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mereanarchy

Deciding on canopy

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I have jumped a Sabre 2, Navigator, and PD canopies. LOVED the flat glide of the PD, and the slow approach speed. Was not a fan of the Sabre2, didn't like how the end cells never opened, and was never able to dial in the two stage flare.

I am planning a new rig for myself, and am trying to narrow down which canopies are most like what I am looking for. Slower on approach, flatter glide, good solid flare, but not "touchy". I like being under canopy, and am looking for something solid to get me safely back on the ground.

Current out the door weight is 240. I am looking in the 230 size range for my comfort level.

Thanks in advance

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From the way you describe yourself and your wants in a canopy, I would say that a PD Silhouette in a 230 size would be right for you. It is a hybrid of fabrics that allow for both long performance life and easier packing. An Aerodyne Pilot is also available in that size and has similar flight characteristics.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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It might be worth waiting a little while to pick a canopy.

The reason that I suggest this is that the characteristics you prefer are typically those associated with student-type or very conservative canopies. (1-stage flare, very flat glide).

The current trend for modern canopies seems to be a 2-stage flare in most models and a slightly steeper glide, so maybe after some more exposure you'll find yourself more comfortable with these characteristics and won't get a canopy which may be harder to re-sell in time.

A couple of older canopies you might try could be a Triathalon - slower, quite forgiving, and a more one-stroke flare than is typical now. It does have quite a steep glide though.

An original Sabre isn't beyond the realm of possibility, either. In larger sizes they're fine with a 1-stage flare and have a more flare power than the Sabre 2 in my opinion. They don't fly quite as flat though, but not as steep as the Tri.
The original Sabres were renowned for having hard openings. Mine opened as sweet as a nut every time, but some of them needed modifications and care while packing to avoid getting spanked.

In terms of more modern designs, it might also be worth trying an Aerodyne Pilot. I've never jumped one, but I've heard that they're very forgiving, reasonable docile 7-cell canopies, but fly a little more similarly to the Sabre 2 than either of the earlier options. They'll also have a better resale value.

3 others to consider: The PD Spectre - great all round canopy with a flat glide, the PD Silhouette, and maybe the Safire2, from Icarus. My experience with the latter is limited, but I'm sure others can weigh in.

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Just to point you in a good direction, I'd suggest looking at the Silhouette, Pulse, Pilot, and Saffire 2. Read up on their flight characteristics (opening, snivel, stall, flare, control range, ect). its always best to try before you buy.

I have several jumps on a Silhouette 230, and I'm about 275-280 going out the door. The Silhouette 230 (according to PD's wing load chart) is maxed out at that weight, but it flies beautifully. I can practice all the my canopy drills on it like front riser dives and turns, rear riser turns and flares, but it is still a large and tame canopy.

I've also heard nothing but good about the Pulse. Many people are telling me that it is basically the next generation Silhouette.

I went with a Pilot when I bought my own. It's generally accepted as having the best openings on the market right now, and being a big boy, I feel those openings more than the average jumper. Once open, it flies a lot like the Saber 2 and just seems to have a wider range of use than the Silhouette did. It can be loaded light and used for students or loaded high and used for swooping.

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Thank you for your thoughts! I have been thinking about trying a Spectre, or a Silhouette, due to the flatter glide, but wanted to see what else was out there that I hadn't considered. I will look into the Safire2. I agree that those characteristics are more student or conservative. I am hoping that resale won't be awful, since I am on a larger canopy and maybe would sell to someone coming off of student status. I plan on logging a good many jumps with this canopy, for sure! I just have zero desire to have a "zippy" canopy, as I jump just for pure fun, and floating around under my sky barge is plenty fun for me!

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yoink


In terms of more modern designs, it might also be worth trying an Aerodyne Pilot. I've never jumped one, but I've heard that they're very forgiving, reasonable docile 7-cell canopies, but fly a little more similarly to the Sabre 2 than either of the earlier options. They'll also have a better resale value.



Pilots have 9 cells. But yes, they are less aggressive than Sabre 2's.

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and was never able to dial in the two stage flare.




