Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
AAD Market / Competition

 

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 12, 2013, 2:11 PM
Post #1 of 60 (3496 views)
Shortcut
AAD Market / Competition Can't Post

Full disclosure, I am Free Fall Accessories.

With the exiting of the ARGUS AAD, again leaving only Cypres and Vigil AADs, (both made outside the USA), I am curious as to what everyone’s thoughts would be if an AAD was available that was made in the USA?

It will be interesting to see how the M2 AAD does over the next couple years. As I understand it, the price is around (+-) $1000.00 USD, however it to is made outside the USA.

Now of course I know that there have been AADs that were made in the USA, but they, for all intents and purposes, have faded in to history. I am asking, "what if you had the option of an AAD, (comparable in performance and options to current AADs), that was made in the USA?" Would you be more inclined to "buy American"?.


adamUK  (C 104423)

Jan 12, 2013, 2:33 PM
Post #2 of 60 (3468 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really care where it's made. I'll buy the best kit for the job. Okay, I'm not a US citizen but that's what it boils down to if for this type of equipment.

If you've got a product that's better than the cypress then by all means bring it to market. Just because it's 'made in the USA' wouldn't be sufficient IMHO.

Good luck with your venture.


blueblur  (A 64923)

Jan 12, 2013, 2:53 PM
Post #3 of 60 (3436 views)
Shortcut
Re: [adamUK] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll second that. If it works as reliably or more so than the Vigil/Cypres options, sure. When it comes to saving my or my wife's lives, performance and reliability trumps where it's made without question.


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 12, 2013, 5:28 PM
Post #4 of 60 (3363 views)
Shortcut
Re: [blueblur] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I am looking at this space currently as we, have / are, developing technology for specialized military applications that would transfer over to the sport applications with some tweaks.

Even with a good portion of the instrumentation and processing logic proven or at a high confidence level, the capital outlay to design, build, and validate a prototype sport AAD is significant, let alone getting all the rig manufacturers to approve it etc, so regardless if it is a better AAD, with three or four AAD manufacturers competing for the small market, return on investment is a concern.

I am confident that our operational logic will keep it from firing when you slam the trunk or car shut, or in the plane for that matter, and still initiate reserve deployment when it is set to.

The issue that has been the back breaker for AADs is the cutter. I am not a fan of placing the cutter above the pilot chute for the simple fact that, if the loop gets pinched in the cutter, you can pull the reserve handle all day long nothing will come out. I understand why the cutters were moved from below the reserve, but I think a back up device should remain passive, always allowing deployment with pin extraction, even if the cutter fails to cut the loop. This is what I am currently looking at, and will be a vary large factor in my decision to enter this space with a product.

The concept of performance being dominant in a purchasing decision is a good thing, a must IMOP, as, regardless of how much you spent on gear, being able walk back to the packing area is priceless. My curiosity is, given everything being equal performance wise, are there any pros or cons to where it is made, and would that influence your purchasing decision?


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Jan 12, 2013, 5:56 PM
Post #5 of 60 (3343 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

My personal take on it is that Airtec is making such a good product that you could only succeed by giving people a reason to switch. Their weakness in the marketplace is price, the need for service, and life limit. You need to beat them on at least two of those points, plus be nearly completely reliable to compete. I am a Canadian, but I'd say you would have as much success by attempting flag waving as GM and Ford do. If you have a good product at a good price and a well run reputable organization, there will be a place for you. The nature of your questions seem to indicate that you are wondering if being US made would give you an advantage. The answer is no.

Ken Gowler


(This post was edited by gowlerk on Jan 12, 2013, 6:01 PM)


RiggerLee

Jan 12, 2013, 6:54 PM
Post #6 of 60 (3315 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gowlerk] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there could be some advantages for you. Looking at this in the long term, think about what will happion to overseas corperations as the dollar becomes less attractive. It's being bropped up very heavily right now to try to maintain us markets for foren, chinese, goods. Right now it's to there advantage to do this but as us debt becomes more and more unatractive I think you will see a decline in the strength of the dollar. In other words over seas manufactoring/foren goods may become much more expenceve. No more wallmart. as an example Apple seems to be moveing some of it's production here. I think you'll see more of this at least from people looking far enough down the road.

