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edge01

Paradactyl

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From when I was looking at everything dactyl related in Poynters, I noticed that the Jim Handbury design shows up under not just Advanced Air, but Guardian, and Pioneer too.

From a personal contact, I was told that Handbury made a trip east in '76 to Pioneer and Parachutes Incorporated, to negotiate with them and/or show them how to build Paradactyl's under license.

To what degree Pioneer actually built dactyls, I have no idea.

All this suggests that it is possible that you have a Pioneer dactyl.

Let's hear more about it!

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From a personal contact, I was told that Handbury made a trip east in '76 to Pioneer and Parachutes Incorporated, to negotiate with them and/or show them how to build Paradactyl's under license.



I seem to remember it that way too. The OP's has a '77 DOM (or did he say '78) so the dates would be right.
CRW Skies
Frank
CRW Diva #58

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The guy that put the test jumps on the Paradactyl might still be in your backyard at Elsinore, Eric.

Several years back we had a guy show up to do some packing for the school and he overheard a few of us talking about the Paradactyl and he says rather quietly...."I did the test jumps for that canopy". No shit, turns out he was the real deal and knew everything there was to know about it. A really interesting guy....he was working for one of the local wineries. Check with Lob, he'll probably remember.

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Re: Dactyl manual

Before you take the time to scan, check out the two different versions on parachutemanuals.com.

Both can be found under the Main Canopy section, one labelled "DactylManual" and another "Paradactyl - shorter Guardian manual" (That one I scanned & uploaded)

If your manual is different, it would be interesting to see!

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Thanx! for the tip.

The manual I have is similar to the scan titled "DactylManual", but mine is complete. The file "Dactlyl Manual" is missing pages including "Brief History And Development of Parawing (Paradactyl)" and "Interesting Facts about the Paradactyl "- page 2; and "Easy Steps to closing your Razzor-Back" (pages 19 & 20). Also it's missing the back inside cover whch lists all the dactyl dealers in 1976 and the back cover picture of Jim Handbury and his 4-man team over Tahlequah :)
If anyone wants a complete high-res (300 dpi) scan, I have it available in two e-mails, one 10 mb, the other 13mb.

Blueskys !!! P. Smurf

p.s. Krip, I 'm looking for photos of David Hersey under the canopy. I don't have any of me flying it...yet ;):)

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Was going to jump a single keel Dactyl at Elsinore in '78 but the Englishman who owned it broke a line on the jump before mine so I couldn't use it. He said don't do any quick turns under 800 feet or you'd go into what he called "The Dactyl Dance of Death." Packed VERY small for the time frame.
D-14235 POPS# 3668 SCR 8949

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Paradactyl was an interesting canopy. I have a few jumps on the single keel and thought it might be a decent PC replacement in the mid '70s, but it fell short in performance compared to the squares that were emerging at the time.

Few will remember but one of the first big DZ AFF programs was at Perris. They used double keel paradactyls for AFF student canopies with good success. I made a couple of AFF jumps as JM there back around 1982 and thought it worked well. Jerry Swovelin and Bob Buehrer ran that program as I recall.

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Had a black single-keel Dactyl in '77, then a white one after that. Had trouble with the slider hanging up on the black one as the grommets on slider were too small and my flyweight body wasn't heavy enough to bring it down. Ended up taking off the slider and cutting the nose slider in half. Free packed it with no stow bands on lines. Worked fine for 24 jumps. Then the opening on 25 was like "yesterday" and caused a brief red out. lol....

Never a problem with the white one. Had bigger grommets, too. Fun canopies and packed super small.

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skybill

Hi 01,
'Wonder what Ed Vickery would have to say??



He came to one of our reunions a few years back and gave an incredible talk. Nice guy, too.

Ed is leaning against the post and Mike Todd is next to him.

Ed developed the paracommander and was the first person to land a square.

http://www.mywvhome.com/more/reunion/reunion9Large.jpg

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Can anyone here describe what it's like to jump a paradactyl? I keep hearing "unstable and dangerous" but that's my second wife I was hoping for something more specific. I'd like to know how the instability manifests itself, that sort of thing. And how relieved were you each time you landed one unharmed?

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I had several double-keel dactyl jumps and they reminded me of a PC; one that could go in reverse :-) (I only saw students do this).

My one jump on a single-keel dactyl occurred on a thermally, very bumpy, day when I traded my Para-Foil 252 for one.

There was a lot of breathing and unstable looking stuff going on.

I promised God I'd never jump one again if He got me down OK.

We both kept our promises :-)

Red, White and Blue Skies,

John T. Brasher D-5166

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There are a few old 'dactyl threads around, with reports from those who jumped them.

It is difficult to sort out what is actually 'dangerous' from just 'feels weird'. For a non-ram air canopy, it is very small, it has that soft mushy feel in flight like a round, and there really isn't any flare, which the manual agrees on. (Other than being able to slow forward speed a bit.)

I'm not a great example as I have only put a few jumps on an older dactyl since 2007. Who knows if there has been any line stretch trim issues. Also, the lines were for most jumps on the risers in a different setup, more like a Delta II. Not sure if that makes any difference.

At least on mine, stall point was not that far below the shoulders, so I was careful about using any brakes when lower down.

I did a couple full stalls on the dactyl, approaching it slowly. In both cases, it took about 10 seconds to be able to recover. That's a real, full 10 seconds on video. Even after returning toggles full up, the canopy would go off in one direction or other and bounce around before finally deciding to try to fly forward again. I'm not sure if I recovered it or it just decided on its own.

So it definitely felt scary, with a high stall point and a nasty stall.

The double keels (which I have a variant of), are generally regarded as much nicer canopies -- the extra area certainly helps -- and were used for students in at least one big school.

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