Anchor Parachutes Hemispherical Parachutes

Contributed by Dave Stout

(Contributed - by Dave Stout - 07/27/05) Anchor Parachutes

Brief:
Anchor parachutes are multi-paneled, shaped parachutes. They are available in quarter-sphere and hemisphere shapes.

Construction:
The construction of these parachutes is absolutely first rate and are comprised of 6 or 8 separate color panels. At the seam where the panels join is a hollow sleeve. The nylon shroud lines are sewn into these sleeves and go all the way up to the apex. At the apex is a spill hole to minimize drift and oscillating. All edges are neatly serged.

Finishing:
A huge variety of colors and combinations is available as every chute is made to order!

Anchor Parachutes

Recovery:
Due to problems with my high power rocket, I haven't had a chance to test the 40" parachute. I have a total of roughly 20 flights on the other 3 chutes.

The 12" chutes were installed in a high performer rocket built with LOC 38mm motor mount tubing. This bird weighs around 12-13oz. ready to go. The black, white, and blue chute shown in the picture was used most of last season with great success. It opens quickly every time and fills reliably. Descent rate is very low for the size of the parachute. (It replaced an 18" LOC flat chute).

This parachute survived a motor failure of an Aerotech F21. The motor blew its forward bulkhead and flew up through the rocket, incinerating the internals as it went. The chute, despite some scorching still opened reliably and lowered the payload section gently to the ground. Now that is dependable! It's no longer pretty but is still working great.

The 12" size was also tried in a Quest Delta Clipper. While it was a bit of a task getting it into the somewhat narrow tube, the result was worth it. The Clipper does descend a trifle faster than with the stock pair, but this is more than adequate for grass surfaces. In 2 flights, there was no damage.

The 18" size was used to recover a scratchbuilt design called American Flyer. This bird is an experiment in lightweight building. It's 3' long, 4" diameter, but weighs only 15 oz with motor and ready to go. Needless to say, it's a bit delicate. It is worth mentioning that the American Flyer is a light, high-drag design. These are a nightmare for parachute extraction and inflation, yet my Anchor 'chute worked without failure every time for all 4 flights. The rocket has consistently recovered with no damage of any kind.

While hemispherical parachutes are prone to oscillation, this was minimal with all 3 of the chutes I have tested. They were installed with swivels to eliminate tangling of the shroud lines. Some slow spinning has taken place on all of the flights.

So far, I've had no luck getting recovery pics. I have a hard time waiting until the birds are low enough to get detailed shots. Will send future shots to EMRR if they come out good.

Summary:
These parachutes are made to order, sharp looking, and well constructed. They function very well and can pack into a relatively small space. Dependability is top notch. Despite their light weight, the design is superior. I think they compare very favorably with "supershape" (Rocketman and Skyangle) as well as other panel chutes, specifically Spherachute and PML. While not cheap, you get more than you pay for.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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