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colossus

Will we see more "Air Locks" on the market?

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Just to preface, I love Brian's canopy, and I jump one of his Samurai's. I love the idea of the air lock, and from what I had understood from what I had read in the past, is that other manufacturer's did not produce air locks because of Brian's patent.

I was looking at his website, and I saw the pic of his patent on his website, http://www.bigairsportz.com/images/airlocks/discussion.jpg Am I right to read that his patent has expired? If so, are other manufacturer's thinking about making air locks?

Either way, my next canopy will be another Samurai.

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A number of people that I know have some Vengances's, they seem to like them. But they did in fact update to some more performance x braced things as well....

Doing a search here brings up a number of past posts that are worthy reads. About the Airlock design.

It is hard not to be caught up in Brians' enthusiasm on this subject. But I'm more than a little concerned that the design hasn't caught on. Either it's something that just plain old doesn't work, or the skydiving public doesn't value the product and what it brings to the table or as you point out they couldn't manufacture because of patents and Brian wanted to monopolize the cash aspect of this. And this killed the design??

I think the whole thing could have been handled better.

If it works then shame on Brian for not doing everything he could to make skydiving a little safer. Perhaps now he is free, I don't have a clue about this patent and what all of that means, but free to promote or give the design away????

C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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This has been discussed several times. My opinion (having had one for a little while but didn't jump it all that much) was that while it was a great parachute at the time, the newer designs have better performance and pack smaller. By better performance, I don't necessarily mean faster. They perform day in, day out with less drama and are at least as sporty, if not more. I liked mine but also had a Crossfire II and it was no contest. Not knocking the Samurai. It was cutting edge at the time.



colossus

Just to preface, I love Brian's canopy, and I jump one of his Samurai's. I love the idea of the air lock, and from what I had understood from what I had read in the past, is that other manufacturer's did not produce air locks because of Brian's patent.

I was looking at his website, and I saw the pic of his patent on his website, http://www.bigairsportz.com/images/airlocks/discussion.jpg Am I right to read that his patent has expired? If so, are other manufacturer's thinking about making air locks?

Either way, my next canopy will be another Samurai.

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I jumps some canopies both with and with out a prototype air lock design. My conclusion was that adding air locks to a canopy did not necessarily improve the canopy. In fact it could cause problems.

The bottom line is that a canopy is ether a good canopy or not. There is nothing magical about airlocks. Adding them to a design will not necessarily improve it. And having them on a canopy does not mean that it is in any way a fundamentally better canopy.

Brian is a smart guy. He builds some nice canopies. As long as he doesn't get too creative with his seams. But his designs are good because his designs are good. Not because air locks are the next sliced bread.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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Why not just Ask Brian if his patent has expired? Never understand why folks ask the public rather than the source... Airlocks are more time consuming to make. Time ='s money. Jumpers like their money... often times a lil more than they do the addon of airlocks. etc.
Woot Woot!

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I think the big appeal was that the safety aspect of the design might be a sales factor for those who were interested in this feature as compared with performance or minimizing pack volume.

I certainly am interested solely because of its anti collapsing feature, and would live with the inconvenience of having to wait a few moments whilst on the ground for it to deflate.

I can't see where it's fair to make this comparison based upon performance or saying it's a dated design. When yo say something like that, the square canopy is a dated design as well.

C

Personally I would like to see more of them on the market so that we have the opportunity to see for ourselves the effectiveness of the design, to date many of the detractors of air locks are running on speculation and myth. The design has merits which have yet to be fully explored. Kind of like that baseball movie, if you build it they will come???

It would be nice to have a conversation just about the airlocks and the original intent. I did a search and it seems that no-one to date has been able to limit the topic to just the safety aspect. Which is unfortunate.
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Quote

what I had read in the past, is that other manufacturer's did not produce air locks because of Brian's patent



Part that and part xbraced came into being. The xbraced canopy gives most of the benefits of the air locks and higher overall performance at about the same cost to manufacture.

The people who love air locks will debate this all day long, they will make claims that have never been scientifically tested about how much better air locks are in turbulence.MBut again, these have never been scientifically tested. They will instead offer personal stories and claim it as fact.

The airlock was a good design. Unfortunately there were original issues with manufacture that never made it a popular product. Other companies never tried to run with it because of Brian's patent.... And why the hell should he not get paid for his property? But if the product was as good as it was claimed, people would have used it. Booth had a patent on 3 rings and people paid to use it. PD had a patent on xbraced and people fought to use it. If air locks were that much of a step up, people would of either paid the patent fee, or worked around it.

As for why it never caught on... The market did not see the benefit and other options that gave the same perceived benefit and some other benefits came on the market.

Does the airlock have promise? Sure, but talk to Brian about how much better we could make rounds. But just because we can make it better does not mean the market will support the idea.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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