“Parachutes” redirects here. For the album by Coldplay, see Parachutes (album). A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag, or in the case of ram-air parachutes, aerodynamic lift. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon. Depending on the situation, parachutes are used with a variety of loads, including people, food, equipment, space capsules, and bombs. Drogue chutes are used to aid horizontal deceleration of a vehicle (a fixed-wing aircraft, or a drag racer), or to provide stability (certain types of light aircraft in distress; tandem free-fall).