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Dec._ 10, 1946.
Filéd Feb. 25, 1942
S Sheets-Sheet 1
8' M ‘
Dec. 10, 1946.
I Filed Feb.
1942 r
' 5 ‘Sheets-Sheet‘ 5
WALTER 6‘. F/N/l'E/V
Dec. 10, 1946. '
w, s, FlNKEN
Filed Féb. 25, 1942
5 Sheets-Sheet 4
FIG.1 3,
M’ALTE/F a. F/lV/I’E/V
Dec. 10, 1946. I
w. s FINKEN .
' 21,412,392
Filed Feb. ‘25. 1942
5 Sheets-‘Sheet s
W @. rém
li?atentecl Dec. 10, 1946
Walter S. Finken, Brooklyn, N. Y., as’signor t6
Leonard P. Friedei‘, New York, N. Y.
Application February 25, 1942, Serial No. 432,309
12 Claims.
This invention relates generally to parachutes
and has particular reference to improvements in
the construction of what is usually referred to
(Cl. 244—145)
bursting stress is mainly at right angles to such
radial or longitudinal lines and is greatest in a
zone around the canopy, the center line of that
zone being parallel to the edge or bottom of the
canopy and usually located at a distance from
herein as the canopy of parachutes. The term
“canopy” is used mainly as a matter of conveni
ence in referring to that part of a parachute
which acts to support or retard the descent of
various loads when discharged or released in the
' speed or when it is discharged by an explosive in
any of the usual ways, the opening shock or
the edge equal to about one-third of the total
distance from the edge to the center of the can- -
A main object of the invention is to provide, a 10. opy. While the seams, because of their con
struction and location, are not likely to fail un
canopy which can be produced at a low cost so
der ordinary conditions, seams crossing or lo
that if the parachute is not recovered after use
cated in the zone referred to are protected in
the loss from a cost standpoint will be relatively
a novel Way by shaping the edges of the sec-v
unimportant; this being effected by a novel con
struction which incidentally makes the new 15 tions meeting in that zone to provide excess ma
. canopies stronger and more efficient, and the
parachutes as a whole more satisfactory in use,
than comparable prior parachutes. These fea
tures have particular importance when the par
achutes are used for such purposes as supporting
?ares and signals and to retard bombs and sim
ilar things when dropped or released. The new
canopy is substantially hemispherical in shape
when expanded and is composed of sections of
woven fabric or sheets of suitable ?exible mate
rial. Except for heavy duty parachutes a suit
terial at the edges so that when the edges have
been sewn together there will be a fullness at
each side of each seam which will expand out
ward under air pressure and thereby relieve the
20 seams from damaging shocks and strains.
Another object is the provision of a novel con
struction for further protecting the canopy from
damage by the opening shock, this being associ
ated with the hem or edge of the canopy. This
25 feature will be hereinafter described in detail, it
being su?icient for present purposes to say that
it involves a way of attaching the shroud lines
of the parachute which provides ‘a yielding or
slipping connection permitting a shock absorb
30 ing movement of the shroud lines and the load
thereon relative to the canopy when the load is
assumed by the canopy, an incidental feature be
ing that the hem is strengthened and reinforced
able material is a long ?ber paper. These sec
tions of material are secured together at their
edges by seams. While these seams may be
bonded ones, it is preferred to sew them as a
matter of manufacturing convenience and be
cause well sewed seams will not open up in pack
ing or in service. However, sewed seams involve
making rows of needle punctures and an im
portant feature of the invention resides in the
construction of the sections in such a way that
they may be joined together with a minimum
number of seams in assembling the canopy. The
low number of seams is a desirable thing because
of the saving in material and weight as compared 40
with prior parachutes, and because it facilitates
packing the parachutes in packs or containers
against damage.
With the foregoing objects and advantages in
view as well as others which will become ap
parent later on, the invention consists in a novel
construction and relation of parts as hereinafter
described, with references to the drawings which
accompany and form a part’ of this speci?cation;
the novel features being pointed out in the claims
appended hereto.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a diagram illustrating the cutting of
paper or corresponding material may be cut 45 sections for subsequent assembling.
