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niall1

Wingsuit Soaring

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Wing suit: Primarily a skydiving craft, currently incapable of self launch or landing. Directional control is maintained with the movement of arms and legs by the pilot.



First of all, I don't see why people would be "pissed off" at you for posting this. You'll notice that we tend to get annoyed only when ignorant people post and are insulting as they do so.

A lot of what you wrote was interesting, but I think your definition of wingsuit leaves out (or perhaps includes) too much.

The first sentence describes how a wingsuit is sometimes used (you forgot BASE, but no worries), not what a wingsuit is.

So then you're left with a wingsuit is a type of unpowered aircraft for which "Directional control is maintained by the movement of the arms and legs by the pilot".

But I don't think sums up what it really is, though, if we're trying to come up with a classification...

To me, the thing that makes a wingsuit a wingsuit is that the airframe of the wingsuit is shaped by the pilot's body, not by an external (or internal) frame like Yves' rocket wing or a hang glider or paraglider. The "body is the airframe" is why it's a called a "suit".

Once you start adding a frame that principally holds the shape, I'd argue that it's no longer a wingsuit - it's something else. The tiny spars, struts, grippers and doodads that we've seen pop up on some of the larger suits and some of the newer suit manufacturers don't change that, as the airframe is still principally shaped by the body of the suit.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Wing suit: Primarily a skydiving craft, currently incapable of self launch or landing. Directional control is maintained with the movement of arms and legs by the pilot.



First of all, I don't see why people would be "pissed off" at you for posting this. You'll notice that we tend to get annoyed only when ignorant people post and are insulting as they do so.

A lot of what you wrote was interesting, but I think your definition of wingsuit leaves out (or perhaps includes) too much.

The first sentence describes how a wingsuit is sometimes used (you forgot BASE, but no worries), not what a wingsuit is.

Yes that my bad...I dumbassed :Sand forgot about BASE... That would be a ground launch wouldn't it? LOL I was thinking about that too after the fact...LOL

So then you're left with a wingsuit is a type of unpowered aircraft for which "Directional control is maintained by the movement of the arms and legs by the pilot".

But I don't think sums up what it really is, though, if we're trying to come up with a classification...

You are right on that point. I wasn't really trying to classify it as much as use it for comparison purposes. Eg. Weight shift vs. risers/steering lines vs. body position etc.

I have not had the privilege to jump ye 'ole nylon crack (yet) Not enough skydiving experience (#1) and (#2) not enough $$ to feed what I know will become an addiction... :D


To me, the thing that makes a wingsuit a wingsuit is that the airframe of the wingsuit is shaped by the pilot's body, not by an external (or internal) frame like Yves' rocket wing or a hang glider or paraglider. The "body is the airframe" is why it's a called a "suit".


Right on the money. (A Paraglider is just a huge parachute, it has no framework of any kind)

Once you start adding a frame that principally holds the shape, I'd argue that it's no longer a wingsuit - it's something else. The tiny spars, struts, grippers and doodads that we've seen pop up on some of the larger suits and some of the newer suit manufacturers don't change that, as the airframe is still principally shaped by the body of the suit.



I agree. I think adding a couple support braces would still be within the spirit of the wingsuit. It would still be body shape dependent. After all, a sailboat sail has battens, yet it is still a sail right?

Notice I didn't call the wing suit an aircraft. I don't consider it an aircraft unless it has a seat and seat belts. ;) LOL
Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine Land, DHC-8
Commercial Multi-Engine Sea, Single Engine Land
Private Glider

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I think adding a couple support braces would still be within the spirit of the wingsuit.



Small ones, sure. I wouldn't quibble with that. You'd still be flying your body, not the air frame.

But to get to the size that has been discussed (10m sq.) for soaring, we'd need a pretty damn large frame, which would support the vast majority of the induced drag. At that point, one is no longer flying one's body, but the air frame.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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hahaha You have absolute no idea how to fly a paraglider or what you are talking about.... once you brake left it slow down and the right side will make the turn quickly and efficiently, thermalling you are always on the brakes in the side you making the turn 100% the time! the pilot weight shifting under the wing just intensify the turn but the main turn is done with the brakes, period.



