL II Cert !! Maybe I will ask Buddy .........
 
I haven't heard that term before... I wonder if my Apollo Chute from RocketMan is Calendered Nylon.

Pick up the canopy by the edge and shake it. Does is rustle like nylon, or more like a trash bag? If it's the latter, it's likely calendered nylon

The purpose of calendering is to reduce the porosity of the nylon. That means a higher Cd for a given size canopy over the same weight nylon that's not calendered. It comes with the tradeoff of making the nylon more slippery and thus in some cases a bit more work to pack - my rigger buddy *refuses* to pack calendered reserve chutes, because they're such a pain. Packing a man-rated reserve is already a lot of work.

-Kevin
 
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