Fig. 2 is a diagram showing how the sections
with a minimum of waste of the material, the
of the canopy are related for the ?nal assembly.
shape of the sections being such that scrap or
Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate steps in the assembly
waste cuttings is reduced to a minimum.
of the sections into the ?nal canopy.
Further, the construction of the sections is
Fig. 5 is a perspective View of a completed
such that none of the seams are located along
of various kinds.
An important incidental advantage is that the
truly radial lines or, in the case of the hemi
Fig. 6 is a section along the line 6-43 of Fig. 5
from one edge through the center to the opposite
ing to lines of longitude on a hemispherical
edge of the canopy.
shape. When a parachute opens, particularly
Fig. 7 is a section on the line 1--‘l of Fig. 5 from
when released from an airplane traveling at high 55
spherical canopy, along lines truly correspond
v 2,412,392
one edge to the opposite edge and through the
in Fig. 3, leaving only the continuous long seams
along the edges of the three parts for joining the
parts 2| in position. This long continuous seam
center of the canopy.
Fig. 8 illustrates how the shroud lines are at
tached to the canopy.
Fig. 9 illustrates the construction of the seams
the advantage it gives in manufacturing . the
joining the sections of the canopy together.
is a desirable thing for many reasons, including
Fig. 1G is a detail on a larger scale than Figure
As will be seen from Fig. 5, there are no seams
8 illustrating the way of attaching the shroud
in the canopy which lie along truly radial lines
lines to the canopy.
or, more properly speaking, along lines corre
Fig. 11 is a section on the line | i—| | of Fig. 10. 10 sponding to the lines of longitude on a hemi
Fig. 12 is a section on the line i 2—|2 of Fig. 10. 1 sphere. However, the long main seams do cross
Figs. 13 and 14 illustrate diagrammatically the
a zone which receives the initial or intermittent
construction of a canopy of large diameter for
supporting heavy loads.
‘ shock when the parachute opens under load and
this shock may be quite a severe one, particularly
Fig. 15 is in part the same as Fig. 10 and illuse 15 Where the parachute is released from a high
trates the operation of the shock absorbing con
speed airplane. This shock zone is illustrated
nection ‘between the shroud lines and the canopy.
diagrammatically in Fig. 6 of the drawings. The
Fig. 16 illustrates a modi?ed way of connect
line of maximum stress or the center line of the
ing the shroud lines to the canopy.
zone is at a distance from the edge of the canopy
The parachute canopies shown in the drawings 20 equal to approximately one-third of the distance
have, when in?ated or expanded under load, sub
from the edge tothe center of the canopy. The
stantially a hemispherical shape. The advan
shock stress will, of course, come upon the seams
tages of this shape are set forth at length in
as well as upon the material of the sections and
Leonard P. Frieder and Walter S. Finken U. S.
means are provided for ‘relieving or releasing
application Serial No. 422,570, ?led Decemberv
the pressure on the seams within that zone.
' 11, 1941.
Before describing this feature it will be well
Parachutes for service under conditions where
to explain the construction of the seams joining
they may not be recovered for re-use, may be
the sections together. They are all substantially
made of paper which is strong and light and they
like the one illustrated diagrammatically at 25
may vary in details of construction according to 30 in Fig. 9. The seam consists in folds of the ma
the service for which they are intended.
terial, the plies of material in the fold being se
In the simplest form, the canopy when com
cured by a double row of stitches. This gives a
pleted has an appearance resembling half of the
strong seam, but nevertheless the sewing involves
cover of a baseball so far as the shapes of the
making two rows of needle punctures which have
sections and the seams are concerned. This 35 to be taken into consideration. This is one reason
simplest form involves the use of only three pieces
‘for the seam protecting construction shown in
of the material as hereinafter explained. The
Fig. 6 and referred to above. That protecting
canopy which is illustrated in Figs. 1 to 12, in
construction involves cutting the edges “of sec
elusive, employs ?ve (5) sections of the material
tions 2| and 22 in such a way as to leave excess
as shown particularly in Figs. 2 and 4.
