Chute Release


Chute Release lets you control the altitude your parachute opens.
For model rocketry.

In stock


Chute Release is a small electronic device that holds your rocket parachute closed until it drops to an altitude that you choose. This is great for windy days and small fields when normally your rocket would drift too far while descending under parachute.

Simply wrap the elastic around your folded parachute and snap it into the other side of the release, then set the altitude from 100 to 1000 feet (30-300 meters) and you are ready for launch.


Size 54 x 31 x 10 mm (2.1 x 1.2 x 0.4 in)
Weight 17.5 g (0.6 oz)
Minimum Altitude For flights higher than 200 feet (60m) above ground level
Release altitudes 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000 feet (30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 300 meters)
Rocket requirements Requires the use of motor ejection, and enough space for Chute Release and parachute, at least BT-60 1.6″ (41.6mm) diameter tube. May work in some 38mm rockets.
Battery Built-in rechargeable battery and USB charging cord included.
Note: Older Chute Releases with Version 1.1 firmware will work for flights which BEGIN FLIGHT 8000 feet above sea level or below (and fly to any altitude). If your Chute Release displays “1.1”  at startup (the 100 light and the first battery light are lit right at startup) and you would like to use Chute Release at a flying field with a base elevation higher than this, send us your Chute Release and we will update your Chute Release to a newer firmware version. If your version is 1.2 or higher (like all units being shipped now), you are fine to launch at sites which are up to 10,000 feet above sea level.

How Does It Work?

Chute Release uses an elastic band which wraps around the parachute and has a pin which snaps in place on the other side of Chute Release. Chute Release can sense altitude using a highly accurate atmospheric pressure sensor. When the rocket descends to the chosen altitude, an electronic servo releases the pin and lets the parachute open. Chute Release is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery that can be recharged from any USB port (cable included).

Chute Release is constructed of incredibly strong polycarbonate plastic to stand up to ejection charges and impacts. The mechanicals are constructed of precisely-machined aircraft aluminum, Teflon coated so that they need no lubrication.

What’s Included

  • Chute Release
  • USB recharging cable
  • Two(2) pins (primary and spare)
  • Ten(10) regular elastic bands 1-3/4 x 1/4″
  • Five(5) large elastic bands 3-1/2 x 3/8″
  • Two(2) tethers, 200 lb strength
  • User Guide

 Chute Release User Guide

How to Use It

Before launch, you fold your parachute up, attach the tether, and wrap Chute Release’s elastic band around the parachute, clipping the pin into the other side of Chute Release. Your parachute will now stay folded until Chute Release lets it go.

Chute Release holds a rolled up parachute.

Your parachute is ejected at the top of your flight as usual by your motor’s ejection charge, but Chute Release holds your parachute closed until your rocket falls to the altitude that you chose as the release altitude.

Here is how you set the release altitude on Chute Release, and perform an easy ground test:

Shown below is a typical flight recorded by an AltimeterThree which was riding along in the rocket. You can see from the altitude graph that the flight reached 880 feet and then fell until Chute Release released the parachute at 200 feet. Notice that it took about 50 feet after release for this parachute to fully open and slow the rocket to final landing speed which it reached at about 150 feet above the ground.

It typically takes 50 to 150 feet (15-45 meters) to slow your rocket to landing speed, but this depends very much on how your fold your chute. An instrument like AltimeterThree is a valuable tool for examining and improving your techniques, because it shows clearly what happened during flight.

AltimeterThree shown capturing a flight with Chute Release set to 200 feet (60 meters).
AltimeterThree recording of a flight with Chute Release set to 200 feet (60 meters).

Tips for Parachute Folding

Proper parachute folding and loading is always critical to a successful flight, and you probably already have a favorite technique. Chute Release introduces two new factors that you have to consider:

  1. Chute Release takes up space
  2. Chute Release can help hold your chute in a tight bundle

There is no “one way” to fold and pack your chute. It depends too much on the chute you’re using and the amount of space you have in your rocket. For instance, if you are packing your chute for a smaller rocket that is < 41 mm in diameter (such as a Big Bertha size rocket), you will not be able to wrap Chute Release around your entire parachute. Instead, you’ll have to just wrap it around the bottom of your chute, and then fold or roll the rest of your chute up outside of Chute Release.

You should experiment before you to go a launch, and practice packing and loading your rocket at home. For smaller rockets, load the chute and then see if you can eject it using your own breath by blowing in the engine mount.
Shown here is a video demonstrating a folding approach that wraps the parachute around the shroud lines to avoid tangling.

We’d love to see techniques you’ve developed. Share them with us at

Other Usage Tips

Protect Chute Release from prolonged freezing temperatures, since this will reduce the output of the battery and may prevent Chute Release from reliable operation. Keep Chute Release in a warm location prior to folding and packing your chute, and try to reduce the amount of time it is exposed to freezing temperatures prior to launch.

Chute Release Flight Videos

Click on the Videos tab above.

As Packaged

Weight 5.6 oz
Dimensions 6 x 6 x 1 in

Dan Fritsch Videos

10″ diameter rocket on K Motor set to 700 feet:

HyperLOC 300 on H168R motor:

LOC Graduator on AeroTech G64-7W set to 400 ft:

LOC Graduator on G75 set to 400 feet:

Roger Smith Videos

Dramatic drone-recorded flight of Steve Moon’s Madcow Mini Patriot.

Tim Van Milligan Videos

Big Orange spinning Egglofter by Tim Van Milligan:

Courtesy Apogee Rockets (