24 Votes

Why do parachutes have a hole at the top?

Question by Albert E | 2012-05-06 at 14:36

Recently I saw on TV how some skydivers have jumped. Interestingly, each parachute had a hole at the top center. Are these holes in parachutes necessary, essential for survival, or which function do they have?

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55 Votes

There was a time, parachutes had not a hole, but the hole of modern parachutes contributes significantly to the stability of the parachute. As you can imagine, the air accumulates under the parachute. When the parachute falls down, naturally, the air must escape somewhere. And for this, the hole at the top is best.

If this hole is not there, the air is escaping somewhere on the side, which makes the parachute to vibrate or oscillate (in historical films with parchute scenes, that is actually good to see). You can imagine that this oscillation is not very pleasant and that it can also be dangerous if you get into wind gusts. The hole on the other hand lets the air out slowly and smoothly and you can sink down straight.
2012-05-07 at 17:20

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