40 material at the points which will fall within the
In cutting the material, one section is laid out
stress zone above mentioned so that when the
and cut as illustrated at A in Fig. 1. This section
seams joining sections 2| and 22 are sewed there
is then‘ out along the line 26} to divide it into two
will be a fullness at each ‘side of the seam and a
parts, 2| and 22. This operation is repeated to
slackness of the seam within that zone. This is
provide another pair of parts 2| and 22. Inthe
illustrated more or less diagrammatically at v21;
construction ‘shown in Fig. _5, there is another
in Fig. 6, the greatest amount of fullnessbeing
section '23 which is separately cut to provide a
in the Vicinity of the maximum stress line of the '
seamless center for the canopy. This is anim
zone and running off to a point at either end;
provement of importance, as, among other ad
When the canopy assumes its load these full
vantages, it does away with‘the prior merging 50 nesses will be in?ated after or as an incident to
of seams at the center and lightens the construc~
the opening of the canopies so that the shock
tion without weakening the canopy. In as
of opening is both distributed and absorbed‘which
sembling the sections the parts are ?rst put in
appreciably relieves strain upon the seams. In
the relations illustrated in Fig. 2 and the sections
addition, the in?ated fuilnesses lie outside of the
are then brought together as illustrated diagram
main con?guration of the canopy, therebyaiford-y
matically in Figs. 3 and 4 and the parts joined
by seams, the ends 'of sections 22 ?rst being
joined by seams to the central section 23' and
ing what are somewhat'i-n the nature of air
pockets which further protect the seams when
the canopy is expanded under load.
the sections 2| thenbeing joined by seams'to
the edges of the section 23 and to the edges of
the sections 2|, thereby giving a circumferential
shape to the assemblage. The seams between the
central section 23, and the sections 2| and 22
place. In making the folds and sewing there is
65 left a space 28 within the hem extending around
In the simplest form of construction mentioned
the canopy to receive a cord 29 which is of about
above, instead of the three parts 22, 22 and 23
the length of the edge circumference of‘ the can- .
a section is cut as a continuous unit extending
0133’. This cord reinforces-the hem to give greater
strength” and forms a- part of- a shock absorbing.
from edge to edge'of the canopy, the sections 2|,
of course, being cut off from the main or original
section A along the line 20. The three pieces
are then‘joined together by two long seams.
While no'particular sequence o'f'making the
connection between the canopy and the shroud
lines of the‘parachute;
seams is of vital importance, it is preferred to .
g 7 » < join the sections 22, 22 and 23 ?rst as illustrated
rows of stitches 27 to hold the foldedJIn'aterial-in
are all along curved lines, none of which cross
through the center of the canopy.
The edge of the canopy is folded to give plies
of material at the edge of the canopy, one way of
folding being as illustrated in Frigpll. The folded
material'is then stitched by one or more parallel
One form of this shock ‘absorbing feature is ll} . _
lustrated in detail in FigsLIO, 11 and 15. It com-
‘prises a tape 3| which is vfolded over the edge of ;
75 the canopy in such a way that the ends diverge '
economical to make and has all of the other ad
and these diverging .endsare then secured .by
stitches to the material of thefcanopy.‘ These
vantages hereinabove speci?ed.
While speci?c constructions have been de
scribed hereinabove in considerable detail, it is
ing that cord free for endwise movement.
