Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
The Volplane ram air

 


chuteless  (D 41)

Apr 17, 2004, 5:12 PM
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The Volplane ram air Can't Post

I dont know if anyone else ever heard of a Volplane canopy. It was a ram air chute that came out in the 1960s, and a friend of mine had one. The unique feature of this canopy was it had a hydraulic cylinder that activated the final stage of deployment , opening the chute

This was a terrible device, especially in the winter when the cylinder would almost freeze, making long openings that ended with some of the most bone shattering inflations ever.

I only jumped his rig once, and that was enough. My helmet was ripped off when the chute opened, and I thought my head went with it.

My friend jumped this unusual canopy at almost all of the demos we did.


Bill Cole D-41


murrays  (C 1285)

Apr 17, 2004, 6:56 PM
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Re: [chuteless] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard of the Volplane. I don't know if John McCarthy (from Gananoque) had one or not but he told me about the hydraulic reefing device. I think he mentioned that you would put in a lighter oil in cold weather or something like that. Sliders are so much better...simple, effective...a truly elegant solution to slow down square openings.


chuteless  (D 41)

Apr 17, 2004, 7:04 PM
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Re: [chuteless] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Few jumpers today realize the many steps of development it took before sliders and similar things came forth. The sometimes bone jarring openings were the beginning of sore necks of today, and athritis, etc.

Maybe someone should setup a museum showing these montrosities, although that wouldnt let them experience the devastating openings.

Bill Cole


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Apr 18, 2004, 7:06 AM
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Re: [chuteless] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Few jumpers today realize the many steps of development it took before sliders and similar things came forth. The sometimes bone jarring openings were the beginning of sore necks of today, and athritis, etc.

Maybe someone should setup a museum showing these montrosities, although that wouldnt let them experience the devastating openings.

Bill Cole

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We could hang x-rays on the wall and build a hard-opening simulator with a suspended harness and a kevlar rope, drop them from the ceiling, etc.
It would teach the young pups new respect for us old farts. And they would limp too!

Does that sound sadistic?

Bwahahahaha! (evil laugh)


darkwing  (D 4164)

Apr 18, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Re: [chuteless] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Please correct me if I misremember, but a Volplane was a two surface ram-inflated canopy at the front, and a single surface at the rear. Wasn't there also a valve, rather like a modern air-lock valve, at the rear of the cells?


chuteless  (D 41)

Apr 18, 2004, 10:44 AM
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Re: [darkwing] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I saw my friend George fly his around me many times, and I believe it was a two surface canopy front to back. I know nothing about an air lock valve....unless you are somehow referring to the hydraulic cylinder, or something that triggered it.

The canopy was very long from end to end, and had a huge curve to its overall shape, I suppose like what is today referred to as eliptical.

I always thought it was an ugly canopy,

Bill Cole D-41


(This post was edited by chuteless on Apr 18, 2004, 10:44 AM)


markbaur  (D 6108)

Apr 18, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Re: [darkwing] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Poynter's has a Pioneer Volplane cross-section diagram exactly as you describe: ram-air front, single-surface rear, and valves much like modern air-locks at the rear of the cells (at the chord mid-point, more or less).

The airlock prevented air from escaping the rear of the cell once the cell was pressurized.

Mark


chuteless  (D 41)

Apr 18, 2004, 12:58 PM
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Re: [markbaur] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

That sounds like it should be the one...as I said, I never knew or seen that configuration. Maybe it was after I opened it....I only saw stars....

Bill Cole D-41


Duluth

Feb 12, 2013, 11:32 AM
Post #9 of 12 (1334 views)
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Re: [chuteless] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Just stumbled onto this thread. I always wondered if anyone else ever had one of these @#$% things! That hydraulic opening retarding device was just that...retarded. You could set the tension at which it would release with a little set screw depending on the temps but it was always by guess and by golly as to what you got. It either snivelled for 1,000 feet or opened RIGHT NOW! Once opened though it was really an advancement for the day...mugh more forward speed than the para commanders that we were used to. Notice the sporty long lines on the attached photo. SCR 1399


Krip  (Student)

Feb 12, 2013, 1:45 PM
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Re: [Duluth] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi

Jumped with guy once at Ft RILEY KS. That had a volplane.

Cold windy, snow and ice on the ground. But free jumps from a UH 1H..

The volplanes hydraulic reefing system actually worked.

Then the dude slipped on the ice walking back to the hanger and broke his leg.

R.


billbooth  (D 3546)

Feb 16, 2013, 3:49 PM
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Re: [Krip] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually bought one when they first came out. Put about 10 jumps on it, then sold it to some guy who broke both legs on his first jump with it. Don't know what happened to it then. He probably burned it.

I think Pioneer made it in desperation when they realized that Steve Snyder's Para-Plane was destroying PC sales. It flew somewhere between a PC and a Delta 2, with almost no flare. I was in Miami, so I didn't have any problems with the
Hydraulic Reefing System, except that it kept leaking oil all over the canopy.


(This post was edited by billbooth on Feb 16, 2013, 6:28 PM)


Beatnik  (D 1051)

Mar 31, 2013, 8:05 AM
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Re: [Duluth] The Volplane ram air [In reply to] Can't Post

I own a Volplane that is complete with the hydraulic reefing device. I have jumped it a few times.

If the device is set properly it works great! Very comparable to a chute with a slider. If it is not set properly, it will open up quite hard.

Because the tail of the Volplane is single skin, there is a lot of span wise distortion from it and it flies like a real slug. Landing wise, it doesn't really have a problem. It lands fine. I am 210 lbs without gear and I can standup the landings fine with it.

I have never had a problem with the hydraulic device leaking oil. I filled mine with sewing machine oil so that if it does leak it won't stain or damage anything. I personally think that if it was slammed around and not taken care of it would leak. My volplane has less than 100 jumps on it and it is in fantastic shape without any problems.



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