Mayday Emergency Parachute for Paragliders
Apco Aviation started manufacturing the Mayday in 1984, and since then put over 30 000 pieces into service in the Paragliding and Hang Gliding markets. The Mayday has hundreds of life saving deployments to its name, from beginners to world champions ( Read letters from saved pilots).
The Mayday is availabe in four sizes, all available with a short or long bridle, for paragliding or hang gliding. Apco also manufactures a wide range of accessories for the Mayday range. This includes front and side mounted external containers for paragliding as well as external containers for hang gliding, split bridles, long bridle extensions, UV-sleeves and much more.
Materials & Construction
Over the years the basic design and construction techniques have remained the same – there is not much to improve on a winning design and best seller as Mayday, even though it is continuously perfected and polished, insuring that it is updated on even the smallest details. All four of the of Mayday parachutes are «Flat Circular Pulled Down Apex» in design. In 1998 the Mayday Bi was released in a Pulled down Apex version, and soon after the Mayday 20 hit the market.
The Mayday boasts superior construction and materials. The canopy cloth is F111 «zero porosity» ripstop nylon. The skirt and apex skirt is reinforced with 1’mil spec nylon tape, neatly wrapped and stiched with a precision four-needle machine. The line attachments have V-Tab reinforcements, sewn in place with a computerized machine, ensuring consistantly high quality and strength.
The Bridle is made from 6000 pound Nylon Webbing (UV Resistant). The attachment loop is covered with a Teflon sheath, to protect it from dangerous friction which may occur during deployment. Finally the bridle has a line sheath attached, to protect the lines where they link to it.
The Mayday has been compared for a long time with some other rescue systems, but according to the findings of the Italian Free Flight Federation (FIVL), it still comes out on top. A series of tests, made from a fixed balloon in November 1997, attended amoungst others by Swiss Federation expert Alain Zoller. Over 20 modern reserve systems were tested.
Many vital properties of an emergency parachute were assessed, such as opening speed at high and low velocity, sink rate and stability during descent. The Mayday 16 was the second smallest parachute on test and yet it consistently performed at the top even in sink rate and stability. The only systems with a better sink rate were; 31.7m2, 34.1m2 and 43.4m2, all at least 10m2 larger than the Mayday’s 22.1m2 and in the case of the Trekking F22 at 43.3m2 nearly twice as big. The Mayday is a pulled down apex reserve parachute, which possesses the one thing that wasn’t tested – reliability. But over the years the reliability of the system has been well proven. Anatoly Cohn recalls that the system has saved hundreds of pilots around the world. At a time when trends and gimmicks regularly come and go the Mayday has been saving pilots since 1984. What other system can boast a fact like that?
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