Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Wing Suit Flying:
what do you think are the next advancements?

 

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arai  (A License)

Jan 16, 2006, 1:51 PM
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what do you think are the next advancements? Can't Post

 

I dont know a full and complete version of wingsuit history but I imagine it started out with just a membrane between the arm and torso, which then moved into a cell system which turned the whole body into a wing platform.

the latest suits seem to use that concept further by including stiffners in the suits to better hold a wing shape and keep it more consistant.

the leap from fabric span to turning that into a wingsuit (cell enclosure) was a pretty solid leap in performance gains (I imagine), and the ability to better retain an airfoil shape in flight I'm is further optimizeing that.

so whats next? what kind of things do you think will be incorperated into the next gen suits? will different airfoils start to be designed for different applications? (fall rate vs glide distance) etc.

are we approaching the end of a curve which see's performace gains come at smaller and smaller increments, or can suit designers still manage to come up with ways to optimize that quite limited wing surface area that comes with putting a suit on a person?

-arai-


(This post was edited by arai on Jan 16, 2006, 1:54 PM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 16, 2006, 2:10 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
are we approaching the end of a curve which see's performace gains come at smaller and smaller increments, or can suit designers still manage to come up with ways to optimize that quite limited wing surface area that comes with putting a suit on a person?

Call me a skeptic, but my guess is along these lines... I don't think there will be huge leaps and bounds in wingsuit technology anytime soon. We're inflatable gliders, that's all; there's not a whole lot to improve upon.

On the other hand, I do see a huge potential for the sport, not in terms of suits getting better, but in terms of flyers getting better. I am plenty happy with my S3 and will fly it until it falls apart. My skills on the other hand, I expect to progress and I will never stop learning new things, even if I stay in the same suit forever. We are supposed to fly these suits like extensions of our bodies, so I plan on staying in my suit until I am so accustomed to it that it feels like part of my body. Unless there is a REALLY compelling reason to change suits. Laugh

I would like to see a higher performance suit with backvents/airlocks, if such a thing is possible.


tr027  (D License)

Jan 16, 2006, 2:38 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Helium pressurized wings... Wink


nathaniel

Jan 16, 2006, 2:51 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

The optimal lift/drag ratio is in the shape of a glider wing, surprisingly enough. Long and skinny. So improvements could come by designing a way to extend the arm wing further past the hands. Even moreso than the grippers & extended wings on the vampire, s3s, etc. Perhaps even leading in front of the arm a bit. The trick is to do it without resulting in tremendous arm pressure, without cumbersome equipment or excessive internal re-informcements, and maintaining your ability to find & deploy your hackey. And you still have to be able to get in and out of an otter door Smile

How about...rigid wingtips?


Calvin19  (D 29712)

Jan 16, 2006, 3:54 PM
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Re: [nathaniel] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

The key to effiecient flight is aspect ratio. agreed. this assuming we can minimise drag. the actual flight profile of a wingsuit is one of the dirtiest and least engineerable i have ever seen on an aircraft. Resembling some of the X projects in the 40s and 50s.

one can only achieve a usefull gliding aspect ratio with extending the wingspan of an existing suit. This being very hard to do, a wingsuit designer can only increase to cord of a wing, and thus its total wing area. notice that the sticks we hang on to on our more advanced suits do not give wingspan, only cord.

The other problems i see with wongsuits and effieciency is the "rogallo" shape of all wings. An optimum wing is one with a constant angle of attack, not low in the center and high on the tips. It is similar to the 70s hang glider designs, slow with little glide performance.
I feel the largest problem with the "human body wing platform" is the flight profile one has through the air, the entire body flies at a 20-40 degree angle, and thus has an extreme amount of drag.

