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Katana 97 W/L 1.9 for swooping

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Hi guys,
Hoping to get some opinions on how a ka97 will swoop loaded at 1.9. I'm not ready to jump her yet, just looking to understand what to expect. I understand that a crossbraced would probably be a better choice at that size but I have the katana in a cupboard and would like to fly it one day.

Steep diving 270s with rears to plane out kind of landing style

Anyone have experience to share on if this old girl can surf or is it just one step too small to really get the best glide out of a katana?
Why ask what height one starts one's turn? It would appear considerably more important at what height one decides to finish it.

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That's exactly the wing I have now at the same wingloading.
All the canopy coaches I talked to agree it's a great wing to learn proper swooping before going to an x-braced.
Sure, I personally don't consider it a great "all around wing" (it is *really* steep, really, steep), but I use it to learn how to swoop (working on 270s) and it treated me very well so far.

If you have a canopy instructor you often work with, double check with them, they might give you the best input but, generally speaking, it's the perfect canopy for the direction you seem to be going.

To give you an idea, this is how it flew this weekend: even with a relatively clumsy pilot like me (as I said, I'm working on it! So much to learn!) that thing certainly can dive and cover some distance.
During my routine fuck-ups I certainly was happy to be on a katana rather than a velo!

Just be careful, depending on where you come from, it can be a demanding wing so be ready to put some hard and serious work with her and don't underestimate it or be complacent because "it's not cross braced!".

https://youtu.be/5lZUUFZazkU
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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timrf79

On the 3rd jump in the video it looked like the canopy was going to spin up on you and yous topped it.
Is that right? and how did you do that?

Had that problem this weekend (in 10% slow-mo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfY7L-CX8zA



Right.
You need to actively fly the opening. It all boils down to using a mix of harness inputs and rear riser to control the opening. I pack very trashy and I probably have had only one or two line twists out of more than 250 jumps on my katana.
In your video you never got on rears during the opening, which basically means you were never really in control of it. You were being flown by whatever the Nylon Gods decided to give you that day. :P
The first line twist came out of the bag so whatever, but second line twist could have been avoided if you had been a little more ahead of your game and took control of the canopy sooner. No worries though, it comes with practice and now it's muscle memory for me.

If you're interested, I think Greg Windmiller covers this specifically during one of his canopy classes, there's a lot that one can do during an opening to avoid problems, so if he has a class near you and you want to learn how to better fly an opening, among all other things he teaches, he's the Man. ;)
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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Di0

That's exactly the wing I have now at the same wingloading.
All the canopy coaches I talked to agree it's a great wing to learn proper swooping before going to an x-braced.
Sure, I personally don't consider it a great "all around wing" (it is *really* steep, really, steep), but I use it to learn how to swoop (working on 270s) and it treated me very well so far.

If you have a canopy instructor you often work with, double check with them, they might give you the best input but, generally speaking, it's the perfect canopy for the direction you seem to be going.

To give you an idea, this is how it flew this weekend: even with a relatively clumsy pilot like me (as I said, I'm working on it! So much to learn!) that thing certainly can dive and cover some distance.
During my routine fuck-ups I certainly was happy to be on a katana rather than a velo!

Just be careful, depending on where you come from, it can be a demanding wing so be ready to put some hard and serious work with her and don't underestimate it or be complacent because "it's not cross braced!".

https://youtu.be/5lZUUFZazkU




Nice man! Thanks for the reply. Looked like these was some moderate cross winds going on there but didn't seem to be hard to handle for you.

I've been flying a ka120 for a while and really enjoyed it. I like the steep trim very much. Got a few examples here if you're interested to tell me what you think?:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RPNNbcwY2Y

I would like to fly a 107 for a while first and then transfer to my 97. Got a couple of great swoopers helping me over the last year or so and I think canopy discipline is the way I want to go for skydiving.

ciao
Why ask what height one starts one's turn? It would appear considerably more important at what height one decides to finish it.

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+1 for the KA97 at that WL. I've got 100 or so jumps on mine loaded ~1.95, and it's definitely a swoop machine with the proper inputs/technique.

I agree with Di0 that it's not the best all-around choice for a canopy with that WL due to it's steep descent in full flight....but I will add that you can still achieve very flat flight in 3/4 brakes or rears and it can be great for getting back from a long spot. According to my N3, I average 35-40 fps descent rate in full flight, but only 6-10 fps in deep brakes :).

I've dialed in my 270s at about 700 feet using a brake surge > double fronts > turn technique, building acceleration through the turn.

I have a VE coming my way for this season, but I have a feeling I'm not going to see a huge increase in performance from the KA ;).

I'll see if I can find a vid or two to post for ya.

My $0.02.

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Nice man! Thanks for the reply. Looked like these was some moderate cross winds going on there but didn't seem to be hard to handle for you.

I've been flying a ka120 for a while and really enjoyed it. I like the steep trim very much. Got a few examples here if you're interested to tell me what you think?:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RPNNbcwY2Y

I would like to fly a 107 for a while first and then transfer to my 97. Got a couple of great swoopers helping me over the last year or so and I think canopy discipline is the way I want to go for skydiving.

ciao



Ah! Dammit!
Those are cleaner than mines! I am jealous! :)
If you're already coming from a bigger KA and you're into training for swooping specifically, than you know exactly what to expect. I thought this was your first "advanced" canopy, hence the warning, but if you already fly a katana then you shouldn't have too much problems adapting.

