Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Swooping and Canopy Control:
X-braced VS Airlocks....differences

 


JJohnson  (D 22675)

Jul 10, 2002, 3:45 PM
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X-braced VS Airlocks....differences Can't Post

Okay, just for the sake of comparison, because I have jumped neither, what makes one better than the other.
I understand the principles of each, and I think that both simply try to make the canopy a more rigid wing. The X-braced by added spans of material and the Airlocked by not letting air out of it easily.
For those of you out there who HAVE jumped both, I'd like to hear opinions.

JJ


ramon  (D 26115)

Jul 10, 2002, 4:15 PM
Post #2 of 13 (1921 views)
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Good info [In reply to] Can't Post

www.icaruscanopies.com has the best info about cross bracing read about FX and VX and pay atention to 'distortion'.

www.bigairsportz.com will have a very good explanation about airlocks.

remember, there are a lot of opinions in this forum some of them strong....I own one airlocked and two cross braces and like them all.
Smile

Both will flare a little more before the canopy colapses than a normal canopy but for different reasons (airlocked because it is inflated and cross braced because it distorts less upon flaring). The cross braced canopies seem to have thinner airfoils (that is thickness from top to bottom).

I am not sure of this...but I have been told by a pro swooper that if you load up a traditional canopy like a stilletto to 2.3 or so performance will suffer greatly because it will flex so much and that cross braced canopies will not do that.

A crossfire and a cobalt especially have a different construction method that allows greater wingloadings.

Personally I think Airlocks will stay a very small segment of the market and cross braced canopies, and newer non-cross braces like the above mentioned wings will grow in market share.

ramon


(This post was edited by ramon on Jul 10, 2002, 4:25 PM)


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Jul 10, 2002, 4:19 PM
Post #3 of 13 (1914 views)
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Re: [JJohnson] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

Cross Bracing serves to minimize the top skin distortion to allow for a cleaner airfoil thus leading to longer swoops. The FX only has like 8% distortion and the VX is at like 4%. Cross-bracing is not designed to add rigidity to the canopies, but it adds a bit so that is a side effect.

Airlocks help the cells to maintain pressure. The Airlocks do nothing to reduse distortion and the canopies if they follow a stiletto distortion rate can have up to 15-20% distortion.

Airlocked canopies can and have collipised before so they are not fool proof. But they do help keep some air in the cells so in the event of a collapse, not all the air is lost.


rgoper  (C 32349)

Jul 10, 2002, 4:38 PM
Post #4 of 13 (1905 views)
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Re: [JJohnson] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

see attached .jpeg of derek's (hooknswoop) canopy after a 180 snap, and and front riser grab, i'm assuming by his body position he's shifting weight in the harness to get more or faster response from the canopy. i've seen hook do this many. many times over the years, and i never noticed the distortion in the VX-60 X-braced canopy he's flying here. he's been clocked with a radar gun at SDSL at 98 MPH, if my memory serves me correctly, and i'm sure it does. i was surprised to see the shape of this canopy when i viewed this .jpeg the first time. i could be wrong about what he was doing, when he was doing it, i'm sure he'll correct me, he's a hell of a swoopmonster! see attached.
Attachments: 2-173240-hook.jpg (11.3 KB)
  2-173242-hookswoop.jpg (108 KB)


Kirils  (D License)

Jul 11, 2002, 5:32 AM
Post #5 of 13 (1833 views)
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Re: [JJohnson] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

I owned a Jedei and jumped a Vengence and now jump a Xaos-21. I had both the air-locked canopies with the thought they would be more resistant to collapse and better in gusts. Well come to find out there really isn't any evidence that an airlocked is any more collapse resistant than other canopies.
I remember reading an article in Skydiver a year or so ago that mentioned the same thing. The Xaos seems actually more stable and rigid than my Jedei.
I'm not knocking airlocked canopies, but the problems associated with them and the lack of real performance advantages over other canopies dosen't seem to justify the additional cost for the airlocks.


eames  (D 23844)

Jul 11, 2002, 7:56 AM
Post #6 of 13 (1810 views)
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Re: [rgoper] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

The shape of his canopy in that picture has nothing to do with crossbraces or airlocks or their characteristics. That will happen to any canopy when one quickly pulls a front riser significantly farther than the other front riser (snap hook). You just don't see so many people doing that anymore.

