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Old 04-24-2013, 01:23 AM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Question Any History on Estes' Parachutes?

Does anybody know of a resource that shows the changes of Estes' parachutes over time. I've looked, and I can't find anything that could be used to date a rocket by its 'chute (except for a comment to try flowers and taking it to a nice restaurant... Didn't work... I tried).

I'm looking for pattern changes, and when did they shift from red to white shroud lines.

Thanks
Jim
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Last edited by K'Tesh : 04-24-2013 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:32 AM
Rex R Rex R is offline
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most of my 'early' stuff (ca 1974ish) came with orange/white w/ black center chutes. the big changeover came when estes changed hands and the logo changed. looking at various catalogs '71 was the last year they offered optional colors. as far as I know they all came with white shroud lines...however since they did not come preassembled one could use whatever colour carpet thread you had on hand .
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:48 AM
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The earliest Estes parachutes were 10" square and made of plain red plastic film. They came with 4 round stickers to attach the shroud lines, but believe it or not, no shroud lines (I guess you were supposed to use whatever you had at hand). These were used from inception to about 1963 or thereabouts.

The second generation Estes 'chutes were the first variety of their famous checkerboards. They had their logo from that era, which was a stylized spaceship, printed at the centre, along with Estes' address (no zip code). They came in 5 color combinations and in 3 sizes...........12", 18" and 24". These were used from approximately 1963 to 1967 or so. The old timers will remember that they came with both white and red shroud lines.

Estes third generation parachutes were also checkerboards. The new Estes logo (oval and orbiter) was prominent at the centre and included their 81240 zip code. They came in the same color combinations but added a fourth size, the 8". This type also came with red shroud lines as well as white (at least for a couple of years, after which only white shroud lines were provided). This variety was sold from about 1967 to whenever they ran out (as late as 1970 or 1971 in kits). This variety had a problem with sticking and ink transfer if the 'chute was very old when first opened.

Estes striped parachutes began their run in about 1970 or 1971. They featured the new Estes logo (oval with large 'ESTES' and missile and moon to left side) at the centre. Initially they were orange/white/black, but there have been many color variations over the years. They came in 12", 18" and 24" sizes, but the 8" size was dropped. Eventually Estes introduced a 10" size in this design.

I'm sure the above description is not comprehensive, and other longtime rocketeers can chime in with their recollections and corrections.

Joe
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:22 AM
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Estes continued to supply the 'old school' Black/Orange 8" checkerboard parachute in the "Designer's Special" well through the mid 80's until they ran out of them.
The last Designer's Special I bought was in 1986 and it still had the checkerboard 8" chute.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:00 PM
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Royatl Royatl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'Tesh
Does anybody know of a resource that shows the changes of Estes' parachutes over time. I've looked, and I can't find anything that could be used to date a rocket by its 'chute (except for a comment to try flowers and taking it to a nice restaurant... Didn't work... I tried).

I'm looking for pattern changes, and when did they shift from red to white shroud lines.

Thanks
Jim
.


Estes used red plastic for their chutes for the first few years (maybe an inventory holdover from Model Missiles?, or at least the same supplier). Don't know when they started with printed parachutes, but the basic checkered design stayed into 1971, when they switched to the orange/white with black logo-ed center.

There were slight variations on that through the next three decades. First there were reddish oranges, flourescent oranges, etc. Then there was either white material, or white printed on clear material. Then they changed the orange to something else (green, purple, etc.) based on size.

There were special purpose chutes during this time as well (solar sailer, the drag chute inspired chutes for various purposes).

In 1997 or so the basic design changed to three or four types that seemed to be inspired by R/C car artists.

Finally four years ago or so, Estes started using a nostalgic design based on their first printed chutes, but simplified by using a white material base, and they color coded them based on size.
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Last edited by Royatl : 04-24-2013 at 11:53 PM. Reason: more specific
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:40 PM
Neal Miller Neal Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'Tesh
Does anybody know of a resource that shows the changes of Estes' parachutes over time. I've looked, and I can't find anything that could be used to date a rocket by its 'chute (except for a comment to try flowers and taking it to a nice restaurant... Didn't work... I tried).

I'm looking for pattern changes, and when did they shift from red to white shroud lines.

Thanks
Jim
.


Hi Jim, A good place to see the evolution of ESTES Parachutes is on the Gerry Fortin Web Site.
Seams to me that most Kits ( but not all) had the Checker Board Chutes with red shroud lines
until 1969. the checker board chutes continued but with white shroud lines until 1971.
That was when ESTES started to use the Orange and White Chute with the Black center and
Damon ESTES Logo.

Pic. #1 Checker board Chutes from late 1960's and early 70's (note red shroud lines)
Pic. # 2 Variety of 1970's Damon Logo chutes
Pic. # 3 Mercury Redstone with retro -fit checker board chutes.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:14 PM
Neal Miller Neal Miller is offline
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Default ESTES Parachute History

Ok' here's a new Parachute question: what year did ESTES Change from the Checker Board Chute's with the Rocket in the Circle, to the Checker Board with the Circle with ESTES Industries Logo ?

I do know that 1964 was the first year for the printed Parachutes with the rocket in the circle.
and by 1968 the chutes had changed to the ESTES Industries logo, but when was the change ?
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