Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
What is the best tandem canopy????

 


joerocket1022  (C 30263)

Sep 16, 2009, 9:40 AM
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What is the best tandem canopy???? Can't Post

I'm posting here in the hopes that I can get the opinions of highly experienced, well traveled tandem instructors who have likely seen multiple dropzones and rigs. I'm looking ahead to my tandem rating next year. What is the best tandem main canopy to fly and why?


(This post was edited by joerocket1022 on Sep 16, 2009, 9:49 AM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Sep 16, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Re: [joerocket1022] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope people will qualify their answers because so much depends on what one is used to as being "normal", what issues they'll accept or not.

If you always fly a Sigma, when you jump a Precision you might say it sucks because the opening are ugly and snappy, and the canopy feels mushy in turns, making one wonder how it will behave in turbulence. Not to mention not liking the non-stretch Vectran lines. (Although other lines are available.)

But if you jump the Precision, and try a Sigma, you might say it sucks because it just doesn't shut down on landing as well and it is ridiculously heavy on toggles. Not to mention not liking the huge dacron lines.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Sep 17, 2009, 9:56 AM
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I think that if you do a search, you'll find multiple threads on this subject. Apparently most folks here are tired of writing on it (deduced by the lack of response). I know that I've commented in multiple threads on tandem mains.

Martin


rhys  (D 95)

Sep 17, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Re: [joerocket1022] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,

I have flown;

Icarus 400's (dual toggles)
Icarus 365's (dual and single toggles)
Icarus 330's (dual and single toggles)
Icarus 300's (single toggles)
pecision 365's
Aerodyne A2 350
Aerodyne A2 389
PD EZ 384
PD EZ 425
Strong Set 400
Strong Set 366
JoJo wing Hop 330 (single toggle)
Sigma 340

Although the precision canopies are very similar to the Icarus, they have a different brake line configuration (at least the ones I have jumped).

Toggle pressure and flare are things that are important, and glide ratios will be different.

For instance I found the aerodyne canopies had a flat glide and after a year of jumping them I flound I was landing short on the icarus canopies, but if i went back to aerodyne i would overshoot the landing now I am used to icarus again.

Overly elliptical tandem canopies (hop and sigma) are not a good idea in my opinion, there is no need for the twitchyness, PD can't seem to grasp the dual toggle thing, they attach 6 to the steering toggles (heavy steering) and 2 to the flare toggles, where Icarus attach 2 to the steering toggles (light steering) and 6 to the flare toggles. Unless of course you ask for another configuration.

There are plenty of factors and differences, but in the end it comes down to what the DZO of your DZ likes to purchase. Unless of course you are buying your own equipment?

My opinion is a combination of Icarus 330's for up tp 90kg (200lb) passengers (i'm 75kg/166lb) and Icarus 365 for anything over.

I have taken 330's with heavy people with no problem but you would want to be experienced and current.

The reason I like them is the openings are nice and soft (like all icarus canopies), they fly nice, they have a good trim, not too steep and not too flat so are easy to be accurate with, they have light toggle pressure for steering and good flare. also they are easy to get out of linetwists due to the forward speed, and easy to pack due to no brake settings.

The Set 400's and EZ's IMHO are shit canopies, but they are very old designs (bar the set 366 which is still shit), fortunately I have not had to jump those much. They open like shit and have very heavy toggle pressure.

Icarus is best.


joerocket1022  (C 30263)

Sep 17, 2009, 1:44 PM
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Re: [skydived19006] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

will do. Thanks.


skyshimas  (D 29263)

Sep 29, 2009, 9:19 AM
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Re: [rhys] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have jumped only PD 384's and icarus 365's. I think icarus is superior over PD tandem canopies: they open nice, don't malfunction as easy (i don't know if that had anything to do with how old pd canopies were) have a nice flare, light toggle preasure, flies well. Now couple problems I found: icarus breathes more in turbulence( makes you more scared) and line twists are the problem. At our DZ we had 2 cutaways this year do to linetwists which wasn't a problem on pd canopies. I found that kicking doesn't help only grabing the risers and untwisting by hand.


godspeed  (D 471)

