Copyright© CJ Magro, Paratroopers of the 50's
T-4, T-5, T-7, AND THE T-10

Can you tell which jumper is wearing the T-7 or which is wearing the T-10 or a T-5 if you saw one ?

Well no problem ; because after reading the following, you will be able too.

The following article was complied
By: Jack Cicolello
(Taken  from  information  provided  by Jose B. Cordova Sr. and Willie C. Sosa
in the "SHIMBUN"  the Summer 1998 quarterly publication of  "The Rakkasans,
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team Association.) 

Jack, got his wings March of 47, In Japan . Served  with the 187 AIR and made the Combat Jump at  Sukchon, Korea on 10/20/50.

The Paratrooper's most essential item of equipment is without question  the parachute.
(Editors Note: Remember when they use to tell you "This is a RIFLE" , well  the Army does get a little obvious at times)

In 1940, the Army Air corps Pilots were using the T-4, which consisted of 28 foot canopy and was opened by a static line. It was designed with the three (3) snap hooks. fastened to the harness, and a large square backpack containing the canopy and suspension lines.

The reserve was a large chest pack hooked to the front of the harness with snap hooks. The suspension lines came out of the top of the pack and ran to the D-rings of the main harness where they joined to it; the handle was on the right.

Editors note: the picture is of John Joseph Macchiarelli.  John, jump with the 101st and fought at Bastogne "The battle of the Bulge"

note the snap hooks makes it either a T-4 or T-5 Parachute.

The T-5 assembly consisted of a 28-foot canopy with as many panels, each panel being made up of four panel sections. The top/center of canopy that was known as the apex contained an eighteen-inch diameter hole to let the surplus air escape and keep the parachute from oscillating. There were  twenty eight suspension lines, each about twenty two feet long that ran from the canopy to the four cotton web risers.  There were seven each attached to the risers by metal rings called connector links.  The risers were actually the ends of the harness that were constructed in such a way as to loop around the body, pass through the crotch and back up to the shoulders again. The harness also had a belly-band  that held the smaller reserve parachute in front of the trooper and the wide part that fitted the seat was called the "saddle." There was a canvas covered rectangular wire frame on the back, in which the canopy, suspension lines and part of the risers were stored that was called the pack tray.  A fifteen foot static line, attached from a cover on the back tray to a cable inside the airplane, ripped the pack cover off as the trooper jumped free of the plane, pulling out the contents of the pack tray. The prop blast would blow the parachute open and snap the break cord tied between the static line and the apex of the canopy. The opening time for the parachute was approximately three (3) seconds which  permitted  low level jumps in mass formation.

The T-7 parachute replaced the T-5 parachute, which was also designed to be a static line parachute. The T-7 demonstrated an improved reliability in opening. It had a three-point harness, using snap hooks one for each leg and one that locked the left and right webbing of the harness near the chest. It had a wide canvas waist band to hold the pack close to the back. The canopy was retained in the pack by a canvas lid, which was held fastened to the outer cover by a breakable line running around the flaps. The lid was firmly sewn to the static line and the apex of the canopy was tied to it with a breakable line, known as the break cord. The static line was stowed outside the pack and held in place by canvas retainers. On extension the static line pulled the canopy clear off the pack by breaking the retaining lines around the pack.

On a windy drop zone, the T-7 could be difficult to get out of and would drag the trooper unless he could run ahead of the chute and spill the air from the canopy. It did not have the shoulder release of the later **T-10 and required three snap hooks to be undone before the jumper was free. This was not easy to do when being dragged at high wind speeds on rough ground. The T-7 was the standard American parachute and was modified to take a single release box. The single release box was a device that released the harness that came from the rear of the harness under the legs and up into three locks on the metal box. A quarter to a half turn, and then hitting the top of the release mechanism would free a jumper from the harness. A safety fork fit under the quick release box that insured your not releasing prematurely. The quick release was preferred if the trooper was liable to drift into a body of water.
**(Note)Another big difference in the T-7 and the T-10 was, the T-10 was packed in a sleeve, which allowed you to fall below the prop blast before your chute opened. With the T-7 the canopy came out first and the risers last; with the T-10 the risers came out first and the canopy last.

Finally,whether it was the T-5, T-7 or T-10, whichever parachute was used it was always a comfort to receive the "opening shock" and know you were in a chute that opened. The "opening shock" was worth the riser burns.

Picture of  T-10 Taken 1956
Rate of Decent, 22 to 25 ft per sec.
Hay youngster, if we had chutes like that we wouldn't  even practice "PLFs" 
We would just  "STAND UP"!!
Picture of  MC-1C, Taken 1996
Rate of Decent, 14 to 18 ft per sec.
Ya, just like you  old guys to tell us
how hard it use too be.
Oh , I'm sorry didn't mean to bring up a touchy subject !!

If you would like to see the specifications of the T-10C, MC1-1B and the MC-1C chutes used today then:

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Specifications of Parachutes Used By Today's Airborne
The following was furnished by Paratrooper, William Beckert
a jumpmaster with the 1/501st Parachute Infantry Regiment.

There are 3 different chutes used today: the most popular is the T-10C; the other two MC1-1B and the MC-1C are both steerable chutes. The opening shocks on all of these chutes are negligible, you hardly even feel it.
The T-10C is a nonsteerable chute and over the decades it probably hasn't made that many changes other than materials.
The MC-1 series parachutes have material removed from the rear of the canopy that gives the parachute a forward thrust of about 8 knots and allows the parachutist to turn the parachute 360 degrees in 7 to 8 seconds. To turn there are two toggles on the front of the rear set of risers.

The rest of this is taken from the book:
General Characteristics:
The following are characteristics of both T-10C and MC-1B/C canopies:
Shape and weight. Shape is parabolic; weight is between 28 and 31 pounds.

Rates of Descent. Depending on the jumper's total weight and relative air density, the average rates of descent for the different canopies are as follows:

MC-1B, 18 to 22 feet per second; MC1-1C, 14 to 18 feet per second; and T-10C, 19 to 23 feet per second.

Diameter. Nominal diameter is 35 feet (measured 3 feet up from the skirt) and 24.5 feet at the skirt.

Anti-inversion nets. The anti-inversion net is sewn 18 inches down on each suspension line and is made of 3 3/4-inch square mesh, knotless, braided nylon.
Shelf and service life. Combined shelf life and service life is 16.5 years; service life is 12 years and shelf life is 4.5 years.

Repacking. Both canopies are repacked every 120 days.Use.
Both canopies are suitable for air dropping personnel from as high as 10,000 feet mean sea level.

MC-1B characteristics. The MC-1B has an estimated 8.8 sec turn rate.
The configuration has 100.4 sq feet of canopy removed from the rear. This enables the canopy to turn 360 deg in 8.8 sec and gives a forward thrust of 8 knots.
The 30 suspension lines are of type II nylon with a tensile strength of 375 pounds. They are 25feet 6 inches long.

MC1-1C characteristics this canopy has the same basic design as the MC1-1B with the following exceptions:
It has an estimated 7.7 sec turn rate
It is made of nonporous material
the suspension lines are shortened to 22 feet
the modification is a 60 sq foot opening in the rear

T-10C characteristics 30 suspension lines are 25 ft 6 in long

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