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# Speed Flying: Great for canopy control and great fun!

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JWest

with a 2:1 glide ratio you only need the slope to be greater than about 30 degrees.

Come on man. Math. A 45 degree slope would be a close out line with a 2:1. You will need much greater than 30 degrees to get even get off the ground let alone get away from the terrain.

And to the stilleto 135. Really? ... speed wing learning tool?... I hope no one reads that takes you seriously and thinks that thats how you're supposed to learn.

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You are much smarter than me. And cooler. Thank you for your wisdom.
Apex BASE
#1816

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Come on man. Math. A 45 degree slope would be a close out line with a 2:1.

I don't think math works the way you think it does. "Come on man math," back at you.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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The111

***Come on man. Math. A 45 degree slope would be a close out line with a 2:1.

I don't think math works the way you think it does. "Come on man math," back at you.

If the slope is the horiz/vert distance, then a value of 2 is given by an angle of less than 27 degrees. Slope is normally vert/horiz, but I think it is considered differently for this context.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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The111

***Come on man. Math. A 45 degree slope would be a close out line with a 2:1.

I don't think math works the way you think it does. "Come on man math," back at you.

hahaha tuché. I think I've been out of school too long.
where angle has to be greater than theta
tan(theta) = 1/2
theta = tan^-1(0.5) ... I think if I can do this correctly anymore
theta = 26.3 deg or greater.

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first skydiving canopy i ever launched was a stiletto 135.....have ground launched heaps of others and the stiletto would be my preferred skydiving ground launch canopy u can even soar them but u push your luck a bit with stalling etc coz u need fair bit of brakes as there still fairly steep compared to a speedwing with trimmers
FTMC

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Learning to speedfly on a Stiletto 135 is completely ridiculous at this time given the gear available.

I personally think skydivers should learn to paraglide before speedflying as the skillset required to assess and launch wings on foot safely in a variety of sites and conditions is not something most of us inherently possess.

I'm sure we've tried suggesting this before... with the same reactions

Yes. You CAN learn to ground launch / speedfly on a skydiving wing, but it's as dumb as learning to BASE jump on skydiving gear.

While a Stilletto or even a Sabre (what I learnt on) is launch-able, it's lightyears away from being a good teaching tool. Skydiving wings don't behave well in hilly / mountainous environments... they're designed and built for other concerns.

C'mon guys. It's time we treated this with a bit of respect. 'Skydiving' isn't the answer to everything... use the correct gear for the job.

It's that simple.

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******Come on man. Math. A 45 degree slope would be a close out line with a 2:1.

I don't think math works the way you think it does. "Come on man math," back at you.

hahaha tuché. I think I've been out of school too long.
where angle has to be greater than theta
tan(theta) = 1/2
theta = tan^-1(0.5) ... I think if I can do this correctly anymore
theta = 26.3 deg or greater.

Haha, I forgive you. I have a math minor and I still mess up basic math. More than I should admit.

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yoink

While a Stilletto or even a Sabre (what I learnt on) is launch-able, it's lightyears away from being a good teaching tool. Skydiving wings don't behave well in hilly / mountainous environments...

Why? You say these things like they are a given...I'm listening if you're willing to elaborate.

Are they harder to launch? Yes, but they are definitely launchable.

Is the glide lower than a speedwing? Yes, but you should be learning on steep forgiving terrain anyway.

Tell me why the wing doesn't behave when it's up and flying. I've launched Stilettos a little (maybe 20-30 times) and never had a problem. I've also seen them launched, by beginners, many more times than that without issue. I'm open to hearing your rationale if you'll give me more than a blanket statement like, "use the correct gear for the job."

I agree, 100%, that speedwings are better tools for the job. Better glide, easier launches, and just more fun in general. I'm not a pro, but I've got enough flights to know a little bit. The last wing I was on when I flew more regularly was a Spitfire 11m.

For someone transitioning from sky harnesses and canopies, I simply don't see the harm in starting them on more familiar gear provided the terrain is appropriate and the instruction is adequate.
Apex BASE
#1816

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The biggest factor for me is how they behave in turbulence.

