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ThrustVectored

Wings / Javelin / Vortex

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ThrustVectored

Looking at the design of those containers, they look similar with their semi-poptop and stripes. am I wrong to assume that they seem to be related?




I do not believe they are related companies. But the design is one of only two basic ones that are common today. There are people on this forum who know and were involved in the original source. Dolphins, Tritons, and Glides are also pretty much the same thing. I'm told Mike Furry was involved. Maybe someone will fill us in on more.

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Hi Ken,

Quote

I'm told Mike Furry was involved.



Mike, along with Henri Pohjolainen, designed the Jav. Henri left Sunpath to start his own company & designed the Wings.

Mike sold Sunpath to Pat & Derek Thomas.*

Three years later, to the day**, Mike put his Dolphin by Altico on the market.

Dave Singer was working for Sunpath when he left & bought Altico from Mike Furry, then renamed it Peregrine & designed his Glide.

The Vortex & the Fire ( from Ukraine ) were designed by their respective owners.

Anyone else?

Jerry Baumchen

PS) * Derek Thomas left Sunpath years ago & last year bought AeroSports USA from me.

PPS) ** Mike had a three year No Compete Agreement with Pat & Derek. The day it expired he started selling the Dolphin.

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Geez, Jerry, I'll bet you know the names of their spouses and kids too! You got that all written down or is that all from memory?
But have you noticed that the Fire looks just like a Mirage, right down to the "alien insect" logo?
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

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Hi Ken,

Quote

what does AeroSports USA do? Bailout rigs?



Well, for me now it would be 'did.'

At the time of the sale it had specs ( drawings to most of you ) for a sport reserve container & 4 styles of PEP rigs: a lap rig, a chest rig, a seat-pack rig & a back-pack rig.

As to what it does now, that is up to the new owner.

Jerry Baumchen

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Hi HPC,

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You got that all written down or is that all from memory?



Memory. I guess that it still works somewhat. :P

Quote

right down to the "alien insect" logo?



For over 40 yrs I've said that there isn't $0.50 difference is almost any container. A little exageration but somewhat close.

http://sws.aero/en/products/fire/

Jerry Baumchen

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Mike Furry (frequently misspelled on the forum as Fury) owned Django Enterprises in Chamblee, GA for several years. They made five main and one reserve sport canopies at the time they lost a patent infringement lawsuit with ParaFlite regarding the direct line attachment method, which shut them down on November 22, 1983, I believe.

After the lawsuit the company was renamed Flight Path International and I believe it was mostly his then-wife Lucia's company, with Mike on board as either advisor, or maybe design engineer. They also renamed all of the canopies after coming out with the flare line attachment method. Flight Path was sold (I don't know which year), and later Mike left canopy manufacturing for harness/container production. Just my guess but possibly the fiasco with the Nova main canopy might have been the impetus to change from canopies to rigs. He co-designed the Javelin H/C. At some point he sold that and started Altico which produced the Dolphin rig. It was built to provide a no (or low) bells-and-whistles, economic rig for jumpers looking for a new, custom rig but at a much more affordable price. He sold that company at some point to the company which I believe today produces the Glide H/C, but the company name became Peregrine Manufacturing, Inc. After he sold Altico I believe he retired or perhaps got into another line of work. I haven't heard what happened to him after he sold Altico. I met him at the 1983 Freakbrother Convention in Freeport, IL. Great guy, very personable.

I sometimes wonder how Django would have done had it not been shut down by the courts. I don't think the success of Glide Path ever matched that of Django. It would have been interesting to see how Django and PD would have done in head-to-head competition. Before PD I think that Django was the Boeing of canopy manufacturers. For those few years they dominated the sport canopy market with excellent canopies: 7-cell Pegasus (220'), 7-cell Firefly (172'), 9-cell LR-288 (288' - basically a 9-celled Pegasus), 9-cell Dragonfly (220' - a 9-celled Firefly), and their final main which was also my first square, the 168 sq. ft. 9-celled Bandit (that's the Bandit in my profile pic). This canopy started the trend of the small 9-cell which continues to this day. Even John LeBlanc at PD credits the Bandit as the first small 9-cell that started the trend. They also produced a reserve version of the Firefly. My guess is that had they stayed in business they would have eventually produced a Pegasus reserve - but that's just my guess. Not only did their canopies outperform the competition but they were very competitively priced.

