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Alien wingsuits?

 

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daytripper419  (D 31307)

Apr 10, 2012, 4:34 PM
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Alien wingsuits? Can't Post

I was wandering on any info/reviews of alien wingsuits. Especially the g5 model


normiss  (D 28356)

Apr 11, 2012, 7:55 AM
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Re: [daytripper419] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hecho en China.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Apr 11, 2012, 8:01 AM
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Re: [daytripper419] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

I flew an early version of the G5 model for one jump at Flock and Dock. Here's my quick review.

Review

Overall, I thought the quality and materials of the suit were very good; they seemed on par with the Tonysuit and PF lines. It's a very heavy suit (meaning multiple layers of thick fabric), and the weight of the suit surprised me in comparison to the equivalent Tonysuits and PF models. The fabric seemed durable, but actually breathed pretty well. When I first put it on - about 20 minutes before boarding the plane, I figured that I would be a ball of sweat given the warm Florida weather. I was not.

The construction and materials felt very sturdy; each wing attached to the torso by two separate zippers, which caused the wing to have a built in "shape" to it that some of the competing products don't have. The stitching and manufacturing QC that went into it seemed to me to be very good quality.

The leg release system is interesting in that it covers the lanyard with fabric, so the lanyard isn't exposed directly to the wind stream. Zippers were all large and good quality.

The one real knock on the suit's appearance was that I noted the "Alien Logo" on a number of the suits was cracked and faded, even though they otherwise looked like new-ish suits. (I think the logo is added to the material after the fact like an "iron on", but I'm not sure.) Also, the little red "Alien lights" (small battery powered lights that are attached to the zippers) are cute, but gimmicky - they're not really visible during the day in flight. I suspect they'd be too small for any meaningful use in a night jump. I'm not sure if Alien is still including those lights in the suits or not.

The suit I used incorporated a design by which the jumper's chest strap can be mounted through the suit (so there's no exposed chest strap). It's not necessary to use this feature, but I did. If you're one of those jumpers who likes to attach stuff to your chest strap (hook knife, altimeter pillow, birth control, whatever), you wouldn't be able to use the design. But since I only carry a hook knife on my chest strap, and the suit had a built in hook knife, I took advantage of the feature. Routing my chest strap through the suit did cause me to have two separate moments of "HOLY CRAP MY CHEST STRAP ISN'T DONE!" on the plane. (It was attached properly, of course, it's just I couldn't touch the chest strap in my usual OCD ritual of checking my gear.) If I jumped that design regularly, I am sure that freak out wouldn't happen.

It was easy to access the cutaway and reserve handles on my rig directly.

As mentioned, the shape of the wing was different than what I was used to with my S-bird and X-bird. You fly in a position with your arms lower compared with those two suits. Before I jumped with it, I was told that users tend to fly more with their hands (in other words, slight hand position modifications would be used to change flight) than with other comparable suits, and I found this to be true.

I jumped the suit in a flock that I was attempting to film. I found the suit to be very stable. It seemed to want to fly very straight and very fast forward. I am not used to flying the design, so I struggled trying to make a lot of the fine adjustments that one needs to making when flying camera or flying a slot. I think that it is the sort of thing that you can get used to and master, but because the suit flies differently, it might take a little practice before one can really master it (and certainly more than the one jump I gave it).

When I landed, I compared notes with a friend who was also jumping an Alien for the first time - he agreed that it had interesting potential as a "max flight" suit due to its tendency to flight straight and fast forward. It would be interesting to compare the suit with others in a head to head performance jump, but we didn't do that.

At deployment time, I had a momentary hiccup. I'm used to the scalloped Tonysuit "-bird" wing shape, and at pull time I had to remember that I had to reach below the wing (rather than simply behind me). Again, with practice on the Alien Suit, that would be a non-issue, I'm just used to the suits I regularly jump in which I don't really have to do much of a reach around. (Heh, I managed to fit the phrase "reach around" in a review.)

The suit I jumped didn't have a wing cutaway or a "safety sleeve"-like design. The shape of the wing also tends to keep your arms relatively low. This means you really have to unzip the wing to grab toggles. If I had a suggestion for improvement, it would be to incorporate a cutaway, release, or safety sleeve in case of a zipper jam.

Overall, I thought it was a good suit, but I'd need to jump it more to get a better handle on its flight characteristics. I think the whole Alien production line has a lot of promise.

My Background and Bias

I have about 1075 skydives, of which about 850 are wingsuit jumps. I own and regularly jump an S-bird; I also own an X-bird which I use less frequently. I'm not sponsored by anyone, but PF supplied the suits to the school I'm a member of (Northeast Bird School). I've not yet flown an Sfly suit, so I can't compare any suit to any Sfly product.

