Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Material
ZP
Cells
9
The ALPHA PARACHUTE is an elliptical ultra high performance 9Cell Zero-P Canopy for experienced skydivers.

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freeflykid

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  • 5
longest and fastest swoops for a 9 cell !!!!!
not much

This canopy is perfect for someone transitioning to a high performance canopy. I have owned two and just loved them both, but when there getting old always keep a newer slider, I had one explode with 1400 jumps on canopy and slider and yes it was from the old slider.But other than that beautifully designed wing two thumbs up!

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Kimblair13

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  • 5
Excellent customer service by Atair, great flying/opening canopies
Nothing!

I've owned an Impulse 120 and Alpha 104. Both needed linesets and when I ordered them was told 90 days...but it only took 2 weeks! Very cool. These canopies open better than anything I've jumped. The flight characteristics are outstanding and they are also really easy to pack! Thanks Atair.

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nicknitro71

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  • 5
All!
They don't make them anymore!

A bit of history first.

Stane Kranjc, founder of Atair, released the Viper canopy in the mid nineties. By the way Stane is a great engineer, designer, and a great, humble, smart guy too. The canopy was labeled Winchester Technology UK and imported in the States via Skydepot. This was a fully elliptical canopy, not semi like some think, made out of Galvanor fabric. The Viper flies like a modern 9 cell fully elliptical canopy like the Crossfire 2 or even the Katana. It was a decade ahead of its time, really. Few years later the canopy was modified a little, I cannot tell the difference, very minor stuff indeed, and named Alpha also known as Impulse or Space. Again the Alpha was a helluva canopy and people started loading them up (2.0 and higher) and swooping the living crap out of them even in competition against X-braced. Few years later the Alpha became the Cobalt: The changes were a different top skin 18 pieces vs. 9 and the absence of cross-ports on cells 4. The overall platform and trim of the Vipers, Alphas, and Cobalts, are virtually the same. I think that Vipers and Alphas have more consistent openings though.

Anyway I have jumped Vipers 150s, owned a Viper 135, jumped Viper 120s, and currently owned a H-mod Viper 105 and an Alpha 99. I load the Viper 1.66 and the Alpha 1.76 and 1.88 if I jump with lead which I do on RW and FF jumps. I used the Viper for WS jumps and the Alpha for the rest.

These canopies pack nice due to the less slippery Galvanor fabric. This fabric though packs a bit larger than the garden variety (DuPont Solarmax).

The openings are fantastic. On heading, a nice snivel but not a 1000’ snivel like in some canopies. I have end-cell closure on both these canopies on every jump, not a big deal. Both canopies have 28” ZPo-PC. On few WS questionable deployments I had line twists on the Viper. It never spun on me once and kept flying straight.

The front riser pressure is pretty light on both, a bit heavier on the Alpha. Of course on a front riser turn these canopies drop down the sky like a bomb. The recovery arc is longer than a Stiletto of the same size I would say like a Crossfire 2. Rear risers and toggle turns are fast but who cares of those anymore?

For front risers 180 approach pick 400’, for 270 500’. At these altitudes the canopy will plan out on its own and give you plenty of outs. For lower hooks you will have to go for the rears or toggles for the first plane out.

The flare is powerful more so than a Stiletto of the same size. I think those canopies have the best bottom-end of all 9 cells ellipticals. Just amazing! You can actually do a straight in approaches and still get a nice swoop and come to a full stop.

One more thing: You might have heard about that those canopies “fly big”. That’s a misleading statement that means absolutely nothing. Those canopies are very, very efficient. You will get more flare than, for instance, a Stiletto of the same size or even a size bigger, but that does not mean that they will turn and lose altitude like a bigger canopy. An Alpha 99 will turn super fast, and scare you just like any another 99, the only difference is that you will have more flare power than many other 9 cell ellipticals. So before going down two or more sizes, think…

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Kintz

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  • 5

I transferred to an Alpha from a Sabre 135, after trying a heap of other canopies. First of all, it is a lot easier to pack and performs heaps better. It took me a while to dial in the openings - you have to be really symmetrical at opening time - but now they are smooth and soft.

I have lost a lot of weight since buying the canopy (I started at a 2.0 wing loading). I would suggest sticking to the recommended wing loadings to get the best out of the canopy. I probably need to go down a couple of sizes to get the performance I once had.

