I'm not affiliated with Fluid in any way so don't take this as coming from them.
I do chat with some of them from time to time though. I get the impression that some folks didn't like the short-ish recovery arc of the Helix, though it is intended to be that way, so the AirWolf is designed to appeal to that audience.
It has been really interesting watching them grow. They really like to play with designs and try new things. Trying to appeal to jumpers across the whole gamut of flying styles and coming from other high performance wings seems to be quite a challenge.
It fills the gap between the Helix and the HK/HS class. It is geared more towards a competition use, but very suitable for everyday jumping. There will be multiple options on construction depending on what you're looking for.
Longer recovery than the helix, and less sensitive... more suited to a comp environment
(This post was edited by Alexg3265 on Feb 17, 2017, 3:24 PM)
The Airwolf is an awesome canopy. As with all Fluid canopies I've flown they build power in a unique way in the turn that is really satisfying, it feels connected to you like the Petra does but the nature of how it flies is very different
The Airwolf has a lot of harness response, a lot of rear power and is extremely fast. The harness response is like that of the helix accept the recovery arc of the Wolf felt considerably bigger to me. It's not as steep trimmed as the Petra, the Fluidtech material it's made of is very rigid and the whole package is very stable
Overall it's one of the most satisfying chutes to fly, one of the funnest canopy out there. It has all the usability of a freefall canopy and a ton of power and response. I'm not sure if it's the span wise line structure or what, but I found it really easy to get out and fully forward in the harness. Don't know why this is but just what I noticed
It doesn't have the float in deep brakes of the Petra, but the way it builds power in the turn is a unique and addictive sensation that makes you smile! I jumped a test prototype and I absolutely want one!! Scott Roberts is doing an amazing job and bringing all sorts of ideas to skydive and ground launching parachuting, if you're at all piqued by this canopy, get one you will not be disappointed
Any chance there is video of any Airwolf-action? Or HK-Terminal for that matter? The lack of footage of those two toys is torturing me. Also, how does the airwolf compare to VCs or other older designs? I need INFOOS
So the only tri-tapered design canopies I've flown have been the HK and the Airwolf, so I don't have any comparable details (though I will be flying a Valkyrie next weekend) to other manufactures, but I can compare the Airwolf to the Helix, and older design cross-braced canopies. The Airwolf, jumped a 79 at a 2.55 WL, compared to the Helix, jumped a 84 at a 2.4 WL, was much less responsive on the harness inputs. The Helix was a little harder to control upon opening, the start of the turn was much quicker, and I was unable to dial-in the rollout with the limited jumps I did on it, always needing to over-correct what always turned out to be a very quick whip. It did recover quicker than the Airwolf, but with its ZP external and Sail internal design allowed for what felt like a faster horizontal speed. The canopy also needed to be transitioned to toggles a little sooner than what feels natural, but still carried as well as ZP with Sail internals can be expected to. I did feel that owning a Helix would, in the long-term, help me become a much better pilot because I would be forced to be able to fly my harness as square as possible and dialing in my harness input during the turn. The Airwolf was definitely steeper than the Helix with a longer recovery arc and was much easier to fly on opening even with an increased wingloading due to the less responsive harness inputs. The turn, roll-in, rollout, and dive were all similar to older design crossbraced canopies, but with increased sensitivity and much more user friendly inputs needed. It has two variations that it can come in, one with FT-30 (which can be placed somewhere between ZP and Sail material, a great article was published by Fluid Wings and is available on their website on the FT-30 material) on I believe the crossbraces and top fabric, which had the awesome benefits of much more powerful rear and toggle inputs and carried forever, even after transitioning to toggles. The second configuration had less FT-30 but I didn't have the opportunity to jump that configuration. The HK on the other hand, which I jumped an 84 at the 2.4 WL including a full RDS as opposed to only removable sliders on the other wings, is by far the strongest wing in their lineup, and comes in full-sail (I very unfortunately did not get to jump the HK-T which is a terminal version of the same wing with other changes to make it more friendly to terminal openings). The harness was more responsive than the Airwolf, but still less twitchy than the Helix. The dive and recovery were steeper and longer respectively than the Airwolf and the power in the rears and toggles was also more powerful. The canopy kept carrying and came to such smooth, easy stops. If I felt more confident flying the HK in traffic, I would for sure be leaning towards that wing (probably the HK-T so I can fall longer before deployment), but as is, the Airwolf was the most user friendly wing with the most powerful responses and great dive and recovery with predictable harness inputs during the turn that I've had the pleasure to fly. Disclaimer: I do not work for nor get any benefit from endorsing Fluid Wings, I just loved the damn canopies, all of them. Plus, I met the founder, and he was one the coolest, most intelligent people I've met in skydiving, which may or may not be saying much... ;p Plus, if you send your canopy to them, they'll do the reline for free, all you have to do is purchase the lineset.
All my friends who have Airwolfs love them, I haven't had a chance to fly one yet (had a demo request in for some time) but, really looking forward to it. So, don't this comment as rubbishing Fluid I just think both of those points aren't actually useful as there's no point of reference.
Daddy likes.... very much so.... I might be a little partial so take it with a grain of salt but yeah....
Compared to the helix, the openings require a little less concentration, since harness response is reduced, slightly quicker inflation, which i like. In flight, like i said its less responsive in harness than the helix which does give it less of that connected feeling but it flies like its on rails, where the helix feels like its just begging to roll. The rollout is the biggest difference... its far far easier to keep in a dive, even with a sloppy turn. The helix has to be dead on, whereas this you can kind of huck it, let it ride and still be on the deck with plenty of speed. I can give you all anecdotal testimony all day but its all abstract and pretty meaningless.... you just gotta try one and see for yourself...
I have an airwolf 71 that i load at 2.75 with the top skin in FT-30. My friend has a valkyrie 71 that he loads at 2.9 ( he is 10 pounds more than me) when we flew together, he was sinking just a little more than me. We both do a 450 at a same pace and he has to start it 100-150 feets higher. I start my 450 just 50 feets higher than i did with my old velo comp 79. I feel like the airwolf recovers faster than the valkyrie and flys just a little more flat. At ground level, with the fly sight, our speeds were pretty much the same.
Also, i feel like the ft-30 does an amazing job. Got almost 100 jumps with the airwolf snd the tissue is still as crisoy as new :)
I can try : On the fly sight for the same turn, i go 10mph faster on the air wolf at ground level. The gap was bigger than i tought between the two canopies. When i downsized from a velo 96 to a como 79 ( i had already 650 jumps on then96) the difference was very manageable. When i downsized from a comp 79cto an airwolf 71, the difference was huge !! I know i went from a "square" Canopy to a tri-tapered and downsized too. That was maybe a lot at the same time, had to be carefull. The thing that surprised me the most was not the speed but the harness response. I had to focus a lot in this.
Ok. Hard to compare to different parachutes and sizes together. I woukd say there is more power on both rears and toggles in my AW71, but they feel easier to pull, probably because the canopy is smaller.