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Docked formations: How far can we take this one....

 

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mccordia  (D 94775)

Jan 23, 2010, 4:24 PM
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Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... Can't Post

First a disclaimer: Seeing as most discussion here seems to center around no-grips flying, lets try and avoid that whole discussion.
If you do have a bone to pick, do it in one of the 50 other threads on that subject and lets talk about docked formations here!


Docks in a wingsuit are difficult. Especially with our whole body acting as a wing, and smaller, independant moves of the arms and legs influencing our speed, angle and direction.
In FS (to a degree) free movement of arms and legs (pulled one way or another a bit) is possible. In freefly formations much less.
Both advocate 'fly your body, not the grip'. Meaning you should put as little tension on the grips as possible, by not 'hanging' on someone else.

Atmonauti (steep track or seperate dicipline, again> another thread/discussion. Not here) is quite compare-able to wingsuit in a lot of ways.
You are also traveling forward, and flying your whole body.
And also comparing it to wingsuit in terms of acomplishments, we see a lot of symilarities. It took a long time for simple 3 to 4 way docked lines to be achived. Strugling with movement, tension etc. it was clear it was a hard thing to do. But they worked hard.
And these days, the records are getting bigger and bigger.

One of the last 'records' I could find, was a 13 way formation, which was (appearantly) flown complete for 3 seconds.

Click here for a photo (not completed yet, showing a 9 way line, one still out, with 3 people docked on the feet in a 2nd row)
Click here for the video (record formation at 2:30)

In wingsuit flying, the push for docked formations is much smaller.
People try, but generaly, a dock gone to sh*t will result in finishing the rest of the jump with playing, whipping eachother through the skies in scary rolls etc etc.
But the few times a few semi-skilled people got together and tried for some bigger formations, these where the results:

Docked wingsuit formations

5 way line 'un-official world record'
Skydive Spa, Belgium, April 20, 2009
Flyers (left to right)Tristan Whitmarsh, Jeff Nebelkopf, Patrick DeGuilebon, Jarno Cordia, Kristiina Boole
Camera: Costyn van Dongen


5 way line
Location unknown, April 22, 2006
Flyers (left to right): Justin Shorb , Brian "Lurch" Caldwell, Purple Mike , Steve Harrington, Brian Soby
Camera:(?)


As you can see, there are options.
And it would be interesting to see different type of docks. Did anybody come close to flying a 4 way diamond? Or even just a 3 way with ankle docks.
My question to everyone here is. What have you done in this realm before. What do you think is possible, What do you see happening in the near and far future. And will this be the future of formation records, and why?
Again, not wanting to discuss the non-docked stuff. But interested in the people who want to advocate this style of formation flying.
Past acomplishments, plans, ideas for the future.

And who wants to joing me at Z-flock 6, in trying to make the 'world record' docked wingsuit formation a 6 way (or bigger)*.
Docked flight, small groups and creative play is the theme for the boogie anyways.We couldnt set ourselves a better challangeCool

* gay 'atmo style' matching wingsuit, helmet & rigs optional


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 23, 2010, 8:30 PM
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Re: [mccordia] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Has anyone sewn grippers on the legs of a wingsuit? In RW, ankle grips are generally bad news.


monkycndo  (D License)

Jan 23, 2010, 8:37 PM
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Re: [kallend] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

The PF Acro has knee grippers.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jan 23, 2010, 8:41 PM
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Re: [kallend] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Has anyone sewn grippers on the legs of a wingsuit? In RW, ankle grips are generally bad news.

Yes Smile



I "borrowed" the pics from the PF site...

"RW style grippers on the back of the legs create new possibilities for
docked flight and linked exits."


(This post was edited by sdctlc on Jan 23, 2010, 8:45 PM)
Attachments: Acro 2 K Back Flying.jpg (35.7 KB)
  PF Acro Leg Grips.jpg (19.8 KB)
  Leg Grip Close.jpg (14.0 KB)


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jan 23, 2010, 8:54 PM
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Re: [kallend] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Has anyone sewn grippers on the legs of a wingsuit? In RW, ankle grips are generally bad news.


