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papaniner

PD Reserve vs. Optimum

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I know the PD Reserve has been pretty much the "gold standard" over the years. But it looks like, other than its higher price, the Optimum has much better specs (lower pack volume and higher max exit weight for a given size).

Now that the Optimum has been around for awhile, does anyone know any reason (price tag aside) to suggest it shouldn't be the PD's "go-to" reserve canopy?

Thanks,

B9

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This is not just a PDR with different fabric. It is it's own design. I have one but have never flown it so you might get better information from other people. From the people I've talked to, it flies and lands much more responsively than a traditional reserve. Last weekend we were talking about them on the plane. The guy with the most experience with them said that his other reserves certainly saved his life but his Optimum flew and landed better. "After one landing on mine I sold my other reserves." He also said that the braked speed of it (before releasing the toggles) was very slow and that it was comparable to his other reserves in that regard.

Is more expensive and if you need to do a repair on the fabric I think you need to send it in to PD. That being said, I went from a PDR160 to an Optimum 160 and my rig looks and feels a lot better.


Quote

I know the PD Reserve has been pretty much the "gold standard" over the years. But it looks like, other than its higher price, the Optimum has much better specs (lower pack volume and higher max exit weight for a given size).

Now that the Optimum has been around for awhile, does anyone know any reason (price tag aside) to suggest it shouldn't be the PD's "go-to" reserve canopy?

Thanks,

B9

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Hi papa,

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suggest it shouldn't be the PD's "go-to" reserve canopy?



These reserves were certificated without meeting all of the TSO requirements. They did it with a waiver or exception for some portions of the standard.

I would suggest that you contact them and find out for yourself exactly what this canopy is like and the reasons why they asked for the waiver/exception; in detail.

Just a thought or two,

JerryBaumchen

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Quote

Hi papa,

Quote

suggest it shouldn't be the PD's "go-to" reserve canopy?



These reserves were certificated without meeting all of the TSO requirements. They did it with a waiver or exception for some portions of the standard.

I would suggest that you contact them and find out for yourself exactly what this canopy is like and the reasons why they asked for the waiver/exception; in detail.

Just a thought or two,

JerryBaumchen



Hey Jerry,
John LeBlanc has this video re the TSO subject:
http://www.performancedesigns.com/videos_op.asp
http://www.performancedesigns.com/videos_largeop.asp



And here is their faq:
http://www.performancedesigns.com/docs/OptimumFAQ.PDF

I have yet to fully watch their vid's because quite frankly unless I see someone with a gopro stuck to someone elses foot, monologs tend to put me to sleep. Is there more to this than what they have to say??? Because I did contact them in the past, and of course your going to get the party line, so to speak. Is this all just requlatory type stuff??

I can't imagine those guys in DeLand doing anything less than the best they can possibly doo?

So if someone could point out which TSO thingies they asked for an exception on, and turn that into plain english, I'm all ears...:)
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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I've jumped several reserves over the years and I now own two OP 143s. I've flown the canopy about a dozen times (only one was an actual malfunction).

The canopy is awesome with a very powerful flare.

The fact that the low bulk material lets you jump one size up in your rig is a bonus.

I have no idea why anyone would put any canopy in their rig before they demo jumped it first.
Especially their last option to save their life.

There really is no excuse for that in today's environment when you can simply go to a boogie and ask the canopy companies to demo their wares. Including the reserves.

And the only cost is for the last pack job.

And if you can't get to an event to do this then pick up the phone and call for a demo. For no more than $100.00 which covers the shipping and return inspection you can keep the canopy for two weekends and make as many jumps on it as you want.

As for the additional comments about the TSO, I won't get into that other than to say I've had many conversations with several friends who were test jumpers and R&D folks for PD and I am more comfortable jumping an Optimum than any other reserve.

.
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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I've had two deployments and landings with a PD193R in actual malfunction situations and been very satisfied with its performance both times.

I now have an Optimum 176, which I have so far not had the "opportunity" to use. But I have demoed one and am extremely impressed with its performance, especially the landing. While the PD193R gave me a comfortable landing both times, the Optimum gave me the most incredible landing I've ever had under ANY canopy - ever. I started laughing about halfway into my flare and couldn't stop laughing for almost five minutes. The opening was also quick (deployed it at terminal), and while I wouldn't call it "soft", it was quite comfortable - exactly what I'd want from any reserve. The flight characteristics were sporty for a reserve. I've got a ton of confidence knowing this is what I've got packed behind "Door No. 2".

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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I have three more rides on Optimums than I would like, plus several demo jumps. It's the best flying reserve I've ever jumped, and all of my sport rigs have one.

That said, I also have 3 jumps "in anger" on original PDRs, as well as a weekend of demo jumps on a SMART from the folks at Aerodyne. They're both very very serviceable reserves as well.

I wouldn't tell anyone NOT to jump a PDR or a Smart, but *to me* the pack volume and the flight characteristics of the Optimum are worth the extra money.

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Frankly, it's exactly what I'd like from a main, never mind a reserve. I demo'd one a few years ago, and absolutely loved it.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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