Why use a hemispherical parachute? Flat chutes ("parasheets") are acceptable for toy rockets. But when NASA wants to break down the fall of their expensive machinery, they use a "domed" parachute. Among the domed parachutes, the hemispherical dome is the simplest to envision and construct. A hemispherical domed parachute simply exhibits superior drag characteristics compared to a parasheet (Cd=1.24-1.54 for hemi vs Cd=.75-.80 for parasheet).
Why purchase hemi parachutes from CATO-Chutes? CATO-Chutes is the best-kept secret on high-performance recovery! Once a regional East Coast supplier, CATO-Chutes now manufactures hemispherical parachutes for the entire U.S. market. These top-quality parachutes are designed and made in the USA, the old-fashioned way (one by one). Each CATO-Chute is hand-made from six gores of high-quality, low-porosity rip-stop nylon. They feature six flat-braided Nylon shroud lines that are fully stitched from the edge of the canopy to the crown (see photo inset) and have a spill hole sized proportionally to the parachute diameter. Spillholes are designed to reduce the oscillation of the canopy during descent as well as lateral drift. All CATO-Chutes come with a heavy-duty swivel attached.
The parachute size specification refers to the diameter of the main opening.