Butler Parachute Systems specializes in engineering and manufacturing personnel parachutes, recovery systems and related items. The company also provides recovery systems design, consulting, manufacturing and testing services to government agencies, aerospace firms and other parachute companies. We are particularly adept at the rapid development of new parachute and recovery systems for unusual applications.

Butler Parachute Systems has the experience, the personnel and the facilities to design and manufacture a wide variety of parachutes and recovery system components and equipment ranging from small sub-munitions decelerators 8-inch) to solid cloth canopies up to 154 feet in diameter. We do not manufacture or service any equipment for sport parachuting.



Butler Parachute Systems has one of the finest facilities in the parachute industry and welcomes visitors. However, due to security requirements and the proprietary nature of some of our work, we ask that you contact us in advance to arrange a tour at a mutually acceptable time.

We moved to our present plant in Roanoke, Virginia from California City, California in early 1995. The newly renovated facility occupies a 21,000 sq. ft. building just west of downtown Roanoke.

For most design work (parachute and mechanical), our engineers use AutoCAD with an E-size roll-feed color plotter (to plot full-size patterns for most parts) and a B-size PostScript Laser Printer. We also have numerous Pentium computers running on a Windows NT network as well as the other usual office equipment. During 1998 we updated or replaced all of our workstations and our entire system is Y2K compliant with a few minor exceptions.

We have over 60 sewing machines of various types; an 80-foot cutting table, 72-foot line table with tensioning/marking devices; 48-foot packing table; 5-ton Dillon tensile tester; 20-ton electronic load cell/computer tensile tester; 20 cubic foot computer controlled oven with vacuum for temperature setting of high density packs. We also have a complete manual machine shop (lathe, mill, surface grinder, band saws, 50-ton press, etc.); equipment for TIG, MIG, arc and gas welding; a 1-inch capacity plasma cutter; and basic sheet metal equipment (brake, shear, roll). Please ask for our equipment list if needed.

Here are a few pictures of our facility:

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All personnel parachute products are FAA Approved and manufactured under TSO C23. The Quality Control System is FAA Approved under FAR 21.601 as applied to parachute products. All Invoice, Purchase Order and Quality Control materials tracking information is maintained in a database within our MRP System. The QC system exceeds the requirements of MIL-I-45208 and meets most requirements of MIL-Q-9858 and ISO 9000. ISO certification is planned for FY-99.



Manley C. Butler, Jr. serves as the President and the Chairman of the Board. He has a B.S. Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin; over 26 years of experience in parachute systems use, design, testing and manufacturing; three years as a combat aircrewman in the US Navy on the S3A Viking; and an FAA Master Parachute Rigger license with all ratings. He also worked for four years as a Project Engineer/Program Manager in the Recovery Systems Design Branch at the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake, California, and worked for one year as Director of Engineering at ParaFlite, Inc. in Pennsauken, New Jersey. He is a licensed private pilot and an experienced parachutist with over 1,200 jumps.

Roberto Montaņez is the General Manager and Vice-President of Operations. He is in charge of the day to day operations of the company. Roberto has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Parks College of Saint Louis University. He has experience in the design and integration of parachute and electronic control systems, testing and instrumentation, and computer modeling and simulations. He also holds a private pilot license.

Tom Fowler is the Technical Support and Sales Manger for Butler personnel parachutes. Tom  holds a B.S. degree in English from Radford University. He has worked in the parachute industry for twenty-four years including ten years with Strong Enterprises. Tom has experience in every aspect of the parachute industry including thirteen years in the research and development of emergency bailout systems for pilots. He is an FAA Master Parachute Rigger with all ratings and has serviced and packed over 8,000 emergency systems. Tom has 3,800 jumps including 748 test jumps. Thirty-seven of these live tests were jumps on round canopies designed for pilot emergency bailout systems.


Butler Parachute Systems, Inc. products can be found world wide and we routinely export our products to clients in Europe and Asia.

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