It has been done. However, I have another idea that I am kicking around that could potentially make taking grips yet another one of the possibilities of wingsuit formations.....................BUT you first have to join my secret club where upon we will devise a master plan in a COMPLETE VACUUM with no regards to existing criteria, piss everyone in the wingsuiting community not in the secret group off, assist in a slur campaign against all other proposals, write inaccurate and one sided disparaging e-mails and e-mail them to everyone, become a bigger asshole than you already are, swear off ever having fun while flying a wingsuit, grow an ego that would make Freud roll over in his grave, become an I.K.E. ( I Know Everything)and generally ruin all the fun typically found in wingsuiting for everyone else. A human sacrifice is also being considered by other members currently in the secret group but there is a possibility of a waiver on this if the applicant agrees to cut a to be determined body part off themselves during the initiation into the secret group. All interested applicants should send an e-mail to Ruin-the Fun-for-everyone@IforgotwhyIflyawingsuitinthefirstplace.com
Laugh



But really, I do have an idea how to do docked formations that will/should work in a wingsuit.


jdobleman  (D 7790)

Jan 24, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Re: [mccordia] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Paul Fries has a little excess material behind his knees on his suit.
We have docked several stairsteps. When I take a grip on his knee material, Paul locks onto my shoulder with his left hand and it has flown very solidly. We have tried to add a third person on the right side to get a wedge on several occasions but not succeeded. I think a larger wedge formation is entirely possible.

madjohn


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 24, 2010, 1:38 AM
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Re: [mccordia] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

The problem with taking knee docks is that you will never be able to build anything other than a line or a V, both of which do not have multiple "degrees of support"... i.e. somebody who is holding onto more than one other person at a time. Imagine a bigway RW or freefly in a line or a V... they would not have the formation stability, this is why they always form rings or rings with interconnects. See the first attachment for a picture of WHY you can't build interconnected formation with knee docks. It's not physically possible without lying on the ass of the guy in front of you, and you'd ruin his ability to use his tailwing.

See the second picture for something that is at least geometrically possible, using all ankle docks... but in this case it would be way too sensitive to fly with all ankles being constrained.

I understand all of the hesitation about unlinked formations, but I would like to see proof from SOMEONE that it is possible to build a linked formation other than a V or a line... something with multiple degrees of support or interconnects. I don't see how it's possible. Try shapes other than diamonds. I have... but I still cannot find a solution.


(This post was edited by The111 on Jan 24, 2010, 1:39 AM)
Attachments: ws_docks.jpg (57.5 KB)
  ws_docks_2.jpg (61.2 KB)


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jan 24, 2010, 2:21 AM
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed with Matt, just in terms of layout, ankle docks would be the only place you could take docks in order to form a complete diamond.

The comedy bit aside, interested in Scotts take on bigger docked formations as wellCool
We played a bit with ankle grippers (20 cm gripper, hanging on the ankle, coming out from underneath the booty), and had some made a while back.

Ill try and get a picture online, to see what people think about that one.
And a general question: would docks made through an intermediate object/material like prescribed, a 'trailing' gripper (instead of direct contact) still be regarded 'docked' flying?


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jan 24, 2010, 7:02 AM
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Re: [mccordia] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I CHALLENGE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Cant we all just get along, Hold hands? Smile
http://www.iearnuk.com/...0plus%20children.jpg

Hands across the WORLD!!!!! Laugh


Yes all of you. How about a docked challenge? Other than an event that not all can attend. Lets have an International event. Where photos are submitted to a third party.

Who can complete the longest line? The most dynamic docked formation?

Lets put together a quick set of rules and set a deadline.

who is interested? Jarno? Tero? lets do this.

Tony is offering 10 percent off a wingsuit to ALL the members on the winning team.

Any others want to throw in a prize. Lets raise the bar.

Justin


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 24, 2010, 7:35 AM
Post #10 of 57 (2656 views)
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The problem with taking knee docks is that you will never be able to build anything other than a line or a V, both of which do not have multiple "degrees of support"... i.e. somebody who is holding onto more than one other person at a time. Imagine a bigway RW or freefly in a line or a V... they would not have the formation stability, this is why they always form rings or rings with interconnects. See the first attachment for a picture of WHY you can't build interconnected formation with knee docks. It's not physically possible without lying on the ass of the guy in front of you, and you'd ruin his ability to use his tailwing.

