North Carolina Patent of the Month – May 2021

Parachutes use a canopy made of a strong and light-weight fabric to help slow the descent when the user jumps out of an aircraft. Suspension lines attach the user to the canopy through risers and spread the weight evenly throughout. Sun Path Products, Inc. is a specialist in developing harnesses used in both sport and military parachuting. Recently, they have worked to develop a device that allows the user to orient the risers of a parachute.

Traditional risers are constructed from a wide webbing which can cause drag during descent, and reduce performance. Sun Path Products redesigned the risers to incorporate a device with a twist body. The riser is connected to this device through a slot which can twist to change the orientation of the riser. The device connects these risers to the suspension lines. As the twist body is activated to change the orientation of the riser, it reduces the surface area exposed to the direction of travel thereby reducing drag. This allows better control of the parachute, increasing performance and controlling speed.

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