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mwthomsen

Freefly Suit Materials

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I saw a comment that the new technology, in reguards to materials used, to make freefly suits is a way to charge more money, rather than improve a suits performance. I am curious if that is a widely thought opinion?

High tech fabrics have improved the way a garmet preformans on the golf course or on the ski slopes, so why not in freeflying?

Interested in your thoughts.

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I know Ouragan ZP tunnel suits are simply the best in the SkyVenture environment. I think this has made a huge difference in tunnel suit performance, now you have more drag with less bag so you are not getting smacked or flown by the suit.

I love both of my freefly Ouragan tunnel suits and how they fit. I prefer the smaller suit to the baggier ones so zp is the perfect answer for me. I know it's not the sky but it is an example of how the fabric is changing and evolving with the sport.
Tunnel Pink Mafia Delegate
www.TunnelPinkMafia.com

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Paige,

Hypothetically, if you had two suits that fit identically and one was made with zp fabric and the other polycotton, how differently would they perform.

The reason I ask is I am trying to make an informed decision with what suit I am going to buy. Rather than the typical buy suit xyz, because I wear it and its the best.

Thanks

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Paige,

Hypothetically, if you had two suits that fit identically and one was made with zp fabric and the other polycotton, how differently would they perform.

The reason I ask is I am trying to make an informed decision with what suit I am going to buy. Rather than the typical buy suit xyz, because I wear it and its the best.

Thanks



I'm going to quote myself here.... "now you have more drag with less bag so you are not getting smacked or flown by the suit."

Having a baggy suit to fly in an SV tunnel is no fun for me. With the zp you have a better fit suit, you don't have to wear a harness to keep the bag in your legs from smacking you while sit flying or hd, and you fly your body not the suit.

If you need drag and want less bag, zp is it, I speak from only tunnel experiences however. The zp suit creates way more lift and drag in the end, thus the whole tunnel suit being made out of zp.

Hope this helps, if not blame it on the time of morning :D
Tunnel Pink Mafia Delegate
www.TunnelPinkMafia.com

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If you need drag and want less bag, zp is it, I speak from only tunnel experiences however. The zp suit creates way more lift and drag in the end, thus the whole tunnel suit being made out of zp.



Please forgive me for sounding a bit confused, but I'm a bit confused by this. B|

I've read/heard several references to the use of ZP fabric for a suit with that tagline/slogan ("more drag, less bag"), but it doesn't make too much sense to me.

ZP, to me, is a very low-drag fabric to begin with. After all, that's what canopy manufacturers use to build our wings, and something tells me that less drag on a wing surface, whether rigid or otherwise, is a good thing. Conversely, more drag on a wing surface would be a bad thing, leading to less efficient flight. So ZP's low-drag properties seem pretty prominent to me.

Taking this into consideration, it seems to me that wearing ZP in body flight would actually reduce drag compared to a suit made of heavier fabric. Add to that a close-fitting cut ("less bag"), and it sounds a lot like flying naked, without the obnoxious flapping.

Case in point: we have a fast faller at our dropzone who picked up a ZP jacket for sit-flying, under the same impression of getting "more lift." Needless to say, I was skeptical. We did a jump, and the dude was averaging 175mph throughout the dive, struggling to slow down in a WIDE SIT. He switched back to a cotton/poly long sleeve, and the his fall rate immediately dropped by about 20mph.

A good test would be to be riding shotgun down the freeway with your tunnel suit (sleeve, at least) on. Stick your arm out into the wind and feel the drag, then switch to a longsleeve or a sweatshirt or something else with similar fit but a higher-drag fabric and try that. You should feel a pretty significant difference.

Is there something I'm missing here (perhaps additional elements to the suit construction), or is the whole "ZP suits create more lift and drag" thing a misconception? I'm figuring that ZP suits are great for flyers who wish to have more speed with which to execute maneuvers (or are naturally floaty), along the same lines as competition 4-way suits. This seems to be in stark contrast to those who are seeking more drag/lift.

