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Johnkelley

Pilot 7 vs PD Horizon?

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I only have 10 jumps on the Horizon and maybe 50 on the Pilot 7. Anyway, I found the openings to be similar. The Pilot 7 was possibly a bit softer, but both were plenty soft. The P7 is actually a bit too soft. The WinX opens faster, which I prefer for WS.

Anyway, flare on both was acceptable, but of course not as good as a nine cell. The P7 has a slightly more aggressive platform. I believe it's semi-eleptical whereas I think the Horizon is square. Whether this is good or not depends on your goals I guess. The P7 is a bit sharper in turns than the Horizon. The Horizon is very slow and sluggish, but presumably that is the intent. The Horizon only comes in LPV fabric whereas the P7 comes in standard ZP, ZPX and hybrid LPV.

Overall I'd say it seems Horizon is intended for maximum opening reliability and pretty much nothing else. The Pilot 7 can be taken terminal and it's slightly more fun to fly than the Horizon, but possibly at the cost of a slight decrease in opening reliability, although it's still one of the top canopies on the market for WS. I've only used the ZP version of the P7 and so I have no idea how the LPV version is.

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I’m looking for a low pack volume main for primarily wingsuiting, but also to get my wingloading down as well. My current setup isn’t ideal, and I’m also flying at a 1.7 wingloading so that’s also not ideal. Once I figured thats the route I wanted to take, I narrowed it down to the Epicene, Horizon, Pilot 7, and WinX.

Though I’m a Squirrel fanboy till I die, the wingloading for the Epicene isn’t forgiving, and is far less then all other canopies of its class. I’m 245lbs with gear on, and I’m above the max operating weight for it, even at the 210 size. I can also only fit a LPV 190 in my container, so Epicene is out.

I’ve heard good things about the WinX, but their website contains little information regarding it, and I’ve emailed twice now to no response. Not really a company I want to deal with if I have to dig for information, and not get any sort of support.I can’t even find a wingloading chart, so I’m amazed they want to even try and sell these things.

That leaves the Horizon and Pilot 7. I’ve heard good things about both, but I’ve heard the Pilot 7 is a little more playful in terms of actually flying. Both companies have reached back out to me to answer my questions, and short of demoing them, I would be more than happy with either. So I just figured I would get others opinions on the matter.

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I've mentioned it on multiple occasions before, but I found P7 to open too hard to be enjoyable. I do not have any WS jumps on it, only belly, and I'd very much not recommend it for anyone looking for a canopy that can be taken to terminal. I have about 15 jumps on a P7 167 LPV, and it made me dread pitching the PC. That's not a good thing in my book. It also flies a bit too steep to be a good WS canopy, IMHO. It's very enjoyable to fly, and the flare is good, but with a WS, maximising the glide is what gets you home when you fuck up the flight pattern.

Horizon is, in a word, boring. It flies like an Optimum, packs like an Optimum, opens like an Optimum. And the Optimum was made to be compact and boring. Not a bad thing at all to have in a WS canopy, but be prepared for an extremely unexciting ride. It doesn't fly quite as flat as WinX, but less steeply than a P7 in my experience.

My personal favourite (and personal canopy) remains WinX. It flies really flat, but is still rather agile and surprisingly fast with good flare, though you're definitely not gonna be swooping that. The openings are really good and positive without being painful. At WL 1.8+, it reportedly begins to open a bit too fast, but I only load mine at 1.3, so I wouldn't know. But even at 1.8, it has an incredible glide range, as evidenced by my friend who still made it back on his 135 when we opened in a spot even I didn't think would make it back from. I got my WinX through a dealer recommended by a DZ buddy, so I don't really have anything to complain about in terms of customer support.

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6 hours ago, mathrick said:

I've mentioned it on multiple occasions before, but I found P7 to open too hard to be enjoyable. I do not have any WS jumps on it, only belly, and I'd very much not recommend it for anyone looking for a canopy that can be taken to terminal. I have about 15 jumps on a P7 167 LPV, and it made me dread pitching the PC. That's not a good thing in my book. It also flies a bit too steep to be a good WS canopy, IMHO. It's very enjoyable to fly, and the flare is good, but with a WS, maximising the glide is what gets you home when you fuck up the flight pattern.

