Richard Nakka's Experimental Rocketry Web Site

Cross Parachute Construction

Thumbnail of X chute


This page is a compilation of photos I took while fabricating the "1 metre" Cross Parachute that I'd recently designed. This parachute's first usage will be as the main chute for the Frostfire Two rocket, which has a descent mass of 7.6 lbs (3.5 kg). This parachute is most suitable as a main chute for rockets weighing between 5 to 10 lbs. (2.3 to 4.5 kg). It is less suitable as a drogue chute, as it is not specifically designed for high speed deployment.
In due course, I will be producing a page that will detail the design factors for Cross Parachutes and will provide greater detail on fabrication. As such, this page is intended mainly as an interim instalment.

This page should be viewed in conjunction with the PDF document " 1 metre Cross Parachute"

Figure 1 -- Ripstop nylon fabric spread out on table ready to be marked and cut into two panels.

Figure 2 -- Straight pins are used to hold hem prior to sewing basting stitches.

Figure 3 -- Hem is hand sewn with temporary basting stitches. Note that an experienced seamstress can probably skip these two steps and machine sew the hem immediately.

Figure 4 -- Stitching the hem using a straight stitch. The sewing machine is a
Euro-Pro Model EP-150 "mini", bought at WalMart for $75 CAD. It worked
admirably for this job, although it had some difficulty handling the heavier nylon
upholstering thread. I ended up using cotton on the bobbin spool, nylon on the
upper spool.

Figure 5 -- Using an electric iron to press the heat-bonded hem
tape in place over the previously sewn hem.

Figure 6 -- Hem tape bonded in place on the canopy panels.

Figure 7 -- Hem tape is then sewn to the canopy hem using a zig-zag stitch.

Figure 8 -- The two panels are carefully positioned equally perpendicular to each other. After hand sewing a basting stitch, panels are sewn together using nylon thread and a zig-zag stitch.

Figure 9 -- Four shroud lines are cut to length. The lines are then fed through
a length of heat-shrink tubing which will (later) form the loop.

Figure 10 -- Shroud lines are sewn to hem
using zig-zag stitch (8 places).

Figure 11 -- Loop is formed using a second, larger diameter piece of heat-shrink tubing.

Figure 12 -- Finished "1 metre" Cross Parachute.

Figure 13 -- The wind inflates the canopy during this backyard demonstration.

Last updated

Last updated February 15, 2004

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