>What are the biggest differences and pros/cons of each? I have heard the crossfire2's >have more reliable openings, yes?
Katana - steeper glide XF2 - on heading openings are rare
That's not to say the openings are bad. I use an XF2 109 for camera and it gives me great camera openings, the canopy just never opens the direction I'm facing when I pull. Both are advanced canopies and are not the best general purpose wings; the Katana isn't a good canopy to have if your spots are long, and the XF2 isn't a good canopy to have if you are doing bigger skydives.
Off-headings I don't really care about to be honest. I just hate line twists!
When I search YouTube for Katana openings, I get a bunch of videos showing line twists and cutaways. But that's not the case for the XF2. I know that isn't the most scientific way to compare them, but it must say something...
Openings can be various on Katana but if well packed and if after having launched the pilot chute, you resume your box position while looking at horizon, you have more chance to get an on heading deployment. Katana's are very sensitive to asymetrical loading when deploying. OTOH, if a Katana starts to spiral on the right side for instance, just get your right knee up. That makes more loading on the left side and it's generally enough to stop the spiral. If not, take the toggles.
I have flown both... The KA feels a lot faster, both in forward speed, and "ground hungry-ness". You definitely have to be in the game to fly a KA, otherwise it will get ahead of you. (Landing pattern, knowing when to use rears to get home on a long spot, etc.) When I jumped a Crossfire after hundreds of jumps on a KA, it felt like I upsized...
With over 1000 jumps on a KA120 loaded nearly 2:1 - I have had 1 line twist experience, which I cut away. It was a very angry canopy, but my friend with a Crossfire has cut his away more often... My stats are 0.1% line twists on my KA... I have had more line twists on my BASE canopy and Sabre2 170 and my old Pilot 210...
The KA can open beautifully on heading, and it can open off heading... I choose not to jump it on anything larger than a 15-20+ way... But that is mainly because the speed in which it flies is so much faster than the other canopies that will be in the sky... I just rather be more conservative on those jumps, especially when other canopies also open off heading.
I have not had enough jumps on the Crossfire to judge if it has more propensity to line twists, because it would take over 1000 jumps to get enough data to be statistically significant against a 1 in 1000 experience with my KA....
(This post was edited by tdog on Oct 22, 2012, 6:36 PM)
It depends on how heavily you load the canopy too. Things just happen faster with a higher WL no matter what the canopy is but they also happen faster with an elliptical. I fly a xfire2 139 @ 1.5 I've had off heading openings up to 180 but at my WL it is SLIGHTLY forgiving. The xfire2 comes with vectran lines so it will not go out of trim. I believe the KA's have spectra which will go out of trim. Something not always considered is twists in the brake lines. Make sure you get them out after EVERY jump. It only takes 4 twists to shorten a line 1/4" which will considerably affect openings. They also develop a memory so the longer you leave them the more they will want to twist back up especially with spectra. Just be smart about things and have some respect for how fast things will happen and be ready to react quickly and appropriately. Have fun and remember, a correctly executed 90 will kick the shit out of an incorrect 360 every time!!
I believe the Katana originally shipped with spectra but PD quickly remedied that and switched to HMA. You're spot on about Wl been jumping XF2's between 1.6 (129) and now a firstname.lastname@example.org now that can be a wild thing
What are the biggest differences and pros/cons of each?
The people I've known who flew katanas before they should have all broke their femurs and/or pelvises and the people I've known who flew crossfires before they should have broke tib/fibs, back, and or neck.