So withen say five years it might actually be an advantage to build here in the US. On the other hand I'd look sereously at the liability disadvantages of being incoperated in the us. How much more exposure do you have. This might be a short vs long term statagy. Eather might be workable if you plan in advance with the expectation of law suits. It's easier to take the money and run if your bags are already packed.

Lee


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 12, 2013, 11:58 PM
Post #7 of 60 (3202 views)
Shortcut
Re: [RiggerLee] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

The lawsuit aspect is indeed a factor, it would be interesting to know how much the AAD manufacturers spend each year for legal representation. I think Mr. Booth has the right idea with no insurance which is the big incentive for BS law suits.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to create a shell company in Bermuda, I think that would help isolate the legal aspect, and would have tax benefits to boot!

I can see producing something that sells for around a $800.00 / $1000.00 USD, (about 32% average less than a Cypres), if the volume were there (1000 + units a year), and I doubt that kind of volume is remotely achievable in the sport market given Cypres’s market share.

There are some good reasons for requiring some kind of annual with this type of equipment, how often and how much it costs is debatable though.

So far my personal thoughts have been confirmed, I thought I would throw it up in the air and see if it blue any ware. I can justify R & D on the cutter concept because it has Military applications, so if the fruit of that effort is sweet, it will be a matter of financial risk, and if it is worth it.

I am surprised that someone has not come up with an App for a smart phone yet, then with a simple blue tooth power unit for the cutter, you could have an AAD that you can play Angry Birds on in the plane during the ride up, lol.


piisfish

Jan 13, 2013, 12:13 AM
Post #8 of 60 (3193 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

Like this ?
Attachments: image.jpg (52.0 KB)


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 12:25 AM
Post #9 of 60 (3188 views)
Shortcut
Re: [piisfish] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

That is funny! Does it actually work?


adamUK  (C 104423)

Jan 13, 2013, 2:49 AM
Post #10 of 60 (3160 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

The other thing you might struggle with are the patents. Cypres don't have it completely sewn up but the cutter design is there and the one for the electronics unit covers both pressure measurements and accelerometers so building a new one that didn't breach their patents could be just as hard as making the device reliable.

I have a cypres and I see why servicing is important to identify defective components but the 12 year age limit doesn't seem consistent with the 'wear out' phase of electronic systems (do some research on Mean Time Between Failures - MTBF) and you'll see what I mean.

Maybe having devices with no fixed lifespan is not a good business model for them?


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Jan 13, 2013, 9:30 AM
Post #11 of 60 (3082 views)
Shortcut
Re: [RiggerLee] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't go betting against the US dollar as a business strategy. It may decline in the long run against already too low Chinese and other emerging currencies, but the competition is selling in Euros, and I wouldn't want to be holding these now. No one has ever made money betting against the US economy long term. And it's just getting in gear for an energy boom that is going to radically alter the current picture. The US remains as the most vibrant, diverse, and leading economy in the world.

I would love to see more AAD competition. I've been waiting two years now for the M2 here in North America. But yes, the development costs for such a small market item must be very challenging.


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 9:49 AM
Post #12 of 60 (3069 views)
Shortcut
Re: [adamUK] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course it is not lol, a built in life span means potentially more future product sold, or the user goes with some one else with a longer span, or cheaper servicing perhaps.

I have read all the patents for Cypres, Vigil, Argus, Astra, and some obscure ones as well, not worried about the electronic aspect, and my approach to the cutter is different as well, Sure I can figure that at least one will try to bankrupt me in an effort to keep competition from the market, but again, it would be interesting to know if Cypres went after Vigil, Argus, and Astra? I heard something about a cutter design or something years ago, but I do not remember who vs. who, and what it was over.

