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dthames

"flat tracking" meaning?

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When most jumpers use the term "flat tracking" are they referring to tracking almost flat on your belly so that you have a very small glide ratio?

Or are they thinking, if you track like a madman instead of like you are on a Sunday drive, then the track with the better glide ratio is actually flatter?

In the second case the “flat” part of the term would mean the glide angle is less vertical than the slow easy track.

So, which is the more common understanding of the term? I favor the second use even though the fall is still largely just down.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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"Flat tracking" refers to tracking in a way to achieve the greatest possible horizontal distance with the least amount of altitude loss.

Exactly how that is accomplished is up for conversation. conversion



FIFY :P



Hope you didn't pay for that one.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Or are they thinking, if you track like a madman instead of like you are on a Sunday drive, then the track with the better glide ratio is actually flatter?

In the second case the “flat” part of the term would mean the glide angle is less vertical than the slow easy track.


Any given flying object creating lift has a measurable glide angle or ratio, also known as the lift-to-drag ratio. More lift and less drag means you glide further and flatter, which is good for getting away from large groups of people.

Any flying object will have its best lift-to-drag ratio. The speed of the glide depends on the weight of the object. Fast or slow is not the question, it's optimizing your lift to drag ratio in the track. The speed will be what it is for your L/D and weight.

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Two schools of thought on tracking:
1. OLD SCHOOL. This was the common method that was taught for years. Turn face out and accelerate as fast as possible, more of a delta body position, turning into a dearch body position as you accellerate, gets you going faster quicker.
2. NEW SCHOOL. Get big, de-arch as you make your turn, then legs out but keeping your hands/arms more forward/down, doesn't seem to get you moving as quick, but allows for more time tracking (slower fall rate) which in the end allows you to go futher horizontally in the same amount of altitude loss.
The newer method is refered to as flat track rather than just track.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Two schools of thought on tracking:
1. OLD SCHOOL. This was the common method that was taught for years. Turn face out and accelerate as fast as possible, more of a delta body position, turning into a dearch body position as you accellerate, gets you going faster quicker.
2. NEW SCHOOL. Get big, de-arch as you make your turn, then legs out but keeping your hands/arms more forward/down, doesn't seem to get you moving as quick, but allows for more time tracking (slower fall rate) which in the end allows you to go futher horizontally in the same amount of altitude loss.The newer method is refered to as flat track rather than just track.



If the underlined part is true, this would result in a better glide ratio. Correct?
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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"Flat tracking" refers to tracking in a way to achieve the greatest possible horizontal distance with the least amount of altitude loss.

Exactly how that is accomplished is up for conversation.



Atmonauti !!!
:P



You should get together with oldwomanc6. Comedy like that is even cheaper in volume.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Any flying object will have its best lift-to-drag ratio.



"lift" :P

but if we're being precise "best drag-to-that other drag" is confusing even if more correct



<> :D:D :ph34r:

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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, but allows for more time tracking (slower fall rate) which in the end allows you to go futher horizontally in the same amount of altitude loss.The newer method is refered to as flat track rather than just track.



If the underlined part is true, this would result in a better glide ratio. Correct?



yes, it's conceivable, if done correctly, that you can get just as good a horizontal velocity when you get big and track, as when you get tight and track. Therefore, if the horizontal component is the same, and the vertical component is slower - you get to track longer. it achieves a shallower path relative to the mass of air (glide ratio) you are tracking in (with all your friends)

edit: discussed in other threads. If you can get your body's angle of attack to whatever is most efficient for horizontal motion in your relative air column. It doesn't matter if you do it by tilting down at the head (you'll fall faster - think about the upper body getting small so you tip down) - or if you do it by tilting up from the legs (you'll fall slower - think about adding drag to lift up you lower body). In the end, your body is still at the same attack angle, but you achieve one by speeding up fall rate, and the other by slowing down fall rate.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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If you can get your body's angle of attack to whatever is most efficient for horizontal motion in your relative air column.

That's it in a nutshell. There are more and less efficient angles of attack for any airfoil, even one as inefficient as the tracking human body.

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It doesn't matter if you do it by tilting down at the head (you'll fall faster - think about the upper body getting small so you tip down) - or if you do it by tilting up from the legs (you'll fall slower - think about adding drag to lift up you lower body). In the end, your body is still at the same attack angle, but you achieve one by speeding up fall rate, and the other by slowing down fall rate.

Mmmm, I say that there is a "best" lift-to-drag ratio or glide ratio for each person. If you're on that glide path at your most efficient angle of attack, your airspeed (and forward speed and downward speed) will stabilize at what is right for your weight. I think in aircraft it's called Vy, or best rate of climb or glide speed. Go above or below that speed and your glide ratio drops; you become less efficient.

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I have been trying to study this carefully in my jumps. Actually doing tracking jumps to record data. I think that most would agree that in order to get significant horizontal speed, some amount of work has to be done and the force you can develop in that direction needs to be applied for a period of time. I have noticed that after I get moving good, I can ease up. That happens then is interesting. Because mass to drag vertically is pretty large, you slow back down in the vertical direction rather quickly. But because mass to drag in the direction horizontal direction (head on) is much higher, I appear to be maintaining that speed fairly well. So, at that point the glide ratio shoots up.

I have not specifically tried to be big instead of tight. It seems hard to imaging good glide ratio numbers with my arms sticking out and going slow(er). Maybe I need to give that some time as well.

Testing "inline" image
[inline
90-deg.jpg]
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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I have not specifically tried to be big instead of tight. It seems hard to imaging good glide ratio numbers with my arms sticking out and going slow(er). Maybe I need to give that some time as well.



