Model Rockets Guides

Cloth Parachutes For Model Rockets

Cloth Parachutes For Model Rockets

Are you looking for an effective way to ensure a safe landing for your model rocket after its thrilling flight? Look no further! In this blog post, we will delve into the use of cloth parachutes for model rockets, exploring the various factors you need to consider and the benefits they offer.

Why Choose a Cloth Parachute for Your Model Rocket?

Cloth parachutes provide several benefits for model rocket enthusiasts, making them a popular choice among hobbyists. Some of the advantages of cloth parachutes include:

  • Durability: Cloth parachutes are less prone to wear and tear than plastic parachutes, making them a more reliable choice for repeated use.
  • Compactness: Cloth parachutes can be folded more compactly than their plastic counterparts, resulting in a smaller and lighter package that takes up less space in your rocket.
  • Stability: Cloth parachutes usually generate more consistent and stable descents than thin plastic parachutes, which can sometimes flutter or oscillate during descent.
  • Customization: Cloth parachutes offer greater options for customization. You can easily select the colors, patterns, and sizes to meet your personal preferences or to match the design of your rocket.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cloth Parachute

When selecting a cloth parachute for your model rocket, there are a few factors to take into account:


Cloth parachutes can be made from a variety of materials, each with its unique properties. Some common materials used for cloth parachutes include:

  • Nylon: Durable, lightweight, and resistant to UV rays, nylon is a popular choice for cloth parachutes. It also offers a wide range of colors and patterns.
  • Polyester: With similar properties to nylon, polyester parachutes offer greater strength, but can be slightly heavier and less UV-resistant than nylon parachutes.
  • Ripstop: Characterized by a grid-like pattern, ripstop fabrics are designed to prevent tears from expanding, making them an excellent choice for parachutes that require extra durability.


The size of the parachute is a crucial factor to consider, as it directly affects the descent rate of your model rocket. Larger parachutes will create more drag and slow your rocket's descent, while smaller parachutes will generate less drag, leading to a faster descent. To determine the appropriate parachute size, consider the weight of your rocket and consult descent rate charts or calculators.


Parachutes come in various shapes, including round, rectangular, and hexagonal designs. Each shape offers unique advantages as well as aesthetic appeal. Round parachutes are the most widely used and provide an excellent balance between drag and stability. Rectangular and hexagonal parachutes can offer more stability and lower descent rates, but may be more difficult to pack into your rocket.


The construction of the parachute is another important aspect to consider. High-quality cloth parachutes should be reinforced with strong stitching, robust lines, and sturdy attachment points. Additionally, the lines should be evenly spaced around the parachute to ensure a stable descent.

Cloth Parachutes For Model Rockets Example:

Imagine launching a beautifully crafted model rocket with all the essential components, only for it to suffer damage during landing due to a subpar recovery system. To avoid such a disheartening situation, let's put our newfound knowledge into practice and choose the right cloth parachute!

Our model rocket weighs 500 grams and we desire a descent rate of 5 meters per second. Checking a descent rate chart, we find that a nylon round parachute with a diameter of approximately 80 centimeters would provide the desired descent rate. To give our rocket a personal touch, we choose a vibrant orange and black striped pattern on the parachute. With reinforced stitching, evenly spaced lines, and robust attachment points, our model rocket will be equally stylish and safe during its descent.

Now that you have gained insights into the world of cloth parachutes for model rockets, we hope that you feel confident in making the right selection for your own rocket. Remember, choosing the appropriate parachute is an essential step in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience with your rocket. So, go ahead and explore the wide variety of cloth parachutes available and take your rocketry hobby to the next level!

If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with fellow model rocket enthusiasts and explore the other comprehensive guides on Austin Rockets. Happy launching!


About Jens Daecher

Meet Jens Daecher, the rocketeer at the helm of Austin Rockets. With over 15 years of engineering experience under his belt and a lifelong passion for model rocketry, Jens is a true authority in the field. He has spent years tinkering with rockets, perfecting designs, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in this fascinating hobby. His engineering background gives him a unique insight into the mechanics and physics of rockets, while his passion ensures he remains at the forefront of model rocket innovation. Jens' expertise, creativity, and unwavering enthusiasm for all things rocketry make his posts not just informative, but truly inspiring. When Jens isn't launching rockets or writing about them, he's sharing his knowledge with the Austin Rockets community, always ready to help fellow enthusiasts reach for the stars.

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