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Air Speeds & Parachutes
UPDATE: In recent years, aerobatics aircraft have seen a vast increase in performance and speed.  During various maneuvers it is common to exceed 200 knots. 
Parachutes, on the other hand, have
not kept up with this increase. The typical "modern emergency parachute" (of various makes) manufactured in the 80's and 90's is rated up to a maximum deployment speed of 140-150 kts.


In 1981, National set out to design and successfully market a parachute to meet customer demands & requirements in the following areas:

  • Small volume
  • Light weight
  • Comfortable
  • Competitive Price
  • Meet TSO Requirements
With the above parameters in mind, we developed the National line of emergency parachutes. Over twenty-five years and 15,000 parachutes later, we earned numerous letters of appreciation for saved lives.

The question some pilots now ask is "what will happen if I bail out and open the parachute at 200+ knots?  The answer is "we can not predict the results." Although testing requires a margin of safety, we have no way to determine the breaking point.  Our parachutes are rated at and clearly display a placard indicating 140 knots is the maximum deployment speed. 
Emergencies come in different varieties.  In a "high air speed" situation (beyond 140-150 kts.) the aircraft may become "aerodynamically dirty" and slow down considerably.  If circumstances require an immediate "high air speed" bail out, we strongly advise the pilot to
delay pulling the ripcord for 3-4 seconds after bailing out. In that short time, the human body in free fall will decelerate rapidly to air speeds falling within design parameters.
From a development & manufacturing standpoint, time will determine if a broad demand exists for parachutes designed to withstand increased air speeds. Given current parachute materials and technology, this design would be heavier, bulkier and considerably more costly.                          (END)


JAN., 2013  "New Service Location"
The "Inspection-Repack-Service" location has moved from Flemington.  Please note new location below and contact directly:

    High Time Skydiving Ent.,
    804 Harleysville Pike, Suite 201,
    Rt 113 & Schlosser Rd,
    Harleysville, PA 19438
    PH: 610-442-7500
    Marc Nadeau

August, 2009:  NOTE new TOLL-FREE # for National ... 1-888-708-9585

Ripcord Pin Manufacturer "Capewell" has issued a Service Bulletin, the FAA issued a "SAIB."  For information on testing ripcords, see the following:

E-mail received June, 2006

Congratulations on saving another life!  .
Mr. Stefan Dahlgren had to jump from a LS-4 glider at airdrome Vangso, Sweden with a National "
ONE LAST CHANCE" Parachute to save his life.  He's just fine, Glider is not.  For more info on saves click: Parachute Saves

PILOT FEEDBACK  01/19/2000

Patty Wagstaff LOVES the new "A" Harness, her comment:
"National Parachute is not only the finest maker of emergency parachutes--they continue to improve their product to benefit pilots like me."

Click Here for picture and benefits of  our "A" Harness

When Dick Rutan and Jeannie Yeager flew the Voyager nonstop around the world, they needed reliable, low bulk and light weight parachutes...they flew with NATIONAL!

Click here to read letters of thanks from very grateful pilots.

NATIONAL: Your One Last Chance!

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