I've been asked many times what is the best way to pack a parachute. All I can do is show you what has worked well for me as a guide.
Also be sure to see How to pack a Deployment Bag which is a little different. I also have a customer Gerald Taylor who came up with another good way to fold the Iris parachute on The Rocketry Forum here. See post #94, and 95.
Looking for how to pack the Peregrine IDS Canister?
IMPORTANT: UNDERSTAND THAT WE MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT THIS IS THE BEST WAY OR THAT IT WILL WORK IN YOUR CASE. AS ALWAYS YOU TAKE FULL RESONSIBILITY TO ENSURE YOUR PARACHUTE IS PROPERLY PACKED AND THAT A SUTABLE DEPLOYMENT METHOD IS PROVIDED! Now that this is out of the way we can begin!
Iris Ultra Chute (different than Elliptical)
In this Pictorial I show how I like to pack a 42" elliptical chute to fit my EVE rocket. The Even is a 2.6" dia rocket so the parachute needs to be packed tight. This method works well on chutes up to about 84". For chutes at 96" and larger we recommend a deployment bag. It is the same as how I fold the Iris Ultra chute in the video once the shroud lines are shaken so the lines are fully extend.
42" chute I'm packing.
Step 1 - Open and either lay out your chute or "fluff" your chute.
Step 2 - Grab all the shroud lines and organize the gores (panels) of the chute.
Step 3 - Fold over the gores on both sides towards the center. You want to organize the chute until it is about 15% of the diameter of the parachute size. For a 42" chute it should be about 5" wide.
Step 4 - "Z" fold the parachute into thirds.
Step 5 - Pull the fabric on the underside of the parachute around the edge and onto the top. You want the fabric on the underside smooth with no folds.
Step 6 - Form a crease down the center of the folded parachute.
Step 7 - Bring the shroud line bundle up the crease to about 1/3 or the distance from the end. IMPORTANT - Do not bring the shroud lines to the very end. It is important that you do not allow a shroud line to wrap over the end of the parachute and possibly result in a tangle!
Step 8 - Now start to wrap the shroud lines around the chute. Note that the back of the parachute is smooth with the material all pulled around into the crease.
Step 8 (cont) - As I wrap note how the lines are not twisted. IMPORTANT: Don't just grab the lines and wrap these like you might wind kite string on a spool. Each wrap will result in a twist!
Step 8 (cont) - Stop when you reach the end of the chute. IMPORTANT: Note that the shroud lines stop wrapping and exit on the same end as the lines connect to the canopy. Again this assures that they can't wrap over the end of the chute.
Step 9 - Now you can pack your chute into the airframe. First put in your parachute protector. I use a Fruty Chute Nomex protector for this.
Step 10 - Z-Fold your shock cord. IMPORTANT: Do not coil up the lines. They can form a knot.
Step 11 - Once you have Z-folded the shock cord wrap a little rubber band around it - loosely so it comes off easily. It's there to keep the cord organized.
Step 12 - I like to put the cord in first since most of it will be below the open chute.
Step 13 - Now push in the parachute with the shroud lines going in last. Make sure the protector folds around the parachute evenly so protection is maximized around the entire chute.
Step 13 (cont) - Be sure the last wrap of shroud lines goes in cleanly. If you have to force the chute in you probably have a problem.
Step 14 - Now quick-link the parachute to your rigging and nose cone. Pop on your nose cone and your DONE!