Personally, I like Migs and enjoyed hanging out with him at F&D. I'm not compensated by Alien suits or anyone affiliated with Alien suits for, well, anything.

I am not a wingsuit instructor, coach, or anything like that. I take pictures. I'm also a Leo who likes long walks on the beach.

Disclaimer

Don't buy any suit you haven't tried. See if you like it, if it fits your flight style, or it it makes you look fat.


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Apr 11, 2012, 8:07 AM)


dirtbox  (D 31759)

Apr 11, 2012, 9:52 AM
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Re: [Skwrl] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeh what he said, very fast forward, stable on its back. Not as floaty as a tony suit, not a nimble as a Sfly or Phoenix fly suit but very fast forward. I have 3 jumps on the G5/7 prototype hybrid thing handing up in the Zflock shack.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Apr 11, 2012, 6:31 PM
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Re: [Skwrl] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with lots of what Jeff noted. The construction is outstanding and really sets a strong standard with the fabrics and workmanship. The fabric (suit) is heavy but you don't really feel that in the air at all. The suit wants to go fast forward. Inflation is also top notch and Fidel loves to get his leaf blower out to demonstrate the inflation. Also the fact that they have a sub 4 week lead time is a nice bonus if you need a suit asap.

I also agree that the suit flies a little differently. I have jumped the G12 and the G7 and a G7/5 hybrid I think? There are some interesting thoughts that went into it with the inflation in the chest panel and grippers. The internal routing of the leg zipper for housekeeping was interesting and easy to use. The pull was easy but it required more of an arm sweep back and around to clear the wing, but again I was jumping the bigger suits.

Flying the suits I have jumped are not difficult but not the same as other suits. Think about the differences you experience with a PF or Tony suit so a few jumps to get used to it likely will be needed. That said I was able to have a great range in the G7 for both Video jumps and for flying with others. The G12 I was jumping was more of a "I wanna GOOO" suit so it required a bit more effort to fly with others. Fun suit though for the application this design is suited for. Though I did not feel I was dialed into the slowest vertical flight I could, more jumps for that obviously. With some more jumps on this I think I could better explore the slow fall range possible, but like I noted, it does want to go fast forward.

Between the two of them I found the overall "range" suit would be the G7 as I found it similar to the S-Bird but with maybe with a little more forward speed when flown correctly. Most of my jumps are on an S-Bird now so that is my point of comparison. I do fly the X2 some as well. Fidel seems to really like the G5 and when he was flying base on a number of Jumps at FnD a few weeks back and the range he set was comfortable for a wide range of suits in the different flocks.

If you are interested in them, reach out and find out where you can fly one. One jump in a flock is probably not the best place to go try it but I would say that you will have a good time with the suit. Like anything give it a few jumps as it is different in how you fly it. Not drastically but more like the differences you see new between brands. I am a big believer that it is hard to have one suit that is the catch all for everything you want to do. Hopefully I will get some more jumps soon on the G7 with some flysight data to note so I can go from what I am feeling to some quantifiable data.

I am sure the suits will get tweaked a bit as it is a newer company but what I am seeing now is interesting and the performance makes me want to see what more these suits can do.


Scott C.


Martini  (D 23756)

Apr 11, 2012, 6:31 PM
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Re: [Skwrl] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Correct me if I'm wrong here. The suit has a leg cutaway (which is pretty useless IMOP) and no arm cutaway or (Tonysuit) "safetysleeve" so if a wing zipper jams or breaks you may not be able to reach a toggle? Seriously????


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Apr 11, 2012, 6:43 PM
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Re: [Martini] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.aliensuits.com/?page_id=65

There is not a leg cutaway. Jeff was referring to the way to open your legs for Housekeeping. They are noting a double zipper on the leg and arm in case one zipper jams. I just noted the link to one of the pages they have up "Innovation with Safety in Mind"

Scott C.


Martini  (D 23756)

Apr 11, 2012, 7:38 PM
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Re: [sdctlc] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah well OK then as long as there is plan B. BTW I'm in OR, will be jumping at SDO when not flying PG.


daytripper419  (D 31307)

Apr 16, 2012, 4:55 PM
Post #9 of 36 (4431 views)
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Re: [Martini] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow! Thanks everyone for such great replies. Really appreciate it


Electronaut  (C 38872)

Apr 16, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Re: [Skwrl] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The stitching and manufacturing QC that went into it seemed to me to be very good quality.

Unless something's changed since November, I'm going to say the opposite. The stitching wasn't great: for example, double needle along the tail on the suit I saw was accomplished using two single needle passes that wavered significantly. Also, there was another one at the same event that partially blew up.

