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1st Canopies

 

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GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:28 AM
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1st Canopies Can't Post

Hi everybody,

I'm getting off student status (hopefully the weather will coop this weekend) and looking into gear.

Mirage G3, PD Reserve are musts, but there's so much discussion about different mains from different instructors that I'm thoroughly confused now.

Many of them have jumped tandem with me, so they know my style. I also have a missing ACL in my left knee, and they've also taken that into consideration.

The canopies that have been recommended are the Spectre, Silhouette, Navigator and Lotus.

I've looked at posts here about all 4 and have studied the flight characteristics of the canopies where the info was available. It seems the best reviews came up about the Silhouette and Navigator, but I like the idea of the airlocks in the Lotus.

My primary JM highly recommended the Spectre, saying it was very forgiving, shallow glide and crisp turns (that would become more important as I gain expereince). It would be a canopy that I could grow into, but I'm concerned that it may be too advanced for my beginner skills and not tolerate the mistakes a Nav would.

I'm going to the Canopy Control Camp at Deland, and hope to pilot as many canopies as I can, but I also will need to downsize so I can have some options (I'm on Skymaster 290s). But I ALSO want to be safe while I do all of this.

AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! What's a girl to do??? Crazy

Thanx for your help everyone,
Big Blues,
Tiger


dubbayab

Mar 1, 2004, 10:33 AM
Post #2 of 73 (1851 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

you might want to decide on wing loading first, then decide if you want a zp, or a f111 canopy.


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:37 AM
Post #3 of 73 (1838 views)
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Re: [dubbayab] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Good idea Dubbya, thanx. Wink

Tiger


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:40 AM
Post #4 of 73 (1832 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My primary JM highly recommended the Spectre, saying it was very forgiving, shallow glide and crisp turns (that would become more important as I gain expereince). It would be a canopy that I could grow into, but I'm concerned that it may be too advanced for my beginner skills and not tolerate the mistakes a Nav would.

A properly loaded Spectre would make for a great 1st canopy for you (as would some of the others listed), but I'm not so sure that I would agree that a Spectre has a shallow glide angle compared to an equivalently loaded nine cell canopy. But maybe I don't know enough about Spectres?


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

I figure *Everyone* knows more than I do. Wink

Thanx Canuck, maybe I should scratch off the Spectre from my list.

BS
Tiger


indyz  (D 28525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:49 AM
Post #6 of 73 (1818 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
but I'm not so sure that I would agree that a Spectre has a shallow glide angle compared to an equivalently loaded nine cell canopy. But maybe I don't know enough about Spectres?
When I was doing CRW flying a Spectre 150 with another jumper on a Sabre 150 at similar wingloadings, I found that the Spectre would hang with the Sabre with just a little bit of brakes or rear riser. Definately not a shallower glide, but not significantly steeper.


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:51 AM
Post #7 of 73 (1815 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanx Canuck, maybe I should scratch off the Spectre from my list.

Actually that was not the message I was trying to send. Spectres are very good canopies and would make an excellent first canopy for you (I soon will start flying one in my 2nd rig and in the future should have a much better understanding of how they perform compared to the other canopies I have flown). But I just wasn't so sure about this shallow glide angle comment.

If $$$ is not an issue, you may also want to look into a Sabre2 or a Saffire2 canopy (canopies which will perform quite similar to the Lotus). But the problem with the Sabre2/Saffire2 options is that it's hard to find used versions out there as they are usually snapped up very fast on the open market. There are a lot of good choices out there, you need to decided upon the appropriate wing loading and then decide if it's possible to find used versions of what you want, or if you need to go with a new canopy.

Good luck ...

