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Tuiske

DIY canopy project

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RiggerLee

And he's off and running!

Quag, you're inspiring a whole new generation of designers. I think this makes two. Before you know it there will be a whole new crop of manufactures cropping up at every drop zone. You'll be buying your canopy from the local rigger. I can't wait till they start selling kits like they used to. Build your own canopy! It will be just like kit planes or ultra lights. You can buy the plans and print them out. Or for a bit more you can get the peaces pre cut in the mail. Just sew it together. Who has spare time on their laser cutter?

Lee




he's absolutely right, the thought has crossed my mind.

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Some more pics.. I copied the basic stucture of the seams from my good old stiletto. It was little hard to sew those top seams :S

All of the top seams are now done and maybe 4 of the lower seams still under construction.
IG @skydive_tuke

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By top seams do you mean the unloaded rib of the I-beam like you show there? You know there has been a movement towards not doing that little under fold. Basically if you just leave the equivalent amount of fabric beyond the seam you can just scab it on. Seems to work. I think the original construction might be left over from very early canopies where they stack cut, not hot cut, the fabric. Then there seemed to be a transition where the hot cut some of the peaces, like ribs. Now I think every one hot cuts every thing. Point is they have gone to simpler seams.

As an example. Is that how you are planing to sew the top of your load bearing rib? A full french fell lap seam? I don't think even PD did that. Are you sure they didn't use a rolled under english fell seam? It's a lot easier to get straight, at least the first important stitch line. Again the second stitch line done sepperatly is more to capture the edge of the fabric. I think that was another example of a hold over from a time when some manufactures stack cut their panels. I think if you look at some newer canopies you'll find that they are just sewn with a double needle, stacked like in that first pass and just left raw. It seems to work fine and significantly simplifies construction. I've seen canopies out of newzeland with just a single stitch line on the non load bearing ribs.

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

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RiggerLee

By top seams do you mean the unloaded rib of the I-beam like you show there?



No.. I mean seams in loaded ribs. I have already done those as I showed.

RiggerLee

You know there has been a movement towards not doing that little under fold. Basically if you just leave the equivalent amount of fabric beyond the seam you can just scab it on.



I have seen those kind of seams in Skylarks canopies. But I also wanted to learn how to do "old style" seams. I didn't want to choose easiest way :D

RiggerLee

...I've seen canopies out of newzeland with just a single stitch line on the non load bearing ribs.

Really? I didn't know that. But, if I'm going to make more canopies, I'm considering to do more simpler seams I guess? :P
IG @skydive_tuke

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Hi Tuiske,

Quote

This is correct one.



First, I wish you the very best on your project(s). Having built a canopy for myself many years ago, I know a little about the work involved. :S

A few thoughts on your seams:

- The top left seam does not need all three pieces of fabric to make the 180* turn, only the piece of fabric coming over from the right side needs to make this 180* turn to hide the raw edges. The other two pieces of fabric only need to make a 90* turn.

I hope this makes sense to you & that you understand what I am saying.

- The bottom left seam does not need the three raw edges exposed. Trim them so that they are hidden within the seam.

Keep us posted on your progress,

Jerry Baumchen

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JerryBaumchen

The top left seam does not need all three pieces of fabric to make the 180* turn, only the piece of fabric coming over from the right side needs to make this 180* turn to hide the raw edges. The other two pieces of fabric only need to make a 90* turn.



That makes sense to me. I just designed same size seam allowances to all pieces of fabric. Of course smaller to front edges on the nose. I have already leaned a lot of small things I could do better or wiser to next design. This thing about seam allowances is one of those things.

JerryBaumchen

The bottom left seam does not need the three raw edges exposed. Trim them so that they are hidden within the seam.



Maybe I can do trimming after sewing but I still have to leave some exposed edges because I have already done half of those seams. I left too much seam allowance to those parts, but I think it's also fine like that. It only looks ugly with exposed raw edges?
IG @skydive_tuke

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A lot of the seams you will see are a compromise. Raw edges are in no way a problem now that we hot cut every thing. Like on old canopies you will see where they sewed 1 inch back from the edge on two layers and 2.5 back on the third. Then wrapped the third around the others to hide the fraying edge and sewed the lines through the stack. The 1 inch gave them enough to just sew to the edge with out folding.

