I had a Crossfire on order when all the bulletins started flying. Basically lost confidence in it more due to the way Icarus handled the situation than due to the canopy itself. (Do a search for Aviatrr's experiences.) Cancelled the order (sorry Tim). To be fair, I know several people with Crossfires who've had no problems at all, and think it's a great canopy.
Then I tried a Cobalt. Although constructed very differently, it handles very similar to the Crossfire - identical as near as I can tell. very soft openings. very rigid in flight. very responsive. huge lift and flare power.
So now I'm a happy Cobalt owner. Or I would be happy if the fking weather would improve. sorry I'll stop whinging eventually honest....
I have to point this out from the original post...
"(apart from the bollox about design faults)"
This, to me, doesn't sound like it was meant to get into a political discussion regarding the parachute industry, simply a question about a canopy's flight characteristics.
I don't want to be an ass, but I just can't get over the fact that every single time something simple comes up regarding the Crossfire, people are relentless in trying to discredit it. I, for one, think that the Cobalt is a decent canopy...I don't discredit it because of disagreements that I have with some of Atair's business practices.
I don't know what to say...it's incredibly frustrating to see this happen. I won't deny that this whole situation sucks, and that Icarus could have handled things differently...there is a whole story to everything in life, though. I am more familiar than some, but still don't know everything that went on. Knowing what I do know, I think that Icarus did what they thought was best for everyone involved; Hindsight is 20/20.
Sorry my reply upset you so much - try this version:
IMHO the Crossfire and Cobalt open, fly, and land so similarly that anyone considering one should consider both. Furthermore, because they open, fly, land so darn near identically, you'll need to consider other factors (such as quality, customer service, colour, whatever) in order to decide between the two.
"Sorry my reply upset you so much - try this version:
IMHO the Crossfire and Cobalt open, fly, and land so similarly that anyone considering one should consider both. Furthermore, because they open, fly, land so darn near identically, you'll need to consider other factors (such as quality, customer service, colour, whatever) in order to decide between the two."
It may sound petty, but I do appreciate the revision.
From my experience, the canopies do fly somewhat similar, but not the same. Cobalt boasts the softest openings, but I have never heard of a hard opening on a properly manufactured Crossfire (which is the subject of this thread). On the other hand, I have heard of the occasional smacker on the Cobalt, one in particular related to their customer service, with near tragic results.
Although they may feel slightly similar, the openings are physically different. I have yet to see one flown to its potential, other than in the ParaPerformance games. It seems like a good canopy, I am just not super impressed.
The fact is, that these are both good canopies. There are always some that are going to have good customer service experience along with the bad.
I have had 4 Crossfires. The first one was made in the United States, and had problems. It was never returned, though, because we were not aware of a widespread problem. We adjusted a couple of things on the canopy in-house and I kept jumping it until I got newer gear. I have had 3 since then, all of which were built in Spain. I have had nothing but fantastic results from them, and have really enjoyed playing with them. They have long swoops, and an amazing stopping power at the end. People comment often on the visible amount of lift that it creates, as well its speed, distance, and flare.
People that see this canopy flown well are left impressed. Most people that fly them (specifically the ones made outside the US, or one that was made here and unaffected by the errors) continue to fly them with pleasure and without hesitation ("most people", meaning that I'm sure they exist, but I have yet to speak to someone no longer flying their unaffected Crossfire because of these issues).
IMHO, good canopy and good customer service. That has been my experience.