The suit I saw and handled was very heavy.


Skwrl  (C 36419)

Apr 17, 2012, 9:32 AM
Post #11 of 36 (4328 views)
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Re: [Electronaut] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
The stitching and manufacturing QC that went into it seemed to me to be very good quality.

Unless something's changed since November, I'm going to say the opposite. The stitching wasn't great: for example, double needle along the tail on the suit I saw was accomplished using two single needle passes that wavered significantly. Also, there was another one at the same event that partially blew up.

The suit I saw and handled was very heavy.

I had heard about an Alien wing that blew up at an event in Elsinore. That was one of the reasons I looked at it carefully before putting it on. My guess is that they either got better in general or at least this particular suit was better. Since I have no way to tell which one is the case, I can't really respond to that unless I decided to sample more of their suits (which I don't expect to). Edited to add the following: The phrase "which I don't expect to" shouldn't be read to mean I wouldn't jump Alien. It's just that I am not currently in the market for a new suit, and jumping an Alien was sort of a novelty for me. Similarly, I'm not likely to jump an i-Bird again - not because they aren't good suits, but because I don't need one.

Having said that - and in case it's not clear from my review - I'm not a rigger and I don't design or make suits, so I only have an end-user's perspective of stitching and design. If a particular part of the suit needs a particular type of technical stitching (i.e., if every manufacturer just knows you need to have a basting stitch and never a backstitch by the crotch for some reason or other), and it didn't have that, I wouldn't have the knowledge to be able to identify that error. I based the "stitching good" comment on the fact that it looked as straight and thick as the TS and PF stitching. Beyond that, I'm not competent to say.


(This post was edited by Skwrl on Apr 17, 2012, 1:33 PM)


dirtbox  (D 31759)

Apr 17, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: [Skwrl] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe there was an issue with QC but after having a few discussing with Fidel I was under the impression he went back to Vietnam to deal with the issues. I have looked over possibly 10 of the suits and there was no consistency as a whole but I believe the newer ones were more consistent in build quality.


NoValidTitle  (C 39172)

Apr 17, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Re: [dirtbox] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

If anyone is interested I can post some raw footage from a couple weeks ago. A guy at my DZ has a G7 and lent it to another guy to fly. I was on the load and spent the jump just getting footage of the G7 flying.


elias123  (D 108)

Apr 17, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Re: [NoValidTitle] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

I am, always fun to see wingsuit videos :)


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Apr 17, 2012, 2:06 PM
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Re: [elias123] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

+1
VIDEO PLEASE


dirtbox  (D 31759)

Apr 17, 2012, 3:02 PM
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Re: [johnmatrix] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

look on their website... I may be in the video as well :P


MrCat  (C License)

Apr 17, 2012, 4:34 PM
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Re: [dirtbox] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
look on their website... I may be in the video as well :P

Just had a look at the vids on the site - Check out the exit on the puerto rico boogie 2012 (1) video and see how quickly the flyer opens his arm wings. He's opening them right out of the door.
Attachments: alien.jpg (62.5 KB)


hjumper33  (Student)

Apr 17, 2012, 5:38 PM
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Re: [MrCat] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Looks like a perfect exit to me


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Apr 17, 2012, 5:50 PM
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Re: [dirtbox] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

But I already watched that one!
I love seeing new products come out, provided the music in the videos isn't too bad.


Freeflaw  (C License)

Apr 17, 2012, 6:14 PM
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Re: [hjumper33] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

ur like those firemen setting fires Wink


NoValidTitle  (C 39172)

Apr 17, 2012, 6:21 PM
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Re: [johnmatrix] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is the video. Not the best footage but it's footage none the less.

http://vimeo.com/40559791


dirtbox  (D 31759)

Apr 17, 2012, 8:44 PM
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Re: [MrCat] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't fly one Pirate wish I had gone to the boogie though Frown The worst offenders for exits are big suit jumpers for some reason, the ones who should know better...

off of my soapbox again...


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Apr 17, 2012, 11:43 PM
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Re: [NoValidTitle] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool! :)


MrCat  (C License)

Apr 18, 2012, 5:11 AM
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Re: [hjumper33] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Looks like a perfect exit to me

I was taught to keep my wings closed until I could see the tail of the plane so that particular exit doesn't match up with what I was taught or what I do.

But he missed the tail so it's a mute point.


Butters  (C 37840)

Apr 18, 2012, 7:17 AM
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Re: [MrCat] Alien wingsuits? [In reply to] Can't Post

Exiting in a large suit with wings wide open ... Unsure
Attachments: Exit.JPG (35.7 KB)


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