Feb 13, 2003, 9:10 PM
Post #1 of 133
I'm either going to be purchasing a 135 stiletto or a 135 Colbalt in the near future. Stilettos have been around forever and are tried and true, but I'm getting very interested in the Colbalt. Can anyone who has flown one please offer their opinions (good or bad) on this relatively new canopy. Safety, Openings(hard or soft? snivels?), Swoops, Flares, Packing, Problems, etc.? Thank you. My stats are as follows: 1000 jumps, 190 lbs, currently jumping a stilleto 150, if it helps any.
Best bet obviously is to demo both canopies and find out what you like best. I have jumped a stiletto 150 and 135 and put 60 jumps on them and also a cobalt 150 and 135 with another 60 jumps. I can tell you that you will get a better swoop out of the cobalt with more speed and that deep in brakes the cobalt handles much better. As for openings, I have yet to have a bad opening on the cobalt ie hard opening. Both have spun up a couple of times. Diff here is that the stiletto dives off and it sucks. Cobalt will fly on heading and let you kick out. Toggle pressure is lighter on the cobalt. The stiletto has to be flown all the way from opening to the ground with minor adjustments during the entire flight. The cobalt you can let the toggles go and it will maintain a heading. The stiletto has a short toggle range whereas the cobalt has a slightly larger one. Overall the one thing that put me off of the stiletto was the off heading openings combined with it spinning up to the line attachment points. Favorite thing about the cobalt was the way it handles in deep brakes. It won't bowtie like the stiletto does.
The stiletto has a short toggle range whereas the cobalt has a slightly larger one
In my experience, PD has the brakes set VERY short on their demos, so that would explain that problem. If you jump one with the brakes let out to a normal setting (one that won't deflect the tail during front riser movements) then you'll notice a much better control range; moreover, it won't want to bow-tie on you as readily or easily.
PhreeZone (D License)
Feb 13, 2003, 10:17 PM
Post #5 of 133
I have about 175 jumps on a cobalt 120 the first 50 didn't open well. Then finally found someone who showed me how to properly roll the nose and now you cant tell its opened til you look up.The cobalt has almost no recovery arc as the stilletto does which is hard to get used to but it is workable and my save your ass. It does snivel a lot as most of my opening are 1000ft. It doesn't spin up in line twist like a stilletto and it will get you back from a long spot if you use rear risers. Both canopies are good. If you would normally flya stilletto 120 you will want a cobalt 105 as the cobalt 120 would seem slow due to the flat glide plane.
The demo canopies have the brakes set on the factory marks. Some Stiletto jumpers prefer to let the brakes even further out to accommodate their style of flying. The demos also are monitored quite closely to make sure they are in trim and the control lines are set properly - it wouldn't really make sense for PD to have a bunch of demos with incorrect brake settings.
However, the Stiletto has a short control range compared to many other canopies, a little input through a toggle/risers/harness gives you a lot of response from the canopy - that is a part of the design, and what many jumpers really love about their Stiletto (including me ). To each his own.
Kopelen is right - the best way to find out if YOU like the way canopy open, flies and lands is to demo - it's great to get suggestions and input from your buddies or people that know you and your flying - but in the end you have to feel comfortable and safe with the canopy you choose.
Blue Skies! Kolla
Edit... oops spelling!
(This post was edited by Kolla on Feb 14, 2003, 8:20 AM)
Let me start by saying that i have never jumped a stilleto. I bought a cobalt 135 and i freakin love it. I had a few "strange" openings at first until i changed my pilot chute to match what atair recommends 24 or 26" i think. Now i get consistent, on heading 1K foot openings. I learned that the key to good openings on them is to dump in a track, have a smaller than normal pilot chute, and maintain a square body position during deployment. On a side note, voodew, i want your cobalt when you go down to a 105!! Then i can get a tie-dyed rig to match it!!
Both have spun up a couple of times. Diff here is that the stiletto dives off and it sucks. Cobalt will fly on heading and let you kick out.
I disagree with this. A week ago, my stiletto opened into line twist. I kicked an entire revolution into the twist, realized my mistake, and kicked back out, the whole time with no more than a gentle turn from the canopy. On the other hand, I know two very experienced jumpers who've chop spinning mals on cobalts. I've also have seen people get hammered pretty hard by cobalts. The cobalt is not immune to spinning line twist, or hard openings. Don't believe the hype. Flight wise, I think the stiletto is more responsive, but the cobalt has more bottom end lift.
I know two very experienced jumpers who've chop spinning mals on cobalts. I've also have seen people get hammered pretty hard by cobalts. The cobalt is not immune to spinning line twist, or hard openings. Don't believe the hype. Flight wise, I think the stiletto is more responsive, but the cobalt has more bottom end lift.
i totally agree with everything i see here...i'm one of the people who had to chop because of severe unrecoverable spinning line twists, good post. i have a 170^2 Cobalt, i am now flying a 170^2 Heatwave. i sent the Cobalt back to Atair and i believe they will square it away, or replace it with the new high performance model 170^2 coming out soon, so i have to give them props on customer support.
Both are good canopies. I did not like the Stil because how twitchy it seemed on toggles, and I didn't think the flare was all that great. It was a 135 and somebody told me the flare would be better if I increased the wingloading, by dropping to a 120. I didn't put more than 30 jumps on a Stil. I have a Cobalt 120 and am getting a 105. I love the Cobalt a great deal. It is probably not more responsive in toggles, has lighter riser pressure and more flare. The openings are great, but did take some getting used to. I don't like a big snivel, so I pack it with nothing rolled and I can get a nice quick soft 500 foot opening. I have had line twists and was able to grab a riser, pull it down and have the canopy plane out, fly straight and give me time to kick out. You could problably do this on a Stil, I naver had line twists on the Stil however.
ok, i'm not the authority.... but i have to say it's better than.... Manta (size????) turbo ZX (a few different sizes) PD 190 Spectre 150 Silhouette 150 Sabre 170 150 stiletto 150, 135 Safire 149 Crossfire 149, 139 Omega 149
and i can honestly say i have NEVER had a hard opening with the cobalt. i have had some squirly openings but i am so sure it was body position...