My impression at this point is that if you want "more drag, less bag," your best option is a close-fitting suit made of high-drag (perhaps multi-layer) fabric. But I'm young and impressionable; someone help me out here. ;)

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Check WrongWay's post about zp on suits, I'm sure there is tons more info. out there far better than mine.

Your comparison comes down to making personal choice and trying different things. Everyone is different and has preferences to suit fabric, fit, and drag. Give them all a shot and find out for yourself how they fly. If you can get lift from different fabric why not use the one that works best for you and the situation? I would recommend that to anyone.

As I said, I only have tunnel references and not sky so I'm afraid I have nothing to offer your analogy of the jumper [:/] (since I've never flown zp in the sky). I've only jumped in skin tight ff pants or a suit to increase my speed in the sky. I've never needed to slow down in freefall so I would definitely stay away from any zp on a sky suit but hey maybe I'm crazy :S:D
Tunnel Pink Mafia Delegate
www.TunnelPinkMafia.com

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ZP, to me, is a very low-drag fabric to begin with. After all, that's what canopy manufacturers use to build our wings, and something tells me that less drag on a wing surface, whether rigid or otherwise, is a good thing. Conversely, more drag on a wing surface would be a bad thing, leading to less efficient flight. So ZP's low-drag properties seem pretty prominent to me



If you took a 150 square foot bed sheet and jumped holding it over your head, would it slow you down as much as a 150 square foot ZP canopy?

My zp tunnel suit slows me down a lot more than a suit the same size made out of "standard" suit materials.
Wind Tunnel and Skydiving Coach http://www.ariperelman.com

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Check WrongWay's post about zp on suits, I'm sure there is tons more info. out there far better than mine.



I found one in which he posted a quote from Matter that seems to confirm what I'm saying: ZP = less drag = less lift (than other suit fabrics).

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Your comparison comes down to making personal choice and trying different things. Everyone is different and has preferences to suit fabric, fit, and drag. Give them all a shot and find out for yourself how they fly.



Totally, wholeheartedly, passionately agree with you there. B|

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If you can get lift from different fabric why not use the one that works best for you and the situation?



I would phrase that as, "If you can get your desired flight characteristics from different fabric..."

Again, unless I'm missing something, it seems to me that ZP on a suit reduces drag and lift, which happens to work VERY well for some flyers (floaty types, those who want faster air for maneuvers, etc.) -- not at all a bad thing.

But the notion that ZP gives more lift and drag than other suit fabrics seems like a misconception, and it may lead some flyers who are seeking more drag to erroneously purchase ZP, only to get the exact opposite effect as in my previous example.

If I'm way off here, someone please give me the smackdown...

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I think it may have to do with air leaking through the fabric. Like someone else mentioned, the bed sheet gives a lot less drag than a sheet of ZP because it leaks a lot of air.

In the same way, I would imagine having a leaky suit will give you less "lift" as opposed to a ZP suit, which, for the same surface area, will give you more "lift".

I think there's 2 sorts of drag: flappy drag, which creates vortices as it leaves your suit from the irregular surface, creating drag, and "flying surface" (for lack of a better word), which is surface which the wind directly hits the surface. In case of ZP, it will be deflected better, creating more "lift", and less tendency to leak through, like the proverbial bed sheet. :P

Wing suits are also made of ZP material, but in this case they're made for the same reason as a canopy: as a wing surface. Still, even the non wing surfaces, you want as little as possible air to leak through.

Of course I may be completely off the mark; this is just my theory. Feel free to criticize me. :)
Cheers

[edit to add wingsuit stuff]
Costyn van Dongen - http://www.flylikebrick.com/ - World Wide Wingsuit News

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If you took a 150 square foot bed sheet and jumped holding it over your head, would it slow you down as much as a 150 square foot ZP canopy?



That *would* be a good analogy, but canopy != freefly suit.

The canopy is an airfoil which requires maintained inflation (thus, minimal air penetration through the fabric) and low drag for optimal performance and lift, two strong characteristics of ZP fabric. Although I'm not a wingsuit pilot, I presume wingsuits share these requirements.

