Gelvenor, Aerodyne’s Preferred Aeronautical Fabric Manufacturer.
When one considers that a parachute comprises 90% fabric, the answer is simple: very high. In the parachute manufacturing business where even the slightest oversight can lead to disaster, there is zero room for error. Whilst durability and strength go without saying, a low pack volume and light weight are also essential to skydivers. Parachute fabric needs to meet all of these criteria in order to be a safe and reliable choice for parachute manufacturers.
With this in mind, internationally renowned parachute manufacturer, Aerodyne, uses Gelvenor Textiles as their preferred aeronautical fabric supplier. Almost half of Gelvenor’s annual fabric production is supplied to Aerodyne in the form of military rounds, hypo and rescue fabrics.
The company uses high quality Gelvenor fabric to manufacture parachutes which are shipped to the United States and across the globe. Aerodyne requires high performance, innovative fabrics of consistent quality to ensure that their products meet the strictest standards; a task that has been entrusted to Gelvenor Textiles.
Dominic Hayhurst, Managing Director of Aerodyne, together with Tristan Parmanand, General Manager of Aerodyne, shared some thoughts on what impact the fabric used in the manufacture of parachutes really has on performance:
“Low pack volume and weight of a parachute are essential to skydivers. That’s why Aerodyne continually strive to develop parachutes that offer superior performance and can provide skydivers with an enhanced experience. To achieve these ends, we rely heavily on fabric. Not only does the fabric have to be light, but it has to be high quality and durable.”
Aerodyne utilises four different Gelvenor fabrics, all of which are nylon compounds, to manufacture their parachutes. Two of these fabrics are ZP – a low bulk, low volume, zero porosity fabric woven from a proprietary yarn with a silicone coating – and ZPX, a similar fabric which has been exclusively developed for Aerodyne to deliver superior performance and added safety. Both are Ripstop fabrics, which have been uniquely designed to provide extra strength and durability.
In addition, Aerodyne utilises Gelvenor’s GT-Hot, a joint development fabric that has undergone a heat rolling process to reduce pack volume. Parachutes manufactured from GT-Hot have a very low pack volume allowing for smaller containers whilst not affecting canopy size. The fourth Gelvenor fabric used by Aerodyne is F1-11. This fabric is used to manufacture TSO certified reserve parachutes, the fabric is uncoated (coated fabric could cause the infrequently used reserve canopies fabric to stick, rendering them ineffective) and is slightly porous to protect the skydiver from a hard opening should a parachute need to be deployed at terminal velocity.
All Aerodyne parachutes, other than rescue parachutes, are manufactured from these four Gelvenor fabrics, enabling Aerodyne to provide their customers with the wide range of products, sizes, pack volumes and weights that skydivers want. Variety, while still maintaining consistent quality, is essential to parachute manufacturers as a customer’s choice in parachute can ultimately affect their performance and overall experience.
All Gelvenor aeronautical textiles are tested extensively at fabric level, at their independent ATS laboratory, and by Aerodyne at product level, to offer skydivers the very best in performance, quality, durability and safety – guaranteed.