First of all, a PG and a skydiving canopy are both ram-air wings, and both operate on the same principals. Due to design differences, they each to different things better than others, but they are fundamentally the same.

Maybe I should phrase it differently. The pilot doesn't shift their weight to effect change on the wing, the pilot's weight is shifted, and thus effecting change on the wing.

Yes, pulling a toggle will slow one side of the wing, allowing the other side to fly around it. However, as the canopy attempts to turn, the forward inertia of the pilot wants to continue to carry them in a straight line. At this point the pilot swings out to the side of the canopy, and in doing so, pulls down on the canopy at the inside of the turn, creating the bank angle of the turn.

Picture a conventional aircraft, and think of the tail empannage. Essentailly, it's a lever used to position the wings and effect changes in direction of flight. Control inputs to the rudder and elevator move the empannage in one direction and in turn, that moves the wing to the desired pitch/bank angle.

The pilot under a ram-air wing is the same thing. The lines are the lever, and the pilot swinging around under the wing is the control input to the wing. Yes, you use the toggles or risers to position the pilot, but it's the line tension and the load of the pilot that does the 'work' of positioning the wing.

Think of it this way, when you turn on a faucet, you turn the handle and water flows. Turning the handle itself does not actually cause the water to flow from the faucet, that's due to combination of water pressure and gravity, turning the handle is the mechanism that allows that other process to take place.

I'm not suggesting that the aerodynamic effects of the the tail deflection don't contribute to the turn, because the do, but until the pilot weight shifts under the wing, no real change is going to occur.

Another example - when a jumper flares too high for landing, we tell them not to let the toggle back up too much because the canopy will dive to recover that airspeed. The problem is that if they are too close to the ground and need to flare during the dive, they will not get the same response from the canopy they are used to.

When the canopy dives to recover the lost arispeed, the jumper shifts behind the center of the canopy. This allows the nose to drop and the airspeed to build. If the pilot need to flare at that very moment, the response will be delayed because the pilot needs to first swing back from being behind the canopy, return to the center, and then proceed to swing froward of the center to ptich the nose up, and actaully arrest the descent.

The pilot can pull the toggle down to full deflection almost immediately, there's no delay to that reaction. The delay comes from the need to wait for the pilot to go from behind the center to ahead of the center, and the reason is that, like I said above (several times), it's the weight of the pilot moving under the wing that effects the majority of the change.

In a flare from a 'normal' approach, where the jumper is centered under the canopy, the flare response is far more immediate because the jumper only needs to swing through one 'step' to effect change, that being the 'step' from centered, to forward-of-center. It's the added step of first swinging from rear-of-center that creates the delay and proves my point.

(Keep in mind, that I'm not suggesting a jumper will swing from behind the center to the center, and then stop, and then continue on to forward of center. It's one fluid motion, but until the jumper pases the cneter point, the descent will not be arrested and there will be no 'flare' to speak of).

This applies to every input you make a to a canopy. Regardless of your brake position on either side, your inputs all serve to reposition the pilot under the wing and that position is what dictates the attitude of the wing.

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Nice explanation, Dave. For those who don't understand what Dave was talking about (and aren't closed-minded about learning they may not be 100% correct), check out this useful resource: http://www.amazon.com/Parachute-Its-Pilot-Ultimate-Ram-Air/dp/0977627721

Mods, I hope this doesn't come off as (prohibited) advertising. I am not the author. The author is way more enthusiastic and optimistic about life, and I'm a mildly pissed off guy who hates everyone (although, in fairness, I hate everyone equally).
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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I don't think that qualifies as advertising. The guy literally 'wrote the book' on canopy flight, and since it's the only one out there, you have to promote it.

I'm glad this thread went the way it did, as it exposed this young lady for what she really is. She might be very nice and well meaning, but she's certainly a little short on the understanding of the mechanics fo flight.