Sounds like maybe there was an issue with your P7. I havent taken my P7 to terminal, but I dont slow down 'as slow as humanly possible' with my WS either. I like a small amount of speed. I've pitched at air speeds of 100 MPH. Anyway, I found the opposite to be true. The P7 opens too softly in my opinion. It snivels for quite awhile. The WinX opens considerably faster. Maybe it was because I was flying ZP and not LPV. Not sure.

I dident notice a large difference in glide between the P7 and WinX at my WL (1.15). The WinX was flatter, but not considerably so. I've taken my P7 back from pretty far spots (just as far as any of my 9-cells I used in the past) and I still made it back fine. But my WL is light (1.15). Some trim is important too. As flat as humanly possible can cause problems, which is evident in my WinX vs P7 comparison. The WinX does not handle turbulence well. It distorts and shakes around a ton in even moderate turbulence. The P7 doesent handle it as good as my 9 cell does either, but it handles it slightly better than the WinX. Airspeed is important to cut through turbulence and remain inflated.

Regarding the Epicene and Horizon. They are both kind of modeled around BASE/ reserve platforms. I've flown all four WS canopies and found the Epicene and Horizon were the most reserve-like. The flights are boring, they have square planforms, very low aspect ratios and they fly and open like reserves. The main two difference between the Epicene and Horizon is that the Horizon can actually flare fine without swooping it in where as the Epicene does not flare nearly as well. The new Epicene Pro is supposed to address that. I'd say they are probably the best two opening canopies on the market for WS though. The manufacturers put everything they can into getting them to open correctly with a WS and they hung their entire line on that premise.

Having flown all 4 I'd put it like this:

Epicene: Reserve-like openings. Poor flare performance without hooking it in. Probably the best opening canopy on the market (10/10) short of buying an actual BASE canopy. Boring flight (intentionally so). Probably best for WS only. Not intended for terminal.

Horizon: Reserve-like openings. Good flare. Boring flight (intentionally so). Very good openings (9.5/10). Probably best for WS only. Not intended for terminal.

WinX: Made by a BASE canopy. Good openings (9/10). Opens faster than most canopies. Probably not the best choice if you want something you can do lots of terminal jumps with. Semi-eleptical planform (As far as I can tell). More boring than most canopies, but not as boring as the Epicene and Horizon. Very flat glide. The best glide of any of the WS canopies. Good flare. Probably the best flare of any of the WS canopies. Might open a bit too hard for terminal use regularly.

P7: Opens very soft (mine does anyway). Semi-eleptical planform as far as I can tell. The most 'sporty' of the four options, but still good openings (8.5/10) and reasonable flare. Flies steeper than the other four canopies, but still less steep than many others out there. Can be used on WS or terminal.

Another option is to buy a Triathlon. They are not marketed toward wingsuiters, but they are probably the best non-WS marketed canopy out there for wingsuiting. It's extremely docile and flies like a reserve. It has a very low aspect ratio and it looks like it has a square planform from the material on Aerodyne's website (cant confirm though).

 

 

Regarding the WinX. I found the manufacturer to have very good customer service. They mostly make BASE canopies and seem to have a good reputation. My friend has a WinX, complained the openings were too hard and they sent a replacement slider for free without question. They offered to send me a demo for free (which I took them up on via a US dealer). One thing to note is that the canopy is smaller than marketed. The 170 is actually a 163 and the 150 is I think a 144. It says this in the manual.

 

Here is a copy of the WinX user manual reposted from someone here on DZ.com: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6kex0zdkrl2ttbe/WINX MANUAL.docx?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR3Z6K7OP5gc5j449kyr5tNB9kWqRzO3L4M8ucEcRSzcaNVWqKzp4ecqRFA

 

 

 

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On 1/16/2019 at 11:20 PM, Johnkelley said:

I’m looking for a low pack volume main for primarily wingsuiting, but also to get my wingloading down as well. My current setup isn’t ideal, and I’m also flying at a 1.7 wingloading so that’s also not ideal. Once I figured thats the route I wanted to take, I narrowed it down to the Epicene, Horizon, Pilot 7, and WinX.