I would strongly urge you to dial in that skillset - when you go to anything much above 1:1 wingloading, the ability to allow the canopy to plane out before touchdown is going to be a critical skill.
=========Shaun ==========


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yoink

It might be worth waiting a little while to pick a canopy.

The reason that I suggest this is that the characteristics you prefer are typically those associated with student-type or very conservative canopies. (1-stage flare, very flat glide).



I disagree. I think it's a good idea to get your own canopy, if chosen properly. As said above, learning a two-stage flare is important, but that can also be taught on very conservative canopies.

I personally fly a Silhouette 190 at a wingload of 1.15-1.20. My experience is that the Silhouette at that wingload is no longer a student canopy, but is a very conservative canopy with lots of options the other way around. It's snappy and fast enough to be fun, and is a great tool to learn advanced skills on. At the same time, it's conservative enough to get you out of shit creek if needed.

Another advantage of having one's own canopy rather than renting is consistency. Flying the same canopy every single jump allows you to learn much more, because you know the canopy much better. Having a rental requires you to get a feel for the basics every jump (how does it turn, how does it flare, how does it glide), leaving no time to explore the more unusual aspects of flight (long flight in deep brakes for example, or the perfect brake input for a flat turn, or the fastest way to turn if needed to avoid collision). I still find new and better ways to fly my Silhouette 190, even after putting ~150 jumps on it (out of my 450 total jumps), and I have no plans to sell it any time soon.

In summary, I'd advice OP to go get his own canopy, after having gotten (and listened to) advice from especially his instructors on the best type and size, both for conservative handling and for future learning opportunities.

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I just have zero desire to have a "zippy" canopy, as I jump just for pure fun, and floating around under my sky barge is plenty fun for me!



My 1st purchased canopy was a Pulse which I found opened great on every jump. Another jumper thought it opened briskly and hard; but I knew no better. Started jumping a Safire2 which snivels plenty and opens really softly. I personally think its a great canopy - docile if need be, but also pretty sporty if you want it to be. Guess what I'm saying is demo a number of canopies and don't limit yourself to just PD - there are other manufacturers out there.

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End cell closure is a non-issue. It makes newer jumpers uncomfortable because of how it looks but it's not something to worry about. When I jumped a Sabre 2 as my primary canopy when I first started I used to get end cell closure on every jump and I would take the time to do a slow flare to inflate the end cells and then I would start my regular flying. Over time I realized it didn't matter. I jump primarily Volt mains now and I get the exact same end cell closure on my jumps but I just unstow the brakes and fly and they open on their own.
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mereanarchy

I have jumped a Sabre 2, Navigator, and PD canopies. LOVED the flat glide of the PD, and the slow approach speed. Was not a fan of the Sabre2, didn't like how the end cells never opened, and was never able to dial in the two stage flare.

I am planning a new rig for myself, and am trying to narrow down which canopies are most like what I am looking for. Slower on approach, flatter glide, good solid flare, but not "touchy". I like being under canopy, and am looking for something solid to get me safely back on the ground.



Pulse fits perfectly, I demoed it before I learnt to fly the Sabre2 I own. Opens beautifully, nice to fly and will get you home from a long spot, no-effort landings. Very easy to pack. I hear Silhouette is basically the same (modulo extra easy packjobs), Pulse being its newer, low bulk successor.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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mcordell

End cell closure is a non-issue. It makes newer jumpers uncomfortable because of how it looks but it's not something to worry about. When I jumped a Sabre 2 as my primary canopy when I first started I used to get end cell closure on every jump and I would take the time to do a slow flare to inflate the end cells and then I would start my regular flying. Over time I realized it didn't matter. I jump primarily Volt mains now and I get the exact same end cell closure on my jumps but I just unstow the brakes and fly and they open on their own.


I have to agree Mike,
I'm jumping a Volt 185 and can't help but say how much I like it.
I own two rigs. One main is a PD Saber2 190 and the other main is the Volt. I know the Saber2 seems to have more of a following at my DZ. But the Volt flies better and definitely gives me better landings. Even in no wind situations.
What you do speaks so loud, I can't hear what you say.

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