Almost every dedicated speedwing I've flown will snap recover from a partial frontal collapse with only minor loss of altitude.
Skydiving canopies tend not to do that - you need to put input in to force a recovery and you lose altitude and control while you do that - altitude you typically don't have while speedflying.

You can mitigate those risks with site selection, flying in no winds etc, but having been on the receiving end of multiple collapses I'm quite happy making the blanket statement that it's safer if you're under a speedwing rather than a skydiving canopy.

(while we on it, micrometerology and site selection is something everyone who speedflys should learn. It's not as simple as picking a hill and hucking yourself off it...)

just for reference - my experience is somewhere around 800-1000 flights, on almost everything you could get your hands on until a few years ago. The Spitfire is one that I missed, but have heard good things about.

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A very fair point, thank you.

But would you also agree that a beginner should be on a steep, relatively obstacle-free hill with very little mechanical turbulence? Would you also agree that they should be in ideal conditions...perhaps a light headwind to assist with launch?

My big question is this: Do you gain enough in safety with respect to turbulence-recovery, to offset what you lose in familiarity? Additionally, every speedwing I've ever flown has been less forgiving to heavy inputs (harness or toggle). Could it be the skydivers (who are more heavy-handed than speedflyers) could benefit from some forgiveness in this area in the early stages?

To be clear, I'm not suggesting making a career out of flying sky canopies. I'm simply saying for skydivers, it can be a very helpful learning tool for the first 10-30 launches.
Apex BASE
#1816

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Bluhdow

But would you also agree that a beginner should be on a steep, relatively obstacle-free hill with very little mechanical turbulence? Would you also agree that they should be in ideal conditions...perhaps a light headwind to assist with launch?

Absolutely. In my experience it's difficult to find that kind of environment and so people push it slightly. Either launching in slightly adverse conditions or picking sites which have inherent dangers - maybe one they're not aware of simply because they're new to it.

When I started the only people speedflying were Jim Slaton, Duane Hall and a couple of guys in France. I had to work some of it out through trial and error. I spent days speaking with paragliders and hanggliders... Now, there's a wealth of experience out there and no excuse not to try and find some sort of instruction to mitigate those dangers.

Bluhdow

My big question is this: Do you gain enough in safety with respect to turbulence-recovery, to offset what you lose in familiarity? Additionally, every speedwing I've ever flown has been less forgiving to heavy inputs (harness or toggle). Could it be the skydivers (who are more heavy-handed than speedflyers) could benefit from some forgiveness in this area in the early stages?

I'd treat it like a beginner looking to get into skydiving - I'd recommend a reasonably docile first canopy and spend more time groundhandling with a student from a skydiving background than one from paragliding, for example.

One of my concerns with using a skydiving canopy for any length of time (apart from the mechanical risks talked about earlier), would be the psychological comfort level it would instill.
Lets say our student makes 50 flights on his stiletto... He now considers himself no longer a beginner at the sport and so might choose an intermediate speedwing for his first dedicated canopy. Now he has all the same problems of transitioning that he would have had in the beginning, but onto an even twitchier wing than he would have learnt on.
He's also more comfortable flying closer to the ground because of his experience which may increase the liklihood of an accident when he does transition and have to relearn the input habits for those types of wings.

For me, the safer option is to deliberately train someone on something they're unfamiliar with because there's a greater liklihood that they'll recognize this unfamiliarity and be a bit more cautious in their approach.

The absolute worst scenario is someone who tries to teach themselves and doesn't recognize the difference in the gear, and so wrongly assumes that because they're confident with a skydiving wing that all of those skills directly transfer to a speedwing...

Is the risk of collapse in your first few flights on a skydiving wing worth the purchase of a speedwing? Probably not, if you pick the right conditions... but I wouldn't suggest more than a couple of flights to see if you like the sport. After that - make the change.

Groundlaunching / speedflying is very much akin to high-performance canopy flight, almost regardless of the wing you choose. Just as in that discipline overconfidence is an absolute killer.

As a complete aside, talking about suitable / unsuitable canopies, I've still got a prototype Ozone Bullet from about 2006 in storage. It's AWFUL... There's about 4 inches of brake control before the wing completely stalls out. It nearly killed me when I first flew it! It was basically a mini-paraglider...
Talk about something NOT to learn on!

