STL Rocketry "T-Cup" Parachute Review NEW!

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Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
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Not too long ago I became involved in yet another great BETA test. This time it was my turn to evaluate a completely new parachute design from a relatively new vendor. With parachute BETA testing, they either work or they don't. This one turned out to be fantastic. See review.

Vendor: "STL Rocketry" (aka edwardw on TRF)

Product ID: T30P50
Name: "Triangular Cupped Chute" or "T-Cup" (for short)

Actual Parachute Weight - 112g
Shroud line tension - 250lbs
# of Shroud lines - 3
Measurement - 30" (uncertain of which dimension)
Max. Recommended Model Weight - 2.5lbs
Actual Test Model Weight (no motors) - 2lbs 11oz

Notable Features:
- 3 shroud lines make for a very little line-hassle.
- extra long lines - probably more than a normal chute - which allow for a nice and slow chute inflation.
- lines fastened/tied to rivet/eyelet anchor points on chute allow for line replacement if ever one is severed
- lines are gathered and heatshrunk at ends for simple attachment to swivel or quick link
- Dacron shroud lines
- unique center diamond panel with triple "cupped" legs
- eye-catching chute "pulsates" offering an entertaining trip down during recovery

Test Date: 4/24/04
Location: Whitakers, NC
Conditions: Mild 5-10mph Breeze

Test Details:
This was the first clustered launch in my professionally painted (and built :D ) 4" MAXI-Der Red Max. Needless to say, several factors about the launch made me nervous. The DRM was powered with a central G80-4T and outboard ground started Estes E9-Ps. The E9-Ps ignited first with the G80 igniting a fraction of a second later. The boost was fast off of the pad putting the DRM high into the sky. The dual E9-Ps could be seen smoking after the G80 burned out. After all motors had finished burning, the DRM arced over and ejected its STL Parachute just past apogee. As predicted, the chute unfolded slowly - almost like a skydiver's chute. The descent was nice and slow with absolutely no spin. The DRM landed safely in the Whitakers pasture. I was one happy camper!

5 out of 5! PERFECT!

This first picture is of the 30" T-Cup spread out next to a 36" LOC round chute.
This next picture compares a 24" T-Cup with a 30". The 24" was not a part of the BETA test, but rather another chute I ordered after my awesome BETA test.

Note the 3 "cupped" legs.
Here is a long view of the shroudlines. I'd say they measure close to 5 1/2ft in length. I'm sure Edward can provide the exact measurements.
This is an extremely clean way to gather shroudlines. Never again will you have to worry about missing a loop or mess with tangling a line. All you do is attach this end to a supplied swivel or to a quicklink. I opted to use a quicklink.
This image shows a closeup shot of the shroudline anchor point. If ever a shroudline is damaged or becomes unsafe, these lines can easily be replaced. Traditional shroudlines are sewn into the canopy rendering the chute useless if ever a line burns or tears.
This is a macro closeup of the hem where the panels meet and are sewn together.
This is a closeup shot of the underside of the chute where 3 panels meet.
For comparison, I rolled a 28" chute and the 24" T-Cup. The T-Cup appears to have a bit more material, but the difference isn't too terrible.
And finally, the picture of my upscaled Der Red Max recovering under the 30" T-Cup.

I fully support STL Rocketry T-Cup parachutes. This is the finest parachute I've ever used to recover one of my rockets. If you are interested, drop edwardw a line and get a quote. I'm sure he can custom design one with the colors of your choice. Enjoy and happy flying! :D more picture. Shortly after landing, I was so thrilled that I had my friends and family (guests) gather around for a nice shot.
Great review!

I should do something similar with my 12" semi-hemispherical chutes.

What would you estimate the descent rate on your 4" DRM?

Do you think a chute of that design could be made to recover a rocket at around 12 fps at most (*very* gently?) Granted, I still need to weigh it to determine what size the chute would need to be to do that.....
I was so impressed with this review (and the pair of 12" hemis that I already have from him) that I have him working on a 24" t-Cup for me. My rocket should weigh in around 18-19 oz and we're going for a "pokey" descent rate of about 10 fps.
Ive used STL chutes and they are the best you couldnt get any better service FAST FAST the quality of Edwards work is Excelent
Are these chutes still available? I've done an Internet search, but couldn't find "STL Rocketry". And checking for "edwardw" gives me a site selling hybrid motors...

Somebody tell Jim Flis - he HAS to make that chute an option for a "Triskelion" (though it may need to be upscaled).
Originally posted by rict
Are these chutes still available? I've done an Internet search, but couldn't find "STL Rocketry". And checking for "edwardw" gives me a site selling hybrid motors...


You might want to send an Email or PM to Edward to see if he can do some custom work for you. And yes, he's into hybrids these days. :)