Rocketman Enterprises - Drogue Parachute

Contributed by Bob Thompson

Published: 2010-11-13
Manufacturer: Rocketman Enterprises
[TRA][HPR Magazine]

The following article is from "High Power Rocketry" magazine. This information represents only a small portion of the contents of "High Power Rocketry". We strongly suggest that you subscribe to "High Power Rocketry". By doing so you will find many color pictures, articles, launch reports and projects primarily associated with High Power Rocketry activities.  For more information, use the two links above.

(High Power Rocketry - June 1998 - page 10 - by Sunny Thompson and Bob Sisk) 

   Rocket Man has an incredibly strong drogue 'chute which is made of the same material as car air bags. This is a special application 'chute and the last time I checked, it was not cheap but it makes a killer drogue for big, heavy cert three projects. (When you compare the cost of the 'chute to the cost of a cert three project I guess it is cheap.)

   I have recommended Rocket Man's "indestructible drogue" to several people who were working on cert three projects when they asked for advice about drogue 'chutes. This is one tough 'chute.  One of the people who asked was Keith Forbes from Georgia. Keith asked a lot of questions. This is good. This is good. The time to ask questions is before the flight.

    Most people think a drogue 'chute's purpose is "to slow down the rocket." Ain't so. Drag will slow down your rocket if you separate it at apogee. A drogue 'chute, when properly used, will keep the pieces from banging into each other or getting all tangled up on the way down. A drogue's purpose is to maintain the desired distance and the desired orientation of all the parts." Slowing the rocket down" is secondary.

    By the way, Keith Forbes is now cert three. He used a Rocket Man heavy-duty drogue, popped at the top and let the whole thing free fall in from over 9,000 feet, blew two main 'chutes at 750 feet and nailed it. The drogue was only 2' wide but it kept everything well apart on the way down. Not a scratch on anything.  One of the prettiest cert three's I have ever seen. It's a real pleasure to sign the cert three paperwork on a flight like this. Congratulations Keith! You done good.

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