Vintage parachute?

#1
Hey everyone,

an Irish friend of mine who's into crafts and jewellery is looking for a vintage parachute for an artsy photo shoot. I am a long-time lurker and I'm wondering if anyone here has any ideas how I could find one or knows anyone who might still have one? Money's tight and getting one loaned would be just fine, too.

Any thoughts? :) Thank ye's all!

- Butilikethecookie
 
#3
Yeah, well that's the problem. It's supposed to be one of them fancy silk beige ones... think WWII movies. It's one of those I can't find - if they even exist, I'm no expert on parachutes unfortunately.
 
#5
You don't happen to still have one? =-D

Seriously though, kudos to ye fellas, I'd only ever jump out of an aircraft if it was on fire... That stuff's just not for me.

I heard the white silk parachutes were popular with the ladies in occupied Germany and more than one wore a "redesigned" one for their wedding. I bet those were worth a pretty penny even back in those days, nevermind now I guess.
 
#6
Last white silk chute I saw was a T-33 one that was just about time expired in the mid 70's (life of a chute was one deployment or 12 years in the RCAF). After that they were all ripstop nylon in multi colour.
 
#9
Thank you, Yank. The trouble is that I need the parachute itself to be white not necessarily the pack it comes in.

I think I'm really looking for a piece of military equipment that only made "sense" at the time: highly expensive (silk) and pretty visible (white). It's a good thing the tech has caught up a wee bit since then, but an olive nylon canopy just isn't as iconic I suppose - especially in a civvy photo shoot.

Flash, thanks for the info. If they disappeared in the 70s, I think they're pretty much unobtainable now, certainly for anything like her budget. =(
 
#11
I think I'm really looking for a piece of military equipment that only made "sense" at the time: highly expensive (silk) and pretty visible (white). It's a good thing the tech has caught up a wee bit since then, but an olive nylon canopy just isn't as iconic I suppose - especially in a civvy photo shoot.
If it's for a civvie photo shoot why don't you just buy some white silk and sew a few "rigging" lines in it? If she wants to photograph the whole parachute it doesn't matter whether the canopy is "expensive" silk or cheap nylon. You probably won't be able to tell the difference. If it's for close up shots you won't recognise it as a real parachute anyway and could use the real silk. Job jobbed.
 
#13
Try military surplus sales outlets for LLP trial parachutes from the early nineties. I recall some of the canopies were white to distinguish between port and starboard sticks.
 
#14
If it's for a civvie photo shoot why don't you just buy some white silk and sew a few "rigging" lines in it? If she wants to photograph the whole parachute it doesn't matter whether the canopy is "expensive" silk or cheap nylon. You probably won't be able to tell the difference. If it's for close up shots you won't recognise it as a real parachute anyway and could use the real silk. Job jobbed.
Agreed...

Cream rayon lining material would do the trick.. Parachute silk was a plain weave silk cut on the bias - the stuff I used to work with at Lofty T's in the 70s was getting brittle even then (for film props). - I would not imagine any has survived to the present day.

I made up a canopy that was apparantly used by Donald Sutherland in "The Eagle Has Landed" and the silk kept shredding so we used rayon...
 
#16
Just realised, try getting a reserve canopy. Mine is white and you probably won't notice the difference in a picture unless someone is wearing it.

Cream rayon lining material would do the trick.. Parachute silk was a plain weave silk cut on the bias - the stuff I used to work with at Lofty T's in the 70s was getting brittle even then (for film props). - I would not imagine any has survived to the present day.
I guess most of the surviving original ones are currently in musea or a collector's item.
 
#17
Why not pay a visit to your nearest Parachute Centre ?

Most Rigging rooms I've ever been in will have one or two lockers crammed with stuff the Rigger " just could'nt throw away ".

Better still - if your "artsy" friend has tits, send her down and tell her to pack for the weekend.
 
#18
There are two unused German ones in the chalky field behind my uncle Ken's house, I don't know what condition they'll be in now though, the Stuka went in at close to the speed of sound.
 
#19
Lay off the vintage crap. Some of us on here trained on the X type!
They are still about, though as they reached 'time expired' status a lot ended up in various rigging rooms to be converted to 'zoot suits' endemic throughout the old 16Para Brigade.
The 'X' type was phased out in 1967 ( thank f#ck!!) Please let's bury the myth of silk, the most impractical material to manufacture a parachute from if you possess even the most rudimentary understanding of basic physics. Good morale booster however to know that your life saving item is designed from the most expensive material available at the time.

Stanley 1975 had a good suggestion of getting hold of an - I24 reserve which is the closest item to the 'X' type allowing for the material lift webs as opposed to webbing. They were manufactured in white nylon as a general description with the single vent in the apex of the canopy. There must be still hundreds of the fecking things still about.
 
#20
Duff civvy input here: Some people have kind of done so already, but why don't you just throw the guy a few model numbers or other identifying marks that can be Googled with more detail than "white parachute"? Might give them something to work with...

The big question, though, is will this "artsy" shoot involve boobs and, if so, can we see the final product?
 

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