STL Rocketry Beta Chute

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Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2002
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I am not ready to fly it yet, and for that I apollogize, But I will start with a small review, and try to finish next week when I test fly the chute.

Edward of STL rocketry (Skies The Limit) has been pumping out some custom chutes lately, in case you have not noticed any of his threads, and kudos from satisfied customers...and I was lucky enough to be picked to beta a design that came to him one day on napkin. You know the designs, they come to you when there is only a napkin around to capture the data onto lest you forget. Anyways, I recieve this Blue and Black chute in the mail, and let me tell you, it is a piece of art. It consists of three panels with a triangular shaped spill hole. The Shroud line are nice and long, and connect to "ringlets sewn into the attachment points on the chute. The shroud lines all dead end into a loop that is protected with a reinforced section of electrical heat shrink.

Here is a bad key-chain digi-cam pic of the chute on the floor, and off center...sorry
Here is a small pic of the ringlet, that is used for reinforcement...
This is a pic of the re-inforcement of the recovery attachment loop. My only draw back to this is that a flier couild not untie any tangles in the shroud line without undoing the heat shrink. The idea is unique, as the shroud lines are protected from failure due to wear.
I will hope to test fly the chute next week in Manchester, TN.

The original idea was to have the chute bring down a 1 pound rocket very slowly, but I will fly this chute in both a 1 pound rocket, and a 2 pound or even a three pounder before I am done beta testing. I have flown smaller chutes on heavier rockets with a good margin for safe recovery for rocket and spectators. I believe this chute L1 cable on a 3 pound rocket, and will test that theory on a 3 pound NCR Lance Beta in the future.
Wow what a day to Beta test, 80 to 82 degrees, low humidities, and pure sunshine...and at the time of the flight, zero wind.

The rocket I chose for the beta flight was my VBR BoB, which weighs in at around 20 or so ounces without the chute. The original thought was to fly it in my Hydra VII, but there was not enough space for the chute to fit no matter how you folded it.

I launched the rocket on an F52 to about 900 or so feet. The chute jumped out at apogee, and the test began. I did not measure hang time, but it looked like the rocket could catch a thermal. With zero winds at the surface, and what appeard to be zero to 5MPH winds higher up, drift was minimal. 900 feet up, maybe 150-200 yards down range at most. I believe this chute was designed to bring down a 1 pound rocket at 10 feet a second, I believe I may have landed at a rate of 12-13 feet a second with the 20oz. (+/-) The softest I have landed one in a while.

The chute had no visible orbit, in that it did not spin, nor did any of the rocket halves orbit about the chute. From under neath, the chute resembled a daisy when inflated. I will have to scetch that and scan it in for demonstration and clerification.

My final thoughts are that it is an excellent design, and well suited for soft landing those precious projects. I would like to also test fly on a 2-2.5 pound rocket as well, as I believe it capeable of safe recoveries at 15-17 feet descent rates per second.

here is the chute laid out as I came upon it to gather it up from it'd first flight...
Now all STL needs to do is create a front end web store to sell these parachutes. I tell you what, for my large diameter rockets there's no turning back. I am ultra impressed and I am sure you were with your test too. I can't wait to use the smaller 24" T-Cup this month in my 2.6x upscale Bullpup.
I really need to get the store up....but alas being engaged is getting in the way. After August I'm hoping life will return to normal..oh, wait, nope, no normal life after I'm married.

If I had better camera equipment, I could have recorded much better data visualy. The chute opened up, and then looked like a daisy flower from the under side. Maybe I can draw the image of what I remember of how the chute looked when infalted, and then scan it in. It was remarkable, as it did not look like the same chute that inflates while you run trying to catch air, all while looking over your shoulder.

As Eagle_star said, the flight of the rocket vehicle itself was very nice. It ascended straight up and deployed at the top, which gave a good visual of the chute performance throughout the descent.

Great chute, the next flight will be on a rocket that will hammer on an H128 or similar motor, and will bring down a 2.5 - 3 pound rocket.

Here is an old file photo of the bird I have in mind for the next test.
I remember when I flew it just to see how it performed it did have a different look than when your running or biking or even out the window, but you are much better at putting a name to the shape...I just thought "purdy.........."