If you look at how things have changed with time the real push has been towards two things. First, simplicity and easy of construction. Second, smaller external seams out in the airflow. What you see there with PD and I think the newer PD canopies are simplified even further is a compromise. It lets them build in I beams and then put those sections together. Para gliders for example often have no external seams. They basically start at one end and build the canopy from one end to the other. It's necessitated by their all internal seams. So you'll see a lot of them with all individual panels and all ribs loaded. No I-beams. Even the ones with sections, if they have no external seams I think are still built end to end. Things like that mean that it all happens at one station. You can't have a two people doing multibil operations at the same time. One or more sewing I-beams and another putting them together at another station.

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

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Here is some new photos from yesterday. Next thing to do is line attachment points. The project has progressed a bit slowly but I'm already happy what I have already done. B|

https://s24.postimg.org/v3szewlbp/IMG_20170109_183118.jpg
https://s24.postimg.org/g94e0qbqt/IMG_20170109_183137.jpg
https://s24.postimg.org/i27ap1wxh/IMG_20170109_182822.jpg
https://s24.postimg.org/qlva0junp/IMG_20170109_183110.jpg
https://s24.postimg.org/s26sioxkl/IMG_20170109_182718.jpg
IG @skydive_tuke

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I think he has better taist in colors. It's more attractive then the Brown Thing. You may have to step it up when you start production and sales. You're going to need a wider color selection to keep up with the market. The old Henry Ford mato may not hold up in this new more competitive Kit Canopy industry.

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

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Yesterday I finalized the lineset. Line attachment points are also done. I made all those "bartacks" with that same sewing machine and I'm not 100% happy with all of those, but I hope those are good enough. Here's some pics of the final phase. ..slider is still on the design table.

https://s29.postimg.org/5xpk3cspj/IMG_20170130_212842.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/9ilfmkx93/IMG_20170130_212939.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/utizqufdj/IMG_20170130_213112.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/tsncfgnrr/IMG_20170130_213133.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/3lm5ji5hz/IMG_20170130_213303.jpg
IG @skydive_tuke

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Tuiske

Yesterday I finalized the lineset. Line attachment points are also done. I made all those "bartacks" with that same sewing machine and I'm not 100% happy with all of those, but I hope those are good enough. Here's some pics of the final phase. ..slider is still on the design table.

https://s29.postimg.org/5xpk3cspj/IMG_20170130_212842.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/9ilfmkx93/IMG_20170130_212939.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/utizqufdj/IMG_20170130_213112.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/tsncfgnrr/IMG_20170130_213133.jpg
https://s29.postimg.org/3lm5ji5hz/IMG_20170130_213303.jpg



In your picture of line attach points at the canopy, the line attachment point looks like the zig zag is slightly above the stitch line of the seam. This will be a failure point.

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accumack

In your picture of line attach points at the canopy, the line attachment point looks like the zig zag is slightly above the stitch line of the seam. This will be a failure point.



Thanks for the comment.
Do you mean about the lower non loaded stitch line or loaded stitch line? And it could be failure point for stitching or what? There is also reinforcement tapes (about 6" long) inside those seams on line attachment points.
IG @skydive_tuke

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What he means is that is the stitching of the bar tack gets above the upper seam where the bottom skin pannels spread it will start to form a stress point pinching the fabric. This is true but being level or just a bit above is not the end of the world. You will see this where one winds up just a bit high. If it's not pinching too much, odds are nothing will happen. If it's really high you might form a stress point and get a small tear at the corner. Basically it will releave it self and then stop. I've seen this on production canopies. It wasn't worth fixing. Hundreds of jumps on the canopy since then, no further tearing. Basically patching it would have been harder on the canopy the leaving it. By the way that was like half an inch high above the seam, old canopy done with a zig zag vertically, not a bar tack. Precision actually recommended centering a second bar tack on the upper seam, stitches above the seam line, in one of their service bullitons. I and others opposed this just be cause it's bad practice, and what if you're a little high? It also did not address the real problem. Bottom line, I recomend trying to stay between the seams, but I don't see any thing scarry there. It's a proto type, go jump it. If you start pulling out your "bar tacks", that's a lot of stitching and needle holes. It's hard on the fabric. Banging one of those in on top of another is not the greatest idea. Some times the "fix" is worse then the problem.