(This post was edited by f1freak on Feb 14, 2003, 6:03 PM)
No, he means the competition cobalt, the 170 has wicked bad openings, so they're fixing by basically making them a competition cobalt, which due to a few factors, open differently. Hopefully this will solve the opening problems on the 170, since right now, they SUCK when opening (fly pretty good, though).
on the 170 size cobalt: the first stage works as it should and the the second stage opens faster than other sized cobalts. on any other sized cobalt even at high speeds the force vs. time curve reads a max of 4.5-8 g's for stage 1(depends on speed, canopy and loading. we have live jumped cobalts up to 256mph (fasted recorded deployment on a ram air)) then stage2 is a longer duration peak of about 3.5g. on the 170 the force peaks are almost reversed, basically soft stage 1, and a shorter duration pop on stage 2. at slow speeds the 170's can be brisk, at higher speeds they better, anyway
due to a couple unhappy campers whom we would like to make happy, we are correcting the 170. we have also received many inquires about selling comp cobalts in larger sizes. so 2 birds one stone: the comp cobalt 170.
Does Atair have a chart showing performance vs. wing loading for the Cobalt?, not a recommended wing loading chart, most manufactures have those, PD has it right on the label.
check out our web site faq page.
I did, you have a "recommended wing loading" chart, same as every other manufacturer. I asked if you have "a chart showing performance vs. wing loading for the Cobalt"
So will Atair be offering charts using data from "our new inertial nav. unit. data is recorded to flash cards 360' yaw, pitch, roll, acceleration and velocity in all axis, angular rates up to 1200' / sec, plus 3dimensional gps accurate to 2m, barometric altitude, 4 riser links, + desired aditional sensors. " for Colbalts?
Why do you say a square canopy (Sabre) will have more forward speed at the same wing loading as the Cobalt, but the Cobalt has less drag and is more efficient? Isn't this contradictory?
Is this the same Atair that did "real testing" to make sure every canopy would be perfect before release unlike some other manufactures have been blamed for doing? Also why would you feel the need to introduce a more docile planform shape if the cobalt has been marketed towards students and beginners?
Also why would you feel the need to introduce a more docile planform shape if the cobalt has been marketed towards students and beginners?
did i miss something or did Dan say something about changing the planform? i just understood they were going to modify it into a competition model, which would be mostly a nose mod? i own one of these 170^2 canopies, Atair has been doing everything they can to be sure i'm "happy" with the canopy. my only complaint about the canopy i have was the "two stage opening" always unpredictable, i couldn't never get it to open the same way twice. the "first stage" always worked well, the "second stage" was where the canopy hosed me, constant end cell closure, and a very high chance of twisting up upon deployment. they have a very long spiel about "body position" during deployment, and they may have a point, but when you flown lots of other manufacturer's products and don't have the same experiences, this speaks for itself. the best deployment was dumping in a track, (my fastest *pro-trac* 178 mph) but in there defense, it was made for high speed deployments with free flying speeds getting higher, and higher. once the dang thing is open, it's a ton of fun to fly, it surfs very well, turns are sharp, and bottom end flare power is there, although me personally, there is no way in hell i would put a student under one of these canopies. (unless i didn't like them) J/K
the 170 was designed from the start to open faster. this was because it was targeted at begineers. the feedback we received initially towards the 170 was to make it open faster. this is why the 170 is different that the other size cobalts, it was an intential design.
as far as introducing the indigo: no matter how great a canopy a cobalt is for begineers, there will always some uninformed people saying "you cant put a begineer under an elliptical canopy, you should try a sabre or safire". i'm tired of explaining that 'planform does not dictate performance skill level, the sum total of many design variables dictate if a design is a pro swoop canopy or a student canopy'. 90% of market buys square-semi tapred canopies. the indigo is directed at this market segment. giving them the expected slightly tapered planform while still providing high speed safe openings, and superior glide and flare to the sabre and safire. it is either that or go back to marketing under 2 different names (re:space, alpha) which i do not really agree with.
hook, the cobalt and alpha/space have an excellent track record with begineers. if i accidentally interchanged 'student' with 'begineer' my appologies. again the recomendation is that anyone safe on a sabre,safire or hornet will be equally safe if not more so under a cobalt. we stand behind this recommendation as do many sta's and instructors. also i have several book recomendations for you on basic aerodynamics which i think you will appreciate. unfortunately i am snowed out of the office today. i will try to post them for you tomorrow.
there will always some uninformed people saying "you cant put a begineer under an elliptical canopy, you should try a sabre or safire"
I'm all for training students on "semi-elipiticals." I base my remark about students under a Cobalt directly on my own experience, and i know that a student could not be able to handle the various openings and results which are probable during deployment. I believe this would lead to "sensory overload" for a student. The only thing that saved my ass was my experience when i chopped my Cobalt 170^2. (at first, i was inclined to try to untwist it, but i had a pro-trac, *which i've never seen a student utilize* and i knew my "last audible" alert was set at 2500 AGL, where i deployed, the rest happened so fast, i KNEW i didn't have enough altitude to clear it, if i had been lower in jump numbers, the outcome may have been very different) Please don't missunderstand me, Atair has a fine product line, when my Cobalt is opened and flying right, it is a ton of fun to fly. Again, thanks for the support from your staff, and yourself getting my canopy sorted out.