Yes, it's pretty easy to handle cross winds with the Katana, it's quite reactive to small harness inputs so it's really a no brainer in those conditions. At the same time it's stable enough of a platform that I don't feel small involuntary harness inputs induce too much problems like they would on a more rigid xbraced.

What I will work on next is actually learning to carve the landing to run a speed course, if you see my video I failed both times because I never tried to carve a swoop so I had no idea about the proper technique. Depending on how that goes, learning that on the katana will probably be the last thing I want to do, before considering a velo. No reason to complicate things for me now. :D
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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my performance dropped off significantly at the 2.0 loadings... youll be safer after this on a velo. i know it sounds stupid, but given a katana or a velo, id take the velo into a corner every time over the katana. you can dig and pull out a velo, you cant really to the same effect with a katana. it has all the dive of a velo without the range and responsiveness which i feel contributes to a lot of the people who get hurt on them.. itll dig out on toggles but not like a velo will... the first jump i did on a velo off 3 sizes of katanas and my only thought was, wow, wtf? why didnt i do this sooner... all of a sudden i felt much safer...
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Alexg3265

my performance dropped off significantly at the 2.0 loadings... youll be safer after this on a velo. i know it sounds stupid, but given a katana or a velo, id take the velo into a corner every time over the katana. you can dig and pull out a velo, you cant really to the same effect with a katana. it has all the dive of a velo without the range and responsiveness which i feel contributes to a lot of the people who get hurt on them.. itll dig out on toggles but not like a velo will... the first jump i did on a velo off 3 sizes of katanas and my only thought was, wow, wtf? why didnt i do this sooner... all of a sudden i felt much safer...



I was wondering about this problem myself. Seems possible that by the time the wing has recovered enough for a safe riser plane out a lot of the energy has already bled off.
Why ask what height one starts one's turn? It would appear considerably more important at what height one decides to finish it.

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aaronschimke

Here's a quick vid from one of my last jumps for ya:

https://youtu.be/dCUe2lihE24



Nice one! She really dives a lot, almost on an axis opposing the wings angle of attack it seems. Could you tell me your W/L on that please?
Why ask what height one starts one's turn? It would appear considerably more important at what height one decides to finish it.

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JumpRu

just go with velocity at that wl. dont spend money and time on KA that is very dangerous and poor performing at such wl. i would say katana107 was more scary then velo 84 but obviously not anywhere close in performance.



What makes you think that? Just wondering..

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i made lots of jumps on ka107 and back then i was 85 kilos without gear, switching to velocity after that made swooping so much easier. i think everything has its limits and overloading katanas does not improve anything - just making things more dangerous.

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I've got a Katana 97 at about a 1.85 WL... Love it! It's definitely the first canopy where I've been able to really dial in my 270 in a proper way (then again, I was on a Crossfire 104 before which had a horrible positive recovery arc when diving her too hard!).

I've done about 300 jumps on it so far and she still has plenty to give.

One thing as has been mentioned before is that the KA is trimmed very damn steep!

Also, one thing I've really noticed and about the only downside is the power in the rears (or lack of) compared to a velo. The velo's i've jumped have had loadsss of rear power however the KA almost seems a bit spongy and certainly lacking, especially towards the lower end of the rears response.

All in all, it's a fantastic stepping stone, however in the next 12 months I'm looking to switch it up to a comp velo 84 now.

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Even though I only load my Katana 97 @ 1.5, I absolutely love it, but I did think that a Velo was the next step.

Last summer, I bought myself a Velo 84 @ 1.8 and after 5 jumps on it, I decided that I much prefer the Katana. The Velo was noticeably faster forward, flared great and was fun, but the openings scared the crap out of me and the front riser pressure was unbearable. For that reason, I decided to keep the Katana instead of the Velo. I'm certain that if I stuck it out and got to learn it, I would have kept it, but I felt more confident on the Katana.

With that said, a week or two after I sold the Velo I had a very close call on the Katana. Gave myself some grass stains on my ass from digging hard after I stayed in the turn longer to avoid a group of people. That reinforced my decision to keep the Katana. And yes, I know the Velo "may" dig you out of the corner better, but it's also ~15% smaller and going faster so your margin is smaller. I'm very happy with the Katana.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

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I persevered with the velo when I should have stuck with the katana and, after about 100 jumps on it, I damaged the bottom of my bicep / the tendon at the elbow from the front riser pressure.

No idea what was actually wrong with it but it was pretty much "swoopers elbow".

It would get better after a few weeks but, after one jump, it was fucked again.

Took the best part of the season to heal.

Don't be that guy (me).

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So in the end I went for a velo90 instead of the katana 97. I think it was definitely the right choice. I've since flown the katana also and the velo is 100% better as a safe and effective a wing.

Also recently had a go on a couple of sizes of JFX and that again is a huge improvement on the Velo, although maybe not quite as fun and 'seat of your pants' to fly.

ciao all, wishing you all good landings
Why ask what height one starts one's turn? It would appear considerably more important at what height one decides to finish it.

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For what is worth, after a couple hundred jumps on the KA97, I'm also now happily flying a VE84. Great canopy to fly, once it opens, it certainly has a lot more "flexibility" in terms of flying range than the KA.
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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