Oct 1, 2009, 7:21 PM
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Re: [skyshimas] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

for my two cents worth!..have jumped icarus, EZ, Sets, hops and now sigmas...of all I now prefer the sigma ..only since I added 5" to the brake line lowers to put the effort point lower in the flare stroke, have found doing many tandems in a day a whole heap easier..and flaring smoother and more controlled...thus now because of the ability in turbulence and overall flying performance sigma gets my vote.. thank you


efs4ever  (D 7014)

Oct 1, 2009, 9:24 PM
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Re: [joerocket1022] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a meat missle. In the beginning, I wanted a BIG canopy, so I got a 425. Sonuvabitch lineovered every fifty jumps.

Then I got a Sigma 395. Never functioned, until I sold it to the DZ.

After that, I got a SG 370, which never mal'd until I packed it.

NOW, I jump a Sigma 340 on a Micro Sigma Rig, and it is Da BOMB. Love it. Only time I chopped it was due to packer locking the brakes.

SG 340 in a Micro Sigma. That's my answer.


tonyhays  (D 26336)

Oct 3, 2009, 6:36 AM
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Re: [efs4ever] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
SG 340 in a Micro Sigma. That's my answer.

Is it just me or do they fly really flat?

Give me an Icarus 330 any day!


josheezammit  (D 28519)

Oct 3, 2009, 7:01 AM
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Re: [tonyhays] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

i love them Icarus 365's!


johnny1488  (D 25453)

Oct 4, 2009, 9:05 PM
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Re: [tonyhays] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Very very flat, feels like a paraglider. I like how the Icarus, both 330 and 365 come down a bit steeper.

Without being too biased, I think the 370 is a better canopy for a new TM to learn on, it is definetly more forgiving to mistakes, but as a full time instructor, from packing to opening to landing to carrying it in, I love the Icarus.


livendive  (D 21415)

Oct 5, 2009, 12:48 PM
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In reply to:
Give me an Icarus 330 any day!

What he said.

Blues,
Dave


Rover  (D 241)

Oct 5, 2009, 3:03 PM
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Re: [livendive] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Give me an Icarus 330 any day!

What he said.

Blues,
Dave

The 300 rocks along as well Cool


skydivekc  (D 18629)

Oct 5, 2009, 3:57 PM
Post #14 of 21 (2636 views)
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Re: [Rover] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just had a chance to jump the Aerodyne A2 350 yesterday. Our Dz is flying EZ 384's. Try the A2 or Sigma. Of course there are some DZ's that still jump 421's and 500's so I guess its a matter of what works for you or your DZO.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Oct 6, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Re: [skydivekc] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Funny!
But I was under the impression that Performance Designs 421 and 500 were made of F-111 (o-3 cfm) fabric, which should have been worn out years ago.

Like my DZO says, "If you have to send a SET-400 to the factory - for an 8-year check - you are in the wrong business."

IOW you should make more than 200 jumps per year and wear it out (more than 1,000 jumps) before a tandem main comes due for an 8-year check.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Oct 7, 2009, 6:22 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Funny!
But I was under the impression that Performance Designs 421 and 500 were made of F-111 (o-3 cfm) fabric, which should have been worn out years ago.

Like my DZO says, "If you have to send a SET-400 to the factory - for an 8-year check - you are in the wrong business."

IOW you should make more than 200 jumps per year and wear it out (more than 1,000 jumps) before a tandem main comes due for an 8-year check.

I get your point, but we spread 600 tandems a year over 4 rigs. Two guys can turn back to back, or every other load with the four rigs. 600 tandems a year is about max for our one 182 weekend DZ with two guys working.

Here's a little twist on "Icarus" canopies. We have two which were manufactured by Precision before the divorce of Precision and Icarus, one 330, one 365. One by Precision (330) after the divorce, and one by Icarus (365) of late.

By far the most consistent, trouble free of the four are the two older ones. Icarus will tell you that Precision is using "the old design", but I think that George may have made changes too. I want a canopy cut like they did it in 1999!

All that said, even with "troublesome" canopies we're well over 4000 tandems with two mals. One due to lines breaking, one line over. Never dacron lines, zero tension knots. So, if malfunction rate is part of your equation...

