Gentex Corporation Partners with The Red Devils to Promote Parachutist Safety

The company’s Ops-Core FAST Carbon Helmets to be worn by the Devils during water jumps and team training


Carbondale, PA, 21 November 2016Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel has partnered with The Red Devils, the official parachute display team of both The Parachute Regiment (The Paras) and the British Army to promote soldier safety.  As part of the agreement, Gentex Corporation will provide its Ops-Core FAST Carbon High Cut Helmet to each of the 12 members of The Red Devils to use during their promotional water jumps and for team training.


“Gentex is proud to have the opportunity to support The Red Devils in their mission to promote The Paras and the British Army, both long time customers of Gentex Corporation,” said Tom Short, vice president ground systems, Gentex Corporation.  "Through this partnership we’ll also have the opportunity to help promote our common goal of advancing parachuting and skydiving safety.”


Corporal Nathan Connolly, Red Devils Team Leader, commented, "As a team we always seek to push the boundaries of display parachuting to ensure that we continuously showcase original and exciting displays. Our new partnership with Gentex Corporation equips our team with the advanced Ops-Core helmet, allowing us to train and practice new canopy formations with a helmet that provides outstanding protection. In addition to its safety features, the Ops-Core helmet also enables us to maintain perfect all round observation and clear voice communication; key components when practicing Canopy Relative Work."


The streamlined design and durable, lightweight carbon construction of the Ops-Core FAST Carbon High Cut Helmet provide parachutists an unobstructed field of view, comfort, and industry leading blunt trauma protection.  Other key performance and safety features of the FAST Carbon Helmet include Accessory Rail Connectors (ARCs) that allow the helmet to be easily, and fully customized with situational awareness and other performance enhancing accessories, plus a 4-Point Chinstrap that provides comfort and stability, and allows for the convenient donning and doffing of communication headsets with internal headbands.


With its unique system design and rail technology for mounting helmet accessories, Ops-Core is today’s leading brand of modular, scalable, open-architecture helmet systems for elite defense and security forces. Ops-Core helmet platforms and components are designed to seamlessly work together to provide true system level performance for the modern soldier.



About Gentex Corporation

Leveraging a history that spans over 100 years, Gentex is a leading provider of innovative solutions that enhance personal protection and situational awareness for global defense forces, emergency responders and industrial personnel operating in high performance environments. The company’s product portfolio includes helmet system platforms and capability upgrades sold under the Gentex®, Ops-Core®, ALPHA®, Aegisound®, Cromwell®, and PureFlo® brands; Dual Mirror™ aluminized fabrics; and Filtron® light management technology. Privately held, Gentex is headquartered in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and supports its global customers through a worldwide distributor network and five other facilities in the U.S. and the U.K.  Learn more at


On 5th September the team had the privilege of walking out onto pitch at Twickenham stadium. England had a convincing victory over Ireland, 21-13. Individuals in the team also had the pleasure of handing out England shirts to lucky supporters during half time. The Red Devils wish the 2015 squad all the best for the upcoming World Cup and shall be following the teams progress.

LCpl Lee Crudgington was involved in the new UK 37-Way Head Down Vertical Formation this weekend at Skydive Hibaldstow. The team would like to congratulate all involved in the event. Great job guys!

Congratulations to LCpl Alexis McNaughton who finished 35th overall out of 77 international competitors at the 8th Canopy Piloting World Cup in Montreal. 3rd out of the GB competitors.

Special thanks all the Red Devil sponsors and especially Roodsafe Limited. Thanks also to the Skydive Netheravon, Army Sports Control Board and the Army Sports Lottery for their support.

More photos to come and results can be seen at:…



The first ever Wing suit World Cup was hosted at the teams home Drop Zone, Netheravon, and saw the top Wingsuiters from all over the world arrive to take part.  At the opening of the event we performed a display for the organisers and competitors, it was a tough crowd that consisted mostly of highly experienced professional skydivers but we received nothing but praise afterwards.  We had fast canopies with smoke as well as flags a canopy formation and our huge 5000 sq ft Union flag.  It was great to be involved in the first ever World Wing suit competition and we hope to see them continue in the years to come.  All the competitors worked extremely hard and the competition was a great success. Congratulations to Spike Harper who achieved 2nd place out of 60 competitors.

