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benlangfeld

Can anyone identify this canopy?

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Since getting my A license, I've been renting a rig which my instructor says is a 210sqft canopy, but isn't sure what model. From the photos here, is anyone able to identify the model? It's in a Wings Classic W14 and is a snug fit, but not super tight. The packing card says the main was a Safire 179 but it has been changed since then.

Photos: https://gist.github.com/benlangfeld/6c0e5a22c3914ddd4f5b20fbf23688b6

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Indeed, that was my reaction when I looked up the canopy after the first reply. I don't really understand the difference very well, but I have heard that elliptical canopies are typically an advanced tool. That said, I've been managing to fly it just fine, so I guess the size is compensating.

Is it something I should be worried about? Should I ask for a more basic canopy? Or since I'm loading it at < 1 and flying conservatively then is it ok to stick with? If I do stick with it, is there anything I need to pay more attention to with this type of canopy than with a "square"?

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In some countries (I live in one) they won't let you jump a firebolt if you have less than 400 jumps.
Low wingload helps, but - at least according to the people who make the rules over here - this no canopy for your experience level.

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evh

In some countries (I live in one) they won't let you jump a firebolt if you have less than 400 jumps.
Low wingload helps, but - at least according to the people who make the rules over here - this no canopy for your experience level.




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benlangfeld

Indeed, that was my reaction when I looked up the canopy after the first reply. I don't really understand the difference very well, but I have heard that elliptical canopies are typically an advanced tool. That said, I've been managing to fly it just fine, so I guess the size is compensating.

Is it something I should be worried about? Should I ask for a more basic canopy? Or since I'm loading it at < 1 and flying conservatively then is it ok to stick with? If I do stick with it, is there anything I need to pay more attention to with this type of canopy than with a "square"?



I don't know much about the Firebolt, though PLI does market it as a beginner canopy at the right wing loading (holy shit is their website garbage). Heck, it's their only canopy.

With regards to "elliptical", that really doesn't mean anything anymore. John Le Blanc (performance designs) has a really good talk on this subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcOOAWpwSTM

Most canopies these days have tapering, even student canopies. I've attached the wing shape of a Sabre 2. Tapering is what many people mean when they say elliptical. Tapering is the outer part of the wing is shorter than the inner part. The shape of the wing isn't much of an indicator as it used to be.

Back in the days of the Sabre 1 and Stiletto, for example, the Sabre 1 is rectangular with no tapering at the ends while the Stiletto had the outer cells shorter than the middle cells (tapering, or "elliptical"). These days just about every wing (save for reserves) have some tapering, making them all "elliptical" to a degree.

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evh

In some countries (I live in one) they won't let you jump a firebolt if you have less than 400 jumps.
Low wingload helps, but - at least according to the people who make the rules over here - this no canopy for your experience level.



Just guessing here: maybe the powers that be (or were) decided to assign only one category per canopy? And based the classification on the flight characteristics of the sizes that would be most common out in the field?
Having a canopy assigned to multiple categories, depending on size or wingload, would become really confusing :S

Could be that the Firebolt is perfectly fine as a beginner's canopy in the larger sizes. Ben, best to talk to your instructors.

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Cloggy

***In some countries (I live in one) they won't let you jump a firebolt if you have less than 400 jumps.
Low wingload helps, but - at least according to the people who make the rules over here - this no canopy for your experience level.



Just guessing here: maybe the powers that be (or were) decided to assign only one category per canopy? And based the classification on the flight characteristics of the sizes that would be most common out in the field?
Having a canopy assigned to multiple categories, depending on size or wingload, would become really confusing :S

Could be that the Firebolt is perfectly fine as a beginner's canopy in the larger sizes. Ben, best to talk to your instructors.

You are right.

It turns out there is some discussion regarding this canopy, at least one local rigger and, according to him, the manufacturer do not agree with the classification of this canopy.
In fact they think that this canopy is a good beginner canopy at low wingloading.

So it seems that the classification is in this case a bit too conservative, at least for the large sizes and low wingloadings.

With regard to it beïng slightly elliptical: Today I learned that this is also the case for the PD Navigator, which is a great student canopy.

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evh

In some countries (I live in one) they won't let you jump a firebolt if you have less than 400 jumps.
Low wingload helps, but - at least according to the people who make the rules over here - this no canopy for your experience level.



My guess is the term "fully elliptical" is what triggered that particular enforcement. Jumpshack/PLI markets it as such: http://plabsinc.com/9.html

I speculate that they market it as "fully elliptical" to get the biggest market they can for their canopy, as it's their *only* canopy (other than their reserve). As someone else mentioned, it's pretty dated in terms of technology.

Elliptical is not meaningful distinction anymore. As the John Le Blanc talk goes into, most canopies are "elliptical", even student ones.

The Firebolt is likely a fine beginner canopy at low wing loading (as they market). All modern canopies are "elliptical".

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As someone else mentioned, it's pretty dated in terms of technology.



I struggle with this logic. Why is it dated? If I recall correctly, initial release in 2003 with full release in 2004? So it is newer than a Pilot, a Sabre2, almost a decade newer than a Stiletto... Are these dated designs?

It is not a canopy for extreme high end performance - I would agree with another poster that it is in the Stiletto-type performance range, but a step up from a Sabre2/Pilot (I jumped a Sabre2-150 for 1100 jumps before transition to my FB).
=========Shaun ==========


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