Introducing The Butler LoPo Canopies

December 1st, 1999

Butler Parachutes Introduces Lower Cost, Technically Superior Product

Click Here for a video capture photo sequence of the LoPo 450.

ROANOKE, VA - Butler Parachute Systems, Inc. (BPS), the world leader in the design and development of aircrew emergency parachute systems, has announced the development of a new series of lower cost personnel parachute canopies utilizing the BAT Slider (US Patent 5,890,678; pending worldwide).  All performance testing required under SAE Aerospace Standard 8015a has been completed and FAA Authorization under TSO C23d is pending. Beginning in January 2000, the Butler LoPo canopies will be available in three sizes with ratings of 220-pounds; 285-pounds and 350-pounds, all at 150 knots maximum pack opening speed. (See table below for other details)

The Butler LoPo canopies are designed to complement the company’s HX Series canopies, which are rated for much higher weights and speeds. However, company President, Manley Butler, pointed out that the Butler LoPo canopies are rated for speeds and weights that are equal to or greater than any competing products from other companies. Butler said, "Since we already have the HX Series (which are on the cutting edge of the state-of-the-art), we decided that the Butler LoPo canopies needed to be only demonstrably better than all the rest". All three Butler LoPo canopies feature block construction with MIL-C-44378 Type 3 cloth, a 30-degree conical shape, tri-vent steering and nylon suspension lines.

Butler also said, "We did everything we could, within reason, in engineering and manufacturing, to reduce the cost, while still producing canopies that are clearly superior to competing products. The BAT Slider is the key to achieving this." In fact, the Butler LoPo canopies are approximately 40% less expensive than the (roughly) comparable models of the HX Series. This price point puts the Butler LoPo canopies solidly in the range of the competing canopies with a technically superior product.

The Butler LoPo Canopies feature a new, simpler version of the BAT Slider invented by Manley Butler. The BAT Flat Slider provides many of the benefits of the BAT Sombrero Slider and is also covered under the same patent. However, the BAT Flat Slider is much simpler in design and construction and has contributed to the lower cost of the new canopies. The BAT Slider is one of the most significant inventions in parachute engineering in decades; it is truly breakthrough technology because it provides inherently self-modulating, speed- and weight-sensitive control of the canopy inflation process without the use of mechanical, electrical or pyrotechnic devices. The BAT Slider also eliminates inversion-type ("line-over") malfunctions (the "genetic defect" of round parachutes), resulting in an improvement in reliability that is often 10 to 100 times better than the same canopy without the device. Click Here for more technical info on the BAT Slider.

An excellent example of the control and consistency provided by the BAT Flat Slider is shown in the table below. During the structural overload testing of all three sizes (required by the FAA under TSO C23d) the maximum "g-load" fell within a 5% range at proportionally scaled weights. Typical results without the BAT Slider would exhibit a variance of 50-100% even among repeated tests of the same canopy at the same conditions.


Canopy Model

Maximum Gross Weight & Pack Opening Speed under FAA TSO C23d (24 ft/sec)

BPS Recommended Maximum Gross Weight (@ 20 ft/sec)

Maximum Demonstrated Overload Test Conditions (Nov.’99)

Measured Force "g" load at Maximum Overload Conditions

LoPo 350

220 lb. @ 150 KEAS

175 lb.

264 lb. @ 180 KEAS

3120 lbf. 11.82 g

LoPo 450

285 lb. @ 150 KEAS

235 lb.

345 lb. @ 180 KEAS

3953 lbf. 11.46 g

LoPo 550

350 lb. @ 150 KEAS

300 lb.

420 lb. @ 180 KEAS

4770 lbf. 11.36 g


Click Here for a video capture photo sequence of the LoPo 450.  These photos may be downloaded for use without restrictions (with attribution please).

Click Here for substantial detailed technical information is available on the BAT Sombrero Slider from Butler Parachute Systems.