In my opinion, the suit designers are doing the best that is possible at this time. I believe suits will progressivly get lower angles of attack to minimise the interferance of the human body in the suit, and that as this happens, the need for large "billow" in the arm and leg wings will be reduced. this of course will decrease stability, making the suit harder to fly.

other areas to progress: finding a cleaner upper surface to complete the helmet/container/but balloon wing...possibly joining the arm wings to this center foil
...further seperating the but wing trailing edge with the lower leg wing to improve its perfomance and decrease "knee bend" interferance.

all in all, i would say wingsuits have a huge opportunity to progress. they are a new thing, and new things are hard to understand. im sure old timers will remember when the sub-100 square foot parachute was impossible...


ikenever  (D 5716)

Jan 16, 2006, 4:33 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

Good post and question. I do see some flaws but it's mostly in our body position. Most of the time it's when we fly with other people. Not flying with other people gives us the freedom to become a cleaner wing. I am guilty of poor body position when flying with others but since we all don't weigh the same and aren't as short or tall as one anther we have to make adjustments. This is mostly were the flaws come in. If you notice photos of people flying in a group or not you can see the lack of a clean wing from the bottom of the container to the tips of the toes. Were talk'in "bent legs". This isn't a desirable wing shape and it doesn't create lift. This is caused by strain, laziness, distraction or not knowing the correct body position.

The arm wings are close to an efficient wing for what the human arms have to deal with. Improvements can always be made. I believe a good or better leg wing is in the future for all of us. Sometimes the manufacturers have to come up with changes to improve your game. Take golf equipment as an example. The changes over the years have allowed us to hit the ball farther and straighter.

Time and imagination will give us the improvements down the road. Currently I am working on a smoother less distorted top skin for the leg wing on a new suit that I'm building. I guess I'll see after its done.

Being an old bastard, I was there when ram air canopies first came out. Improvements were made to to get the damn things to open semi consistently. After the manufacturers cured this problem we thought wow! is it possible to improve this design. Yes


outrager

Jan 16, 2006, 5:35 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
so whats next?

Genetic engineering Wink

Othat than that - WS will split up even more. Unfortunately, there is only a tiny fraction of pilots that are actually inerested in perfomance flying (i.e. improving glide ratio). Vast majority of skydiving WS pilots don't really care about perfomance while flocking etc, and many recent wingsuit models already reflect it. The bulk of WS designs will improve in other areas such as style, colors and convenience.

There are still some small incremental gains in WS perfomance design to be achieved, though.

bsbd!

Yuri.


Basjkall  (B 666)

Jan 16, 2006, 5:48 PM
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Re: [ikenever] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot could be done to improve the wingsuits..
Better airfoiled designed rigs, surface of the materiale, stiffer wings-carbon laminated armwings giving a lot more efficient wings with the same size as today. Thinner wings? Better balanced suits-more speed.. stiffeners/plastic sheets tightening the upper and lower layer of the wing (tried it, works well..) Integrate the rig in the suit, spreading the pack from neck to below the ass. Packing it wider.
(This suit is being made as we speak, and with carbon laminated wings..) Shocked
Read your aerodynamics boys and girls, all the answers is right there. Think for your selfs, dont let a few guys at the leading companies be the ones to "rule the world" with their, no offense, limited insight in human flight. We have proved them wrong in tracking suits and techniqes, and will do the same with the overprized and oversized wingsuits Wink

Living la vida loca brothers and sisters,
Peace out


ikenever  (D 5716)

Jan 16, 2006, 8:05 PM
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Re: [Basjkall] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

Press on! This is the kind of thinking and DOING that has value.


Trae  (Student)

Jan 16, 2006, 8:19 PM
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Re: [Basjkall] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to "Think for your selfs, dont let a few guys at the leading companies be the ones to "rule the world" with their, no offense, limited insight in human flight. We have proved them wrong in tracking suits and techniqes, and will do the same with the overprized and oversized wingsuits"
....................

China copies any-one??? Wink

I do tend to agree a bit . Some with vested interests do appear to want us to believe that the suits won't get much better than they aleady are. They're still trying to sell us their out of date suits.
This attitude is not uncommon in skydiving and if these guys are recommending out of date and inadequate gear just because they're selling it then it's BS sucksville.

Any-one with even a slight knowledge of aircraft history would know such dead-end thinking is totally bogus. The Wright flyer may have been first but it was a failure in most other respects.

Of course the suits will get better and they are.
All the slower older suits will need replacing sometime and it'll be with newer faster suits with more preformance range not the same old thing dressed up to look pretty.

Of course some will be more interested in flocking than maxing out.....but the edge will be with those seeking maximum performance.

in reply to"This suit is being made as we speak, and with carbon laminated wings..) "
.............................
How about a little sneak preview or is that bad for business.Tongue

.


yuri_base

Jan 16, 2006, 8:26 PM
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Re: [Basjkall] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yo!

