Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners...

 


xAer0

Aug 9, 2001, 10:00 AM
Post #1 of 9 (1141 views)
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Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... Can't Post

...but what would justify for a newbie to spend ~$1500 to get one new since there are not many used ones around anyway, instead of going with a, let's say, Hornet?
I currently have 32 jumps and plan on jumping my first rig no sooner than 90-100 jumps, since I started with S/L, did 22 jumps, then switched to AFF and graduated last week,and I have to downsize from the Navigators 260 I was using,which bore me quite a lot, but at least I have fun trying to explain to other students how to surf them in a no wind day:)
Enough about me, let's talk about the Cobalt!
So,my first canopy should be a 170 if I got a Hornet, loaded at 1.15:1 . A Cobalt, as I understand, should be loaded more heavily, a 150 probably, loaded at 1.3 for me, to have the same forward speed.
So, Dan , and anyone else, what benefit would a low timer get from such a wing, instead of the traditional 1:1smth wing?In what terms will it be more dangerous, and how will it be safer?How flying a 150 cobalt will increase my skills?I'm not a conservative pilot, meaning I push my canopy and I get to know it.
Are the $600 more, worth it, and if so, how exactly?Will the extra flare improve my techinque for swooping?I mean, I won't attempt anything like it before 200+ jumps, and by then I will need a new canopy!So, what will be the REAL benefits for an agressive but responsible canopy pilot?

-Don't pull low, unless you are afraid of heights!-
Tefkros



cobaltdan  (D License)

Aug 9, 2001, 2:09 PM
Post #2 of 9 (1107 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

hi tefkros,

the cobalt is imo a technically superior design and performing canopy to the hornet.

openings: cobalts are the only canopy designed for higher speed deployments.
we have exhaustively tested them at speeds that would kill the jumper if using another canopy.
(to everyone that requested a video: mass mailing is going out tommorow)

freefly speeds are high enough to fracture your neck, break your neck, or detach your retina in the event of high speed deployment using conventional canopies. canopies known to open hard are responsible for breaking the necks of several dozen jumpers, many not even freeflying.

construction: there is a big difference in quality of construction between the cobalt and the hornet, or even the coablt and many other popular canopies. show them both to your rigger and ask them their opinion.

flight: cobalt has a better glide than the hornet, more lift, more flare, different center of gravity, more stable in twists.

i am not crazy about the hornets construction but overall i do not think the hornet is a bad flying canopy, just not nearly as good as the coblat.

i do not think you will outgrow the cobalt as fast as the hornet. cobalts are built to last and should have a better resale value when you are ready to trade in. given that many peoples first canopy is only for 1-2 years, the cobalt might turn out to be a more economical choice in the long run?

sincerely,

dan
atair




weid14  (D 20292)

Aug 10, 2001, 5:18 AM
Post #3 of 9 (1040 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

so in 32 jumps you've mastered your 260 -- explored it fully and are now teaching other students how to surf it in and you're ready to tackle a high performance wing? wow.



xAer0

Aug 10, 2001, 7:19 AM
Post #4 of 9 (1029 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

Haha, no Weid, sorry if I made it sound wrong, the surf part is one of my jokes at the drop zone...I land, go to the packing hangar, put it down and say...'Wow...I surfed it far this time!'...anyway, yes and no, I have explored quite enough my (PD says so) high performance Navigator if you take into account that people with 20 jumps fly Safires,Hornets and Sabres at 1.1:1, I believe I think more cautiously than most by considering a 1.15 Hornet in no less than 50 jumps, and if all the 'forgiveness' claims are true, a Cobalt at 1.25smth:1 at 100 jumps, ONLY if my drop zone , instructors and CCI feel comfortable with it.I don't need a canopy that will get me grounded,or worse, you know:)
Oh btw...I once opened a topic in the old forums, 'Newbies and high performance parachutes ' I believe it was called...and I was happy to see many experienced people accepting the fact that a high performance canopy at a reasonable wing loading with the proper respect could be flown safely.Even my AFF instructor says that Skydive Chicago does a very good thing putting students on HP canopies, because there is a HUGE difference between LEARNING under responsible people how to handle one , and it's complications, and totally another thing jumping a normal 'safe' canopy , then going to HP and think 'ok, no problem, I have MASTERED my previous canopy, so let's discover this one...so, deploy, spiral, spiral, spiral, and why not, a little low hook or some cool front risers in turbulence...BAM!'
Well, I know I had to necessarily fall in the second category,learning a lot of bad habits, and since I don't want to end up with anything broken, I believe I'm right in taking my time to downsize properly!
I'm sure Lisa will beat me up just for mentioning an elliptical @ 100 jumps, but don't worry Lisa, I won't fly anything me and my instructor don't feel I'm really ready to:)
I wouldn't say no to a demo, though:)

PS.That Navigator 260 can surf for ~20ft in a STRAIGHT IN approach in a calm day,if you get that 2-stage flare right...not exactly pro blade running, but it should do for now , giving me the feel of the ground going by as the canopy levels out. Opinions?

