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F104 Starfighter

Seeking Experienced Opinions on an older Parachute Rig from a Storage Unit Auction.

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The Parachute came from a Storage Unit Auction so I have no history about it. Regarding the Main Parachute: appears to be in Good Clean Condition with no holes, no tears, no repairs, bright colors, clean condition. I disconnected it from the Harness to make it easier to photograph. I could not find a manufacturer label on the top or bottom. The sides measure about 11 feet and the back measures about 20 feet. There are 14 cell openings in the front with the green on the right and red on the left. The black side vertical panels are not attached to the Main Parachute. There are 2 vent holes on the bottom. It has hard plastic steering toggles. 

Regarding the Reserve Parachute. I have located the Reserve Card. It says 1957 26' Pioneer. I have not opened the Reserve Container yet. 

The Pilot Chute appears to be stored in a waist belt pocket. 

Regarding the Harness/Container. There is a Plastic Reserve Pull Handle on the left side, a soft pillow type handle on the right side, has a chest strap, 2 shoulder straps,  2 leg straps with buckles,  a waist strap, and everything appears to be in Good Clean Condition. 

Would like your opinions on what the Main, Container and Reserve is, if they are still usable and their approximate value. Thanks in advance for your help. 
 

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Edited by F104 Starfighter

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This gear is from the 80s. It is not something that anyone other than possibly a collector would be interested in. However, there is far more of this stuff available than there are people who collect it. It does appear to be in very good condition, but it is completely and utterly obsolete. There are people on this forum who will probably recognize the container and be able to tell you them make. I would advise you not to open the reserve. I would look first in the yoke area at the top of the back pad for a pocket that will most likely contain a data card for the reserve canopy.

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(edited)
12 minutes ago, F104 Starfighter said:

I found the Reserve card where you said to look and added 3 more photos. Does that change anything in regards to its value?

Yes it does. There was a possibility that the reserve may be usable as a pilot parachute. But seeing as it is more than 60 years old, not any more. It's hard for me to get my head around someone even in the eighties using a reserve that old! Actually, my guess about the 80s is off, the container was last packed in 79. It appears to have only been packed 3 times and probably has very little use. I think I know what the container is, but I'm not sure, so I'll leave that to someone who knows for sure.

Edited by gowlerk
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Do we get to speculate?  Here's my guess:

Reserve:  Navy 26' conical, military surplus

Main:  Pioneer Viking (copy of a Para-Flite Strato-Cloud)

Container:  Pioneer (don't remember the name) (copy of RWS Wonderhog)

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The container looks like a 70's era Wonderhog. Mark, what makes you think it's a copy?

The main, the square vents on the bottom make me think Viking Superlite as well.

 

Starfighter, this appears to be the second set of 'auction' gear that you've posted here. How, where, and why are you coming up with this stuff?

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51 minutes ago, dudeman17 said:

The container looks like a 70's era Wonderhog. Mark, what makes you think it's a copy?

The main, the square vents on the bottom make me think Viking Superlite as well.

 

Starfighter, this appears to be the second set of 'auction' gear that you've posted here. How, where, and why are you coming up with this stuff?

It comes from spending time at Swap Meets/Flea Markets/Storage Unit Auctions/Estate Sales and knowing the Sellers. I rarely see Parachuting Gear, maybe once every 5-10 years.

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(edited)
1 hour ago, mark said:

Do we get to speculate?  Here's my guess:

Reserve:  Navy 26' conical, military surplus

Main:  Pioneer Viking (copy of a Para-Flite Strato-Cloud)

Container:  Pioneer (don't remember the name) (copy of RWS Wonderhog)

Look at the bottom photos of the Reserve Card. 1957 26' Pioneer. 

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Edited by F104 Starfighter
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1 hour ago, dudeman17 said:

The container looks like a 70's era Wonderhog. Mark, what makes you think it's a copy?

The main, the square vents on the bottom make me think Viking Superlite as well.

I vaguely recall double pilot chute rings on the top surface for a Viking (predecessor to the Viking Superlight) but just a single ring for a Strato-Cloud.  So if a guy was going for a cheaper knock-off main canopy, I'd guess he'd go for the cheaper knock-off container as well.  But I could be persuaded that it's a Strato-Cloud (distinctive bottom vents) and Wonderhog.

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17 minutes ago, mark said:

I vaguely recall double pilot chute rings on the top surface for a Viking (predecessor to the Viking Superlight) but just a single ring for a Strato-Cloud.  So if a guy was going for a cheaper knock-off main canopy, I'd guess he'd go for the cheaper knock-off container as well.  But I could be persuaded that it's a Strato-Cloud (distinctive bottom vents) and Wonderhog.

