Chapter 5


1. The lines, their attachment points, and the associated stitching should be checked for damage or missing stitches. With the older sheath and core nylon lines such as Ty-III found on military surplus canopies, the zigzag stitching at the links are prone to raveling. The more modern noncontinuous line canopies use Dacron® or nylon braided lines. The common attachment at the links for these lines uses the “finger-trap” method to secure the lines to the link, with a bar tack securing the lines. Most manufacturers now use a contrasting color thread for the bar tack in order to make inspection easier. Make sure all bar tacks are in place. Figure 5-13 shows both methods of line attachment to the links.

2. There are three basic types of separable connector links in common use today for round canopies. They are the standard “L” bar type, MS-22002; the Navy speed link, MS-22021; and the Quick link, commonly called the Maillon Rapide® link, named after the French company that first manufactured them. [Figure 5-14] The older military surplus canopies are usually found with the two types of MIL-SPEC connector links. Modern sport canopies usually are found with the Rapide® links because of their compatibility with the modern low bulk suspension lines.


3. With the MIL-SPEC links, check the tightness of the screws that hold the links together. With the speed links, make sure the knurled side of the end cap is facing up and the plates face outboard on the riser. The screw should be checked for tightness at each repack.

4. If the canopy is equipped with Rapide® links, they should be oriented on the riser with the barrel inboard and to the bottom so it tightens upward. The link should be tightened hand tight, then approximately one quarter turn further. The actual force recommended for a number 5 link is approximately 30 foot-pounds. Most riggers do not possess the force gauge to measure this, so they use the quarter turn guide. After tightening the links, a “telltale” should be applied to the barrel. [Figure 5-15] A telltale is a marker, usually nail polish, that provides a breakable seal to show if the barrel has moved. If the seal is broken, the rigger knows the link may be loose. In doing a repack, if the telltale is intact, the rigger should not loosen the link and retighten it because continual tightening can strip the threads, causing the link to fail.

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