The canopy material and the tape are cut away 5. apparent that those constructions are illustra
tive of the invention and it is not the desire to
as shown at 32 in Fig.‘ 10 vso as to expose the cord
stitches do not include or hold the cord 29 leav
.be limited by anything herein contained, except
29. The upper ends of the shroud lines 33 are se
cured to the cord 29 by any suitable form of knot
or fastening. When the canopy takes the shock
due to opening and assuming the load on the
shroud lines 33 the cord 29 hasa limited endwise
movement within the hem of the canopy as the
cord is pulled out slightly by-the strain on the
shroud lines 33 as shown inFig. '15. The cord,
therefore, will have a, slipping, frictional move
ment relative to the hem and this will be sufficient
to provide a yielding connection between the load
on the shroud lines and the canopy whichwill
relieve the canopy from harmful strain. This
movement is of limited extent as the cord is se
cured to the hem at the points where the canopy
seams meet the hem, this being illustrated at 84
in Fig. 15. However, these movements are suffi
cient to constrict the edge or the canopy to some
extent forming what might be termed “puckers”
in the hem and the material which will distribute
the strains from the shroud lines along upwardly
diverging lines to the material of the canopy.
Instead of using a single tape 31 two tapes may
to the extent indicated by the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
1. A parachute comprising a load retarding
canopy constructed in such manner as to assume
a hemispherical shape when expanded by air
resistance, a hem around the bottom of the can
opy, a continuous cord within the hem free to
move endwise within the hem and exposed at
spaced apart openings made in the material of
the hem, and shroud lines having their upper
ends secured solely to said cord at the points
where it is exposed at said openings.
2. A parachute comprising a load retarding
canopy constructed in such manner as to assume
hemispherical shape when expanded by air re
sistance, a hem around the bottom of the canopy ‘
consisting of a plurality of folds of the canopy
material secured in folded relation by stitches, a
cord within the foldssecured at spaced apart
points to the hem and free to move endwise within
the ‘hem between said points and exposed at
spaced apart openings made through the folds of
be used as illustrated at 35 in Figs. 10 and 12. 30 the hem intermediate the points where the cord
is secured in hem folds, and a plurality of shroud
This latter construction hassome advantages as
the two tapes provide a reinforcement from both
sides which will serve to prevent the threads
from cutting the canopy material.
lines inserted through said openings and tied at
In constructing parachutes according to the
present invention for use when the service re
canopy constructed in such manner as to assume
a hemispherical shape when expanded by air re
quirements are not severe, the tapes 3| or 35
may be omitted. The shroud lines 33 are each
sistance, a hem around the canopy consisting of
folded material of the canopy held in folded re
simply passed through a hole pierced through
the plies of the hem material above the cord 29
lation by stitches, reinforcing tapes spanning the
and. then tied or otherwise secured as illustrated
spaced apart points around said hem, ‘an endless
generally at 50 in Fig, 16. In this form the folds
of the hem are maintained by parallel rows of
cord within the hem attached to the hem at
points removed from the tapes and .free to move
endwise relative to the hem and said tapes, the
stitches 5 l .
their upper ends varound said cord.
3. A parachute comprising a load retarding
edge of the hem and secured to the canopy at
The construction illustrated in Figs. 13 and 14 45 cord being exposed at spaced apart points through
openings through the hem and the tapes, and
is, as before stated, one which may be used to
advantage in constructing large parachutes, the
shroud lines secured at their upper ends to the
cord at said openings.
construction shown in those ?gures being one
4. In a parachute, a substantially hemispher
which has been employed in constructing rela
tively large parachutes. In this construction 50 ical load retarding canopy composed solely of sec
there is one long section 36 which extends from
rtions of fabric joined directly together at their
edge to edge across the center of the canopy and
edges by seams, said sections being so constructed
two sections 3'! and 38 which are in large part
that when joined together a single pressure re
the same in shape as the corresponding parts
lieving fullness in the material is provided along
.of the section 36. Four sections of the material 55 both sides of each seam progressively increasing
designated 41, 42, 4.3 and M are all alike, hav
from both directions to a maximum at those parts
ing arcuate edges which cooperate with the edges
of said seams which cross an imaginary line
of the parts 36, 37 and 38 in such a way that
around the canopy at a distance from the edge
when the sections are seamed together the result
of the canopy of about one-third of the total cir
will be a canopy which is substantially hemi 60 cumferential distance from the edge of the can
spherical when expanded under load, the com
pleted structure being illustrated diagrammati
cpy and the center of the canopy.