Oh, and the canopy looks awsome. Have you thought about how you're going to jump it? I don't supose you have a ring around with tirsh rings? It's not that hard of a mod. You could send an old rig in and have them installed. Or you could build or have built an independent harness to go under your rig. I like to wear the test canopy on the front and release it with a pare of cutaway risers. So three rings on the front of your harness, or sepperate harness, cutaway two point risers and then all the rest is the same. It's not perfect but trying to put all three on the back is a pain. You can also D bag the canopy out of the plane but the openings are funky. I don't like doing that. You can build the rings for the cutaway risers into the main risers and avoid tirsh rings but I've never liked that. Try to keep it as simple and clean as you can. By haveing an independent front mount for the test, every thing is seperat and independent. Less complexity in order of handle pull and perceadures.


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

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RiggerLee

What he means is that is the stitching of the bar tack gets above the upper seam where the bottom skin pannels spread it will start to form a stress point pinching the fabric. This is true but being level or just a bit above is not the end of the world. You will see this where one winds up just a bit high. If it's not pinching too much, odds are nothing will happen. If it's really high you might form a stress point and get a small tear at the corner. Basically it will releave it self and then stop. I've seen this on production canopies. It wasn't worth fixing. Hundreds of jumps on the canopy since then, no further tearing. Basically patching it would have been harder on the canopy the leaving it. By the way that was like half an inch high above the seam, old canopy done with a zig zag vertically, not a bar tack. Precision actually recommended centering a second bar tack on the upper seam, stitches above the seam line, in one of their service bullitons. I and others opposed this just be cause it's bad practice, and what if you're a little high? It also did not address the real problem. Bottom line, I recomend trying to stay between the seams, but I don't see any thing scarry there. It's a proto type, go jump it. If you start pulling out your "bar tacks", that's a lot of stitching and needle holes. It's hard on the fabric. Banging one of those in on top of another is not the greatest idea. Some times the "fix" is worse then the problem.

Oh, and the canopy looks awsome. Have you thought about how you're going to jump it? I don't supose you have a ring around with tirsh rings? It's not that hard of a mod. You could send an old rig in and have them installed. Or you could build or have built an independent harness to go under your rig. I like to wear the test canopy on the front and release it with a pare of cutaway risers. So three rings on the front of your harness, or sepperate harness, cutaway two point risers and then all the rest is the same. It's not perfect but trying to put all three on the back is a pain. You can also D bag the canopy out of the plane but the openings are funky. I don't like doing that. You can build the rings for the cutaway risers into the main risers and avoid tirsh rings but I've never liked that. Try to keep it as simple and clean as you can. By haveing an independent front mount for the test, every thing is seperat and independent. Less complexity in order of handle pull and perceadures.


Lee



I have to chech that is some of those bartacks above upper stitching line, and if so, how much above. I tried to sew them between stitching... but I'll check.

I'm not sure how I will jump it. Maybe I can use separate harness under my rig? I already have that kind of harness. It's made from old Wings rig, I just removed container and moved cutaway handle to chest strap because it's nice to have that handle in different location than "real" cutaway handle. But how should I pack the canopy? D-bag with pilot chute pocket at the front attached to some kind of velcro strap between hiprings? ..and deployment when back-flying?:)
IG @skydive_tuke

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Tuiske

But how should I pack the canopy? D-bag with pilot chute pocket at the front attached to some kind of velcro strap between hiprings? ..and deployment when back-flying?:)



Did you save the main container?

When I cut up an old rig to use as a cutaway harness, I saved the main container to use on the belly. Had to build a new top flap / cover flap, but saved the back and 3 flaps. The rig had a closing loop anchored at the 'backpad' -- convenient for accommodating different canopy sizes.

