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New LAMINAIR canopy from Vertical

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Vertical Suits President Valdimir Rincon just announced that his firm is branching out into manufacturing speed-flying and skydiving canopies.

"We have teamed up with Wowseewoowoo Industrial Sewing Machine Company to introduce the latest in 5 axis through-stitched recreational products which integrate my many years of canopy-piloting competition experience with their latest 5 axis machines to optimize canopy smoothness to massage laminar airflow over the canopy. The more parallel the airflow, the less drag allowing for longer turf-surfs.

Through-stitch technology was pioneered in Britain during the Second World War, when they used it to make flat, inflatable panels for dummy tanks. They sure fooled the Germans with those gag props. Then Goodyear furthered the concept with the Air Matt skin panels used on their experimental Inflatoplane. The advent of numerically-controlled quilting machines enabled the current generation of constant-thickness inflatable recreational products like stand-on-top paddle-boards. Now the most exciting development is variable-thickness, 5-axis machines which allow us to precisely control the curvature of the top-skin. Through-stitching allows us to directly connect 72 percent of the stitches directly to suspension lines, eliminating all those external seams, internal ribs  and line attachment tapes found on legacy canopies. Our first-generation LAMINAIR canopies still use the same single-curvature bottom skins as legacy canopies, but that will improve with our second-generation.

But the most exciting improvement is how 5-axis through-stitching allows us to far more precisely smooth the top-skin to extend laminar air-flow back to the 40 percent chord-line. This reduction in drag allows the LAMINAIR series to turf-surf 14 percent farther than legacy canopies. Because this more precise thickness control allows us to precisely tailor top-skin curvature, we are currently using the same 21 panel top-skins as legacy canopies, but our second generation will incorporate a more precise 92 panel planform. 

Speaking of planforms, the new manufacturing methods finally allow us to use a true Schumann planform with a slightly swept trailing edge. By blending airflow off the top skin and bottom skin, we can minimize the size and drag of wing tip vortexes.

Finally, all those thousands of tiny internal threads help modulate airflow during inflation. They easily allow air to flow into at low airspeeds (e.g. BASE jumps) but slow it at head-down terminal velocities to provide smooth, positive openings at all airspeeds.

Please don't tell my wife, but I jumped a LAMINAIR 92 - our biggest size - off the Golden Ears Bridge and enjoyed perfect synergism of opening sequence with altitude.

Vertical Suits announced that they will release the first batch of LAMINAIR canopies to selected competitors during the 2022 Canopy Piloting competition season. Beta-testing LAMINAIR canopies are being made in sizes ranging from 44 to 92 square feet.

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