PS: By the way, I have flown seven cell Spectres and Triatholon in the past, I'm just not current on a seven cell canopy as my last 500+ jumps have all been on nine cell canopies. Historically I prefer the nine cell (for it's shallower glide angle), but my opinion may change with more time under my new (used) Spectre which will come online soon. Angelic


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Mar 1, 2004, 10:59 AM)


pilotdave  (D License)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:57 AM
Post #8 of 73 (1804 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know much about any of those canopies (have 17 spectre jumps and none on any of the others), but one more to look into (not necessarily suggesting it, just suggesting reading up and asking about it) is the Sabre2. It's a bit higher performance than the other canopies you listed, and maybe you'd want something slower after jumping a 290, but it may be an option at light wingloading. I demoed a spectre and sabre2. I found the sabre2 a bit quicker, but MUCH easier to land. The spectre is definitely capable of nice soft landings, but I just found it required a bit more timing to get right. The sabre2 was, to me, just more forgiving to, well, bad technique. If I flare too high, I just ride it down and flare the rest of the way. If I flare too low, I can just flare a little more quickly and lift my feet up if I have to. The spectre was probably more similar to what you jump now. Flare all the way, every time, from the right height.

My first canopy was a PD 9 cell. Easy to fly, very forgiving, and still quick enough to be fun. And SO easy to pack (relatively speaking). It may not be as modern as the other designs but it's probably another good choice, and less of a step up from the others.

Dave


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 10:57 AM
Post #9 of 73 (1802 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry if you thought I misinterpreted your message...when you said that the glide angle wasn't that shallow on the Spectre, I pretty much crossed it off...I need to protect that knee as much as possible.

I've looked into the Sabres, and decided against those (for reasons I can't remember now...too much info in my head already!) Smile I'll check into the Saffire 2, thanx.

BBS
Tiger


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Mar 1, 2004, 11:00 AM
Post #10 of 73 (1799 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanx Canuck, maybe I should scratch off the Spectre from my list.

I'd suggest not scratching the Spectre off your list until you've had a chance to jump one. Everybody here can tell you what they like and think, but only you are going to know which canopy fits how you want to fly and land and you can only figure that out by actually jumping a few different ones.

The Spectre has a bit steeper glide angle than an equivalently sized/wingloaded nine cell (Sabre2, Hornet, Pilot, Safire, etc). This isn't neccessarily a bad thing.

I jump a Spectre. I love it. It's easy to land, it's fun to fly, it opens the way I want my main to open, and it's made by a company that stands behind their products.

It's a great first canopy as well; keep the wingloading between .8 and 1.0 and it is very docile.

I would not recommend buying any all F111 main if you can afford to buy zp.


AggieDave  (D License)

Mar 1, 2004, 11:01 AM
Post #11 of 73 (1796 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've looked into the Sabres

Sabre2 is a much different animal then a Sabre.

Ok, I've flown Navigators of various sizes and wingloadings as well as Spectres of various sizes and wingloadings.

Both are great canopies, they really are, although if you're wanting something that you'll really be able to grow into as a jumper and something that will have a better resale value, a Spectre is the way to go.

Navigators are student canopies, that are hybrid canopies, F111 bottom skin/ribs with a ZP top skin. That gives students a wide room for error with flare height, but it also gives the canopy a longer life and a more powerful flare then a purely F111 canopy.

You'll find that a Spectre has quicker turns, has a similar glide, but has a much more powerful flare.


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Mar 1, 2004, 11:06 AM
Post #12 of 73 (1791 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing to keep in mind is that these modern canopies will perform like nothing you've ever tried before (I'm assuming you're still stuck on those old worn out student 260-290 rental canopies at MH). Yes the Sabre2 can be swooped like a high performance canopy, but it can also be flown in a docile manner as well. By the way, what canopies have you tried at MH?

I'd say the Sabre2, Saffire2 and Lotus canopies will all perform in a similar manner so if the Sabre2 scares you (it really shouldn't), then the same thing could also happen on the Saffire2 and/or Lotus canopies.