I second your ideas. The traditional WS design with wide-spread inflated arms creates too much drag and bad balance (read: too high angle of attack, 20-30 degrees - too inefficient for a wing with aspect ratio of the human body). Basic aerodynamics it is.

A wingsuit with very large leg wing (V1-style, but wider), smaller arm wing (arms at ~45 degrees to the body), with tight non-inflatable arm/leg sleeves will reduce drag and shift the balance to head-low, thus reducing the angle of attack to more efficient one.

Imitating flying squirrels is a 20th century thing, after all. Wink

Yuri


unclecharlie95  (C 100027)

Jan 17, 2006, 12:52 AM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I don't think we are near the top of the development slope yet. There are still many areas to be worked on! Lets see what the future holds... Smile

Where there is passion there will always be innovation.


brianfry713  (D 28665)

Jan 18, 2006, 4:19 PM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

A major breakthrough: someone landing a wingsuit.

There already are wingsuits for different applications, such as the V1 or S3S for glide ratio and forward speed, and the GS1 for slow decent rate. There are also other types of suits like the Prodigy and tracking suits that are good for BASE and beginners. Some of the newer suits are also designed with acrobatics in mind.

The high end suits will see improvements in speed and glide ratio through more lift generation and drag reduction. Maybe a wingsuit with cross braced cells or something like that? Although it seems to be growing recently, I don't think the sport has been around long enough with enough fliers to have seen the end of major innovation.


Trae  (Student)

Jan 18, 2006, 4:35 PM
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Re: [Basjkall] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to"(This suit is being made as we speak, and with carbon laminated wings..) "
..........................

Come on please Smile can we have a look please at the carbon fbre wingsuit?.....pretty please?..... with sugar on top?????


Angelic


jakee  (C License)

Jan 19, 2006, 6:09 AM
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Re: [brianfry713] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe a wingsuit with cross braced cells or something like that?

The advantages of cross bracing are to cut down on line drag and improve openings while greatly increasing the number of cells in parachutes. Since wingsuits don't have lines or opening issues it would be much simpler to just add more conventional ribs.

Assuming it would make any difference to have more cells in the wings anyway.


nicknitro71  (D 26704)

Jan 19, 2006, 6:51 AM
Post #16 of 68 (1341 views)
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a very good post and those are questions I ask myself on daily bases.

Lift and drag being so simple in theory they are like a chameleon when applied to real situations.

Reducing the induced drag is going to be a real bitch because it is strictly related with the AR of the wing. We can add wing tip spoilers, reduce the flapping of the trailing edges (I've done it with great results) but in the end we are limited by our natural wing span.

I foresee great advances in the reduction of parasite drag with the use of stiffer, smoother materials, different constructions, containers, helmets, yada, yada, yada.

As somebody already posted there are few who are really interested in those advances and skydiving is not the environment they have in mind for this type of performance gain.


gus

Jan 19, 2006, 7:03 AM
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Re: [nicknitro71] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

Modern wingsuit flying is a very young discipline. As it matures we'll see advances in materials and design that will increase lift and decrease drag. We'll also see advances in technique and general knowledge of how best to fly. Bring it on!

Gus


sub_terminal

Jan 19, 2006, 7:17 AM
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Re: [Trae] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

what ideas does everybody have for any kind of carbon or composite use in a WS? i'm in the industry and would be willing to prototype anything for cheap to advance WS evolution. there are lots of advanced materials out there other than carbon. especially that may be engineered to have both rigid and flexible properties. any ideas! post or PM me.


KrisFlyZ  (C 34590)

Jan 19, 2006, 12:05 PM
Post #19 of 68 (1273 views)
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Re: [sub_terminal] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
what ideas does everybody have for any kind of carbon or composite use in a WS? i'm in the industry and would be willing to prototype anything for cheap to advance WS evolution. there are lots of advanced materials out there other than carbon. especially that may be engineered to have both rigid and flexible properties. any ideas! post or PM me.

Can you post the details about the various materials available? It would be interesting reading.

Kris.