:D if you're trying to get the concept I pointing out, don't think arms, think booties

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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what are we seeing in that picture?



That is a snapshot of a Google Earth representation of a solo tracking dive presented from Flysight GPS data. I have attached the Goggle Earth file. You have to install Google Earth first, if you want to use the file.

In the image the red line is the path on the last part of the dive where the glide ratio was best. While pretty good, certainly not "flat" in any way. (haha)
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Two schools of thought on tracking:
1. OLD SCHOOL. This was the common method that was taught for years. Turn face out and accelerate as fast as possible, more of a delta body position, turning into a dearch body position as you accellerate, gets you going faster quicker.
2. NEW SCHOOL. Get big, de-arch as you make your turn, then legs out but keeping your hands/arms more forward/down, doesn't seem to get you moving as quick, but allows for more time tracking (slower fall rate) which in the end allows you to go futher horizontally in the same amount of altitude loss.
The newer method is refered to as flat track rather than just track.



I use the "old" method and have yet to be out-tracked (horizontal distance covered) on breakoff by anyone using the "new" method. I think the "new" method is just a crutch for those who are basically poor trackers.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Two schools of thought on tracking:
1. OLD SCHOOL. This was the common method that was taught for years. Turn face out and accelerate as fast as possible, more of a delta body position, turning into a dearch body position as you accellerate, gets you going faster quicker.
2. NEW SCHOOL. Get big, de-arch as you make your turn, then legs out but keeping your hands/arms more forward/down, doesn't seem to get you moving as quick, but allows for more time tracking (slower fall rate) which in the end allows you to go futher horizontally in the same amount of altitude loss.
The newer method is refered to as flat track rather than just track.



I use the "old" method and have yet to be out-tracked (horizontal distance covered) on breakoff by anyone using the "new" method. I think the "new" method is just a crutch for those who are basically poor trackers.



On this we agree. Using the old method can get attention by some organizers when they see a large body to horizon angle initially, even though a person does not fall away (as they would if doing a simply lousy dive away type track). The "new" method, I think just results in a slow horizontal acceleration that is not at all compensated by a slower vertical speed.
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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Re: the OLD SCHOOL vs NEW SCHOOL

I tend to be on the side of Sundevil and Kallend, in that parts of the Old School idea are correct, even if some may be wrong. It all depends on what one defines as "old school tracking"...

It is TOO old school if someone "dives for speed", intending to pull out flatter later. And doing "more of a delta" will also be wrong. But trying to accelerate horizontally quickly is good (within the limits of any tracking teams). With the limited time available, you want to be getting to a high speed track quickly to maximize distance.

A moderately steep body angle early on will achieve a faster acceleration and an overall benefit, with very little altitude loss at the start. (Because if there is an ideal angle of attack, the body angle must be steeper at the start when the airflow is from directly below.) It is still be useful to get big during the turn (= new school). There's little downside to that as long as everyone is slowing down to a similar degree.

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But trying to accelerate horizontally quickly is good (within the limits of any tracking teams). With the limited time available, you want to be getting to a high speed track quickly to maximize distance.

Like I say "Hit it hard, hit it fast."

The other day we had a 12 way that had disintegrated to chaos by breakoff. A very petite woman jumper, Vskydiver's size, said she looked above herself, saw me overhead and thought "Uh-oh, traffic." She said then I hit my track and flew up and away, out of the picture. Nothing like a really good track to get yourself out of a hot spot. :)

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But trying to accelerate horizontally quickly is good (within the limits of any tracking teams). With the limited time available, you want to be getting to a high speed track quickly to maximize distance.

Like I say "Hit it hard, hit it fast."

The other day we had a 12 way that had disintegrated to chaos by breakoff. A very petite woman jumper, Vskydiver's size, said she looked above herself, saw me overhead and thought "Uh-oh, traffic." She said then I hit my track and flew up and away, out of the picture. Nothing like a really good track to get yourself out of a hot spot. :)


Yep! Forward speed is what gives you lift. The sooner you build up forward speed the more lift you generate and in turn lift is what provides forward drive. All the slow, "get big" turn does is increase drag while providing no forward drive.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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But trying to accelerate horizontally quickly is good (within the limits of any tracking teams). With the limited time available, you want to be getting to a high speed track quickly to maximize distance.

Like I say "Hit it hard, hit it fast."

The other day we had a 12 way that had disintegrated to chaos by breakoff. A very petite woman jumper, Vskydiver's size, said she looked above herself, saw me overhead and thought "Uh-oh, traffic." She said then I hit my track and flew up and away, out of the picture. Nothing like a really good track to get yourself out of a hot spot. :)


Yep! Forward speed is what gives you lift. The sooner you build up forward speed the more lift you generate and in turn lift is what provides forward drive. All the slow, "get big" turn does is increase drag while providing no forward drive.



I aggressively change my angle of attach right away. That is not to “dive for speed” but to get a force acting to get some horizontal speed up. That seems to work well and the horz speed ramps up at almost a constant rate for several seconds.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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> All the slow, "get big" turn does is increase drag while providing no forward drive.

Yes. And this is EXACTLY what you should be doing as you turn away from any large formation. You start by getting as big as possible as you undock; this prevents you from dropping below the formation. As you turn past the 90 degree mark you start transitioning into a slow track position (legs come down) and then as you hit 180 you transition into a fast track position (shoulders come down, belly comes up.) This allows very fast tracking without dropping below the formation. A good tracking wave will track up and away from the formation, thus giving the outermost people the maximum time to track and the best visibility.

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