F-111 Increases in porisity faster, loses flare power faster, shorter life span of the canopy (usually about 700 jumps), usually require a 1 stage flare, not likely to surf far, Can not be overloaded as much as ZP.
ZP- Longer life, more consistant porisity throught the life of the canopy (Usually upwards of 1500 but 3000 is not unheard of), requires a 2 or multistage flare, more likely to swoop, better material to overload, higher resale value, more expensive upfront cost, most new designs are ZP.
Overall both materials are good for Parachutes. If you are straped for money, F1-11 fits the budget really well. Its less expensive of a canopy then ZP. Also if you are unable to learn the multistage flare, then its an easier canopy to land. ZP is more of an upfront cost, but the payoff is there at resale time. Someone else can go into the details about the non-linear increaseing of porisity in F1-11 or the calandering process is used to make ZP material and the different versions of ZP that are made....
I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend... ~3EB
billvon (D 16479)
Mar 24, 2002, 6:17 PM
Post #4 of 6
All are ZP fabric. Few canopies are F111 nowadays. The Manta is an example of one F111 canopy in the FCI lineup, as are the PD-170/190/210/230 in the PD lineup. Some canopies (like the Silhouette) are part-ZP, part-F111. (F111, BTW, is spec'd as allowing 0-3cfm of air to pass when new; ZP supposedly allows none.)
In terms of new canopies, avoid F111 unless they're large (loaded at less than .8 to 1 or so.) There aren't too many significant safety advantages between F111 and ZP at light loadings, unless the F111 canopy is old (>600 jumps or so.)
Never packed an F111 but I believe it's easier. I learnt to pack on a Triathlon with about 100 jumps on it and that wasn't bad either. Some of the other ZPs, specially if new are harder to pack I believe.
Most modern mains are built of zero porosity fabric. Most modern reserves are built of 0-3 cubic feet per minute fabric that is a close copy of the old F-111 standard. Both fabrics start the same way on the loom. After weaving, 0-3 cfm fabric is "calendarized" by passing it between hot rollers. The hot rollers partially melt the round threads, making them half-round, partially filling in the gaps between threads. Then manufacturers add a variety of lustrants, UV inhibitors and other secret coatings to prolong the life of the fabric. F-111 fabric lasts 300 to 1,000 jumps depending upon care and climate. The first cross-braced canopies (PD Excalibur, circa 1988) were built of F-111 fabric. Excaliburs flew great at heavy wing loadings for about 300 jumps. Then they started thumping on landings.
Zero porosity fabric is woven the same way, but then manufacturers subject ZP to a variety of secret processes to seal the holes between threads. Some - like Gelvenor in South Africa - calendarize fabric before coating it with silicone. Others - like the American mills - seem to depend upon a heavy coating of silicone to seal the fabric. I find Gelvenor fabric easier to pack because it is less slippery. As for durability, climate probably makes a greater difference. Jumping in the desert wears out fabric at a rapid rate. All that salt and grit quickly takes the shine off fabric while those salt crystals work their way in to seams where they slowly grind.