The Composition Of The Parachute System – A Brief Guide

A parachute is common sports equipment, and it is not difficult to buy one. But it’s almost impossible for a beginner to choose it without the help of an instructor or experienced friends. You can learn more about the details and nuances you should take into account when selecting a parachute from this post. To aid with a better understanding of parachutes and skydiving equipment, the specialists at Sky Diving Store have put together this quick handbook. Since 1960, Sky Diving Store has provided the world with parachutes and skydiving equipment, and it currently exports to more than 150 nations.

The composition of the parachute system

The first thing to figure out is what a parachute consists of. There are four elements in a parachute system:

  1. Backpack with suspension system
  2. Main parachute (OP)
  3. Reserve parachute (RP)
  4. Belay device or AAD (automatic activation device)

A backpack with a suspension is the basis of the parachute system, to which the rest of the elements are connected. In Russia, a parachute system passport usually travels along with a satchel. This fifth element of the parachute system contains all data on the configuration, operation and maintenance of the parachute. Upon purchase, the backpack will include:

  • of course the satchel itself with a pendant sewn into it
  • camera, bridle and pilot chute OP (jellyfish)
  • camera, bridle and pilot chute RFP
  • risers with toggles
  • uncoupling pad
  • ZP ring (or pillow instead)

Simply put: a satchel is everything but a canopy and lines.

The backpack is the hardest to choose. Lots of details. A lot of sizes should match your needs. Lots of options. Plus, appearance is also important to many.

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The main parachute upon purchase consists of a canopy, lines, a slider and softlinks (loops that connect the lines to the free ends of the harness). Occasionally, softlinks can be replaced by metal carabiners, but this is an outdated technology. In the center of the upper shell of the dome there will be a loop for attaching a bridle with a camera and a jellyfish. I’ll clarify once again: the camera, brace, jellyfish, risers and toggles are the complete set of the backpack, not the dome.

A reserve parachute , like a OP, also consists of a canopy, lines, a slider and softlinks when purchased. The only difference is that there is no bridle attachment on the upper shell, since on a reserve parachute the bridle with the camera and the jellyfish is not attached to the canopy.

The safety device ( AAD , or as some people call it – cypress / cypers) consists of a small processor unit with a battery. There are two cables coming from it. At the end of one is a squib (cutter), at the second – a control panel. On the assembled parachute system, you can see only the control panel, everything else is installed inside the RFP container.

Now you know that a parachute system is a combination of four elements, and not a single whole, like, for example, a car.