See the second picture for something that is at least geometrically possible, using all ankle docks... but in this case it would be way too sensitive to fly with all ankles being constrained.

I understand all of the hesitation about unlinked formations, but I would like to see proof from SOMEONE that it is possible to build a linked formation other than a V or a line... something with multiple degrees of support or interconnects. I don't see how it's possible. Try shapes other than diamonds. I have... but I still cannot find a solution.

A Phalanx would be possible with knee docks.

Phalanxes, Zigzags and open wedges with ankle docks.


(This post was edited by kallend on Jan 24, 2010, 7:36 AM)


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jan 24, 2010, 8:28 AM
Post #11 of 57 (2641 views)
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Re: [PhoenixRising] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Cant we all just get along, Hold hands? Smile

I dunno, man... I often wonder where your hands have been... TongueTongueTongue

In reply to:
Yes all of you. How about a docked challenge? Other than an event that not all can attend. Lets have an International event. Where photos are submitted to a third party.

all jokes aside, I think this is an excellent idea! it could span over several months to include multiple boogies so people from all over the place get a chance to get together and build something great.


aerodynamite  (D 2837)

Jan 24, 2010, 8:31 AM
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Re: [PhoenixRising] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am in ! Just set the deadline far enough. We have right now the arctic temperatures so we have to wait for springtime.

Tero


PhoenixRising  (D 28021)

Jan 24, 2010, 9:01 AM
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Re: [aerodynamite] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Exactly, Andreea and Tero.

We will have a page up on the Flock U site within two weeks.

So send your ideas in now. Just pm me.

I am thinking of ending it later in the summer. So we all get a chance to take a shot. The point of this is to inspire progression. If I submit a bad ass photo of a 4 or 5 way, and someone else tops it. I am just going to go out and try harder.

A lot of peoples skills will sharpen from this. And the best part? Judging is EASY!!

Justin


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 24, 2010, 11:41 AM
Post #14 of 57 (2574 views)
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Re: [kallend] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Phalanxes, Zigzags and open wedges with ankle docks.

I am not sure I know what you mean by all 3 of those (pictures would help, even a hand sketch), but I have acknowledge that a multi-linked formation is possible only with ankle docks, which I don't see as being sustainable, because our ankles are WAY too important in our stability (fallrate and fwd speed), even moreso than RW guys who have a tough time with ankle docks.

I think knee docks are more viable, but then you run into the problem of it being geometrically impossible to have a multi-linked formation with only knee docks.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jan 24, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think knee docks are more viable, but then you run into the problem of it being geometrically impossible to have a multi-linked formation with only knee docks.

I have a good number of docked formations I have been wanting to try that use hand and knee docks only.. I love the interest this way... Smile

Scott


kallend  (D 23151)

Jan 24, 2010, 12:28 PM
Post #16 of 57 (2537 views)
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Phalanxes, Zigzags and open wedges with ankle docks.

I am not sure I know what you mean by all 3 of those (pictures would help, even a hand sketch),.

I think knee docks are more viable, but then you run into the problem of it being geometrically impossible to have a multi-linked formation with only knee docks.

See USPA Comp Manual p73 for Phalanx

Open wedge is a V with hand-dock link across the back.

I think they could both be done with knee docks.


lurch  (D 27583)

Jan 24, 2010, 1:13 PM
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 Observations:
This past season I did some experimental work with some of the guys.
Ankle and knee docks CAN be done but at this point I don't see them as very viable. I spent one dive trying for a knee/ankle lock on Rick Hough the whole way down. I could get it, and I could keep the grip for awhile but there were a few problems that tore the dock apart repeatedly.

1: Docking on another bird's leg or ankle effectively makes you part of them. If you drift out, even by an inch or two, you pull the other bird's tail out wider. You also add a ton of drag. In this case every time I docked on Rick, no matter how tightly I pulled in my wings, I also started floating up, pitching the whole thing over head down. I can adjust to almost anything in freefall and maintain position...I've DONE a 5-way line... but I couldn't adjust to THAT.