Trae  (Student)

Jan 20, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Re: [sub_terminal] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

How about carbon fibre scales that slide over each other with an internal frame of some sort. Opened a bit like a folding fan .
Top and bottom skinning. retracted onto back and front.
This could provide a semi-solid wing that would still be flexible and totally adjustable by the pilot.

Similarly the leg wing could be made of several segments that slid together and apart.
Bit like an exo-skeleton.


(This post was edited by Trae on Jan 20, 2006, 12:46 PM)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jan 21, 2006, 7:22 AM
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Re: [Trae] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aside from the technical advancements, one thing I also quite like about wingsuit flying is that its one of the last 'honest' freefall diciplines where you can only practice in actual skydives.

The only way to learn is to 'fly' out of a plane (or off a cliffTongue).
Unlike RW/Freefly, where windtunnels are becoming (or already are) the number one training-tool.


Trae  (Student)

Jan 21, 2006, 8:05 AM
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Re: [mccordia] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to "The only way to learn is to 'fly' out of a plane (or off a cliff).
Unlike RW/Freefly, where windtunnels are becoming (or already are) the number one training-tool."
........................................

Perhaps some-one will get with it & design something similar to a wave pool but with air instead of water. Instead of a vertical tunnel a very strong breezeLaugh is directed up an angled /shaped slope .

Flyers could stand at the top of the and pop onto the lift when it's their turn....fly around a bit and swoop off when times up.
Smile


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jan 21, 2006, 8:15 AM
Post #23 of 68 (1167 views)
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Re: [outrager] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Unfortunately, there is only a tiny fraction of pilots that are actually inerested in perfomance flying (i.e. improving glide ratio). Vast majority of skydiving WS pilots don't really care about perfomance while flocking etc, and many recent wingsuit models already reflect it.

I don't really believe that, Yuri. While technical flocking is what I like most about the discipline, I still really like busting out long, fast flights. I believe a lot of others do too. "BASE-only" guys certainly don't make enough wingsuit flights to claim any performance dominance over guys that make 400 wingsuit skydives a year. While there are some phenomenally-efficient wingsuit BASE guys (out of neccessity?), most of those guys I know (and see on video) simply don't impress me with any out-of-the-ordinary flying skills when I jump with them. Certainly not any more than the average boogie flocker at Z-hills or Raeford. I think people that pigeon-hole themselves into thinking "it's my way or the highway" are really missing out on a lot of what is going on today in the discipline. I am not saying you fall into that category, bro, but there is a definitely perception by some of your cliff jumping compadres that they possess some magical ability to smoke "flockers"; it just isn't so. Every experienced wingsuit guy I know (there are a lot of guys with over 500 flights now) has the ability to do it all, fast or slow. The bottom end of almost every single flock I have ever been on turns into a "performance" race. While my S3 is definitely overkill for flocking, it's the massive range of the suit and the ability to really punch it out on the bottom during those races that keep me in such a big suit. Hell, that's one of the best parts of the dive in my opinion! SmileWhile genetics are obviously going to help out tall, thin, europeans in some regards, it's the actual experience of making many repeated flights which gives a person a real "performance" edge. Just my observations.

Chuck


(This post was edited by SkymonkeyONE on Jan 21, 2006, 8:33 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 21, 2006, 8:47 AM
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Re: [arai] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

BASE jumpers are already starting to track ACROSS the cliff face.
That would be the ultimate in spectator sports! Just sit on the far side of the valley with your lawn chair and cooler and count how many airblades/pylons the dude flew OVER.
You could sell advertising space on the pylons.
ESPN might even sign on?????

"Billy Bomber caught some major air over the Yamaha pylon, but he is cutting it close on the Honda pylon.
Will he make it?
Will he make it?
Oh!
He flew under the Honda pylon!
That is going to cost him big time in the final points standings!
Now he still has to judge how many more pylons he can score, before he has to run back.
Remember that he still has to land in the circle if he wants to qualify for the next round.
I hear that next year the sponsors [insert name] are trying to up the ante. They want to bring in sharks, but are having a hard time finding sharks that feed in water this cold.
We will keep you posted as this story develops.
Now back to the cliff face as Billy Bomber cuts it close around the Sanyo pylon and heads back towards the target."


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jan 21, 2006, 8:57 AM
Post #25 of 68 (1157 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] what do you think are the next advancements? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a cool idea, Rob!


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