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Catch22.FMX

Aerodyne Zulu - Lower wingloading behaviour

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Hi all, first post here on the forums.

I'm wondering if any of the Zulu pilots could chime in with their opinion regarding low wingloading behaviour of mentioned canopy.
I currently have the option of purchasing a Zulu 152 that would give me around 1.22 - 1.25 WL maximum.

The official Weight-Sq.Ft conversion chart starts at 1.4 WL and slots me into the 132 canopy column for that WL number, but due to my current rig, a 132 would be too loose.

What do all you savvy folks reckon?

Thanks!

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I demo'd a 172 for a couple of weeks, loaded right about 1.33:1. I had 200 jumps at the time, and had been flying Pilot 188 and 210 prior to that time.

I enjoyed the Zulu a ton. Openings were quite nice, shorter than the Pilot, but comfortable and predictable with good heading performance.

On toggles, it flew similar to Pilot, just considerably more responsive. Front riser pressure was a good bit lighter, and recovery arc was still positive, but longer and more gradual. Flare was strong even with nothing but straight in landings.

After the Zulu demo, I dropped in a Sabre 2 170 for two weeks, and it felt like a dog by comparison. Way heavier on steering inputs, slower to turn and react, but still good landing performance.

I didn't end up buying one because I'm also a beginner wingsuit flyer, and needed something square. However, if I can get a second rig put together soon, I'll likely drop a Zulu in it!

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Aerodyne has an excellent demo program, so I suggest you hit them up and get a demo. I had an interest in a zulu type canopy and did demo one as well as doing test jumps on a few other sizes. The openings, either in the 150 size or the 105 size were not good for my neck as I primarily do camera jumps. I could understand how it might appeal to a wingsuit pilot.

I view canopies like cars. Some do certain things better than others, but ultimately it comes down to what you're looking for.

-Michael

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Awesome input Crashprone and Hackish! Thanks for chiming in!

@Crashprone: What did you think about the wind penetration ability at that WL and did it seem like the canopy was flying as designed?

@hackish: Yeah, demoing sounds like a good option, Ive been in touch with Herman here in Europe. But I need to get another canopy in my rig before a few end of season events! Time to commit or end up canopy less.

Anyone else have experience on a Zulu with a similar wingloading? 1.2-1.25 ish.

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I have a Zulu at 1.3 and came from a Pilot of the same size.

Zulu is much more responsive to both toggles and harness inputs. I really like flying it and it stops very well on landing even at high altitude dropzones. Openings are a fraction quicker but that's what I prefer. Zulu is more sensitive to bad pack jobs and poor body position on opening.

I used to fly around in full brakes with my pilot and never stall. The Zulu will stall after a few seconds so the control range is much shorter. Probably why it has more stopping power on landing.

Overall very happy with my Zulu even at the low wingloading.

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Catch22.FMX

@Crashprone: What did you think about the wind penetration ability at that WL and did it seem like the canopy was flying as designed?



The Zulu is still a fairly flat trimmed canopy, so glide performance is good to excellent. I never felt stretched getting back, but didn't have any horrible spots deal with.

As the other poster mentioned, it will stall much easier than Pilot, and the recovery can be an eye opener if you react too quickly. Not a problem, but something you'll want to play with up high before you find out about it in the pattern!

I can't say I felt the canopy was "under-loaded", but I do look forward to trying it at 1.5 sometime soon. I definitely enjoy an energetic canopy flight, maybe more than most.

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Nothing but positive response here about the Zulu. I purchased a 152 and have several hundred jumps on it at a 1.7 loading. Fun to fly, with good control response, front risers lighter than other canopies I've flown and a positive and progressive flare that starts as soon as you input and continues through the entire flare. It's not a stab to flare canopy, you fly it throughout the landing.
There are about ten now at our local DZ with verious loadings and everyone who has one loves them.
"You don't get many warnings in this sport before you get damaged"

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Most are loading in that range and all of them say they really enjoy them. The way it responds through the flare is probably one of its strongest points and seems to be similar in all the loadings I've seen.
Aerodyne advertises that it opens quick and I agree with them. Mine usually only snivels about 500 ft but the openings are not hard. I psycho pack and the rolled pack gives me the best openings.

I did demo'd one at close to a 2.0 and at that loading it was not happy.
I am probably going to purchase another one the same size as the one I already have for my backup rig.
"You don't get many warnings in this sport before you get damaged"

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