Gaps between the top and side flaps, where the risers go down into the belly mount, there small velcro tabs were used to close the gaps.

Put a couple straps on the back so one could tie the belly mount off to the cutaway harness -- various ways possible there, whether with clips (as long as they can't snag line), velcro, cord, etc.

I also added some short channels with just a bit of velcro down the main risers of the cutaway harness, so the risers of the belly canopy could be kept a little more out of the way instead of flapping around. (Although usually I would be deploying right after a very short delay, just hopping out back to wind, so I haven't always used the velcroed channels.)

For the cutaway handle, I can leave it in the regular place or put it on chest strap velcro. As you said, to put it in a less cluttered location. I also made it a loop style handle -- just sewed webbing around the yellow cable -- and made it white, different from any other handle. Big and easy to find when you really need it.

As for the pilot chute, since most of the main container was saved, but turned around in front of me, now the belly mount has a left sided BOC...

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Last time I built my self a cutaway tersh I did exactly what he ^^ said. I did it from scratch but same thing. I like to have all the canopies on me not try to deploy them from the plane. I like a solid, closed container that is... as clean as it can be. Things are going to get really cluttered and awkward. I've got a set of three rings on my harness just above the chest strap so I don't need a second harness and it still feels cluttered. I use a set of cutaway risers with seperat cutaways. It's easy to build and the handles are that much more out of the way. They are a tape handle with a yellow cable. The chanel for the cable on the back of the riser has velcro on it so you have to peal the full length of the handle loose before the cable pulls out of the loop. I wear two hook knives on me chest strap in a good stiffened pocket. And I did use one on my last jump. The container attatches to the chest strap with two loops and I have a removable belly strap that goes through loops on the back of the bottom of the container. It's solidly attached when it's on. No movement or shifting. It rides some what high and that's what you want. If you have to set in the plane you will need to be able to pull your legs up. The upper loops stick up 2 inches, so it rides a from a little bellow the chest strap to just above the waist. I built it narrow enough that I can reach both handles easily. If you have a newer harness with a longer latteral you may find your MLW farther forward. You might need to look at sewing velcro or an out board pocket for your handles. If you do move them make sure they are not snag able. There is going to be a lot going on. When it goes smoothly it goes smoothly. When it doesn't... it doesn't. Work to make all of your jumps boring. Mine is also a left side BOC. I like to keep the deployment very separate from my main even down to the hand I use. To put it on I dawn the rig then loop the top loops and knife one to the chest strap. Hook up the three rings on the risers. You're doing that upside down and back wards where you can not see by feel. Pin the loop with the end of the cable and feed it into the channel on the back of the riser. About 2 inches of the riser stick out of the top of the container allowing you to do this. I then loop the belly band through the bottom loops and fasten it. It's now a big block on my chest. What I'm testing right now is kind of a biggish canopy. Some help with this, helps. Especially the first few times. Get some one to check ALL the hook ups, and routing. Check all of your handles. Take your time. Do not let your self be rushed by a call. This really isn't hard but there are lots of chances to make mistakes. Think through a full flow chart of all of your procedures. Write it down. No shit draw it out. Keep the system as simple as possible. For instance, I'm not fond of RSL's I don't think I'd jump one on this. Keep options open.

Don't be too ambitious. Don't plan too much on a dive. Loose the cutaway canopy early. Things can get really squeezed at the bottom. That is not were you want to be rushed. Don't add any complication. Jump a mellow canopy and large reserve. This is a work jump. Not an opportunity to practice your swoop on landing. You don't know where you are going to land. Yes, you're going to spot the canopy for a big field but things don't always work out. You want a main that open not one that snivels. I jump a CRW canopy. If you get squeezed down low you don't want some thing that snivels on you or spins up. Instant open, good or bad, yes or no because you may not have 5,000 feet to dick with some thing like you normally do. We put up with all the quirks of a high performance "fun" canopy when we are recreating. This is work.

