Jan 13, 2004, 4:23 PM
Post #1 of 33
Soft opening canopy
Hey gang,Well I'm setting here with a broken neck from an auto accident and will have to find a canopy that opens predictable and soft.I'm currently jumping a falcon 300 got about 30 jumps on it and weigh 252.The falcon opens hard occasionally no matter how careful it packed i pro pack it as these openings are better.let me know .Dan P.S Homer call me.
You might consider the Fusion by Precision Aero. We have a 275 that we use in our student program. I'm about 280 lbs out the door and the several times I've jumped it, it opened like a dream. I've never heard a complaint on it from anyone else either...
You might want to consider a Firebolt. It is an extremly soft opening canopy and is very predictable as well. They make them in 254 and 396 as stock and I am also pretty sure they will make you a 300 or any size you want. PM Nightjumper as he is a big guy like yourself and jumps the Firebolt.
The FireBolt is a nine cell full elliptical canopy that comes in stock sizes of 75, 84, 92, 110, 128, 146, 164, 182, 200, 218, 236, 298, 350 and 396. The 298, 350 and 396 are Tandem canopies. Any responsible manufacture will tell you to demo all of the canopies that you like so that you can make an informed decision as to what is right for you.
You couldnt go wrong with a safire2. A beautiful flying canopy that gives you super soft stress free openings. No matter what I did to mine (and any Icarus canopy I've owned, for that matter) it opened like a dream. I had 400 of the exact same openings when I was jumping safires. Try to demo a few canopies to see how they open and pack them yourself (if your gonna pack for yourself when you get one.)
I can only speak from personal experience but having done 600+ jumps on Sabre (1)s that used to occasionally really slam, I am now on a Spectre which has a lovely long snivel and I love it! I also demo-ed a Pilot recently and that opened really nice and soft too.
Demo canopies that have a reputation for soft openings and decide what suits you best - good luck!
Someone with 68 jumps has no business jumping a fully eliptical canopy. There are plenty of tamer canopies with great openings out there.
Normally I would agree with you unequivocally but we are talking about a canopy in the 300 sq ft. range and the Firebolt doesn't exhibit any of the bad habits associated with fully elliptical canopies. Have you actually flown a Firebolt before?
Yeah, Spectre would be perfect. Also, opt for Dacron lines, which strech more than Microline and have more friction when the slider grommets slide on them. Here is Performance Designs' opinion on them:
"Why would anyone want to use Dacron line on their canopy?
Though most people prefer the lower bulk and drag of Microline or Vectran, Dacron is often the best choice for some applications. Dacron is a fairly elastic line, so it gives a little when there is a sharp "spike" to the opening force. This elasticity won't change the really good openings very much, but it can take the edge off those occasional abrupt openings where your packing was a little off or your airspeed was a little high at opening time. Dacron may be preferable in a student operation, where unusual body positions can compound opening issues. Some camera flyers with very heavy helmets also prefer Dacron lines. Older jumpers, who may not want to subject their bodies to hard openings, may want Dacron to help reduce the impact should something get a little out of control at opening time."
Also, read Bill Booth's opinion here, especially point number 4:
Moreover, you can opt for lighter, brass slider groomets, instead of heavier, stainless steel slider groomets. Lighter mass equals less momentum (speed) down the lines. Precision Aerodynamics favors them, saying they contribute to softer openings.
Hope that helps (your back) .
(This post was edited by skydiverek on Jan 14, 2004, 9:30 AM)
While I agree that Spectre openings are soft (I jump one because I also need a soft opening canopy), I'm not sure it would be the right choice for him. The Spectre isn't available in sizes larger than 230 sq ft; he'd have to downsize considerably from what he's been jumping to fly a Spectre.
If he is okay with the downsize I can echo what others are saying... the Spectre is the softest opening canopy I've jumped. It's also easy to get soft standup landings out of.
If you want soft openings ... I vote for Strato-Cloud with a reefing line. The only canopy I was ever comfortable opening in a track. Mind you, those slow openings were kind of scary during hop-and-pops. Hee! Hee!
Too bad I have not seen a reefing line in the last twenty years.
I go about 242 out the door and jump a Sharpchuter 245 by flight concepts (70 jumps) now that i've learn to roll the 3 outside cells to the middle its opens so beautifully nice & slow, with a bit of a snivel (500ft) and always on heading. I've heard that the Triathlons and Spectres are great as well. Blue skies Jim
I've had two major surgeries on my neck. I hated the way my Sabre 2 opened but love my Spectre. It has nice soft openings. It's more docile than a Spectre I come in a little slower on the landings. Would definitely recommend it.
You can make most canopies softer opening by just having your rigger sew a pocket in the slider. The extra drag of air in the pocket slows the descent of the slider down the lines, and results in a slower opening canopy.
While I agree that Spectre openings are soft (I jump one because I also need a soft opening canopy),
I've heard this over and over, and believe it to be true. However, how can you explain that my Spectre-135 opens each time with a -just this side- of a hard opening unless I take the time to fold the nose over toward the center cell?
This proved itself again today when my packer forgot to do this on a jump. He'd followed the packing need of my canopy for the first 2 jumps and the openings were sweet! Then on the 3rd he admitted (after the jump and the subsequent -THERE- opening) that he had packed it 'regular' and forgot to fold the nose over.
With a camera on my head, this is important.
I've had the canopy inspected by PD when it was sent in for a re-line (at 450 jumps) and it came back as o.k.