Jason


freeflyguy  (D 24207)

Jul 11, 2002, 8:18 AM
Post #7 of 13 (1807 views)
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Re: [rgoper] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

It looks to me like Hook is grabbing a large handful of front riser in that picture too. It is distortion, but not the kind of distortion a x-braced is better at.

What a x-braced has over a non is like this.

Think of a bread sack that measures 12 inches long when laid flat, no air.

Then blow air into it. Although it is technically the same lentgth, it will now only measure say, 10 inches.

What the x-braces do, is maintain that length. So a x-braced breadsack would measure 11 inches, with air and a non braced, stilleto or airlocked would measure 10.

In effect a 120sf x braced will have more useable square foot over your head when inflated, then a non braced 120.

I think I will get a sandwhich.

j


cobaltdan  (D License)

Jul 11, 2002, 2:52 PM
Post #8 of 13 (1754 views)
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Re: [freeflyguy] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

hi j,

i dissagree with your explanation.

as a canopy designer i can fix my effective span at what ever i want. the purpose of x braces is simply to pull down the top skin for the purpose of reducing spanwise airfoil distortion. which is not the onlyway to skin the cat, just one technique of several.

improving your airfoil increases efficiency and is what makes a canopy effectively fly 'bigger'. it is not because you can get a bigger span using cross braces (which btw you do not get).

sincerely,

dan
atair


diverds  (D 17797)

Jul 11, 2002, 3:44 PM
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Re: [cobaltdan] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a thought. An airplane can get into nasty turbulence near the ground and loose altitude rapidly (i.e. downdraft, windsheer) and hit the ground hard. I guess what I'm saying is: no mater how rigid your wing or how good the pressureization of your canopy, turbulence can still get you.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 11, 2002, 4:54 PM
Post #10 of 13 (1731 views)
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Re: [JJohnson] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, whether a certain type of canopy is "better" is a matter of personal preference. People buy parachutes to do different things, so what may be perfect for you might completely suck for my application.

I have owned both airlocked (Vengeance 97) and crossbraced canopies (VX-74). Out of the two, for maximum swoop performance, my choice is the crossbraced canopy. While I think airlocked canopies have their place in the market, I saw absolutely no reason to keep mine because it just didn't swoop like I wanted it to. It was also a pain in the ass to pack. True, you will probably get better openings out of some airlocked canopies as compared to most crossbraces, but the added performance tradeoff is worth it to most swoopers. There are a few people competing under airlocked canopies with some success, but generally, they seem to be most popular in windy, desert climes.

Does this mean that crossbraced canopies are for everyone? Absolutely not. Some people are just not interested in having to stay so "turned on" during their entire canopy flight. I like crossbraces, but wasn't happy with the freaky openings on my VX so I sold it.

Anyway, in my opinion it's easier to get a great swoop with much less effort under a Cobalt or Crossfire derivative. They are both very forgiving, swoop fantastically, and open like butter. I haven't jumped any airlocked canopy (Vengeance, Jedei, Samurai) that landed as good as either of those canopies. Just my opinion, but that is what you asked for; reviews on those two canopy types by someone who has actually owned both.

The bottom line here is that YOU must choose a canopy based on your specific needs.

Chuck


JJohnson  (D 22675)

Jul 11, 2002, 7:29 PM
Post #11 of 13 (1718 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

I should clarify, I was asking out of curiousity. My next canopy will most likely be a Comp. Cobalt, hopefully follwed by the Onyx.
What type of lines are they using on the Atair tri-braced monster? (I assume you have seen and jumped it? If so what is it like?)

JJ


nigel99  (D 1)

Jul 12, 2002, 1:58 AM
Post #12 of 13 (1682 views)
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Re: [freeflyguy] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

http://icaruscanopies.com/canopies/EXTreme_FX/

this seems to provide a good explanation on the crossbraced canopy - says pretty much what you just said without the bread sack


cobaltdan  (D License)

Jul 12, 2002, 10:51 AM
Post #13 of 13 (1631 views)
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Re: [JJohnson] X-braced VS Airlocks....differences [In reply to] Can't Post

the atair comp cobalt and onyx use spectra lines.

sincerely,

dan
atair



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