Though I’m a Squirrel fanboy till I die, the wingloading for the Epicene isn’t forgiving, and is far less then all other canopies of its class. I’m 245lbs with gear on, and I’m above the max operating weight for it, even at the 210 size. I can also only fit a LPV 190 in my container, so Epicene is out.

I’ve heard good things about the WinX, but their website contains little information regarding it, and I’ve emailed twice now to no response. Not really a company I want to deal with if I have to dig for information, and not get any sort of support.I can’t even find a wingloading chart, so I’m amazed they want to even try and sell these things.

That leaves the Horizon and Pilot 7. I’ve heard good things about both, but I’ve heard the Pilot 7 is a little more playful in terms of actually flying. Both companies have reached back out to me to answer my questions, and short of demoing them, I would be more than happy with either. So I just figured I would get others opinions on the matter.

Food for thought on the Winx. Contact Jarno directly for info. He gives pretty good return on inquires... He is also the dealer I went through. I had ZERO issues with my business experience... (Yes you need a middle man!) On that same line, if someone is selling something and not "pushing" it, well usually the product speaks for itself... :) So think about it!  it will be a few months before this daddy can provide direct feedback. 

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15 hours ago, 20kN said:

Regarding the WinX. I found the manufacturer to have very good customer service. They mostly make BASE canopies and seem to have a good reputation. My friend has a WinX, complained the openings were too hard and they sent a replacement slider for free without question. They offered to send me a demo for free (which I took them up on via a US dealer). One thing to note is that the canopy is smaller than marketed. The 170 is actually a 163 and the 150 is I think a 144. It says this in the manual.

How would you say the WinX packs in terms of size compared to a traditional ZP canopy? The Horizon and Epicene pack "2 sizes smaller", meaning I could fit a 190 in my container built for a 150. However, those are made out of F11 material, where I'm reading the WinX is completely ZP. However the manual for the WinX says it's design is slimmed down making it pack smaller than normal, but what does that actually mean?

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2 hours ago, Johnkelley said:

How would you say the WinX packs in terms of size compared to a traditional ZP canopy? The Horizon and Epicene pack "2 sizes smaller", meaning I could fit a 190 in my container built for a 150. However, those are made out of F11 material, where I'm reading the WinX is completely ZP. However the manual for the WinX says it's design is slimmed down making it pack smaller than normal, but what does that actually mean?

The winx can be made in full zp, hybrid or full PN9.  So you can get it in epicene or horizon like packing volumes.  I think in general they are a bit smaller in square footage than advertised which reduces pack volume a bit plus its 7 cell versus 9.  I think it's pretty fun to fly and a great option for wingsuiting if your container is built for the ultra low bulk canopies.

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8 hours ago, Johnkelley said:

How would you say the WinX packs in terms of size compared to a traditional ZP canopy? The Horizon and Epicene pack "2 sizes smaller", meaning I could fit a 190 in my container built for a 150. However, those are made out of F11 material, where I'm reading the WinX is completely ZP. However the manual for the WinX says it's design is slimmed down making it pack smaller than normal, but what does that actually mean?

You can get the WinX in LPV material, the same as the Horizon and Epicene. The ZP is about on par with most other 7 cells. The manufacturer told me the WinX is 5% smaller than a PD storm. It packed about the same as my Pilot 7, except my Pilot 7 has 300 jumps and the WinX has 30, so in reality it's probably actually a tad smaller than the P7. Note that the WinX is smaller than it's rated. The 170 is actually a 163 as I recall. This is mentioned in the user manual.

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+1 on a Thriatlon. It seems to work very well as a WS canopy. Used ones are dirt cheap, I have a 120 that I load 1.6-1.7ish, it has around 800 jumps on original lineset and it works pretty damn well after I dialed in my packjobs. Jumped it mostly with Swifts but had good openings when trying Freak and ATC once I figured out deployment during flaring. When it ends up in linetwists, it flies straight. What I like the most about it is that it's super easy to pack, the material almost feels like F111 even though it's not. It also works ok for normal terminal jumps, you can pack it for super soft openings. The glide is pretty bad though but it might be only at higher wingloadings, not sure. I personally think WS specific canopies are a bit overkill unless WS is the only thing your gonna be doing anyway. but I understand why people get them to upsize. If you figure out proper deployment technique any 7 cell will do just fine and you will be able to use it for normal jumps too.

