from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nonrigid, parachutelike, usually nylon airfoil of ribbed or cellular construction, used especially in kites and paragliders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A parachute, kite or glider with an aerofoil shaped fabric canopy or wing
  • n. The wing or sail of parachute etc. as (1)


para(chute) + (air)foil.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Then he could pull the rip cord high enough that he should be able to pilot the nimble parafoil chute to his destination.

    Gideon’s war

  • I personally was responsible for arming the pyrotechnics that deployed the parafoil and witnessed every landing of all three atmospheric vehicles.

    Abbey Lane: They're Back - NASA Watch

  • The control surfaces on it were needed where the X-38 (the one you showed was the first atmospheric one, the aft shape changed with V-131R) had the parafoil for additional steering.

    Abbey Lane: They're Back - NASA Watch

  • As for lifting bodies, once someone understands that runway landings are stupid at this kind of velocity and go for parafoil/chute landing, a la Klipper, then there will be hope.

    Ares 1 Abort Study Update - NASA Watch

  • Weight may have also pointed to the decision to go with the parafoil, would a full-scale CRV have had an excessive (for lifting bodies) landing speed?

    Ares 1 Abort Study Update - NASA Watch

  • I recall reading that the decision to go with the parafoil was motivated by a desire to increase the number of potential landing locations.

    Ares 1 Abort Study Update - NASA Watch

  • These days we're dropping beans to troops on steerable parafoil style parachues.

    The 1990 Augustine Commission Revisited - NASA Watch

  • Take a huge oceanic catamaran, stick a hydroelectric turbine underneath it, and hitch it to a 6.5 million-square-foot parafoil flying nearly a mile in the air.

    Industrial-Strength Kites Could Pull Floating Power Plants

  • The parafoil spread above him, capturing the air and guiding it across its airfoils, allowing Michael to control his descent and direction as if he were flying.

    The Thieves of Darkness

  • He gripped the guidance handles of his parafoil and directed himself toward the far edge of the outcropping.

    The Thieves of Darkness


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