On Saturday 6th June the 71st Anniversary of D Day we had the privilege of jumping onto the race track at the Epsom derby.  It was made all the more special as we performed our line up and salute during the national Anthem while the Queen Entered the Royal Enclosure.  As the Queen was present it was an honour to fly our 2000 Square foot Union flag into the event and despite the tricky wind conditions it was a great display. Photo by LCpl Lee Crudgington. Flag flown by LCpl Chris Sharman

On Sunday 21st June the Team jumped in Toulston Polo Club in Yorkshire. The display was done in support of one of our biggest sponsors, Victoria Knox. Victoria Knox supplies the Red Devils with top end durable luggage, durable and suitable for our parachuting equipment. Photo by LCpl Lee Crudgington of Cpl Mike French and Cpl Wayne Shorthouse.

The team carried out a parachute display into Whitehaven Harbour at approxomitely 18h40 on Friday the 19th of June. Soon after exiting the aircraft at 2500ft, Cpl Mike French and Cpl Wayne Shorthouse were involved in a planned canopy collision, something the team incorporates into it's display format on a regular basis as part of a canopy formation build. Unfortunately, both jumpers became entangled. They made the decision to land entangled under the one good canopy that they had. They then landed within the marina, safely away from the viewing audience. Both jumpers were recovered immediately without any further incident or injury.

After a scenic flight over the Scottish mountains in Cessna 206, the team performed a water jump into the cold North Atlantic Ocean for the Largs Viking Festival. We would like to thank the organisers and people of Largs for such a warm reception. The authentic outfits, artwork and sunny weather attracted visitors from far and wide onto the beach front. We look forward to seeing you all again next year.




We like to take the time to thank Roodsafe for branching out from their core objective of providing height safety solutions across a diverse and international market.  Roodsafe are now a core part of helping the Red Devils Free Fall Team conduct high altitude displays across the United Kingdom, Middle East and US.

The team were fortunate to jump with the director of Roodsafe, Simon Rood, in Nottingham. Simon definitely enjoyed the experience as it brought back some memories of his service with the elite 2nd REP, French Foreign Legion. We look forward to working with the Roodsafe team and getting more of their individuals into the air soon.


For more information on Roodsafe please go to:

Good weather allowed the Red Devils to jump into V Festival at Hylands Park on Saturday. More than 180 000 people attended this years V Festival, which created an intoxicating atmosphere for the team to jump into.

Above: Sgt Baz Loftus commentating from the Main Stage.

LCpl Lee Crudgington and LCpl Alexis McNaughton competed at the Army Nationals from the 11th-15th August at Netheravon, beating the Engineers who followed closely in second.

The team entered the freefly category which is a relatively new discipline in skydiving where the competitors fly in either head up or head down orientations reaching speeds of up to 180Mph. The faster freefall speeds require more altitude for the same amount of working time as other disciplines so the exit altitude is increased from 10 500ft to 13 500ft.

LCpl Crudginton and McNaughton hope to attend the British Nationals next month where the competition depth will be even greater. Good luck boys!


LCpl Alexis McNaughton competed at the UK's Canopy Piloting nationals at Dunkeswell from 18th-20th July, where the UKs top 20 swoopers were challenged by variable winds and scattered cloud. LCpl McNaughton achieved 5th overall and 3rd in Accuracy qualifying him for the World Cup in Montreal, August 2015.




John 'Jock' Hutton parachuted into Normandy on 5th June 1944 the day before the beach landings, it was a priviledge for the team to meet him and tandem him into the same fields that he landed in 70 years ago. The tandem was a hop & pop so was low for a tandem and although the canopy was open within a few seconds of exiting the aircraft it was still much higher than his jump in 1944 which was a 500ft static line jump at night whilst under fire. He described the tandem as 'poetry'

All 13 members of our team parachuted into the Edgbaston stadium - complete with flags and red, white and blue smoke. We landed to the strains of a military band.

Our parachute team performed on the second day of the Farnborough International Airshow.