The guy that put the test jumps on the Paradactyl might still be in your backyard at Elsinore, Eric.
Several years back we had a guy show up to do some packing for the school and he overheard a few of us talking about the Paradactyl and he says rather quietly...."I did the test jumps for that canopy". No shit, turns out he was the real deal and knew everything there was to know about it. A really interesting guy....he was working for one of the local wineries. Check with Lob, he'll probably remember.
Howdy, Thanx! to David Hersey, I have a PI custom paradactyl by Jim Handbury & owners manual. The manual is Copyright: Parachutes Incorporated 1976 - Orange, MA 01364. I'll scan the manual and post a copy of the manual next week. Blueskys!!! P. Smurf (and no, I'm not currently interested in selling the canopy & manual except to a museum).
The manual I have is similar to the scan titled "DactylManual", but mine is complete. The file "Dactlyl Manual" is missing pages including "Brief History And Development of Parawing (Paradactyl)" and "Interesting Facts about the Paradactyl "- page 2; and "Easy Steps to closing your Razzor-Back" (pages 19 & 20). Also it's missing the back inside cover whch lists all the dactyl dealers in 1976 and the back cover picture of Jim Handbury and his 4-man team over Tahlequah
If anyone wants a complete high-res (300 dpi) scan, I have it available in two e-mails, one 10 mb, the other 13mb.
Blueskys !!! P. Smurf
p.s. Krip, I 'm looking for photos of David Hersey under the canopy. I don't have any of me flying it...yet
(This post was edited by PapaSmurf on Sep 30, 2012, 12:52 PM)
Was going to jump a single keel Dactyl at Elsinore in '78 but the Englishman who owned it broke a line on the jump before mine so I couldn't use it. He said don't do any quick turns under 800 feet or you'd go into what he called "The Dactyl Dance of Death." Packed VERY small for the time frame. D-14235 POPS# 3668 SCR 8949
(This post was edited by Ruckweiler on Aug 8, 2017, 12:35 PM)
Paradactyl was an interesting canopy. I have a few jumps on the single keel and thought it might be a decent PC replacement in the mid '70s, but it fell short in performance compared to the squares that were emerging at the time.
Few will remember but one of the first big DZ AFF programs was at Perris. They used double keel paradactyls for AFF student canopies with good success. I made a couple of AFF jumps as JM there back around 1982 and thought it worked well. Jerry Swovelin and Bob Buehrer ran that program as I recall.
Had a black single-keel Dactyl in '77, then a white one after that. Had trouble with the slider hanging up on the black one as the grommets on slider were too small and my flyweight body wasn't heavy enough to bring it down. Ended up taking off the slider and cutting the nose slider in half. Free packed it with no stow bands on lines. Worked fine for 24 jumps. Then the opening on 25 was like "yesterday" and caused a brief red out. lol....
Never a problem with the white one. Had bigger grommets, too. Fun canopies and packed super small.
Can anyone here describe what it's like to jump a paradactyl? I keep hearing "unstable and dangerous" but that's my second wife I was hoping for something more specific. I'd like to know how the instability manifests itself, that sort of thing. And how relieved were you each time you landed one unharmed?
There are a few old 'dactyl threads around, with reports from those who jumped them.
It is difficult to sort out what is actually 'dangerous' from just 'feels weird'. For a non-ram air canopy, it is very small, it has that soft mushy feel in flight like a round, and there really isn't any flare, which the manual agrees on. (Other than being able to slow forward speed a bit.)
I'm not a great example as I have only put a few jumps on an older dactyl since 2007. Who knows if there has been any line stretch trim issues. Also, the lines were for most jumps on the risers in a different setup, more like a Delta II. Not sure if that makes any difference.
At least on mine, stall point was not that far below the shoulders, so I was careful about using any brakes when lower down.
I did a couple full stalls on the dactyl, approaching it slowly. In both cases, it took about 10 seconds to be able to recover. That's a real, full 10 seconds on video. Even after returning toggles full up, the canopy would go off in one direction or other and bounce around before finally deciding to try to fly forward again. I'm not sure if I recovered it or it just decided on its own.
So it definitely felt scary, with a high stall point and a nasty stall.
The double keels (which I have a variant of), are generally regarded as much nicer canopies -- the extra area certainly helps -- and were used for students in at least one big school.