You can try to tell your self that you're only going to do this once or twice. In truth you should do this more then that. And later if you make any significant change in the canopy, say a new trim, you should go back to the beginning and reevaluate it from scratch. Some changes are small and you'll get a since of when you need to be careful. But the smaller and higher performance the canopy even small changes can be significant. I've seen small changes in cross braces make big changes in stability, like live or die changes. As an example, go back and look at the SB on the crossfire 1. The one where they re-trimmed it to increase it's stability, ie. keep it from collapsing and killing people. Notice it's not a huge change to the trim. But it made the stagnation point on the nose more stable. You could do the opposite and make the nose unstable with just such a small change. Final is not the place to figure this out. It's good to have to option to chop it and land with a nice mellow main. If all you have is a reserve do it any way. You will get shit for it but better that then land some thing that's a question mark. You'll say that you're not building a cross brace or some thing with a covered nose like a cross fire. May I remind you that the Nova had a fully open nose and it still was prone to collapse and killed several people.

If you're going to play with canopies you're going to do this. More then think right now. Do it right. Don't half ass it thinking that you're only going to have to use this rig once or twice. You can possible get away with jumping some thing kludged to gather once or twice but this rig should be your default set up when ever you have a question about one of your designs. If you're doing development there will be plenty of questions.

This is testing. If you don't record the test and it's results then there is no test. No records, no testing. You will not remember the data. What trim was that canopy again? Do you remember to the 1/4 inch? Start making up a set of forms. fill them out religiously as you go over the video right after landing. Start keeping files on every change and iteration. Set up a test sequence. Find a way to record data. Maybe a Neptune and a fly site gps, para log. Those are just some off the shelf answers. It would be nice to have accelerometers as well. There is an app that will allow you to record all the sensor data from an I-phone. Acceleration, a crude pressure altitude, rate gyros, and angles. It also has magnetic data and some other things but the first list is what I generally pull out. GPS never seems to work on it. It will dump it as a comma separated file that you can pull into exel. Check out the 360 fly camera. I used one on our last test jump and I love it. It captures every thing. I can keep my head down on opening and still get the money shot of the canopy opening. The ball is not very clean but they are working on a conformal mounting that will be very low profile on a helmet. Save every thing. We keep a whole file with every thing from every test.

I was talking to a guy from PD the other day about some of their testing. Call them up and ask them questions. They're cool. Even though you might one day be a competitor they don't want to see you hurt. Like any one could really challenge them. See if they would e-mail you a copy of some of their testing forms that their test jumpers fill out after every jump. Doesn't hurt to ask. At PIA they gave a run down on some of their testing procedures and how they break down their development into small changes and separate iterations of the canopy. It might even be recorded some where. Some times they video those seminars.

I got to get to work. canopy look good. go jump the fucking thing. Oh, I think you were talking about the slider. Don't make it wider then your center cell. If the slider is too wide and the fabric just sits on the bottom skin as the grommets are pushed down before the slider lifts off the bottom of the canopy then the wind will not be holding the grommets up for those first few inches. Just went through this on a recovery canopy. Now opening beautifully with a narrower spacing on the inner grommets.

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

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Not so much has happend here after last post but today I had time for short ground testing. Some photos attached. I'm pretty happy how it looks and works.

pchapman and RiggerLee, thanks guys. I have to think once again how I'm going to attach third canopy to myself (safely). I still have reserve container with flaps from that harness and maybe it is possible to use it at the front with main canopy d-bag? I knot that shape of the reserve container is not perfect for main dbag but it should work if I add pocket for pilot chute?
IG @skydive_tuke

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Ok, I made belly container from old reserve container and it looks good to me. Whole setup feels quite messy when it's on my back with main rig, but I think that's the way it should be?:P

I made attachment straps for belly container from old reserve risers. Webbings are sewn into container and there is velcro for attaching "risers" to hip rings. I also made boc pouch for pilot chute.

How does that looks for you folks? Is there something I definitely should change?

And one more thing, I borrowed slider from Skylark Odyssey 100 and it fits fine. It is just narrow enough comparing to center cell width. I think I'm going to test jump with that slider.

I haven't done any plan yet for first jump. It's still quite cold outside and skydive season is not started yet.

Some pics...
IG @skydive_tuke

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