0
Fall0ut

Rafale vs. Freak2 ?

Recommended Posts

Maybe it's time for some entrepreneur to start this business. Hire some sewing shop in Vietnam to make copies of used wingsuits. Customer sends in their used wingsuit, pays for shipping forth and back, receives an exact replica for $500. "Gorilla Replication, Ltd." to mount a healthy resistance to all this Guerilla Marketing. Many pilots would be happy to just have a fresh copy of their worn out suit they love.
Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps:
L/D Vario, Smart Altimeter, Rockdrop Pro, Wingsuit FAP
iOS only: L/D Magic
Windows only: WS Studio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LeeroyJenkins

There has been scientific research done on modern wingsuits



I know of several cases, besides mine.

1. Geo Robson from Switzerland, did some research on wingsuit dynamics, similar to Wingsuit Equations. Circa 2009-10.

2. Some student from Israel whose research paper I found by a web search. He was making small crude wood/plastic models of wingsuit and studying them in a small windtunnel. Circa late 2000's.

3. Someone wrote a paper on stability of Apache wingsuit using CFD simulations. Circa 2010-ish.

4. Icarus Project linked above. 2015-current.

5. Harman Rector did and does research on wingsuit dynamics using Wingsuit Equations expanded to 3D, using his flights and GPS data to first extract sustained polar curve, then using it to fit other flights and evaluate the feasibility of prospective flights. Recent 2 or so years.

If there's anything else, publicly available, I'd love to know.

Other than Hartman's 100% solid work and Geo's somewhat confusing work, the rest is just academia-type diploma-level kind of stuff (write a diploma paper and forget about it).

To this day, I don't know of any attempts, other than mine, to use L/D Magic or L/D Vario apps (or their own apps) with a smartphone or smartwatch on a vane to accurately measure wingsuit flight characteristics. Or to use a Pitot tube the only proper way - on a vane, on a long stick.

That manufacturers never showed any interest, never inquired about available L/D and polar curve measurement methods, shows that they don't do any serious scientific research to improve wingsuits. (It's like someone invented a Pitot tube, but no airplane manufacturers were interested - they continue developing their planes using a flapping scarf on a pilot sticking out the window: "this plane seems to be faster!". Or a car manufacturer never using a speedometer - "I simply watch the clouds of dust the tires kick!")

Godzilla Marketing, not science, is their main weapon.

But I would absolutely love to be proven wrong.
Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps:
L/D Vario, Smart Altimeter, Rockdrop Pro, Wingsuit FAP
iOS only: L/D Magic
Windows only: WS Studio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yuri_base

***There has been scientific research done on modern wingsuits



I know of several cases, besides mine.

1. Geo Robson from Switzerland, did some research on wingsuit dynamics, similar to Wingsuit Equations. Circa 2009-10.

2. Some student from Israel whose research paper I found by a web search. He was making small crude wood/plastic models of wingsuit and studying them in a small windtunnel. Circa late 2000's.

3. Someone wrote a paper on stability of Apache wingsuit using CFD simulations. Circa 2010-ish.

4. Icarus Project linked above. 2015-current.

5. Harman Rector did and does research on wingsuit dynamics using Wingsuit Equations expanded to 3D, using his flights and GPS data to first extract sustained polar curve, then using it to fit other flights and evaluate the feasibility of prospective flights. Recent 2 or so years.

If there's anything else, publicly available, I'd love to know.

Other than Hartman's 100% solid work and Geo's somewhat confusing work, the rest is just academia-type diploma-level kind of stuff (write a diploma paper and forget about it).

To this day, I don't know of any attempts, other than mine, to use L/D Magic or L/D Vario apps (or their own apps) with a smartphone or smartwatch on a vane to accurately measure wingsuit flight characteristics. Or to use a Pitot tube the only proper way - on a vane, on a long stick.