All electronic AADs have baro pressure transducers and accelerometers, nothing novel in the use of those instruments there. Now the operational logic that uses the measurements is another story, and again my approach is / would be different.

This is another financial risk that needs to be taken into consideration though. The whole purpose for producing a sport unit is to increase revenue, but compared to the Military purchasing volumes, the sport market is barely a sample purchase lol. Even if the sport sales were enough to cover the legal expenses, it would not be worth it. My investors have asked me a couple of times about a civilian unit, and each time I tell them the liability alone is too high, there is not enough gold at the end of that rainbow to make it worth while lol, and those thoughts are being confirmed.

Really if you think about it, Sport Skydiving is a very small market, and only a portion of that market uses an AAD, so when you look at the two, or with M2, three, AAD manufacturers fighting over the small group within a small group, it is easy to justify not getting in the mix. Some times more money is made not doing something lol.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 13, 2013, 9:53 AM
Post #13 of 60 (3063 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you considering a different type of cutter design?


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 9:54 AM
Post #14 of 60 (3062 views)
Shortcut
Re: [gowlerk] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would love to see more AAD competition. I've been waiting two years now for the M2 here in North America. reply]

At the last PIA Alti-2 announced that they had the exclusive rights to M2 sales in the USA, but there is nothing on their site and M2 has a booth at PIA separate from them. Any idea what happened?


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 10:04 AM
Post #15 of 60 (3050 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Are you considering a different type of cutter design?

Yes, As I stated above, I do not like the possible failure mode where a pinched loop will lock the reserve up.

Now it is obvious that the cutter is intended to always cut the loop and not pinch any of it, but I look at that as the glass half full.

When the cutters were at the bottom of the loop, if it pinched, you still could save yourself, but with it now on top, if it pinches the loop the reserve is locked in the container.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 13, 2013, 10:27 AM
Post #16 of 60 (3026 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Are you considering a different type of cutter design?

Yes, As I stated above, I do not like the possible failure mode where a pinched loop will lock the reserve up.

Now it is obvious that the cutter is intended to always cut the loop and not pinch any of it, but I look at that as the glass half full.

When the cutters were at the bottom of the loop, if it pinched, you still could save yourself, but with it now on top, if it pinches the loop the reserve is locked in the container.

I always wondered if a system that actually 'pulled the pin' wouldn't be a better alternative...they way the old 'AOD's' were set up...?


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 11:05 AM
Post #17 of 60 (2998 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

[replyI always wondered if a system that actually 'pulled the pin' wouldn't be a better alternative...they way the old 'AOD's' were set up...?
IMOP yes, pulling the pin as the only method of pack opening is the best, but the systems to do so are bulky compared to cutter systems. And with the modern tight rigs bulk is not a good selling point. For a student rig it would be fine, but those rigs are not stylish to begin with lol. Just moving the cutters to the top of the reserve had cosmetic affects.

I have puller that I designed being used on a recoverable, sub orbital rocket, and I have concept designs of more compact pullers, but still the puller cable housing is bulky, then you add an RSL and the reserve rip cord has a bunch of crap on it which creates the possibility of other problems.


Skybear

Jan 13, 2013, 11:31 AM
Post #18 of 60 (2977 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

There were accidents when the pin-pulling AODs didn't pull the pin, because it got bent somehow during climb, exit or freefall. This alone is the reason why Helmut Cloth decided to follow a different path and figure out another way to open an container.

Does somebody really want to go back to the good old time? Remember, sex was safe and skydiving was dangerous then. Wink


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 13, 2013, 1:44 PM
Post #19 of 60 (2912 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Skybear] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There were accidents when the pin-pulling AODs didn't pull the pin, because it got bent somehow during climb, exit or freefall.