The speedwings have come a LONG way since then.

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Quote

Is the risk of collapse in your first few flights on a skydiving wing worth the purchase of a speedwing? Probably not, if you pick the right conditions... but I wouldn't suggest more than a couple of flights to see if you like the sport. After that - make the change.

That's really where my head is at as well. Maybe my point got lost in some of my ballpark numbers (50 launches) but I think you see where I'm going here.

I'm pretty sure Duane would agree with me too.

Thank you for your thoughtful responses. Other posters in this thread could learn from you!
Apex BASE
#1816

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Starting people on Stilettos sounds like the old skydiver start students on surplus rounds cause Para Commanders are too hot for students argument.

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Bluhdow

A very fair point, thank you.

But would you also agree that a beginner should be on a steep, relatively obstacle-free hill with very little mechanical turbulence? Would you also agree that they should be in ideal conditions...perhaps a light headwind to assist with launch?

My big question is this: Do you gain enough in safety with respect to turbulence-recovery, to offset what you lose in familiarity? Additionally, every speedwing I've ever flown has been less forgiving to heavy inputs (harness or toggle). Could it be the skydivers (who are more heavy-handed than speedflyers) could benefit from some forgiveness in this area in the early stages?

To be clear, I'm not suggesting making a career out of flying sky canopies. I'm simply saying for skydivers, it can be a very helpful learning tool for the first 10-30 launches.

Love where this discussion went to! :D After not flying a skydiving canopy for a little while now I forget they may be a little more docile. For example my first flight on a speed wing I did a major toggle grab and almost did an unintentional barrel roll. Not really, but it just swung out very far.

Still I think just starting on a little bigger speed wing than used to in skydiving and you'll still have the benefits of it being as docile as your sky canopy while also having the safety benefits, glide, easy launching of a speed wing.

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Here's a video from a friend of mine a long time ago flying a BioAir Skim in high winds - You can't see too much but look at 3.00 in the video; he has a left side collapse but the canopy recovers almost instantly in little loss of altitude or heading. It's the speed of the recovery that's important.

If he was on a Stiletto it would probably have killed him.

Of course, flying a Stiletto in 40mph winds wouldn't be the brightest move in the world...

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yoink

Of course, flying in 40mph winds wouldn't be the brightest move in the world...

Fixed.
Apex BASE
#1816

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I always love watching this vid of ground launching a Flight Concepts Pro 170. I think its because its such a bad ass song, Rammstein fucking rules! Looks painful though, had he connected on of the rocks I could imagine it'd be real easy to shatter a pelvis. Although it looks he had a little too much right toggle and then finishes it off by burying it @ 1:30 and 1:42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay35xktJyyU

And one more that I found.

I don't really plan on trying it anytime soon though until I get a safe oppurtunity to do so with someone that is experienced. But its fun to watch at least. Man Rammstein is definitely on my bucket of must see bands.

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gunsmokex

I always love watching this vid of ground launching a Flight Concepts Pro 170. I think its because its such a bad ass song, Rammstein fucking rules! Looks painful though, had he connected on of the rocks I could imagine it'd be real easy to shatter a pelvis. Although it looks he had a little too much right toggle and then finishes it off by burying it @ 1:30 and 1:42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay35xktJyyU

That video is a perfect example of how NOT to do it - every single step of the way from setup to launch to pounding in. Even some basic instruction could have helped avoid that mess.

Uggh. Videos like that make me cringe.

Look at this one as well -

He was lucky he was using a speedwing. I'd be surprised if a skydiving wing recovered as well that one did...
Hell, he was lucky as fuck it recovered at all.

Too much confidence, not enough skill.

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Well, that was the dumbest thing I've ever seen.
Apex BASE
#1816

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“The best pilots – definitely, the best acro guys – are out there kiting just as much as they’re flying,” Jason insists. “That’s how you build your skills, and learn everything there is to know about the wing you fly.”

In my experience this is something skydivers just don't believe...

The idea of strapping a wing on and spending HOURS playing with it is completely foreign to them.
I've launched from some gnarly exit points and never once did I wish that I'd spent less time kiting...

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