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Beatnik

Volplane Hydraulic Reefing Device

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It has been a while since I did a post. A couple of months ago, I was given a hydraulic reefing device off a Pioneer Volplane. It wasn't in the greatest of shape. Pretty dirty, some stripped screws, warn lanyard, etc. Since I have a Volplane complete with a hydraulic reefing device that is pretty much in new shape, I decided to recondition this one as a museum piece. It is still airworthy but without another Volplane, it won't see the sky again.

I had to drill out some of the screw heads which was a little bit of a nerve wracking process. It was a success and the rest of the screw shafts came out fine. This device must of got wet and some of the screws started to rust. I had to use penetrating oil to loosen most of them. Once I took it all apart I replaced the screws that were damaged, replaced the lanyard, changed the oil and cleaned every part.

There is a lot of misinformation I find about this device. Mainly to do with changing the weight of oil in it depending on the temperatures. While I guess that is one way you delay the staging but it rely isn't necessary. There is a set screw on the top of the piston that can speed up to slow down the release of the lanyard. Which is really all that is needed.

A bit on how the device works. It is mounted on a flare on one side of the parachute and has grommets running on each flare. The lanyard goes through each grommet and then goes around them and into the latch on the device. When the parachute starts inflating the span wise forces start pulling on the lanyard, which compresses the piston. When the forces are great enough to compress the piston enough so that the set screw releases the latch, the lanyard is released and the parachute can continue to inflate uninhibited.

It seems like such a complicated device compared to the slider. Having jumped my Volplane with the hydraulic reefing device installed, I can say it actually works quite well in any season when setup right. I can see about posting a video if there is interest in seeing it work.

As a bit of an aside to the thread, at the PIA Symposium there was a suggestion that that I should put together a seminar on vintage gear for the next symposium. This is something that I would love to do but given the small time frame (presentation wise), I am a little stumped on what to focus on and would like to work on something during this year. So if any of you have any ideas, let me know.

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I'd like to see a photo or two of the device installed. I think I have the idea but I've never seen one in real life. Nice photos. They helped with the mental picture that goes with your description.
If you know how many guns you have - you don't have enough!

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Spooky52

I'd like to see a photo or two of the device installed. I think I have the idea but I've never seen one in real life. Nice photos. They helped with the mental picture that goes with your description.



Me too - I'm struggling a bit with the installation - I would be very interested in any video footage of the Volplane in action.

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Here are some photos of my Volplane being packed. The description given in the original post should make things a little more clear how the device is attached to the parachute and how it works during inflation.

The last photo, shows the Volplane during inflation. You can see how it inflates and bulges out. This is right before the device releases the lanyard.

I will see if I can put together a very small video of how the device I reconditioned works. It will just be the device and me pulling on the lanyard, which would simulate span wise forces pulling on it, compressing the piston and releasing the latch.

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Thank you very much. I had in mind a much more complicated system. It is not dissimilar, in principle, to a Delta II Parawing I bought which had a modified reefing system from the original. It was a wrap around the lines, with a pin release attached to an extra line. AH restored the original system (OSI).

If you have time, I'd love to see the test.

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I made a quick 3 minute video today on the hydraulic reefing device. Hopefully it will illustrate how it works and how simple of a device it really is. But the slider is so far the simplest of any device. Hope you enjoy the short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwoOtTTebW4

The comment from dgw on the opening shock inhibitor (OSI) on the Delta II has got me thinking about starting a thread on it. I have one of my four Delta II's currently unpacked and it would be a good time to take some photos and explain how the OSI works. I may also unpack one of the American Delta II's and show a few differences between it and the Canadian Delta II.

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I was given a Volplane to try for a few jumps. I heard the rumors about changing the oil in the piston to adjust the opening. I changed the oil to a synthetic. I think it was called Xonaz. Figureing it would keep it viscosity more consistently. I never had a problem with the openings, but I could cause line twists by just burying a toggle.
U only make 2 jumps: the first one for some weird reason and the last one that you lived through. The rest are just filler.
scr 316

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mjosparky

***What everyone else said. These were still out when I started jumping but I never saw one until now.

Thank you!



One of the old time jumpers told me this was still out there when you started. B|

Sparky


Wow!!! Where did you find a copy of my first jump etching?

Thanks for posting! ;)

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My good friend George Drainville had a Volplane and I dont think he ever adjusted the hydraulic system, EVER. He too it as it came, and I only jumped it once, and the opening was so hard, it tore the helmet off my head. It was the 2nd hardest opening I ever had, and I would never jump a Volplane again. Mind you, I wouldnt jump the canopy that was harder than the Volplane either....most certainly wouldnt.




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Hi JIm; I didnt realize it was your thread on the Volplane....and I guess it was the same Hydraulic system that I used....on George's Volplane. As for the Delta II, I liked the way it worked, but I have Peters on the rear seat of my car. I dont know if I will jump it in the Spring, mainly because someone did some home made repairs or mods to it. It is very poorly done, and I suppose it would open, but wouldnt bet money on it. Good to know you are staying well.
Bill Cole




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Great video Jim.

Can you post (or draw) a pic of it mounted on a canopy?

How reliable was it? What about failure to release malfunctions?

Really enjoyed jumping with you in October. That Pink Floyd high aspect ratio canopy you were flying is like no other I've seen.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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