Apco Mayday Reserve Parachutes
  The Mayday 20 passing the high speed (160daN at 50 knots) deployment test at acpuls, a test that many reserves fail!

(Photo: André Rose)
Mayday 16
Mayday 16
Mayday 16
Apco Aviation started manufacturing the Mayday in 1984, and since then put over 20 000 pieces into service in the Paragliding and Hang Gliding markets. The Mayday has hundreds of life saving deployments to its name, from beginners to world champions (Read letters from saved pilots).

The Mayday is availabe in four sizes, all available with a short or long bridle, for paragliding or hang gliding. Apco also manufactures a wide range of accessories for the Mayday range. This includes front and side mounted external containers for paragliding as well as external containers for hang gliding, split bridles, long bridle extensions, UV-sleeves and much more.

Over the years the basic design and construction techniques have remained the same - there is not much to improve on a winning design and best seller as Mayday, even though it is continuously perfected and polished, insuring that it is updated on even the smallest details. All four of the of Mayday parachutes are "Flat Circular Pulled Down Apex" in design. In 1998 the Mayday Bi was released in a Pulled down Apex version, and soon after the Mayday 20 hit the market.

Click on Image to Enlarge The Mayday boasts superior construction and materials. The canopy cloth is F111 "zero porosity" ripstop nylon. The skirt and apex skirt is reinforced with 1'mil spec nylon tape, neatly wrapped and stiched with a precision four-needle machine. The line attachments have V-Tab reinforcements, sewn in place with a computerized machine, ensuring consistantly high quality and strength.
Click on Image to Enlarge The Bridle is made from 6000 pound Nylon Webbing (UV Resistant).
Click on Image to Enlarge The attachment loop is covered with a Teflon sheath, to protect it from dangerous friction which may occur during deployment. Finally the bridle has a line sheath attached, to protect the lines where they link to it.

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  • Apco Mayday Specifications
    Mayday Area Gores Weight Sink Rate Max Load Certification
    16 23m2 16 1.863kg 6.3m/s (@Max Load) 106kg DHV
    18 30m2 18 2.220kg 5.4m/s 120kg SHV
    20 37m2 20 2.690kg 5.4m/s 160kg AFNOR/CEN
    Bi 47m2 18 3.250kg 5.4m/s 200kg AFNOR
    The Mayday has been compared for a long time with some other rescue systems, but according to the findings of the Italian Free Flight Federation (FIVL), it still comes out on top. A series of tests, made from a fixed balloon in November 1997, attended amoungst others by Swiss Federation expert Alain Zoller. Over 20 modern reserve systems were tested. Many vital properties of an emergency parachute were assessed, such as opening speed at high and low velocity, sink rate and stability during descent. The Mayday 16 was the second smallest parachute on test and yet it consistently performed at the top even in sink rate and stability. The only systems with a better sink rate were; 31.7m2, 34.1m2 and 43.4m2, all at least 10m2 larger than the Mayday's 22.1m2 and in the case of the Trekking F22 at 43.3m2 nearly twice as big. The Mayday is a pulled down apex reserve parachute, which possesses the one thing that wasn't tested - reliability. But over the years the reliability of the system has been well proven. Anatoly Cohn recalls that the system has saved hundreds of pilots around the world. At a time when trends and gimmicks regularly come and go the Mayday has been saving pilots since 1984. What other system can boast a fact like that? Read the full Story from Gleitschirm (German).
    Results of the FIVL Parachute Test
    Manufacturer Type Opening time Opening time
    (After 20m Delay)
    Stability Sink Rate Flat Area
    Apco Mayday 16 1.99 sec 2.88 sec stable 5-6m/s 22.1m2
    Metamorfosi P16 2.12 sec 3.18 sec semi stable 5-6m/s 22.1m2
    Metamorfosi P18** 2.14 sec 3.11 sec unstable 6-7m/s 28.5m2
    Freestyle PRS 2 2.29 sec - very stable 4-5m/s 31.7m2
    Flight Design MD 24plus 2.35 sec 3.03 sec unstable 6-7m/s 20.6m2
    Metamorfosi P 20** 2.47 sec - very stable 5-6m/s 34.3m2
    STV-Comet RS 34 2.47 sec 3.10 sec very stable 5-6m/s 36.4m2
    Fly-Ten CD 35 2.52 sec 3.82 sec semi-stable 7-8m/s 30.5m2
    Freestyle PRS 3 2.53 sec 3.22 sec stable 4-5m/s 34.1m2
    Ailes de K Astair 38 2.55 sec 3.56 sec unstable 6-7m/s 34.5m2
    Paradelta PD 37 2.63 sec 3.44 sec very stable 5-6m/s 31.8m2
    Charly Pro 140 2.67 sec 3.06 sec semi-stable 5-6m/s 35.6m2
    Paratech PS 1XL 2.74 sec 4.77 sec very stable 5-6m/s 35.6m2
    Vonblon Proto** 2.76 sec - very stable - -
    ITV 38 2.93 sec 3.46 sec semi-stable 6-7m/s 35.1m2
    Parawing SC 24** 3.43 sec 4.42 sec stable 7-8m/s 38.7m2
    Pro Design XS 400 3.00 sec 4.35 sec very stable 5-6m/s 34.9m2
    Trekking F 22 3.05 sec 3.70 sec unstable 4-5m/s 43.4m2
      ** Modified, not available on the market.

    Tableau récapitulatif des mesures Vol Libre
    Marques Paratech Metamorfosi Apco Sup'air Trekking Sky High Adventure
    Modèl Testé PSI XL Conar 18 MD 18 PRS 3 AP 22 SS 35 Beamer
    Texte No 5 1 6 5 2 7 3
    Poids du secours (kg) 3.0 2.1 2.4 2.4 NC 1.7 2.9
    Poids Maxi a descendre (kg) NC NC 120 125 NC 117 NC
    Poids Pilote Maxi (kg) 120 NC NC NC 100 NC 120
    Poids Pilote Test (kg) 78 78 78 78 78 78 78
    PTV Pilote Test (kg) 97 97 97 97 97 97 97
    Temps d'ouverture (sec) 4.0 3.5 4.0 3.0 7.0 (3.5) 4.0 3.0
    Stabilité Excellente Très Bonne Très Bonne Très Bonne Excellente Très Bonne Très Bonne
    VS Moyenne (m/s) 5.2 4.8 5.2 5.2 4.8 5.2 5.1
    Pilotabilité Aucune Aucune Aucune Aucune Aucune Aucune Legère
    Label DHV En Cours Afnor Afnor Afnor Afnor CEN
    Nombre de tailles dispo 4 4 3 4 6 3 1 seule

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