Which canopies are more prone to collapse?

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Anybody care to give their personal opinion/ reasoning and name some names on which they believe are more prone to collapse?



“4) Certain parachute designs do better in turbulence than others. I must avoid pointing fingers here, as this is a volatile industry that can be taken down by non-skydiving lawyers. Nevertheless, certain wings have an increased propensity to go "negative" when presented with adverse condition, while others bump around a bit and keep on flying. This is a complex issue, and the best way to decide which parachute to buy and fly is to listen to the actual statistics, and to your own experience when flying a particular design. I have not experienced any kind of collapse on the parachutes I fly, ever.* If you have on yours, you may want to reconsider what is over your head. 

*(This does not include nasty, ill-conceived prototypes that seemed like a good idea at the time. I am talking about production-model canopies here).”

Edited by Whysojumpy

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This thread can hardly become anything but an exercise in people who know little of canopy design putting forward unsupportable opinions based on anecdotes. Most likely a ton of fanboys slagging brands they don't care for. Even Brian Germain, the author of the 2006 article you quoted would not or could not name a particular canopy. The fact is there is not problem with unstable collapsing canopies in today's market. In short, load your canopy appropriately, and don't fly in known turbulent conditions.

The relevant sentence in the article is this one:

  "I have not experienced any kind of collapse on the parachutes I fly, ever."

It is very unlikely you will either.

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I'm going to disagree. I'm a little out of touch by about a generation in terms of the current designs but in the past certain types of collapse seemed to be a recurring theme. I would not dismiss it as a danger. Other forms of collapse seem to become even more common as canopies improve in performance so I don't think this issue will ever go away completely. 


The first guy I ever watched die was a leading edge collapse. I didn't fully understand what I was looking at at the time. It was on a Pintale. I'm going to name names here, I don't think there is any way around it, please don't take it as shiting on any manufacturer. It's just history. Later we got a bunch of Conquest, I think that was the name, in from PISA. They had interesting behaviors in front risers. You could watch the dimple roll abound and change as you pulled on the front risers till it reached a point where the top skin would just bedsheet and it would just fall. Later I bought one of the first Extremes in the US from Gyro in Newzeland. Great canopy. Then he came out with his FX. We bought a couple of those. fucking death traps. When you turned one side of the canopy would collapse, it would spin, then the other side would roll under. Quote a ride. Cross flow through the canopy? Leaky seems? There were lots of theories. In the end he backed off on the nose a bit. It was just to close to the edge. Later the first of the Cross fires came out. I remember seeing them at Quincy and I thought, here we go again. Then I watched Mandys Velocity collapse in the middle of a swoop. And then later I watched that VX collapse over that plowed field. OMG I can't believe I forgot about the Novas in all is this but I think that was a slightly different issue. But these are my memories of nose collapses.


I also remember people having canopies spin up on them. Like the guy that died when his saber one 210 turned into line twist leaving his body behind. He tried to do a shashay, the canopy unloaded and turned with out him the lines were twisted with the toggle down and he spiraled in. Later I remember a Safire. One side stalled and back spun during a hard turn, cuttaway. I remember when a lot of people were jumping large Triathlons. Then they bought Spectors. Suddenly they couldn't land there canopies at the end of the day. The dynamics of the canopy were different, they surged much worse dropping into that still air. One guy wound up with a severe brain injury from that.


Point is that I've seen these things come up time and again. Some of them aren't even design defects. Some of these are a direct result of building a "Better" canopy. And they were fundamentally better. That guy with the saber died because it was a better canopy then he was used to. It made more lift. At that low wing loading you could unload your self easily. Charles almost died because his Spector flew better then his triathlon. I hope we are learning lessons but I don't think that these problems will ever fully go away because they are linked to our desire to build better higher performance canopies. 


I don't think you are going to covence me that all problems with canopies are behind us. I think as we continue to strive to build better canopies we will continue to bump into the edges of the envelope and will continue to see problems with each new generation.



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