Make parachute: Steps

1. Gather the necessary supplies, as listed below in "Things You'll Need". 2. Choose your plastic material. Anything from a plastic slip-cover to a garbage can bag can work well. Make sure it's loose and flexible. 3. Draw a large circle on your plastic. Make it as even as possible so you don't end up with a lop-sided parachute. o You can use a large bowl or dish to trace your circle. 4. Choose your string. Twine or any moderately heavy string should work. Try to scale it to about the same length as the diameter of your parachute. 5. Cut out the circular parachute. A sharp pair of scissors can help a lot here, otherwise you may stretch and/or tear the plastic. Tearing however is not suggested for it can be very messy. o Try taking open scissors and draging one blade pressing firmly along the circle. Often this leads to a perfect or near perfect cut. 6. Poke evenly spaced holes in the along edge of the plastic. A minimum of four holes should be enough. Be careful not to rip the holes²you will be using them to tie your string to the plastic. 7. Tie the strings to the parachute. Again, be careful not to tear the holes while knotting, if you are using soft plastic. Avoid getting the string tangled, as well. 8. Tie the weight to the parachute strings. You'll want something moderately heavy. Any object that weighs about 5-10 grams will work. 9. Find a high place to drop your parachute. You will want to have some height to enjoy the parachute, but be reasonable. After all, you'll need to go back and get it. 10. Drop the parachute and watch it Fall! Don't be alarmed if it doesn't open when you drop it at ground level. Even parachutes need time to get air beneath them.



To make your parachute more effective, try taking a ring of half-an-inch cloth and carefully glue it around the edges of the plastic. This will weigh the ends down and give the parachute the "dome shape" much faster. Be careful not to make it too heavy, or the parachute won't catch any air. Try knotting the strings before you try the weight on. Although this will require a bit more string to accomplish, it should also help to avoid getting the strings tangled.


we can't answer your question about your deployment problems. So here is the rest of the letter: . Jean Potvin Parks College Parachute Research Group This letter was written to a student interested in recovering his rocket with a parachute after the rocket's powered flight. you want the smallest (or lightest) chute to accomodate payload requirements. Parachute design: how big the chute? It depends on two factors: 1.usually these motors ingnite at the top for chute extraction once the thrust at the bottom has been exhausted).. using a large parachute usually leads to more horizontal drift due to winds aloft.. using a small chute implies a more vertical and faster descent.. i.. In other words..81 m/sec^2 (Metric) d= height in feet (English) or meters (Metric) v = velocity in ft/sec (English) or m/sec (Metric) 2 . the harder the rocket hits the ground (. Also.. you could do this: drop the rocket (or an old prototype) from height "d" -without the parachute. the parachute should be designed as small as possible. the smaller the chute the faster the descent..).Building a Model Rocket Parachute Recovery System By Dr.. The velocity reached when it hits the ground is given by v = squareroot( 2 g d) g = 32.although it would not drift away from the drop zone as much during a windy day.17 ft/sec^2 (English units) or 9. The question was: "How large should the parachute be?" We based our answer on the following design philosophy: Since rocket payload needs to be kept small.. the more risk for damage. payload + chute weight allowable 2. We need more details (are you using solid rocket motors that are commercially available? .. more chances to lose the rocket in neighbor McNasty's backyard. To estimate the max descent speed your rocket can take under parachute.. But.e. descent speed under parachute Usually.. So how small should the parachute be? It depends on how much shock the rocket can take on landing since the faster the descent.

where v is expressed in ft/sec (English) or m/sec (Metric) S is the parachute's surface area when measured on a flat surface. see the following web page: y Aerodynamic Decelerator Technology 3 . Santa Barbara. the nylon fabric used on tents. Parachute Recovery Systems Design Manual. Once you have determined that max velocity. same value in both Metric and English unit systems rho at sea level = 0.1416) To improve on the stability of the chute during descent it would be a good idea to cut a hole (covering about 10 percent of surface area) at the apex of the canopy. The fabric type (for experimental/toy parachutes only of course!) can be 1. CA Also.00237 sl/ft^3 (English units) and 1. in pounds (English) or Newtons (Metric) v^2 = square of the vertical descent velocity. CA T.W.225 Kg/m^3 (Metric) rho near 4000 ft or 1219 m above sea level = 0. 1. cut from a plastic garbage bag (which is OK but won't last very long and will puncture easily. Para Publishing. (Real parachutes use a reinforced version of that nylon). Poynter. For detailed info about parachute design and rigging: y y D. or even better.75 for a chute without holes or slits cut in the fabric. Making a model rocket parachute Constructing a model rocket parachute is very simple: just cut a piece of fabric in the shape of a circle. C. What is the diameter of the chute when it lays flat on the floor (assuming that it is a circular piece of fabric)? diameter = 2 squareroot of (S / 3. W. Peterson in Physics Today.The maximum drop height from which the rocket can be dropped without breaking determines the max parachute descent velocity. Para Publishing. Knacke. That way the rocket won't oscillate too much and the descent will follow a straight line. The Parachute Manual-Vols 1&2. use the following formula to find out the chute's optimal surface area: S = 2 W ----------rho CD (v^2) where CD = parachute drag coefficient which is approx 0.00211 sl/ft^3 (English units) and approx. Santa Barbara. August 1993 The magazine Physics Today can be found at university and college libraries. see article by Dr. There are other designs to improve stability besides cutting a vent at the apex.07 Kg/m^3 (Metric) W = weight of the parachute + load. in ft^2 (English) or m^2 (Metric). 2.

Cut a cellophane or tissue paper square (36cm) 2. Punch a hole through tape at each corner 4.Make a parachute that will carry a paper clip load. Tie a piece of string to each corner 6. Attach paper clip (add more to increase the load) 4 . Materials you will need: Cellophane or tissue paper String Masking tape Paper clips Scissors Ruler Hole punch Steps: 1. Cut four pieces of string 41cm long 5. Tie loose ends of string together 7. Put a piece of tape on each corner 3.

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