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Mar 1, 2004, 11:09 AM)


piisfish

Mar 1, 2004, 11:06 AM
Post #13 of 73 (1791 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

from yr list, I'd say spectre or silhouette.
discuss it around with your intructors concerning wingloadings etc.
And get to try a few different canopies before buying.
My 2 cents


DancingFlame  (C 177476)

Mar 1, 2004, 12:03 PM
Post #14 of 73 (1748 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Properly loaded Spectre (~1.0) will be the best choice from your list. Nice openings, crisp turns, VERY powerful flare. I fly Spectre-150 for my last 20 jumps, W/L ~1.15, and I love this canopy! It is easy to control, not too sensitive to the body position on opening. After 90-deg turn it swoops a little (35-45 ft, 180 is prohibited at my DZ - blind turn - and 270 scares me a lot).

Navigator... well, it is a student canopy, very slow turns, little flare, no swoop at all, no beautiful landings. You will not learn a lot on that canopy.
Airlocks on Lotus, hmm, I've seen some guys with airlocked canopies in high winds. I would not recommend airlocked canopies for inexperienced skydiver.

One more thing, for the first time, packing Spectre will be pain in the @$$. Combined ZP/F111 canopies are much easier to pack.


dubbayab

Mar 1, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Gentle Tiger, I jumped a PD 190 (f111) for about my first 80 jumps. It was easy to pack and land. I was loaded at 1.1/1. However I would always encounter difficulty in landing in winds above 14mph. I would simply come strait down, or get pushed backwards. This isn't nessarly a good thing for a jumper with a hurt knee. Also in high winds I would find I had no flare, I guess cause I had no forward speed to convert to lift. You can call PD and have demo canopies shipped to you for a small fee.
Perhaps that will help you to decide. Maybe reconsider the Sabre2,I put about 400 jumps on one loaded at 1.6. They can be a fun canopy, and safe if you do not load them too heavy. but any jumper on a heavy loaded ZP can find themselves in troubly quickly. The manufacture has recomendations on wing loading, I may be wrong but I believe PD considers a Sabre2 170 as high performance canopy and the USPA considers a wing loading of 1.1/1 for expertsSmile
hope this helps,


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:15 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Dave,

Thanx for your input! While I've looked at the Sabre 2, I scratched it off of my list early on, but haven't yet looked at the PD 9 Cell...worth a gander. Cool

BBS
Tiger


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:18 PM
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Re: [skybytch] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Lisa,

That's some great advice, thank you! I think I'm going to jump as many canopies as I can when I go to Deland for their Canopy Control Camp. I also agree that PD is simply the best and I'll be sticking to their products too.

BBS,
Tiger


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:27 PM
Post #18 of 73 (1702 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Dave,

Choices choices choices choices! Crazy

I think I'm just going to fly as many different canopies as I can when I go to the Canopy Control Camp at Deland...Skybytch wrote and said that choosing a canopy is pretty much an individual thing, so I'm going to try as many as possible while I have the opportunity.

So far, the list is: Silhouette, Navigator, PD 9 Cell, Spectre, Lotus (haven't gotten much feedback on that one at all, except at my DZ) and the Sabre 2.

<sigh> so many canopies, so many jumps, so many maneuvers and styles for each jump and canopy; and so different a fabric for each canopy...I just LOOOOVE this sport!!!

BBS
Tiger


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:32 PM
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Canuck,

I've been on the Skymasters (290) at MH...we're getting all new Navigators soon.

About MH: The student gear isn't that worn out, everything is well maintained and inspected carefully. Have you jumped there?

BBS
Tiger


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 1, 2004, 1:38 PM
Post #20 of 73 (1696 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Steve,

YIKES I just checked out your profile and see you jump out of MH...I hope you understand my first instinct is to defend my DZ.

Hope to see you there this weekend, it's supposed to be a nice one.

BBS for us Cool
Tiger


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Mar 1, 2004, 2:20 PM
Post #21 of 73 (1671 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I've been on the Skymasters (290) at MH...we're getting all new Navigators soon.