That manufacturers never showed any interest, never inquired about available L/D and polar curve measurement methods, shows that they don't do any serious scientific research to improve wingsuits. (It's like someone invented a Pitot tube, but no airplane manufacturers were interested - they continue developing their planes using a flapping scarf on a pilot sticking out the window: "this plane seems to be faster!". Or a car manufacturer never using a speedometer - "I simply watch the clouds of dust the tires kick!")

Godzilla Marketing, not science, is their main weapon.

But I would absolutely love to be proven wrong.

Lol, ok. Not being publicly available =/= the research hasn't been done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's get this thread back on track, eh?

Weather permitting I'll get to fly it this weekend. Fit is perfect, per usual, with PF (in my experience, 4 suits so far).

Robi was kind enough to build a hybrid version with partial UL construction, and partial non-UL for durability. Basically everything interior (pockets, liners, ribs, etc.) is UL material with the exterior (when zipped up) being standard fabric for more durability and longevity while skydiving. For me it's a great balance between lightweight (for BASE) and durability (in the sky).

If it flies half as good as it looks and feels I'll be a very happy camper.
Apex BASE
#1816

IMG_1298.JPG

IMG_1297.JPG

IMG_1299.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bluhdow

a hybrid version with partial UL construction, and partial non-UL for durability



This is the extent of innovation in WS industry. Change materials, colors, patterns, zippers; make more pockets.

The suit itself is pretty much the "same old same old".
Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps:
L/D Vario, Smart Altimeter, Rockdrop Pro, Wingsuit FAP
iOS only: L/D Magic
Windows only: WS Studio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The suit itself is pretty much the "same old same old".



Performance wise, the biggest leaps in design have been made years ago.
But in terms of 'same old same old' the problem is probably more your own flying.

If you just fly a straight line, more or less, there isnt much different. But looking at handling/agility, even in two generations of the same suit there are huge differences.
Straight line performance is to most almost the least interesting aspect of wingsuit flying, and the actual maneuverability and handling (which differs night and day between the various brand 'style' cut, wingsuit models and more) is why most people these day fly.

Even straight line performance in competition for those that are into that, is these days more about dive/flare and how the suits handle at those steeper and/or shallower angles, than it is about 'the suits all do the same glide'.

I think practically experiencing bit more modern wingsuit design, to compare handling of the suits in turns, transitions, dives, and see the (sometimes huge) differences, will expand your horizon, and make you realize the numbers in your excel sheets are to most not the biggest interest. And often people will go for smaller suits, not looking for the max glide, but loving the other 99% of what makes wingsuit flying fun.

Give it a go....as 'same old, same old' mainly reads as 'im old..im old' ;):P
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Got a chance to put my first 3 jumps on the Rafale yesterday. This is not a review, as 3 jumps isn't nearly enough to provide a proper review. It is however, enough to have some initial impressions, so here they are:

When I was getting ready to fly this new suit I had two concerns:

1. The leg stance was much wider than the stance on the Freak I've been flying for the past 2 years.

2. I hadn't flown a WS since mid-June and I was pretty uncurrent, at least by my standards, flying wingsuits.

After about 2 seconds into my first flight both of these concerns were gone. The stance felt natural and comfortable in flight and the suit felt really natural and easy to fly. All of my currency and stance concerns were immediately gone and I felt confident enough in the suit within the first 15 seconds or so to flip to my back.

Easy transition, super smooth and comfortable, rock solid on its back with no wonkiness or tail flutter.

In terms of speed, glide, power: it has more of all of those things than my Freak 1. I flew with a handful of Freak 2s and, at least from my perspective, speed/glide/etc. appeared to be similar. I would guess that it's mostly a matter of pilot skill and neither suit has a massive speed/glide/etc. advantage here. I also flew with an ATC and Aura 2 as well with no problem, so I feel like the suit will have the range on both ends needed to be a great DZ suit.