Does somebody really want to go back to the good old time?

Bent pins then, and pinched closing loops now, both are problems that can have an undesirable effect on the reserves ability to be deployed. Modern rigs have better reserve pin protection, but you are correct in that a bent pin can lock a reserve container just as a pinched closing loop can.

In reality these are remote possibilities, but from my perspective, and I bet Mr. Cloth's as well, even small odds are too great, especially when you are the one speeding toward the planet.

As you pointed out, Mr. Cloth saw a problem and set out to solve it, and in the original configuration, the cutter was placed on the bottom of the pack assembly, and this worked well until some long closing loops. (that if I remember right were not siliconed), took a set and prevented four reserves on the same dive from opening. As a result of that problem, the cutters were moved to the top of the pack, however, this solution introduces a new problem of the loop gets snagged or pinched in the cutter.

Don’t misunderstand me to be declaring that cutters on top of the pilot chute are “Black Death”, or that one manufacturer or the other has bad cutters. I am simply looking at this from events that have taken place, and what possibly could. Like Mr. Cloth’s goal to overcome the bent pin potential, mine is to overcome / prevent the pinched loop potential.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 14, 2013, 7:28 AM
Post #20 of 60 (2766 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the bent pin issue is a much greater danger than the pinched loop issue, if one has a decent cutter design in the first place. Plus, even if the AAD fails and pinches the loop, it should only be happening below 800 ft or so, so the jumper is either incapable of pulling by himself or is almost out of time to do so anyway. (Well, there is the +300 ft or so burble body position issue too.)

For the record, the pin pullers that Sentinel had at the end, their Micro Puller, were very slick, low profile and would fit on most rigs -- it wasn't like mods needed for an FXC, nor was it like the giant cylinders used on the earlier Sentinels.


sundevil777  (D License)

Jan 14, 2013, 9:02 AM
Post #21 of 60 (2740 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pchapman] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think the bent pin issue is a much greater danger than the pinched loop issue

Quite right, the reserve pin bends much too easily. The beefier UPT pin seems to be a bit better. The reserve pin "protection" that modern rigs provide does not protect against a bent pin. Even rigs that have the pins against a jumper's back can have the pin bent by the tension in the loop (this has been noted in some other threads).


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 14, 2013, 9:23 AM
Post #22 of 60 (2722 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pchapman] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think the bent pin issue is a much greater danger than the pinched loop issue, if one has a decent cutter design in the first place. Plus, even if the AAD fails and pinches the loop, it should only be happening below 800 ft or so, so the jumper is either incapable of pulling by himself or is almost out of time to do so anyway. (Well, there is the +300 ft or so burble body position issue too.)

For the record, the pin pullers that Sentinel had at the end, their Micro Puller, were very slick, low profile and would fit on most rigs -- it wasn't like mods needed for an FXC, nor was it like the giant cylinders used on the earlier Sentinels.

I'd be curious to know how many bent pins are seen during the repack cycles these days...and if it IS a problem that should be addressed.

I've never bent a pin, I've been on loads where people HAVE, but that was back in the cone & grommet days. I have see a couple that were slightly deformed but still worked as advertised.

ARE there a significant number of 'damaged' pins seen these days?


ChrisD  (No License)

Jan 14, 2013, 9:25 AM
Post #23 of 60 (2721 views)
Shortcut
Re: [df8m1] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Full disclosure, I am Free Fall Accessories.

I am curious as to what everyone’s thoughts would be if an AAD was available that was made in the USA?

however it to is made outside the USA.

"buy American"?.

yo mean Walmart?? I get a real rush looking at all the American flags in Walmart, with the little made in China tags on them Crazy

NO.

I watch the "Shark Tank," on TV other day,...And I was surprized to see that this show specializes in moving jobs offshore, just like MITT! I am tired to see companies move offshore, not good for our country.