2: ties into #1...
Ankle or knee docks carry an unusual aerodynamic difficulty. You're trying to fly up and take a grip right where the target bird's trailing edge windblast is coming from. When I first tried to dock on Rick it started getting difficult a couple feet out. At first I thought "WTF?" because the closer I got the more strongly I was pushed away. I got annoyed and kept ramping up the force until I punched through the sideburble and snatched a grip, at which point I was immediately pushed up and out, again simultaneously pulling Rick's tail wide and tipping us over head down until I was torn loose.
This was not a mismatched suit issue. Rick had on a big Mach or Raptorish looking thing. I had my old S-6. Rick's blast wave was strong enough to lift me above him even with my wings entirely shut. It was basically a repellent antiburble that lifts and pushes as strong as the center burble draws in and drops you. Given time I may be able to come up with some bizarre way to compensate and hold the dock anyway but it won't even vaguely resemble normal flying posture and it won't look pretty. And forget about any birds taking a grip on MY knees or ankles while I'm doing it. I was barely able to get a brief lock at all, a dock on me would have just blown it all apart in a heartbeat. Another of our experienced crowd (I think it was Joner) was trying on Ricks right and never got in at all, saw the trouble I was having and courteously backed off to let me work the problem without disturbing it any further. I could see him getting kicked away by the airflow same as I was.

I knew damn well punching through and snatching a grip was bad form but I was getting pissed and decided to force the issue so we didn't end the dive empty handed. I may eventually figure out a controlled way to punch through that and take a formal grip as opposed to the "lunge-and-grab" technique I used but it won't be easy. I eventually had all possible wing out, and angled to push me toward Rick but the closer I got the slower my approach got till I stalled inches away and couldn't close that last 6 inch gap.
In the end I found one last issue with it.
After repeated failures I tried introducing freeflying technique to the problem. I lunged in, grabbed the dock and then pulled in ALL wings tail included, basically going half-cannonball to stay on level. I figured to hell with form and looking good, I'll take the grip, hang on and figure out SOME way to get my wings out after. Didn't work. Having a grip on another bird's tail fucks them up regardless of what you're doing. You can't adjust your tail up or down without it affecting your forward speed, fallrate or both at once without simultaneously adjusting its width in a very coordinated fashion. Taking that grip stops the other bird from naturally adjusting. It created an instant resonant instability. Within two seconds of taking the grip Rick's tail would begin bucking like a front-risered canopy with the brakes too short. Nothing I could do had any effect except letting go of the grip. It was quite violent actually. The harder I hung on the worse it got, bam-Bam-BAM until I was kicked loose. We may learn to work around this or prevent it, but again we're a ways from knowing how.

Some of us also tried shoulder-and-wingroot grips. This worked very well and was easily assembled and broken... we even succeeded in several docked exits built that way. But trying to build a diamond out of that puts the stinger's face on the lead bird's ass. It looks undignified and it probably is. And it requires the tail bird to not only fly with his upper body either in the tailblast or overlapping into the lead bird's vacuum burble, but trying to get grips on the birds on both sides at the same time... only way to do THAT is...spread your wings. Causing an immediate popup and tilting the entire formation over headdown again, same affect I got with just one taildock.
Now, I've thought of some variations in normal tail use that might allow me to fly stable even with somebody locked to my ankle but to figure THAT out I need somebody else skilled enough to take that dock on my ankle and fly it and right now there IS no such bird available to me. I'm not able to do it myself.

If we're going to build docks of anything other than simple straight lines we have a LOT of work to do.

To the other technical birds out there: Any ideas, guys?

-B


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 24, 2010, 1:49 PM
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Re: [kallend] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
See USPA Comp Manual p73 for Phalanx

Open wedge is a V with hand-dock link across the back.

I think they could both be done with knee docks.

Ok, I looked at Phalanx pic. And I agree it could be done with wingsuits and knee docks. But again, it only has one dimension of "connectedness." Even with RW guys, you wouldn't build a 25, 50, or 100 way like that. You need to build shapes with multiple directions of reinforcement, which is what I keep saying won't be possible in a wingsuit AND knee docks. It's geometrically possible with ankle docks, but not possible to fly it. I'd love to be proven wrong. I spent an hour in Photoshop last night moving around Scott and his clone army, and I could not make it work with knee docks, and I don't believe ankle docked formations are possible with wingsuits as we know them.