Beyond that, the more you poke holes in her theory, the further she gets from a 'wingsuit'. Now it's to the point that she's looking for a continuous spar to carry the load with an articulated joint at some point in the span to allow for control inputs. How long until you need some sort of mechanical (spring? hydraulic? electro-magnetic?) assit to make it all possible?

At the end of the day, she's talking about something far off from a wingsuit, and far off from the reality of the technology available today. Even then, it's not even a fully realized idea, so let her dream and let he think that the toggles are doing all the 'work', and be gald she's not designing anything I'm ever going to wear or fly or whatever.

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hahaha You have absolute no idea how to fly a paraglider or what you are talking about.... once you brake left it slow down and the right side will make the turn quickly and efficiently, thermalling you are always on the brakes in the side you making the turn 100% the time! the pilot weight shifting under the wing just intensify the turn but the main turn is done with the brakes, period.



First of all, a PG and a skydiving canopy are both ram-air wings, and both operate on the same principals. Due to design differences, they each to different things better than others, but they are fundamentally the same.

Maybe I should phrase it differently. The pilot doesn't shift their weight to effect change on the wing, the pilot's weight is shifted, and thus effecting change on the wing.

Yes, pulling a toggle will slow one side of the wing, allowing the other side to fly around it. However, as the canopy attempts to turn, the forward inertia of the pilot wants to continue to carry them in a straight line. At this point the pilot swings out to the side of the canopy, and in doing so, pulls down on the canopy at the inside of the turn, creating the bank angle of the turn.

Picture a conventional aircraft, and think of the tail empannage. Essentailly, it's a lever used to position the wings and effect changes in direction of flight. Control inputs to the rudder and elevator move the empannage in one direction and in turn, that moves the wing to the desired pitch/bank angle.

The pilot under a ram-air wing is the same thing. The lines are the lever, and the pilot swinging around under the wing is the control input to the wing. Yes, you use the toggles or risers to position the pilot, but it's the line tension and the load of the pilot that does the 'work' of positioning the wing.

Think of it this way, when you turn on a faucet, you turn the handle and water flows. Turning the handle itself does not actually cause the water to flow from the faucet, that's due to combination of water pressure and gravity, turning the handle is the mechanism that allows that other process to take place.

I'm not suggesting that the aerodynamic effects of the the tail deflection don't contribute to the turn, because the do, but until the pilot weight shifts under the wing, no real change is going to occur.

Another example - when a jumper flares too high for landing, we tell them not to let the toggle back up too much because the canopy will dive to recover that airspeed. The problem is that if they are too close to the ground and need to flare during the dive, they will not get the same response from the canopy they are used to.

When the canopy dives to recover the lost arispeed, the jumper shifts behind the center of the canopy. This allows the nose to drop and the airspeed to build. If the pilot need to flare at that very moment, the response will be delayed because the pilot needs to first swing back from being behind the canopy, return to the center, and then proceed to swing froward of the center to ptich the nose up, and actaully arrest the descent.

The pilot can pull the toggle down to full deflection almost immediately, there's no delay to that reaction. The delay comes from the need to wait for the pilot to go from behind the center to ahead of the center, and the reason is that, like I said above (several times), it's the weight of the pilot moving under the wing that effects the majority of the change.

In a flare from a 'normal' approach, where the jumper is centered under the canopy, the flare response is far more immediate because the jumper only needs to swing through one 'step' to effect change, that being the 'step' from centered, to forward-of-center. It's the added step of first swinging from rear-of-center that creates the delay and proves my point.

(Keep in mind, that I'm not suggesting a jumper will swing from behind the center to the center, and then stop, and then continue on to forward of center. It's one fluid motion, but until the jumper pases the cneter point, the descent will not be arrested and there will be no 'flare' to speak of).

This applies to every input you make a to a canopy. Regardless of your brake position on either side, your inputs all serve to reposition the pilot under the wing and that position is what dictates the attitude of the wing.