The problem is that no-one is going to switch AAD's, because a better, or even American Company makes it. Like comparing main canopies most individuals stick with just a few or stay with their first purchase. Which means your looking at the first time market, for the most part, tough market to penetrate, so to speak. Considering most startups want 80 percent margins and 100k take home in the envelope!

Good Luck
C


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Jan 14, 2013, 9:28 AM)


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 14, 2013, 11:05 AM
Post #24 of 60 (2679 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jim,

Quote:
I've been on loads where people HAVE, but that was back in the cone & grommet days.

A personal thought: The standard ripcord pin in use today was designed before most of us were born ( OK, not you or me Tongue ). It was designed for the old cone & grommet rigs. It was not designed for a loop & #0 spur grommet.

IMO the forces from the loop & #0 spur grommet is what is causing bent pins. It is a single point load whereas the cone & grommet design is loaded at two places.

Just my thoughts . . . .

JerryBaumchen


df8m1  (C 29633)

Jan 14, 2013, 11:10 AM
Post #25 of 60 (2678 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ChrisD] AAD Market / Competition [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Full disclosure, I am Free Fall Accessories.

I am curious as to what everyone’s thoughts would be if an AAD was available that was made in the USA?

however it to is made outside the USA.

"buy American"?.

yo mean Walmart?? I get a real rush looking at all the American flags in Walmart, with the little made in China tags on them Crazy

NO.

I watch the "Shark Tank," on TV other day,...And I was surprized to see that this show specializes in moving jobs offshore, just like MITT! I am tired to see companies move offshore, not good for our country.

The problem is that no-one is going to switch AAD's, because a better, or even American Company makes it. Like comparing main canopies most individuals stick with just a few or stay with their first purchase. Which means your looking at the first time market, for the most part, tough market to penetrate, so to speak. Considering most startups want 80 percent margins and 100k take home in the envelope!

Good Luck
C

___________

This is turning into an interesting thread with two subjects emerging, pins and American's eagerness to send dollars over seas.

I watch Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den too, I have learned a lot about how to approach investors and what they are looking for in opportunity and return.

I would like to clarify, that I actually pay more for parts made in the USA, instead of having them made for less in China. I am not one to take a foreign made item and stamp a Made in the USA label on it.

It is disheartening when I hear how casually people dismiss the significance of sending money over seas instead of supporting US companies in country.

Regarding a properly designed cutter, to clarify, I am not suggesting a crutch for a poor cutter design, I am however looking at a potential failure mode given the cutter’s location, and the reported occasions that the cutter did not completely cut the loop.

The challenge is really the loop material, as it is gummy. If it was brittle it would shier before it would smear so to speak, but the soft stretchy material that the loop is made from will squish and smear as apposed to sheering. From my understanding of the Cypres story, that they ended up having to design their own cutter because no one would make one for them. From my conversations with cutter manufacturers, they have a standard cutter design basically that they match with different charges to vary cutting force. These cutters are mainly designed around firmer cables, wires, or lines, so when you try to cut the softer, stretcher, loop material, sometimes the design does not have enough head room so to speak, and the line is not cut completely, or, portions of the line can get smeared and pinched between the piston and cylinder.

Small variations in the loop material can have great affects on the cutters ability to cleanly cut the loop. I am trying very hard to not say one company’s design is better than the other, but rather discuses the considerations that relate to the process of cutting the loop.

Every time I read in a thread the question, “did it cut the loop completely?” I get chills from the idea that someone’s reserve could have been locked shut, preventing the jumper from being able to deploy their reserve them selves. I had a couple of thoughts on a cutter that would remain passive, (allowing manual reserve deployment), in the event the loop was not completely cut, for what ever reason, (damage from packing power tools, loop material variation, or cutter design), that the jumper would still be able to manually deploy the reserve. Now, it could be argued that I am wasting my time addressing a non problem, and that’s fine.


First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Gear and Rigging

 


Search for (options)