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Parachute Investigation

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Parachute Investigation


To investigate the decent rate of a parachute dropped from various heights, other variables could be –

  • Weight
  • Shape of canopy
  • Weather – temperature, wind
  • Released from hands or thrown into the air
  • Strings
  • Material
  • Surface area


To be able to keep it a fair test I needed to use the same parachute all the time also the weight had to be kept the same at all time.

I assembled a few parachutes and investigated which material for the canopy would be most suitable, to perform the investigation, for instance different materials may be heavier than others and will descend much quicker making it hard to record the results, also different materials will have different air resistances making it hard again to record the results.

I have now created the canopy using plastic as this is the most effective with a surface area of 38cm x 34.7cm = 1318.6cm  . The size of the canopy is very important

...read more.


To perform the actual investigation I needed to drop the parachute from same height 3 times and record the results, then using the same parachute and weight but changing the height I will drop it again and record the results. I am hoping to find a relationship between the rate of reaction and the height at which the parachute is dropped from. I will then produce a graph and look for any relationships. I will make sure the parachute is released not thrown at all times to maintain a fair test.

        My prediction is that the higher you drop the parachute from the longer it will take to hit the floor, because the higher it is dropped from the further it has to travel, however the terminal velocity will not be reached because of the heights are not high enough and they is no-where to allow us to do

...read more.


Height Released (cm)

Time Taken (seconds)









  On my graph I have plotted the average results I obtained for the experiment and some ideal results I worked out from my conclusion and prediction. I gathered research for my prediction from various sources such as books and the internet. On the graph I have shown a line of best fit for both sets of results. From the graph I can see that the lines of best fit are very close together which means that my results were accurate. On the graph there weren’t any anomalous results because I repeated any anomalous results and excluded them from my average so that my average results were as accurate and reliable as possible.

  I now know that my conclusion matches the prediction that I made before the experiment, as my results are accurate enough and from the graph you can see that they are reliable enough to support this.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

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