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S3 (Parachute Duration) Introduction
#1
S3 is the FAI class for Parachute Duration Competition.  S3A (2.5 Ns total) is usually flown by both Juniors and Seniors.  Past U.S. Team members have posted information to the NAR website here: S3 – Parachute Duration

Follow the link to get an introduction into what is often considered the easiest FAI competition category.  Parachute Duration is a great place to start in FAI competition.  With the goal of a 5 minute MAX time for each round, it is important that the competitor launch their model when a thermal is present.  No matter how good your parachute packing technique and no matter how light the model, you simply must fly in "good air" to achieve a MAX flight.  The skills learned flying S3 will help make you better in the other duration events.
Terrill Willard
Phoenix, Arizona
NAR 55192
USA 775089
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#2
Here are some photos related to S3 flying.

Trip Barber, Terrill Willard, and Chris Kidwell made up the 2012 U.S. Senior team in S3A
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A Junior S3A model landing at the 2012 World Championships in Slovakia.
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S3A was flown at NARAM 56, in Pueblo, Colorado.  This photo was taken with my camera's maximum zoom as the model thermalled away.
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Parachutes for these models are usually between 750mm and 1200mm in diameter.  The lightest and thinnest materials are 1/4mil aluminized "Mylar" or 1/3mil HDPE plastic.  This photo taken in Slovakia shows a group of models climbing away in a big thermal.  All of the dark grey parachutes are the Mylar type.  The one Red, White, and Black parachute is made from HDPE drop-cloth.
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Terrill Willard
Phoenix, Arizona
NAR 55192
USA 775089
Reply
#3
That last photo is important because all Mylar chutes tend to look the same in the air. For recovery purposes it’s nice to be able to say for certain which model you are chasing. TW’s red and black chutes are very easy to pick out in the air. You can also dye Mylar so that it is a different color, but still sparkle in the light. This newsletter has an article that describes the process: http://narhams.org/zog-43/v33/zog43_v33n01_201101.pdf

kj
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