About MH: The student gear isn't that worn out, everything is well maintained and inspected carefully. Have you jumped there?

The current student containers sure are nice compared to the stuff they had only just twelve short months ago (a lot of credit for the current student/rental gear at MH must be given to Frank and the Sands Family). But the canopies are still these old worn out Skymasters. Believe me when I say I know how they fly (they suck). I only wish I was a student all over again once these Navigators you speak of come online. Anyway, my point about the Skymasters is that once you start flying different (more modern) gear, it will perform like nothing else you have ever tried (and this will be a good thing). At some point in time, you will be ready to try the rental Spectre 230/210s at MH and you will see that these are very good canopies (a million times better than those tired old Skymasters). And it sounds like your up and coming Deland trip will be a great time to gain some canopy experience/confidence and of course to demo some gear.

[Disclamer] I AM NOT AN INSTRUCTOR NOR AM I A USPA COACH [/Disclamer]

Based on the fact that I have seen you land and I do sort of know you. I would recommend a Spectre loaded within the limits Lisa (Skybytch) mentioned in an earlier post. I fear that the Navigator (and maybe the Silhouette) may not give you what you may need at this stage of your short skydiving career, and the nine cell canopies may have too much forward horizontal speed for your liking. So what better canopy than a tried and proven Spectre which is used by novice and expert skydivers a like. Wink

Finally while PD does make a good product, other good products from some of the other manufacturers do also exist. I love my Crossfire2 and it's not a PD. Tongue


(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Mar 1, 2004, 2:59 PM)


vt1977  (D License)

Mar 2, 2004, 1:38 AM
Post #22 of 73 (1603 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

As has already been said try to demo anything youre thinking about buying different people like different things in a canopy. Definitely keep the Spectre near the top of your list they open beautifully, fly nicely, are easy to land and at a light wing loading are great first canopies.

Good luck! Smile

Vicki


cruzlite  (A 44192)

Mar 2, 2004, 5:32 AM
Post #23 of 73 (1578 views)
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Re: [GentleTiger] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

"Choices choices choices choices! "

"...Skybytch wrote and said that choosing a canopy is pretty much an individual thing, "

Once you decide on which fits you best...
(9cell or 7cell) - you're half way home...

The folks at Deland will surely be able to help you with this choice. (Be sure & post review of your camp)

Sugestion;
I notice you only have one 7cell listed - If you get a chance to jump a mk5 Triathlon..Take it. (I love mine)

Lu7k,
D


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 2, 2004, 5:46 AM
Post #24 of 73 (1569 views)
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Re: [piisfish] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

hiya piis Smile

That's a great idea, and exactly what I'm going to do...I'm going to a c/c camp in Deland in April, and hope to narrow down my choices to a few.

Through comments and my own research, I'd ideally be looking for a LAR, 7-cell, ZP-F111 hybrid. What's interesting are the wing loadings for each kind of canopy...on some I'd go 230, and on others, 260, 240, etc. I've also read that for a beginner, I'd want a .5 - .75 wing load.

When I'm comfortable on the student 290, I'll start downsizing slowly to around 240, that way 230's or 260's won't be such a big move.

This stuff is amazing me...so many options!!

Thanx for your advice, it was short, sweet and very useful. Smile

BBS
Tiger


GentleTiger  (B 27525)

Mar 2, 2004, 6:00 AM
Post #25 of 73 (1563 views)
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Re: [DancingFlame] 1st Canopies [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Flame,

Well said, thank you...you pretty much said the same reasons my instructor did when she recommended the Spectre. I kind of figured the ZP would give a more powerful flare, and for me, that's where I'll need the most performance. I've also been doing a lot of reading, and from what I've read, the 7-cell, in general, has a LAR, as opposed to the 9-cell, so at least I've narrowed my search down to the 7-cell.

I'd love to get a ZP-F111 hybrid, but can't find any PD's that have the same basic flight characteristics as the Spectre.

Thanx again,
BBS
Tiger


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