If I remember correctly, before Mike got into parachute equipment manufacturing he was a studio musician - I don't remember what he played. I had heard a rumor that Django derived its name from the first letter of each of his kids' names, but Mike told me, if memory serves me correctly, that it was named after a jazz musician, perhaps Django Reinhardt.

I welcome any corrections/additions as this is all from memory which isn't quite what it used to be.

So to answer your question, in my opinion, yes, Mike did contribute a lot to the sport.
What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.

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As someone who owned a Firefly (modified into a Dragonfly when it started to get porous), and who knew a whole lot of Pegasus jumpers, those were great canopies.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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HPC

Flight Path was sold (I don't know which year), and later Mike left canopy manufacturing for harness/container production. Just my guess but possibly the fiasco with the Nova main canopy might have been the impetus to change from canopies to rigs.

So to answer your question, in my opinion, yes, Mike did contribute a lot to the sport.



My recollection is that the market's perception of the company response to the Nova problem was unacceptable and sales crashed for all of their products. Bankruptcy followed. To resolve the issue, the company closed and all assets other than the Nova were sold to a newly formed company which happened to be largely comprised of the former employees.

The reserve lineup included* the FCI (130), Cricket (145), Firelite (170), Maverick (200), Fury (220), and Sharpchuter (245). I found the Fury to be a very reliable canopy that I’ve had the good fortune to safely land twice on what had suddenly become challenging days. They also had the option to be hooked up as a main if you wished (to save that expensive investment in ram-air canopies in case you decided to revert to the tried/proven round reserves like the rest of your sane friends).

*the current company lists them all together, and my recollection is that this entire lineup was from GlidePath, but I’m open to be corrected…

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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HPC

What was the company's response to the Nova problem?



Mind you this is my recollection of what was being discussed at the DZ at the time about a "high performance ZP" canopy about the same time that I had <100 jumps and was quite happy with a 9-cell F-111 PD-260, so it was unlikely to directly affect me any time soon...

AND, at the time, only videographers wore cameras and it wasn't common to film landings without a reason...

We kept hearing of Novas performing uncommanded sudden hard turns, especially low which resulted in some (#?) fatalities.

Well, without videos there was little to review except what the jumper said (if they lived) and the canopy to examine if they didn't.

But again and again we heard that the canopies were deemed "fine, must have been the jumper's fault", even when eyewitnesses indicated no dust devils and no uncommanded turns. Without a diffinative cause or blanket recall, and the appearance of victom blaming despite eyewitness reports to the contrary, the company's credibility plummeted faster than the canopies. And because it was the company's credibility that had failed (as well as whatever was going on with the canopy) it killed sales of the rest of their gear despite years of reliable performance from the other canopy lines.

Legacy of the Nova is that most were taken out of service, including one that came out of storage years later and was put up for sale... by the time the individuals who were arranging for the sale to go through got full word of the canopies' history, the seller cancled the sale and reportedly burned it rather than let it get back in the air.

We (collectively) never did get word of why the design was having this problem, but the factory never indicated a finding and no one else was willing to test them.

That's what I heard/recall... I'm happy to be corrected on any points large of small.

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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HPC

What was the company's response to the Nova problem?



Here's some stuff on the Nova. Just a scattershot of opinions & observations from people across the years, all taken from dropzone.com. From a file I have of interesting stuff seen on DZ. So nothing is definitive, but without a lot of searching the archives, this might help.