Martin


toolbox  (D 18778)

Oct 8, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: [joerocket1022] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have 9000+ tandems and have used 520's,500's,425 ez and 425 masters,421's,384ez's,set 400's,arodyne's,precision 365's,icarus 330,icarus365,icarus400,sigma370,sigma395.
Other than the 520's and 500's,I've never worried about toggle pressure and have always picked up the flare toggles after adjusting the student after opening and fly both sets of toggles from 3000 to the ground.
I've done 17 tandems in a day flying both sets of toggles all the way from opening and have never gotten tired by it.
I like the icarus and precision canopies(size depending on desity altitude) with either toggle configuration in most situations.
I feel though that the sigma canopies seem to handel high winds and turbulence better than the icarus or precision's.
Since most DZ's tend to have wind limits of 25MPH or less and tend to be more conservative about turbulence,the icarus and the precision canopies are my favorites so far.
I've never had the chance to use the Hop but have heard from other very experienced TI's that they liked them.
I really enjoyed the Icarus 330's at sea level, but when the density altitude is 10,000ft or higher,with the wind socks pointing at each other,I would prefer a Icarus 400.


(This post was edited by toolbox on Oct 8, 2009, 12:49 PM)


HUSHPUPPY  (D 29008)

Oct 8, 2009, 4:56 PM
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Re: [toolbox] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I started on 421's and 384's, now we mainly use Sigma 370's and a couple of newer 384's. Recently I bought an A2 350, which I have since sold to our DZ and it is a very popular canopy! (light toggles and great flare!). I have also jumped Icarus 360 and 330 and they are excelent!


(This post was edited by HUSHPUPPY on Oct 8, 2009, 4:57 PM)


skydiveoc  (D 12721)

Oct 9, 2009, 1:15 PM
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Re: [HUSHPUPPY] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would stay away from 330 340 size canopies if you are new. They can get away from you if your skills are not so solid as we have seen a few times resulting in fatal incidents. The set 400 and Precision 365 would be good starters. Forgiving, the SET has a flat glide and plenty of lift. The Precision 365 more cost effective with still plenty of lift.

As soon as you have maybe 500 tandems with the above recommendations, the the Sigma 340 is in my opinion the best for the experienced tandem canopy pilot.

Another tip: Watch your landings on video. Make sure you dont settle for any flares that arent FULL FLARES. Even with a performance maneuver, you should be maxing out your landing with your arms, not you or your students feet. Unless there is a bunch of wind of course.

I used to argue with other instructors saying they were flaring only half way. They would deny and deny until showed them video of them flaring half way!

Hope this helps


camamel  (D 333)

Oct 20, 2009, 10:04 AM
Post #20 of 21 (2221 views)
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Re: [HUSHPUPPY] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally I started with Highlifter 360's back in 85, then 421's , 384's, 370's and now 340's all from PD.
At my DZ in the last four seasons we put well over 15000 jumps on 370's and 340's. The 340 is the first tandem canopy from PD that make a real difference in toggles pressure. It is exactly like a big Stiletto. Very strong in turbulance. Even a novice tandem instructor can handle it well if well brief.
Easyer and quicker to turn but doesn't dive really more then a 370 after a turn. Flat out like a 370, and a Stiletto on landing.
Compare to the A 2, this canopy is very solid thru turbulance specially with an experience tandem master.
I agree with Skydivedoc on the positive aspect of that canopy. Opening are nice and tension nots seem to be lot less frequent then on 370's.
In the last 24 years,and after 4000 tandems, this is the best tandem canopy I ever jump.

Richard


camamel  (D 333)

Oct 20, 2009, 10:14 AM
Post #21 of 21 (2218 views)
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Re: [HUSHPUPPY] What is the best tandem canopy???? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oups

I forgot to say that, as an examiner for UPT for more then 12 years , I usualy don't agree to give any tandem master rating to a skydiver with only 500 jumps. A 1000 jumps is my minimum 80% of the time. If you are under my own minimum you really have to show me that you are an exceptionnal skydiver, and even then you really have to be very closed to 1k.

Richard Lavoie



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