Hi Mark,

Just from the info here; I think it is a StratoCloud, & pretty sure, a Wonderhog.  And yes, a Navy conical reserve canopy.

Not much value these days.

Jerry Baumchen

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3 hours ago, gowlerk said:

.. It appears to have only been packed 3 times and probably has very little use...

Well, there's only three repacks listed on the card, but they are all "AIR" (air, inspect, repack). If that was the first card, the first one should read "A&P" (assemble & pack). 

Guessing this is the second or subsequent card.

But yeah, the rig is 40+ years old. The reserve is 64 years old. 

No way I'd even consider using this in the air.

Water training (pool simulation), practice packing (I gave a very old Wonderhog with a round reserve to a fella on here a few years ago), maybe sewing training. 

But jumping it? No way.

OP: There should be a data label on the rig (the harness/container). It will have the manufacturer, date of manufacture, serial number and size. It might be on the inside of the main lift web (shoulder straps) or it might be on the outside, under the reserve risers. Or it might be on or near the reserve card pocket. 
It won't change the value (or lack of), but I'm a bit curious.

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8 hours ago, mark said:

I vaguely recall double pilot chute rings on the top surface for a Viking (predecessor to the Viking Superlight) but just a single ring for a Strato-Cloud.  So if a guy was going for a cheaper knock-off main canopy, I'd guess he'd go for the cheaper knock-off container as well.  But I could be persuaded that it's a Strato-Cloud (distinctive bottom vents) and Wonderhog.

It does have 2 steel rings on the top rear that attached to the Pilot Chute.

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38 minutes ago, F104 Starfighter said:

Would the Parachute be required to have a Manufacturers Label on it? I could not find it on the top or bottom of the Parachute.

Not the main parachute necessarily. At least not in this vintage. There is a commonly accepted label format and placement today, but not when this was made. There are not any real regulations or standards on who can make main parachutes even today. Reserves are a different matter altogether. They have long been required to be certificated.

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10 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

Not the main parachute necessarily. At least not in this vintage. There is a commonly accepted label format and placement today, but not when this was made. 

Interesting. 
Every main I've ever seen has a label. 

But I've not dealt with mains this old. Only from the mid-90s and newer.

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2 hours ago, F104 Starfighter said:

Would the Parachute be required to have a Manufacturers Label on it? I could not find it on the top or bottom of the Parachute.

The label then was most commonly ink-stamped on one of the ribs, just inside the nose of the canopy, either on one of the end ribs or on the center rib.

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I'm not a rigger, and it's been a long time, but I had both a Viking and a 70's era belly-band Wonderhog. On the Viking, I seem to remember the two rings, and it also had those square bottom vents. I also remember that it had no outer label. Did the Clouds have one?

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(edited)
On 2/15/2021 at 5:28 PM, wolfriverjoe said:

Well, there's only three repacks listed on the card, but they are all "AIR" (air, inspect, repack). If that was the first card, the first one should read "A&P" (assemble & pack). 

Guessing this is the second or subsequent card.

But yeah, the rig is 40+ years old. The reserve is 64 years old. 

No way I'd even consider using this in the air.

Water training (pool simulation), practice packing (I gave a very old Wonderhog with a round reserve to a fella on here a few years ago), maybe sewing training. 

But jumping it? No way.

OP: There should be a data label on the rig (the harness/container). It will have the manufacturer, date of manufacture, serial number and size. It might be on the inside of the main lift web (shoulder straps) or it might be on the outside, under the reserve risers. Or it might be on or near the reserve card pocket. 
It won't change the value (or lack of), but I'm a bit curious.

Found the Harness/Container Label under the right side harness strap. 1978 Wonderhog. 

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Edited by F104 Starfighter

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(edited)
20 hours ago, mark said:

The label then was most commonly ink-stamped on one of the ribs, just inside the nose of the canopy, either on one of the end ribs or on the center rib.

I went through the 14 cell openings 4 times, top, bottom, left, right, looking 2 feet inside and did not see a label or markings for Parachute identification. 

Edited by F104 Starfighter

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Whatever the main is (and I'd vote for Cloud over Viking), it's most definitely not the Light version. I had a Wonderhog II with a Viking Superlight in it (after I had a Starlite round in it first), and the main pin cover flap was MUCH smaller than that. So that's got a lot of canopy in it. Mine was built for the Starlite, so I know that's how it came.

Wendy P.

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