First off, I get the impression that they were light on the front risers. Which means that it is easier to get the nose to tuck under if one front risers too aggressively. Good canopies can be fine with light fronts, but if there are issues, then the combination can be bad.

===================

Billvon said it wasn't just trim:
Right after the first few collapses happened, Glide Path claimed it was line trim, and sent out new line trim kits. There were collapses even with the new line sets, though.
==============
Dan Preston on Novas:
novas were investigated by greg yarbonet (invented the slider). he found the airfoil to be less than ideal and the design was made worse by any sewing inaccuracies. he also was involved in testing the ill fated crossfire and told us both had very similar problems.
============
Riggerrob wrote :
Some Novas flew great and others were scary.
I know several freefall videographers who did hondreds of jumps on Novas in the violently turbulent desert air of Southern California and never had any problems.
(Dan Preston said the same in another post.)

=========
Cobaltdan 2001:
one of our top factory pilots, caven warren has over 1600 jumps on the smallest nova made before switching to alpha's and then cobalts.

i looked into nova's after 'red' owner of flight concepts called me and asked if we were interested in resurecting the nova design.

what i concluded from speaking with caven and other past nova pilots, accident reports and talking with howard adams (rigger from glide path), is that i am guessing there must have been construction flaws.

what i mean by this is that the airfoil used in the nova seems to be very sensitive to particular construction tollerances. i believe this fact was not realized during construction and many nova were effectively out of required spec. there were many accidents and fatalities where a nova simply collapsed on a turn. then there were particular nova's that were flown to the limit for 1600+ jumps ie. caven warren 540 king, without incident.

overall my sugestion would be to avoid an old nova, as you never know...?
============
Winsor Naugler about Nova canopy and pressurization and angle of attack
June 2016 re canopy collapse fatality Germany

Most canopies use a high-lift airfoil, which is generally quite stable.

The NOVA used a semi-symmetric airfoil, which is more efficient but less stable. In particular, the NOVA was/is susceptible to stagnation point migration to the upper leading edge under conditions of rapid rate of change of angle of attack.

Put another way, when you hit turbulence, it tends to fold up. This was most likely when setting up to land and encountering either thermals or rotors on short final.

Glide Path recommended a minimum wing loading on the NOVA of 1.3 psf IIRC, to reduce the likelihood of canopy collapse on short final. Unfortunately, it did not completely eliminate this characteristic.

I jumped a 170 NOVA with an exit weight of about 190#, and made the mistake of testing front riser control. I pulled down to my chin when the canopy instantly folded up and I swung forward and above it.

I missed the slack lines as I dropped past the canopy, which reinflated in time for me to land uneventfully.

I started about 500 feet, and was back under a good canopy at about 100 feet. I expect things to happen faster on a smaller canopy, but it was quite abrupt on the big one.
============================================

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I also knew a whole lot of Pegasus jumpers and have made several jumps on them myself Wendy is correct it was a damn fine canopy and ahead of its time
i have on occasion been accused of pulling low . My response. Naw I wasn't low I'm just such a big guy I look closer than I really am .


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jumped the Sharpchuter, Fury, Maverick and Cricket, did plenty of CRW on the first two - all great canopies, had a Firelite reserve, never used it

Jumped a Nova for years without any issue. There was more than one fatality when the canopy was flown aggressively and in turbulence. It was never a good idea to make a low turn behind trees on a windy day regardless of the canopy being jumped.

there is at least one around being jumped regularly with no issues

at the time it was the most aggressive canopy available, fast with a good glide ratio

it was fun test jumping it in a Teardrop container at the old Z-Hills, it didn't have a logo on it and everyone always yelled beer until they saw that it easily flew to the other side of the line
Give one city to the thugs so they can all live together. I vote for Chicago where they have strict gun laws.

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LeeroyJenkins

Damn, this thread got off topic fast!



True that. But I think a useful discussion...

Hey MODs, how about slicing off the NOVA and related canopies part of this discussion off into a "Flight Concepts/Glide Path" thread...

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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