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CoolBeans

Why do swoopers always start by turning?

Question

Swoopers need to gain speed before coming close to the ground so they do so called front riser turn - 90/180/270 degrees or more. Thanks to that canopy starts diving and gets more speed.

Why wouldn't they approach at 0 degrees angle and just hang onto both front risers to force canopy dive that way? Does pulling single front riser (= turning) cause better dive?

I noticed some people during regular landing pull both front risers for a second or two on final to get better flare.

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On 6/6/2019 at 1:12 AM, CoolBeans said:

Why wouldn't they approach at 0 degrees angle and just hang onto both front risers to force canopy dive that way? Does pulling single front riser (= turning) cause better dive?

Turning the canopy causes the jumper to swing out from under it due to centrifugal force. This tips the canopy and it ends up pointing more toward the ground which greatly increases its descent speed.

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The neutral (no inputs) mode of flight of any canopy is the suspended weight (the jumper) under the center of the canopy. After any input/ turn be it toggle, riser or harness. The canopy wants to return to it's neutral flight mode and the path the suspended weight follows is the recovery arc. Swoopers take advantage of the recovery arc to do their thing.

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Using double front risers is a valid method of gaining forward speed, but it's substantially less effective then inducing a hard turn.

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(edited)

Steeply banked turns increase G-loading. Increasing Gs fools the canopy into flying like it has double or triple the suspended weight. If a jumper weights 200 pounds at 1 G, then he weights 400 pounds during a 2 G turn and 600 pounds during a 3 G turn. Increased G-loading is similar to increasing suspended weight in that it increases forward speed.

OTOH increased G-loading also increases rate of descent. Increased rate of descent kills if the canopy flattens out/recovers from the dive too late.

Ironically, increased G-loading does not change glide angle by much. Glide angle remains much the same independent of speed.

Swoopers translate the extra speed/energy - generated during steep turns - into extra lift during landing. They only need small riser or toggle inputs to start their landing flare. Once their flight tragectory has levelled off, they gradually trade extra speed for lift.

Edited by riggerrob
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