Paragliders derived from parachutes, but nowadays they are totally different, and therefore they require different way of piloting, Paragliders have enormous amout of cells, Hight aspect ratio and complicated internal structure thats why to fly a paraglider you need to be a proper pilot, not a jumper. You never flow a paraglider therefore you have no idea of what you are talking about, I'm an experienced paraglider pilot for 7 years and I'm telling you that pilot weightshifting under a paraglider is not the main tool for turns, the main turns is done with the brakes left or right. Its unbelievable how you insist on this non-sense when you never flown a modern paraglider.
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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I'm telling you that pilot weightshifting under a paraglider is not the main tool for turns, the main turns is done with the brakes left or right



Just because it stills sounds like a simple misundertsanding, I'm not suggesting the pilot is moving their weight around in the harness to effect change. What I'm saying is that the toggle input itself in turn swings the jumper (who can remain still in the harness) around under the canopy, and this is what effects the majority of the change in the wing.

The pilots action is to pull the toggle, the result of that is the jumpers weight being moved under the wing and causing the change in flight.

Regardless of the number of cells, or complicated internal structure, a PG is still just a ram-air canopy and it operates on the same principals as every other ram-air canopy. It's similar to a weight-shit control system, as on a hang glider, but without the mechanical connection to the wing, I have used the term 'weight-swing' to describe the system.

Again, you might a very nice person and have only the best of intentions, but you are simply not correct on this matter.

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..thats why to fly a paraglider you need to be a proper pilot, not a jumper..



and u're calling US insulting!? i think it's really time for you to step back from your keyboard for a bit and cool your head a little..

just for the record; we're not only "piloting" our canopies, but also our bodies, be that proper or not for you.

i'd really like to add some more lines to that, but the discussion is too interesting to miss out on.
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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(I'm replying to myself because I thought of an additional point.)

The author of the book I listed is both a paraglider pilot AND a skydiver - and if he isn't the "world expert" in ram air canopies, he's in the top three (although I don't know who the other two might be...)

The principles of all ram air canopies, as the book points out, are the same - and consistent with what Dave wrote.

It's really worth a read.

Edited because i forgot the difference between principals and principles. But sort of moot because the person this message is directed to ignores... well, everything. It must be awesome to always be right about everything.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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I'm telling you that pilot weightshifting under a paraglider is not the main tool for turns, the main turns is done with the brakes left or right



Just because it stills sounds like a simple misundertsanding, I'm not suggesting the pilot is moving their weight around in the harness to effect change. What I'm saying is that the toggle input itself in turn swings the jumper (who can remain still in the harness) around under the canopy, and this is what effects the majority of the change in the wing.

The pilots action is to pull the toggle, the result of that is the jumpers weight being moved under the wing and causing the change in flight.

Regardless of the number of cells, or complicated internal structure, a PG is still just a ram-air canopy and it operates on the same principals as every other ram-air canopy. It's similar to a weight-shit control system, as on a hang glider, but without the mechanical connection to the wing, I have used the term 'weight-swing' to describe the system.

Again, you might a very nice person and have only the best of intentions, but you are simply not correct on this matter.



There is no misunderstanding, I read every post carefully before posting myself, now you agree with me that the main turn on paragliders is done by the brakes but tell me I'm in incorrect? totally self-contradiction...

By the way, you can turn a paraglider left or right just with the brakes with zero weightshifting, the wing will turn and so will the pilot, paragliders are NOT square parachutes. Of course if you apply brakes and weightshifting in the same time you turn more easily, but the main turn on PARAGLIDERS are done by the brakes.

Anyway this discussion about paraglider turns have nothing to do with the "soaring wingsuit" topic, so I wont post about it again, believe paragliders turns with body weightshifiting if you want lol
Lauren Martins - www.youtube.com/user/gisellemartins20

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There is no misunderstanding, I ready every post carefully before posting myself, now you agree with me that the main turn on paragliders is done by the brakes but tell me I'm in incorrect? totally self-contradiction...