Overall it is an excellent canopy that performs really well and swoops far

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SkymonkeyONE

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Good openings, good swoops
None

I currently own a bunch of very fast parachutes, including a fantastic custom-color Alpha 84. Jumping 10 pounds of weight for 4-way, I wingload the 84 at 2.16 (or 2.04 without weights.)

Bottomline up front: This parachute is GREAT for what I use them for- SWOOPING. I have owned my Alpha for about a month now and have put 57 jumps on it so far, so I feel I can give an accurate review of it. I will start at the top; openings.

My parachute opens just like a Stiletto; smoothly and generally on-heading. I had been told by some nay-sayers in Pahokee, FL that Alphas open hard. I am SO glad that I didn't listen. One other person, in Atlanta, said that his opened too SLOWLY. As an ex-video guy, I don't thing anything is too slow as long as it eventually opens! At any rate, mine opens GREAT. Just like any other tiny eliptical, you REALLY need to stay straight in the harness on opening. The owners manual even has that in bold print. I find that this, more than anything else, will ensure a straight opening.

As for packing, I use a standard PRO-pack with no crazy nose-stuffing or anything. I generally leave the nose straight, or with one little roll, and just wrap my tail. Wintec parachutes are made of the "Nylasilk" zero-p fabric, like a Triathalon, so it does not ooze around while you are trying to put it in the bag.

General flight characteristics: As you might imagine, a parachute this small (84 square feet) is going to come out of the sky like a bomb. This is the case AFTER you unstow brakes. If you got hosed with a long spot, keeping brakes stowed will GREATLY increase your chances of getting back. I was amazed how flat it glided on one dive. After you are over the DZ, then the fun really begins. The control range on Alphas is very long as compared to a Stiletto; I find it about the same as a Velocity. I have third (toggle) risers installed on all my rigs. This really allows the tail to flatten out. Turns are brisk and steep, with lot's of altitude loss. A person 300 feet below you will be right in your way in one turn; believe me.

Landing turns should be initiated at about the same altitude as a Velocity or FX/VX, which is to say quite a bit higher than a Stiletto. That is assuming you want a "clean" swoop, without having to dig it out of the hole with all your might. A properly initiated hook or riser dive will result in a considerably longer swoop than a Stiletto. The brakes are much deeper in the control range than a Stiletto, so it catches some demo jumpers off guard. Velocity or FX/VX jumpers will find the brakes "just right".

Finally, the cost: I got my custom-color Alpha for a full $450 less than I paid for my VX-74. Granted I got great deals on both, but those are the differences in cash paid. This was my third new main this year (Vengeance, VX, Alpha). I find it FAR superior to the Vengeance (which I sold right away) for about $200 less money. I like it better than the Stilettos which used to be my staple. Besides, PD wouldn't make me one smaller than a 97. I like it better than a Velocity, though it flies very similar. The difference is in price and ease of packing.
Any other questions, Email me.

Chuck Blue
D-12501

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admin

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members

Alpha is the choise for those who want "Velocity"-class performance and don't want to spend that much money for new canopy.

This is pilot's canopy. When flying the Alpha, you can constantly feel the canopy flying and it tells you all of time what it's doing. If you just want to cruise smoothly it'll fly straight and you can just enjoy the ride. But if you want to do a little hod-rodding, don't be suprised to see what you ate for breakfast that morning. It's all up to you, speed and performance of this canopy are gigantic.

Compared to Stiletto, Alpha has much longer control range, and it's much more stabile sideways than Stiletto (or Velocity). You can bring it down on 1/2-brakes with shorter flare or blast your heart out with 300ft flare. Do what you want. If you have 150+ jumps with Stiletto 135 at wload 1.5, you can easily adapt to Alpha 99:s 2.05. Difference in design and in handling is that big.

Material in Alpha is more packer-friendly that in PD canopies. Right from the start Alpha is VERY easy to pack. It doesn't slide or runaway from your hands. You'll enjoy watching you friends to get pissed off because of their new PD's slippery fabric.

There's one negative thing in Alpha though. It doesn't seem work too well with wing-loading under 1.8. This baby needs weight to work with. Optimum wl.is round 2lb/ft2. Jump one = you want one.

Be safe and don't hook too low.
Peace,
Riksteri

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