January 29, 2017

Parachute Flare Testing!

A recent festival in the neighboring town of Bucerias gave me a good excuse to fire off some expired parachute flares. Nobody will notice them with all the fireworks going off right? To my surprise they gathered a big crowd on the beach when I started firing them in rapid sequence (after the main fireworks were all over). Lots of Mexicans wanted to know where to buy them - but were disappointed that they cost over 800 pesos each!

Test Results

Comet SOLAS flares - 4 flares
Expiry date 7/2013

2 flares fired and 2 failed to fire at all. 50% success rate

nice molded hand grip, simple operation, fairly skinny

Ikaros SOLAS flares - 2 flares
Expiry date 9/2014

both flares fired, but one of the red flares was a lot dimmer than a proper flare. 50%+ rate?

bit chunky, and method of firing is a bit harder to figure out, though the direction on the side is clear enough. Lots of backblast (Comet had none). If fired from inside a liferaft it would have filled the raft with smoke for a few minutes I think.

Conclusions: Based on these very limited tests I'd pick Comet flares in the future mostly due to size, simple operation, and no backblast.

- Evan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do you store your flares? If kept hermetically sealed, I would expect them to last a lot longer than their nominal expiration date.