'Don't pull low, unless you are afraid of heights!'
Tefkros



weid14  (D 20292)

Aug 10, 2001, 10:54 AM
Post #5 of 9 (996 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

Respect is good -- the ground is usually hard and unforgiving. While I'm not against learning and downsizing while appropriate, one must understand that going smaller and faster has it's inherent risks. (I just saw in the S&T forum yet again another jumped breaking themselves under a good canopy). be cautious, listen to others, know yourself.



ljwobker  (D 28955)

Aug 18, 2001, 11:30 PM
Post #6 of 9 (871 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners [In reply to] Can't Post

dude... big difference between a Hornet and cobalt... Hornet is a *barely* elliptical wing, and a cobalt is significantly moreso. If you're thinking about a 1.35 cobalt at 30 jumps, I'm hoping I'm not there the day you spiral in. Do yourself a favor and get a Hornet, load it at 1.2 or so, and make a hundred jumps on it -- I own one and it's a fun canopy to fly even at that loading. As one of my JM's said: You're not ready to downsize until you've landed out 25 times on your old canopy, and made at least five bad out landings when you immediately stood up and said: "Shit, I'm really glad I had this big thing over my head for THAT". Until you've broken a steering line and landed on the risers, landed in a bean field going downwind, and had to make a 270 degree flat turn on final to avoid the guy who cut you off AND the power lines, you probably need to be jumping something really forgiving. All of these things have happened to me, and similar things will happen to you... thank god I wasn't on a 1.4 elliptical when that guy cut in front of me -- I would have either fried myself or hit hard enough to see if my fullface really works.

--lj





xAer0

Aug 19, 2001, 1:09 PM
Post #7 of 9 (841 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your concern Lawrence, and if you read my post in the canopy sales ethics thread, you'd see we share the same thoughts, and I explain why a Cobalt wouldn't be good as my first canopy!
Another thing I've noticed...and it's general in here! One says, I have xx jumps and I'm thinking of that canopy at XXX jumps...the responce is almost robotic..."You are thinking about that canopy at xx jumps?"No, I'm thinking about it at XXX jumps! Gee people, please be less excited when you reply, mistakes are often made and people get the wrong impressions!And if it's meant only that the thought of this canopy is just passing my mind at only xx jumps, well, YES, and I'm happy it does, cause that gives me a reason to learn the skills I need to fly that canopy WHENEVER I'm ready...
Sorry if I sound aggressive Lawrence, I really appreciate your and everyones' input, I just explain the way I think! Smile
I lean towards the Hornet anyway, unless I demo a Cobalt[10+ jumps] and find, as Dan suggests, that is just as SAFE in every aspect (provided I don't hook it at 20ft) , but better in flight.
I mean, I'm cautious and know when to say no, but I'm not prejudiced (is that the correct word?) against the word 'ELLIPTICAL'...I doubt however that even the Cobalt will have the same dive and speed near the corner , with the Hornet ones!And that's the danger of the elliptical planform always! If people keep being just passengers under their canopies, even 1000 jumps of 'conservative uneventful flight' won't save them!
This Cobalt issue got very out of control, and that's a reason newbies go towards them...with so much debate, any reasonable huma would soon start to wonder 'wow, what high tech wing is that Cobalt?' Please remember, that the Space, it's predecessor, is jumped by many newbies (at not efficient loadings though, according to the manual), but noone seems to say anything about it!
Once again, thanx for the input, it's good that we all care about the safety of everyone else!But we must not turn this into a fight!
And as I said, I'm sure I'll make my Hornet deliver the performance I need for the next ~200 jumps!

Don't pull low, unless you are afraid of heights!
Tefkros



ramon  (D 26115)

Aug 20, 2001, 6:13 AM
Post #8 of 9 (796 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just stirring it up.

My friend Conway is demo-jumping the pre-competition model (I think it is a 95). It is slamming the crap out of him (he does RW only). I told him to use small rubber bands and leave 3-4 inches per stow with 18 inches left over, but still slamming him.

this is not a freefly friendly parachute, but the Atair reps swore it was not a hop-n pop chute designed only for competition..

My friend Levin demoed a normal 75 and loved the openings.

bloo skies
ramon



cobaltdan  (D License)

Aug 20, 2001, 3:52 PM
Post #9 of 9 (737 views)
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Re: Sure, the Cobalt may be suitable for beginners... [In reply to] Can't Post

stir it up:

that canopy is a prototype for competition swooping, and it came out of my pack.
that modification was designed by howard adams in georgia.

it was sent out because conway was in a rush.

btw it definately was not slamming me, in fact quite the opposite.
caven warren has i believe over 1000 jumps on that exact mod.

anyway, conway i think arranged to wait for a demo of a stock cobalt.

sincerely,

dan
atair

ps. there was an unsolicited cobalt review, full page in skydive the mag of the british parachute association. very positive comments. after his "likes" the author listed his "dislikes" as openings are too slow for his taste (6 seconds), his demo colors, and having to give the canopy back. (article was written by dave mitchell)





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