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On 1/19/2019 at 1:59 PM, Lukasz_Se said:

+1 on a Thriatlon. It seems to work very well as a WS canopy. Used ones are dirt cheap, I have a 120 that I load 1.6-1.7ish, it has around 800 jumps on original lineset and it works pretty damn well after I dialed in my packjobs. Jumped it mostly with Swifts but had good openings when trying Freak and ATC once I figured out deployment during flaring. When it ends up in linetwists, it flies straight. What I like the most about it is that it's super easy to pack, the material almost feels like F111 even though it's not. It also works ok for normal terminal jumps, you can pack it for super soft openings. The glide is pretty bad though but it might be only at higher wingloadings, not sure. I personally think WS specific canopies are a bit overkill unless WS is the only thing your gonna be doing anyway. but I understand why people get them to upsize. If you figure out proper deployment technique any 7 cell will do just fine and you will be able to use it for normal jumps too.

I have hundreds of jumps on Thriathlon's and owned two myself. Yes are a very good choice as a cheap 2nd canopy for wingsuiting if you need a 2nd canopy for just this. And yes easy to pack. Downside is that the flare is not so good as with some other 7-cell designs. And they are very rare here. When it comes to 7-cells in general being fantastic for wingsuiting, not all 7-cells are "great". Storms are not great for wingsuiting IMX :) :) and I would recommend 9c's like Sabre2s or Pilots over those

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So from the average answers I'm finding, the ranking order from "best" to "worst" for WS specific canopies are:

WinX, Pilot 7(almost tied with WinX), Horizon, Epicene (subject to change with the Pro model)?

It also depends if you plan on flying the canopy doing anything else other than a wingsuit, and if you want to fly fast (WinX and Pilot 7), or slow and safe (Horizon and Epicene)?

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5 hours ago, Johnkelley said:

So from the average answers I'm finding, the ranking order from "best" to "worst" for WS specific canopies are:

WinX, Pilot 7(almost tied with WinX), Horizon, Epicene (subject to change with the Pro model)?

It also depends if you plan on flying the canopy doing anything else other than a wingsuit, and if you want to fly fast (WinX and Pilot 7), or slow and safe (Horizon and Epicene)?

+1

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On 1/22/2019 at 4:20 AM, Johnkelley said:

So from the average answers I'm finding, the ranking order from "best" to "worst" for WS specific canopies are:

WinX, Pilot 7(almost tied with WinX), Horizon, Epicene (subject to change with the Pro model)?

It also depends if you plan on flying the canopy doing anything else other than a wingsuit, and if you want to fly fast (WinX and Pilot 7), or slow and safe (Horizon and Epicene)?

It depends on what you consider to mean 'best.' To me, the 'best' WS canopy is one that opens the best. The manufacturer would put all of its effort in maximizing the opening quality so you dont have to cut it away all the time. In that case, I'd say the Epicene is first, Horizon second, WinX third and P7 fourth. But that same list is literally the exact opposite with regards to how the canopy flies. The Epicene is very boring and has a poor flare, whereas the P7 is a bit more sporty and has a better flare. So it all depends on what you want out of the canopy.

 

Any of the four listed canopies are great for WS and so no matter what you chose you're getting a canopy that's better for WS than the majority of what's out there.

Edited by 20kN

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On 1/21/2019 at 5:47 AM, timski said:

+1 on the Storm. Don't get me wrong, I love the canopy over all and it's not a terrible WS option, BUT there are better options. 

I was watching a PD Storm promo vid the other day, and there was a PD athlete praising the Storm because it "changed his wingsuiting life". Now I've never flown a Storm, but I thought it was strange that PD released a video saying the Storm was the best option for wingsuiting knowing they have a Horizon on their product line. The video was only released a few months ago, so it's not like it was an old video pre-Horizon era.

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2 hours ago, Johnkelley said:

I was watching a PD Storm promo vid the other day, and there was a PD athlete praising the Storm because it "changed his wingsuiting life". Now I've never flown a Storm, but I thought it was strange that PD released a video saying the Storm was the best option for wingsuiting knowing they have a Horizon on their product line. The video was only released a few months ago, so it's not like it was an old video pre-Horizon era. 

