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romus

Wingsuit aerodynamics

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I am about to get a Wingsuit and am interested, apart from other things, in the aerodynamics.

From my searching I have found some info and am putting my sometimes guesses below. There must be some variation, too depending on whether a suit is beginner, Intermediate or advanced.

Thought others might be interested to have a thread on this.

Glide possible: 2:5:1 (TonySuits 3:0:1)

Stall speed: 40 Kph?

Forward common flying speed range? 50 - 120Kph?
Forward flying speed cruise(medium body position): 60 Kph?
Forward flying speed max(best body position): 140Kph?

Falling speed range: 40 - 80kph?

Lift Coefficient: 1.4
Drag Coefficient: ?

Wing area: 12 - 17 Sqft for 150 - 170 lb naked body weight?
Wing area: 18 - 120 Sqft for 180 - 200 lb naked body weight?

Other: ?

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Glide possible: 2:5:1 (TonySuits 3:0:1)



I've heard they can go way higher... 7:1 is not uncommon! :D

Jokes aside, you can find quite a bit of footage from the net with performance data overlay on the flights. This should give you an idea about the possible (sustained and peak) performance. For example :

Ludo & V4 : https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1970794388051
Ludo & V3 : https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1186336617097
Charley & Apache : http://vimeo.com/24207597
http://www.ufufreefly.com

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



Without a good knowledge of the winds, glide ratio determination presents a big problem.
...

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

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.


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Yeah... I had this big rant up, then decided I'm just sick of participating in the debate. Fly whatever, just have fun. Screw the numbers. I'm sick of thinking about it.
-B
Live and learn... or die, and teach by example.

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I am about to get a Wingsuit and am interested, apart from other things, in the aerodynamics.

>>> Another bird in the flock. Super! For now, just learn how to fly safely. Before long you will have your own opinion of aerodynamics.

From my searching I have found some info and am putting my sometimes guesses below. There must be some variation, too depending on whether a suit is beginner, Intermediate or advanced.

>>> Yes, there is a lot of difference between them. The more material, the slower you can fall.

Thought others might be interested to have a thread on this.

>>> Not really. It always devolves into brand wars and insults.

Glide possible: 2:5:1 (TonySuits 3:0:1)

>>> Especially when statements like this come up. In fact, there is not much difference in the two performance wise. Both are great companies

Stall speed: 40 Kph?

>>> I'd guess that would be higher, but if you fold up and fly good you can get pretty slow without stalling. Yes folding up and flying good is an oxymoron. Hahaha.

Forward common flying speed range? 50 - 120Kph?
Forward flying speed cruise(medium body position): 60 Kph?
Forward flying speed max(best body position): 140Kph?

>>> I'd say higher on that too. Again guessing, I'd say top speed closer to 200k. After a dive you can swoop out of it and be going really fast, 300k or more.

Falling speed range: 40 - 80kph?

>>> That's probably higher too. My best average rate is 75kph but I'm not that good. Anything below 60 is damn good.

Lift Coefficient: 1.4
Drag Coefficient: ?

Wing area: 12 - 17 Sqft for 150 - 170 lb naked body weight?
Wing area: 18 - 120 Sqft for 180 - 200 lb naked body weight?

Other: ?



Getting too technical for me. I just like to fly. 120sqft wingsuit? Yeah, that would be cool, but a bitch to fly I bet. ;)
Have fun!
But what do I know?

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.



Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.
...

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

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.



Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.


In practice, it does.


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I've seen jumps with maintained 3:1+ GR, see attached.



That is a 20 sec transient following an 8 sec dive. To put that in perspective, a 5'8" 200lb guy was getting 3:1 for ~35 secs after a dive(~10 secs) in a V1.

3:1 IMO is definitely possibly with today's suits without having to dive.

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.



Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.


In practice, it does.



Since that is contrary to the accepted laws of fluid dynamics, you need to provide some evidence in support.
...

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

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.



Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.


In practice, it does.



Since that is contrary to the accepted laws of fluid dynamics, you need to provide some evidence in support.



This is a fairly common observation in the real world. No manufacturer has succeeded in making a smaller wing suit in area outperform a bigger suit from their line up.

AFIAK, as of today, every single WS pilot(who has figured out how to fly their suit) is able to get better performance out of the bigger suit in that manufacturer's line up.

Until, there is evidence in the real world that is contrary to the 'bigger suit from same manufacturer gives better performance'. I am going to stick to that thumb rule.

P.S: I am not in your class, I am not too concerned about what I have to write in the final exam so you give me a better grade :P.

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Try www.paralog.net/ppc/

Glide-ratio (without wind) is roughly max 2.5 (across all brands/top suits) if you look at the overal scores (avg instead of peak results)



I would expect a bit more than 2.5 is possible with the huge suits we have today. And that is without transient effects or help from updrafts.
The competition rules allow for diving before the measurement phase so we can only say the performance is at best what we get from there but normally lower.
However, with today's suits being almost double in size to some from 5 years ago(phantom) in which people were getting close to 2.5, I think some of the best flights are already in the 2.7-3.0 range.



Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.


In practice, it does.



Since that is contrary to the accepted laws of fluid dynamics, you need to provide some evidence in support.



This is a fairly common observation in the real world. No manufacturer has succeeded in making a smaller wing suit in area outperform a bigger suit from their line up.

AFIAK, as of today, every single WS pilot(who has figured out how to fly their suit) is able to get better performance out of the bigger suit in that manufacturer's line up.

Until, there is evidence in the real world that is contrary to the 'bigger suit from same manufacturer gives better performance'. I am going to stick to that thumb rule.

P.S: I am not in your class, I am not too concerned about what I have to write in the final exam so you give me a better grade :P.



First, you haven't defined "performance", and second, the same jumper changing suit sizes HAS to be changing suit design, so your statement doesn't mean anything.

To have any evidence to support your statement, you would have to have identically designed suits of different sizes. Since, in general, suit sizes have increased along with design refinements, your statement is unverified.
...

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

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First, you haven't defined "performance", and second, the same jumper changing suit sizes HAS to be changing suit design, so your statement doesn't mean anything.

To have any evidence to support your statement, you would have to have identically designed suits of different sizes. Since, in general, suit sizes have increased along with design refinements, your statement is unverified.



Blah, blah blah blah. Blah blah! Blah ...
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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To have any evidence to support your statement, you would have to have identically designed suits of different sizes. Since, in general, suit sizes have increased along with design refinements, your statement is unverified.

OK Professor. I do not know your size, for the sake of the exercise, we will admit you are a size M.

Tell me with which suit (let's admit it is a Birdman GTI) you will have best performance ?
XL
L
M
S
XS

I would say M or L :D
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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To have any evidence to support your statement, you would have to have identically designed suits of different sizes. Since, in general, suit sizes have increased along with design refinements, your statement is unverified.

OK Professor. I do not know your size, for the sake of the exercise, we will admit you are a size M.

Tell me with which suit (let's admit it is a Birdman GTI) you will have best performance ?
XL
L
M
S
XS

I would say M or L :D



Performance? As in glide ratio, fall rate, forward speed?

I was ONLY referring to glide ratio, as my original post said.

And I can't go from XL to XS without changing the DESIGN of the suit, also as I previously wrote..
...

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

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And I can't go from XL to XS without changing the DESIGN of the suit, also as I previously wrote..



Few rational wingsuiters would consider scaling as a change in design, not in a practical sense.

You're crazy smart and educated, John; we all know that. However, this particular argument comes off like my science teacher telling me that terminal velocity is the same for everything.
By your argument, someone wearing an Impact should be able to acheive a GR of 3:1. I'd like to see this.
that said, you've inspired me to spend a little time looking back at my highschool physics. :)

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And I can't go from XL to XS without changing the DESIGN of the suit, also as I previously wrote..



Few rational wingsuiters would consider scaling as a change in design, not in a practical sense.




Effect of suit size isn't you going from a XS to a XL suit. It's a 5'2" guy in well fitting suit (any design) compared to a 6'2" guy in the same design, equally well fitting suit with the same wing loading and body position. In other words, all variables EXCEPT size are held constant.

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You're crazy smart and educated, John; we all know that. However, this particular argument comes off like my science teacher telling me that terminal velocity is the same for everything.



I doubt fluid mechanics was part of your HS curriculum. It is, however, taught to and used by airplane designers.

Quote





By your argument, someone wearing an Impact should be able to acheive a GR of 3:1.



Invalid conclusion.

Quote



I'd like to see this.
that said, you've inspired me to spend a little time looking back at my highschool physics. :)


...

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

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...Size of the suit shouldn't affect it. Lift/drag ratio (which depends on design, and skill of the flyer) determines it.


In practice, it does.



I think I understand this.

Glide ratio and wing loading is affected by design (possible shape of a wing to the weight and size of the flyer) and then skill of the flyer (which is how best they can make the shape of the wing and pitch angle).

Size of the suit, even if the same design gets an effective design alteration such as with fatter, taller, weight to size difference of each flyer - each Wing is made to measure.

So glide ratio and speed estimates should be talked about as ball-park average except useful when comparing your own flying performances.

If a flyer wears an advanced suit design which has high wing to weight ratio (low W/L) - like it seems some of the newer advanced designs - then their glide ration should go up. In this case the speed forward would only go up if the suit is a better design than they had before with better aerodynamic shape and less drag.

If the same person uses a design with less wing area to weight ratio (high W/L) - beginner and intermediate designs - then the glide ratio should go down, with fall and forward speeds increasing.

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