The Rafale felt adequately pressurized and super solid both belly and back, but not excessively or unnecessarily pressurized as I've felt with some other suits in the past.

To me, the most important things are comfort, ease of flight, predictability, and a general feeling of confidence when I'm flying a suit...especially a new suit. Rafale has all of these things in spades. I was shocked at how confident I felt, so quickly out the door.

I was looking for something with more power for BASE, while still being fun and easy to fly in the sky. I'm confident that this Rafale will do that for me. I've already sold my Freak 1.

A few other notes:

1. I still don't know how to pronounce it (Raf-Ale?).

2. Little things like the new magnet location in the tailwing, new gripper design, etc. are nice touches.

3. I love that PF kept the "innie outtie" functionality for BASE. A few people I know with Freak 2s were really bummed to lose that functionality. I really like it, and I'm stoked that Rafale still offers it.

4. I am able to access my risers while zipped, very similar to my Freak 1.

5. Flying next to a freak 2 the flare felt comparable. I easily followed the F2 up through a flare.
Apex BASE
#1816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In a true "apples to apples" comparison I'm not sure which would be faster in a straight line. My very first jump was with an Aura 2 and his comment to me upon landing was, "that thing is fast." As stated above, it's definitely faster than my Freak 1 and I had no problem chasing Freak 2s around. But I bet a really skilled pilot could burn me in just about any suit. As the performance of these suits starts to even out being a good flyer is going to become important again.

I don't race so I'm not interested in straight line speed, I'm just interested in "practical speed." That is, is it fast enough to do everything I'd like to do? The answer here is yes, absolutely.

I didn't find the pressure difference any harder on my arms/shoulders than my Freak. That is, neither is physically difficult to fly from an endurance standpoint. If you want to relax into the suit and let it fly the pressure is more than adequate for that.

Grippers are flat like the Strix. It's an interesting change as I'm used to the traditional gripper design, but I'm usually pretty light in holding my grippers anyway so it took about 5 seconds to get used to.

*Clarification on grippers: The Strix has a flat design but without the ''ear'' on the top where you hook the palm and thumb. On the Rafale the gripper is padded with rubber for a nicer grip and comfort while the Strix has flat carbon fiber plate with no ''ear'' cut.
Apex BASE
#1816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
More jumps on the Rafale and I love it more each time. I've flown comfortably with suits as small as a Swift 2, and as large as an Aura 2. I've been on my belly and back with both of the aforementioned suits and flying comfortably. The suit has far more range on its back than my Freak. The Freak wanted to go fast on its back...anything less and it would start getting upset (usually in the tail). The Rafale stays pressurized and powerful whether I'm looking up at a Swift or an Aura (and presumably everything in between).

Everybody loves their new suits the first few jumps. It takes a couple weeks before you start finding little imperfections.

Still looking for those...so far she's been perfect. =)
Apex BASE
#1816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Transitions were super easy. Comparable to the Freak, though a little less pressure I think helps smooth them out for me.

I was several months uncurrent in any WS before my first jump in the Rafale and my first transition was smooth and easy.

The Rafale profile feels a little thicker in the armwing, so the armwing feels a little more substantial on your hand at the gripper. Other than that, you would never even know there was more fabric.

As I said before I cannot compare it to the Freak 2 except to say it felt similar in performance to the F2s I've flown with, but it's better than my Freak 1 in every way.

I'm getting used to the new grippers as well. They really encourage a lighter grip with an open palm which, I think, is how the cool kids are flying these days. The older style batons always compelled me to hold onto them more tightly than proper technique would probably suggest.
Apex BASE
#1816

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Judging by remarks I’ve heard from those who have considerable experience with both Freak 1 AND 2, I would think comparing Freak 1 to Rafale would be akin to comparing Freak 1 to Freak 2... In other words, Freak 1 - Rafale may be useful
as a point of reference, but Freak 2 - Rafale is a more ‘apples to apples’ comparison, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0