I've never flown a Storm, but most of the information I've read about them is negative with regard to their suitability for WS. They seem to have a tendency to spin up in linetwists and I've met a few people who have cut them away. If there is one non-WS canopy I'd buy for WS, it would be a Triathlon.

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:07 PM, Johnkelley said:

How would you say the WinX packs in terms of size compared to a traditional ZP canopy? The Horizon and Epicene pack "2 sizes smaller", meaning I could fit a 190 in my container built for a 150. However, those are made out of F11 material, where I'm reading the WinX is completely ZP. However the manual for the WinX says it's design is slimmed down making it pack smaller than normal, but what does that actually mean?

I switched to WinX ZP 150 from a Storm 150, and it packs smaller. Not massively so, but noticeably. Of course if you get a hybrid or low bulk option, then you shave further pack volume from that.

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11 hours ago, Johnkelley said:

I was watching a PD Storm promo vid the other day, and there was a PD athlete praising the Storm because it "changed his wingsuiting life". Now I've never flown a Storm, but I thought it was strange that PD released a video saying the Storm was the best option for wingsuiting knowing they have a Horizon on their product line. The video was only released a few months ago, so it's not like it was an old video pre-Horizon era.

at the time PD was running a marketing campaign for using Storms with wingsuiting, they did NOT have that fine Horizon. So they created that marketing campaign recommending Storms for wingsuiting and sponsored wingsuit athletes where suddently flying the Storm and "praising it" haha :) I too was taken by that campaign and so I bought one. I came from a SA2 and eventhough I also got the Storm one size larger, it was a step back in terms of safety. Storm is a fine canopy, but it is not well suited for wingsuiting. Quite a few guys here bought it for this purpose as well and everybody sold it off - it kept reserve packers busy. 

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On 1/17/2019 at 6:20 AM, Johnkelley said:

Though I’m a Squirrel fanboy till I die, the wingloading for the Epicene isn’t forgiving, and is far less then all other canopies of its class. I’m 245lbs with gear on, and I’m above the max operating weight for it, even at the 210 size. I can also only fit a LPV 190 in my container, so Epicene is out.

I’ve heard good things about the WinX, but their website contains little information regarding it, and I’ve emailed twice now to no response. Not really a company I want to deal with if I have to dig for information, and not get any sort of support.I can’t even find a wingloading chart, so I’m amazed they want to even try and sell these things.
 

When talking about WS specific canopies, WinX in my opinion is the best choice. The openings are very good, not too slow (which you don't want with wingsuit) and it's more fun to fly than the others. So you might want to reconsider.

Also, the same physics apply to all wings - so I wouldn't freak out too much if you go slightly over the recommended WL stated by one manufacturer (of course if you feel comfortable flying it).
I tested the WinX on 1.75 WL and it flew just fine. Other canopies of the same type will act the same as the construction is pretty much the same (with small tweaks)

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7 hours ago, skow said:

I tested the WinX on 1.75 WL and it flew just fine. Other canopies of the same type will act the same as the construction is pretty much the same (with small tweaks)

Sure, but did you try cutting it away from madly diving linetwists while spinning on your back? Any canopy will work just fine under optimal environments. I once knew a guy who wingsuited on occasion with a Valkyrie 96. Just because it works okay when the conditions are aligned for it to work well does not mean it's ideal. The whole point in 7 cell specific WS canopies are they are intended to open well under poor conditions and remain somewhat stable or docile in extreme linetwists, which is not likely at a high WL, not even with a 7 cell.

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Interesting opinions on the Storm. Now, I'm only one man, but I've put between 800 and 1,000 jumps on my Storm while wearing a wingsuit. I've had a total of two line twists, both of which were 360. One time I almost had line twists, it started to give me a 180 twist, but it cleared before the opening finished. Other than that, nothing.

I do frequently have less than a 90 degree off heading opening, and occasionally it'll open off heading more than that, but 99.8% of the time there are no line twists, and probably 90% of the time they are completely uneventful openings.

This is on a Storm 150 loaded at 1.6:1, with 3 different linesets: factory dacron, ThrillInc custom 300lb dacron, and HMA from Simon Wade. Wingsuits have been mostly Phantom 2/3, and Vampire 4, Freak, Magister.

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