No, what I'm saying is that the toggles are the control input you apply to make a turn. I'm not suggesting you shift your weight in the harness to make a turn. However, when you do apply input to the toggle, the mechanism that creates the bulk of the change is the weight of the pilot being shifted under the wing.

Do you pull on a toggle to make a turn? Yes. Does the tail defelction alone create the bulk of the turning action? No, it starts the turn, but is the pilots weight swingin off-center under the wing that creates the bulk of the change effected to the wing.

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By the way, you can turn a paraglider left or right just with the brakes with zero weightshifting, the wing will turn and so will the pilot,



Again, it sounds like you think I'm suggesting that the pilots weight shifting is a direct action from the pilot, but it's not. It's an indirect action, the result of toggle input getting the canopy to begin a turn and the weight swing occurs when the canopy tries to turn and the pilot tries to continue moving forward. This moves the pilot out from under the center of the wing and pulls the wing into the turn.

If you are talking about a pilot directly shifting their weight, then yes, a turn is possible with no weight shift. Case in point are the automated ram-air delivery systmes being developed for the military. The pilot is replaced by a payload and it has a control module attached to it with motors attached to each steering line to reel them in/out for steering and a GPS to guide them. These devices make turns without the payload actively shifting it's weight in the harness because the payload is an inanimate object, incapable of doing anything with it's weight.

If you are suggesting that it's possible to turn a ram-air canopy with the pilots weight swining under the canopy, you are sadly mistaken. Again, the lines are the lever arm, the pilots weight is the force, and those make up the simple machine that effects change to the canopy. Just because you might enact those changes with the toggles, the operation of that simple machine (the lever and force) are what really make the canopy 'move'. Even the inanimate objects referenced above swing about under the canopy to effect change. There is no way to make a canopy turn, brake, or dive without the load shifting accordingly under the wing. Sorry for your confusion.

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Just for the sake of discussion: I'd pee in her butt



After a stupid comment like that I would say you are more likely to pee in yourself due your poor endowed length. Lol



nice comeback!

:D:D:D
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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When the Wright Brothers flew in 1903 at Kill Devil Hills, no one could imagine that we would travel faster than sound 44 years later, and land on the moon 19 years after that.

.



And no manned space program 43 years after that.

I believe the low hanging fruit has already been taken, and that improvements will be slower in the future than in the first decade of WS flying.

We ARE up against some basic aerodynamic laws and the skeletal and musculature limitations of the human body. Chickens are better suited to soaring than we are.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Wow, I think you won the best post contest on this thread! For sure the most useful...

So if we take what a few advanced pilots are getting as far as sustained descent rate- 15-25 mph and multiply it by 5-7, we get a low end 75 mph to a high end of 150 mph. Those are the speeds we would need to soar a a current wingsuit...

Did I do that correctly?

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Yup. It is a rough estimate, but yeah. The reason I picked those numbers is that you will lose wind speed at mountain top do to the air being deflected up, surface drag etc. If you get 100 mph horizontal, you will probably only get 60 mph in the UP vector. (Wild ass rough guesses BTW).

There are certain places on earth that the wind will venturi effect and accelerate it through a mountain pass and blow against a secondary ridge. Also, places where the wind will blow 150+ mph at ridge top when the trades or Jet streams dip low in the atmosphere. Check out some of the record wind speeds at Mt. Washington in NH.

I think if we can get the vertical descent rates under 20 mph, we could pull it off. Torre Pines (sp?) CA has some amazing ridge soaring certain times of the year that enable Radio Control Combat & Pylon gliders to fly...they have got to have high vert rates to get 160+ mph airspeeds...

I have seen climb rates in mountain wave in excess of 2500 FPM...and over 2000+ FPM down on the ridge...It's fun to load the wings up with water ballast and run the ridge at 150 mph...

How low a sink rate can Jeb or Jeff get with those big ass suits they have?
Airline Transport Pilot, Multi-Engine Land, DHC-8
Commercial Multi-Engine Sea, Single Engine Land
Private Glider

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