Ever gotten one of those parachutes at an arcade and realized it was so hard to launch? Disappointing, isn’t it? Your problem doesn’t need to end this way. This instructable will teach you how to make a parachute that actually flies. It can soar well over 35 feet in the air and lands gently. BTW, the palm tree in the video is around 55 ft tall. None of the materials require spending any money either.
Let's Get Started!!!!!
P.S. Please vote for me in the make it fly contest!
Step 1: Materials
I didn't need to buy anything for this project, but the only thing you might need to buy is zip ties. However, they cost less than $2.00 for a 60 pack and are also very useful for binding things together.
- A Ball (Any ball smaller than a softball, works, but it needs to be able to hold its shape when cut in half and be hollow on the inside.) Since I made three parachutes, I tested three different balls. I used a rubber dog ball, a tennis ball, and a wiffle ball.
- A shoelace (My shoelace was around 30 inches long, but anywhere around that range is good as well.)
- A plastic bag or table cloth (I tried both of these, and it turned out I liked the plastic bag more. Since this will serve as your parachute, it needs to open easily, and plastic bags do that.) The plastic bag is any of those you find when you go shopping for fruits and vegetables. They don't have handles, which makes them easy to cut out. The table cloth was a very thin plastic, and a small rectangle when I bought it.
- *2 zip ties (Just the regular 8-inch type Dollar General)
- Thin String (Anything thinner than yarn works)I used fishing line, some type of nylon thread, and kite string
- Tape (clear tape is preferable, but duct tape works too)
- Strong Glue or Glue Gun (You only use it once, but that once is the key element)
OPTIONAL: TOY PARACHUTE: If you have an arcade parachute, skip the tablecloth and thin string.
Step 2: Cutting the Ball
Take your ball and mark its halfway point all the way around. Then, clamp the ball so that it holds still, and saw through the middle of it. You should have two even sides. If they are not even, don't try to fit it by cutting one of them straight. I made a mess with my tennis ball when I cut it, but it still worked just fine.
Step 3: Drilling the Ball
Now, you need to drill 2 holes into each ball. Mark them out first, then drill them, because they need to be right next to each other. Keep in mind this is where you will insert your zip ties. I used a 9/64 inch drill bit, but you can measure it according to your ball size. You should have four holes; two in each ball. Check the pictures above for a better description.
After that, insert your two zip ties into the first hole, from the outside of the ball. loop it through the inside of the ball, and out through the top. Before tightening it, do the same for the other side. Now, tighten both zip ties. DON"T TIGHTEN THEM TOO MUCH YET! Insert a pencil or two in between both balls(I inserted one pencil the first time and it didn't turn out well. 2-3 pencils works a lot better), so that the zip ties don't close all the way. Now, you can tighten them fully. Once you pull out the pencil, cut the excess zip tie off, and you are ready for the next step!
Step 4: Shoelace Launch
Take your shoelace tie it through/to the zip ties. Make sure you tie it loosely; the string needs to be able to pivot around. You're almost done!
Step 5: Parachute (Tablecloth)
SKIP THIS STEP AND THE FOLLOWING if you already have a parachute from an arcade. Just cut off the man or weight on it, and tie the strings together. IF NOT, THEN CONTINUE READING.
YOU ONLY NEED 1 PARACHUTE, SO DON'T MAKE BOTH OF THESE!
Take your tablecloth and cut it so it becomes a 2 ft square. Then fold the corners all in, so that they are 11 inches between the gaps and 10.5 inches in the corners. (Look at the pictures if you are confused) Now, cut all the corners out, so that you are left with a hexagon. Now, take your string, and measure out 2.5 ft for each piece. Cut out four of these. now, tape your strings according to what the picture above shows. Next, align your strings so that they are the same size, and tie them all together.
Step 6: Parachute (Plastic Bag)
YOU ONLY NEED 1 PARACHUTE, SO DON'T MAKE BOTH OF THESE!
Flatten out your plastic bag, and grab your scissor. Cut one line on the bottom, and one on the side. You should have a pretty nice rectangle. Now fold any corner to the opposite side across the long edge. Mark the other area off, then cut it. The process used to make a hexagon is different on this one. Fold your square from corner to corner 3 times. You should end up with a small triangle. Take the side without all the loose ends, and mark 7 inches off on each side, and cut it out. When you unfold your plastic, you should have a hexagon! Now, take your string, and measure out 2.5 ft for each piece. Cut out four of these. now, tape your strings according to what the picture above shows. Next, align your strings so that they are the same size, and tie them all together.
Step 7: Attaching the 2 Parts and Packing
Take your ball and parachute and grab your glue gun. Take the knot on the parachute, and glue gun into the inside of one of the balls.
YAY! YOU DID IT! YOU FINISHED!
After your glue dries, take your finished model, and take it for a test flight. The video on how to wrap it is shown above!
Step 8: You're Finished!
Congratulations on finishing your very own paraflinger!
Please vote for me in the Make It Fly Contest if you liked this Instructable.
Thanks so much,
Runner Up in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017