Ram-air Parachute

Ram-air parachutes are full of air.

  • Ram-air parachutes are a type of parafoil parachute or canopy, used to lower one’s descent speed so that safe arrival on the ground can be achieved, or to glide in the air, although those used for gliding purposes are typically called a ‘paraglider’.
  • Ram-air parachutes can be either rectangular in shape, known in parachuting jargon as ‘square’, or tapered, known as ‘elliptical’.
  • The primary advantage ram-air parachutes have over other variants is greater control over direction and speed, and the design also provides lift.
  • A ram-air parachute is made of two fabric layers, typically rip-stop nylon, with a cell-like airfoil in between, which when moving, automatically fills with air.
  • Ram-air parachutes that are the combination of an elliptical shape and small, are notoriously more difficult to control, compared to larger or square ones, primarily due to increased moving speed.

Ram-air Parachute, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Flight, Gliding, Jump, Yellow, Blue, Rectangular, Sport, Invention

  • The parafoil design that the ram-air parachute is based on was designed by Canadian Domina Jalbert, in the late 1950s to early 1960s, a patent for which was filed in 1964.
  • The deployment of ram-air parachutes was originally so fast that is was dangerous, however, they have since been designed so that a slower deployment speed is achieved to avoid body injuries, though these speeds differ greatly depending on the parachute.
  • The ram-air parachute has been the most common form of parachute used for humans since its rise in the 1970s.
  • Ram-air parachutes are used in a number of different applications including sky diving, base jumping, paragliding, and for military purposes.
  • Ram-air parachutes and paragliders generally range from 6.5 to at least 41 square metres (70 to 441 square feet) in size, and sizes vary according to their use and user expertise.
O’Neil A, What’s A “Ram-Air” Canopy?, n.d, About Sports, http://extremesports.about.com/od/air-sports/g/ram-air.htm
Parachute, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute#Ram-air
Skydiving FAQ, n.d, Fabulous Rocketeers, http://www.fabulousrocketeers.com/Photo_Sabre2.htm


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