5. Ina parachute, a load retarding canopy com
cally in Fig. 14 of the drawings. In respects other
than the ones just stated, the larger canopies of
posed solely of sections of fabric joined directly
together by seams, the edges of said sections be
Figs. 13 and 14 are like the ones previously men
Parachutes constructed according to this in
vention have been used hundreds of times, many
65 ing so constructed that when joined together a
pressure relieving fullness in the fabric is pro
vided along both sides of each seam, said full
nesses being con?ned to a zone around the canopy
of them under much more severe conditions than
starting about one-third of the distance from
are likely to be encountered in normal service. 70 the center of the canopy to the edge of the can
. They opened almost instantly when freed in the
opy and extending toward the outer edge of the
air and with no failures of the canopies. Quick
and certain opening is a very desirable charac
canopy, said fullnesses expanding to relieve the
seams from damaging strains within said zone
teristic of the new parachutes. In addition, the
:vhgn the canopy opens to retard descent of its
construction of the canopy is a strong one and 75 oa- .
sides of the centerwith'the'parts-?at the ‘edges
6. In a parachute, a load retarding» canopy
composed solely of sections of’?b‘rous material‘
substantially wider than that ‘part aeross‘the‘ cen-I V
having ‘their edges secured ‘directly together-by
ter of the canopy, aiid’a pairof similar "sidef pore
sewed seams, said sections being so constructed
tions connected to the v?rst named vportion"by
that when the edges are joined together a pres-; 5 seams extending continuously’ from‘ edge- to ‘edge’
sure relieving fullness is provided along both sides’
of the canopy-each of said side ‘portions’ con
of those partsrof each seam which lie within a;
taining' at leastpon‘e' piece or material, and being‘
zone which extends around the canopy‘ and has
wholly separate fro'mlthe‘ material of ‘the?rst
its longitudinal center line ‘substantially parallel
named portion, -' and's‘aid side. portions being so
to and at a distance from the edge of the can 101 formed that the seams thereof with the-?rst’
opy of about one-third’ of the total distance be
named pontioii'ar'e
the form of the seams or a
tween the ‘edge and the ‘center of the canopy,
baseball cover‘ and are disposed’. uniformly in‘re
said Vfullnesses each tapering ‘off vat the margins
spect to the center of the top‘ of the canopy and
of said zone.
spaced from said center.
'7. In a parachute, a hemispherical load retard-1 15
9. A parachute canopy in accordance with claim
ing canopy consisting of a main section extending
8, wherein said ‘first named -'portion is vfcrmed
from edge to edge over the center of the canopy‘
of _‘a single piece of material.
' '
and two side sections each less than one half of
10. A parachute canopy in accordance‘ ‘with
the length of the main section, the edges of said ' Claim 8,v wherein each of said sine-portions is chin’!
main section and said side sections‘ being curved
posed of a single 'piece‘of material. ‘
~ ~
in such manner that they may be joined together
11. A parachute ‘canopy 'in accordance 'With'
by only two seams extending‘ from edge to edge
claim 8, whereineach ofsaid side portions is cont»
up over the canopy and at a distance from the
posed of three pieces of material-‘seamed ‘together,’
center of the canopy "su?icie'n't to leave a's'eam
and each of ‘said side portions is silnilarfto’the
less area around said center.
8. A parachute, comprising 'a substantially
'12. A parachute ‘canopy m'attor'dancet‘vitn k I
hemispherical load-retarding canopy made up of 7 claim 8, wherein the ?rst named portion is 'oiirie" one portion including at least one piece of para
posed or three separate pieces ‘of-"matéria11,¢m-* J
chute forming‘ material and extending "from
eluding a center piece'and similar sidel‘pieces,
edge to edge of the canopy over the‘ center there 30 seamedv theretol
of and being symmetrically formed on opposite
WALTER s.’ mmmit;
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