I don't quite understand your description of open wedge with "link across the back."


(This post was edited by The111 on Jan 24, 2010, 1:51 PM)


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

Jan 24, 2010, 2:04 PM
Post #19 of 57 (2471 views)
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Re: [lurch] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Some of us also tried shoulder-and-wingroot grips. This worked very well and was easily assembled and broken... we even succeeded in several docked exits built that way. But trying to build a diamond out of that puts the stinger's face on the lead bird's ass. It looks undignified and it probably is.

I dunno. There is some history of ass-docking out there... Not that I would recommend building a bigway using this technique.



edit: photo credits Scott Gray

(This post was edited by SuperGirl on Jan 24, 2010, 2:10 PM)
Attachments: Picture 11.jpg (109 KB)


Trae  (Student)

Jan 25, 2010, 12:28 AM
Post #20 of 57 (2368 views)
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Re: [lurch] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to "Any ideas, guys? "
......


It might be advantageous to build the gripped formations while flying in semi shut down ie sort of half way to tracking the suit.
Once the formation had secure enough grips and was flying OK the formation could be opened out gradually to full stretch for more performance.

WS's with smaller, less twitchy arm and leg wings might be more suitable for attempting docked formation flying . Perhaps a purposely detuned WS could be made available if the idea of docked flight really catches on.

What other formations could be built with knee grips?

With enough talent and the right gear some sort of spinning circle might be poss.
Drag-outs anyone?


steveorino  (D 26782)

Jan 25, 2010, 1:22 AM
Post #21 of 57 (2352 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally agree Scott. The best way for me to ruin the fun of flying a WS for me is to bring the bad vibes from RW into it.


mccordia  (D 94775)

Jan 25, 2010, 2:11 AM
Post #22 of 57 (2341 views)
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Re: [steveorino] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I totally agree Scott. The best way for me to ruin the fun of flying a WS for me is to bring the bad vibes from RW into it.

I often hear this one mentioned, though am curious to which bad vibes people are talking about.
I see a lot of good stuff enforced in RW, which (to me) seems more about skills, safety and progression than it is about being an asshole..


birdynamnam  (D 179)

Jan 25, 2010, 5:06 AM
Post #23 of 57 (2323 views)
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Re: [steveorino] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

+1


Costyn  (D 92506)

Jan 25, 2010, 5:12 AM
Post #24 of 57 (2322 views)
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Re: [The111] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am not sure I know what you mean by all 3 of those (pictures would help, even a hand sketch), but I have acknowledge that a multi-linked formation is possible only with ankle docks, which I don't see as being sustainable, because our ankles are WAY too important in our stability (fallrate and fwd speed), even moreso than RW guys who have a tough time with ankle docks.

I think knee docks are more viable, but then you run into the problem of it being geometrically impossible to have a multi-linked formation with only knee docks.

During the 1st artistic wingsuit competition, ankle docks were part of one of the rounds. I can't remember really having a hard time with them, neither making the dock nor having someone hanging on your ankle.

Of course, that's just with 2 people. I agree that it will become difficult as you add a 3rd person that tries to dock on the already docked 2nd person. The 2nd person is, as you mention, going to need his leg wing to be able to fly relative to the 1st person.


steveorino  (D 26782)

Jan 25, 2010, 5:23 AM
Post #25 of 57 (2312 views)
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Re: [mccordia] Docked formations: How far can we take this one.... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I totally agree Scott. The best way for me to ruin the fun of flying a WS for me is to bring the bad vibes from RW into it.

I often hear this one mentioned, though am curious to which bad vibes people are talking about.
I see a lot of good stuff enforced in RW, which (to me) seems more about skills, safety and progression than it is about being an asshole..

The stuff I'm talking about is when RWers get down from the jump they discuss who and what went wrong ad nauseam. I'm not saying all do that of course, but it has happened enough to me that it ruins the jump for me, that is for sure.


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