Freefly suits, on the other hand, don't seem to require inflation and low drag to generate efficient lift. Quite the contrary, they seem to need higher drag to generate more lift (in the context of freeflying).

Unless these particular suits inflate? :S

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My zp tunnel suit slows me down a lot more than a suit the same size made out of "standard" suit materials.



That's what puzzles me. If that's the case, I'd *love* to know how so, because it seems so bloody counter-intuitive to me. Any techies in the house?

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But the notion that ZP gives more lift and drag than other suit fabrics seems like a misconception, and it may lead some flyers who are seeking more drag to erroneously purchase ZP



I purchased my ZP tunnel suit because I was looking to fly slower with less drag than the baggy tunnel suits. My ZP tunnel suit accomplishes this perfectly. It flies slower than other tunnel suits of the same size. Therefore: I conclude that the ZP material has more drag than the material the other tunnel suits are made out of.

There's no theory about it - in my experiences ZP tunnel suits fly slower than other tunnel suits.

I do not any experience with Matter's ZP suit or any ZP suit designed to fly fast so I cannot comment on them.
Wind Tunnel and Skydiving Coach http://www.ariperelman.com

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There's no theory about it - in my experiences ZP tunnel suits fly slower than other tunnel suits.

So when you are wearing a zp suit in the tunnel the tunnel operator is able to decrease the airspeed in the tunnel related to the airspeed needed when wearing a non zp suit?

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So when you are wearing a zp suit in the tunnel the tunnel operator is able to decrease the airspeed in the tunnel related to the airspeed needed when wearing a non zp suit?



Yes. Instead of actually doing this, the wind speed is left the same and wearing the zp suit I am able to get more lift than with a non-zp suit.
Wind Tunnel and Skydiving Coach http://www.ariperelman.com

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Okay, I suspect I'm the anvil in question here, am I right Steve?:P

Using the instance above, it was not a fully zp suit but a ZP jacket, and we were specifically sit flying. So in that case the zp just cut the air and had very little surface to deflect the air as it does when we do a tracking dive. So when I switched to the baggy cotton I had more drag.

For further comparison wait until you see my new jacket that I sewed last week. Its full cotton, double surface, etc. It really slows my sit down and helps with stability.

I'm not sure about the physics of the issue but I know that a double layer cotton top slows me a lot more that a zp top when we're talking about a sit fly.

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Okay, I suspect I'm the anvil in question here, am I right Steve?:P



How'dya guess? :D

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I'm not sure about the physics of the issue but I know that a double layer cotton top slows me a lot more that a zp top when we're talking about a sit fly.



That's what logic tells me, but Ari's experience is intriguing. Perhaps we're focusing too much on the fabric and not enough on other factors like the cut of the suit, style of flying (think tracking, atmonauti, or even carving vs. falling straight down), etc.

Ari advised me on the backchannel to check with Nancy at Ouragan, so I've sent an email asking specifically about ZP's affect on drag, lift, and fall rate, as well as their tunnel suit's affect on the same. I'm deferring to her response, so until then I'll try not to speculate further.

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I hope you go with experience over theory most of the time ;) It tends to yield better results actually knowing what happens :P. Question away though, that is the only reason innovation and change occurs :)
I've had the same experiences Ari has in both my Ouragan suits (they each have a different amount of drag) and the Tony Suits from the tunnel. I have flown a range of suits, different sizes, manufacturers, fabrics, and drag amt. it all yields pretty much the same results in the end.

It's really all personal preference and what you find to be most beneficial to your style, tunnel or sky, I think. Try it all, what do you have to loose?

I hope you get the answers you are looking for :)
Tunnel Pink Mafia Delegate
www.TunnelPinkMafia.com

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Nancy from Ouragan replied the next day to an email I sent to her asking her some questions about freefly suit materials and the following is how she replied.

"Nylon materials are more resistant, light and create a better drag. In time, cotton or polycotton fabrics expands and your suit become bigger and flies
differently without slowing you down more because the fibers are more apart from each other (more air passes through = less lift effect). Nylon keeps
its "shape" even when being old (less air passing through = more lift)"

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