Jan 4, 2002, 4:41 AM
Post #1 of 13
15 years old Raven as main canopy?
I have few money for a main at the present moment. (I’m not living in USA; I’m from East Europe). At the same time I have very big desire to jump. I have hardly more than 150 jumps; my weight is about 210... My once injured back requires soft opening also. And I consider an opportunity to use a Raven - 2 as the main. The canopy is with no jumps and has 1987 release date and it is very cheap accordingly… F-111 and dacron lines, of course… But I do not know, whether a fabric has lost or not the quality during fifteen years of standing in the container? And I need any experience from skydivers who has jumps on the Raven. Any opinions?
If your Raven has been stored in a cool, dry, dark closet, away from strange chemicals, it should be in "like new" condition.
Careful packing will eliminate most of the hard openings, but you may want to ask your rigger to sew extra "lips" on your slider, or install an extra large slider to make it more forgiving of sloppy packing.
In that case, an unmodified Raven may not be for you. They are not soft opening canopies.
>And I consider an opportunity to use a Raven - 2 as the main. The canopy is with >no jumps and has 1987 release date and it is very cheap accordingly… F-111 >and dacron lines, of course… But I do not know, whether a fabric has lost or not >the quality during fifteen years of standing in the container?
It is not number of jumps but number of reserve repacks that determine its porosity. In any case, it's quite likely that a Raven used as a reserve doesn't have more than, say, 100 repacks on it, so it's likely to be in decent shape.
I first noted this about four years ago. I have never used my PD143R; but when I examined the canopy closely, I noted many "light areas" that looked like the fabric wasn't as thick or something. These seemed to correspond to areas near folds. I didn't think much of it at the time.
Later, I was talking to George Galloway, and I mentioned this. He said that was normal; the action of handling and packing the canopy generates as much if not more wear than deployment, and was thus the leading cause of reserve canopy wear. He told me of a talk he once gave, where he porosity-tested a brand new piece of F111 and then let everyone in the audience handle it. After they did, he retested it and saw a significant loss of porosity - just from normal handling. This suprised many of the people in the audience.
Many thanks for helpful hints. However I would like to hear opinions from those jumpers, who use (or have used) the Raven as main actually.
And still. One my familiar had a similar Raven as main. And it had very soft openings, as he said. We jumped together and I saw, how the slider of its canopy slipped downwards only after a tension of steering lines.
Most likely, that I should accumulate some more money for a used Triathlon or the Spectre…
Eric, I also recently bought a 1987 Raven II main with only 13 jumps on it. It has been packed in it's container since 1988. I sent it in for a complete inspection and the rigger said it was in great condition. There is a bulletin out saying that the slider needed to be changed to a bikini slider which was done for free. As far as openings, I have an exit weight of 210 and as long as the nose is rolled really good, the opening for me have been nice. (unlike my PD 218 seven cell main which can spank a guy real good if one is careful in his packing!)
Thanks, ooohhhno!!! Yes - yes, I have recollected. We then have still laughed, that the slider is similar to female underwear more ;)) But where it is possible to get one such bikini slider? I have checked out some web sites and haven’t found anything similar…