EXTreme-VX

Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Material
ZP
Cells
27
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The EXTreme-VX is a 27-cell Elliptical X-braced Tri-cell that brings HP canopy performance to the next step. As with all the Icarus range it is available in any size. The VX is not going to replace the FX, but for those turf surf purists who's prime objective is to glean the last available performance from their canopy, rather than the focus being cost or pack volume - This can be your ultimate weapon of choice.

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vx79MI

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  • 5
Solid Wing
Relatively Heavy Front Risers

I've put about 300 jumps on my vx79. It opens well. Flies well. Is very responsive and in my opinion not all that "twitchy". It just does what you tell it to do. I stuff the heck out of the nose with no problems at all. I needed to go with a slightly oversized slider to slow the openings a bit. That did the trick. Awesome wing and not for the slow minded.

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webracer

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  • 4
Super solid wing, swoops consistently
Openings surge, pack volume, slider drawstrings

I wasn't going to write a review, since there are a few here that are right on. I only decided to do so because most of the reviews are those loaded 2.3 or above. I am loading mine at 1.9.
The VX is a rock solid wing. It flies slow or fast, I can hang in brakes with the best of them, I can slow down or really cruise on rear risers (remember bumping end cells for a while with a friend on a Stiletto at 1.1:1, only using rear risers).

I feel the swoops are solid, like being suspended from a trolley rather than a parachute. I put 63 jumps on it in the first 4 weeks.

It feels HUGE, I can't stress that enough. It flys big and feels docile, although it is far from it. Getting lower to earth, you start to feel the speed and dive.

For approach, my riser pressure is off the chart (front). Tandems have lighter front riser pressure. I have to initiate my approach with harness shift, then supplement with front riser. It dives fast, and doesn't recover in time without input. I kinda wish it was about 2.1 wingloading, but I am learning new ways to fly with this lighter wingloading, and the swoops are looonnnnggg!

If you think you're ready for xbrace, maybe a velocity or xaos are good choices, as they fly a bit closer to hp elliptical characteristics than the VX. If you are ready to relearn canopy input and detailed control, get the VX.

Bottom line is I like it, but I have a Xaos also (loaded at 2.1), I choose wbich rig based upon conditions, and my goals for the jump.

Oh, the slider: I had to have the drawstrings replaced after 63 jumps, the slider would pop open behind my head when I started my dive. Icarus made it good though, they paid for the repair without question.

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skygod7777

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  • 5

i had a 72 vx. i will say they can swoop like a bat out of hell, but if your not careful it will get away from you. if you are twichy with the toggles then it will "bounce" around during your swoop. just be smooth. but i didn't care for the openings. they aren't too hard, but not too soft. i sent mine back because i do a lot of tandem videos and need something that opens better. i have a friend that has one that i jump all the time because i just love the way it fly's. but when i set up a third rig i might buy one a just not jump it with my camera.

blue sky's and long swoops
kelly

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SwoopMenace

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  • 5

I've now been the proud owner of a VX 79 for about 100 jumps. I'm loading it at 2.4. Where to start? Well, I owned an FX 89 before this. I never would have believed how different the VX is to the FX considering they are from the same "family". The VX is the first canopy i have flown that doesn't feel like a RAM-air canopy. It is so rigid it feels like a fibre-glass wing! I wanted to wait a while before I wrote this so I could attempt a fair and honest review.

Openings :
I heard rumours that VXs open pretty shitty. I also heard that FXs open pretty nice. My FX opened shitty so I was not looking forward to this. I wanted to open sub-terminal for my first up high but due to numerous reasons I ended opening at terminal. I was braced for a neck-breaker and....I had THE nicest opening i've ever had on a X-braced canopy!! The reason my FX opened so hard was because it was too small for the bag. Even though it was 10sqft bigger the pack volume was far smaller and being loose was already rather full of air. (In a Jav NJ) The VX being pretty tight in the bag opened beautifully!
In general, the canopy doesn't really snivel but starts inflating pretty quickly.(not hard - just positive) DO NOT stuff the nose into the centre of the pack job as this provokes assymetrical inflation. I personally recommend 'flying' the opening using harness weight shifting and I ALWAYS watch the opening. Being able to see a twist coming really decreases the chance of a unrecoverable situation! I actually find this dives off less on opening than a Stiletto if the nose is left out the front otherwise i found it will dive off worse. The VX has the typical 'dancing' during inflation of all X-braced canopies if a little more pronounced.

Flight characteristics :
This canopy has an amazing amount of lift for the size. I have managed to just about stay with a tandem which is pretty impressive! The canopy is seriously ground-sick on full-drive but as soon as you put the brakes right on or use rear risers it can slow right up and get back from bad spots. As mentioned by the other guys (reviews) the power in the control range is right at the bottom so deep toggle strokes are necessary. You can feel how rigid the wing is because it takes quite a bit of strength to pull the canopy out of shape(either risers or toggles) compared to other canopies. The canopy dives hard in turns so be very careful spiralling when first jumping this. Learn to fly the canopy at slow speeds because you will be a danger to yourself and others if you are only capable of burning around a busy sky on full drive.

Landing :
This is why you should want a VX - for the landings. The recovery arc is huge, obviously very variable on wing-loading. Any non-cross-braced jumpers be WARNED!! Riser turns result in huge amounts of speed and huge amounts of altitude loss! A previous review mentioned that, "no matter how high i hook i always seem to have to give input to pull it out" That's because it was not designed to recover to a flat glide on it's own. You HAVE to give a small amount of input to flatten out at the end of the dive. It will recover to near flat but not completely. The VX is very fickle. If you are not smooth with the toggles then your swoop will really suffer. It took me a while before I was getting my swoops as long as my FX. Directional corrections in the dive should be done using harness weight shift. Using toggles will effect swoop length. The VX shuts down so well considering the wing-loading jumped. As mentioned before the flare power is right at the bottom of the control range so make sure you take it right to the stall point to get the most out of it.

Packing :
It packs up big, real big! If you bought one coz you wanted a small rig then you got it for the wrong reason. Even when packing it, the awkward bulk reminds you of why it is the swooping machine that it is. So when you're stuffing it in the bag, covered in sweat it still puts a smile on your face! :o)

The is the best canopy i have ever flown and has pretty much been the reason for me almost giving up freefall! Have the utmost respect for it at ALL times. Mess around and get complacent and it'll let you know...fast. Flown well, it will reward you with THE fastest and longest swoops possible. All in all, the VX is truly THE swooping weapon.

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SkymonkeyONE

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  • 5
Flies great
Packs big

After a fairly long wait my new VX-74 arrived about three weeks ago. The delay was as a result of the laser cutter being down in New Zealand. The canopy arrived to me without side labels affixed for some reason, but who cares.

At any rate, I am the proud owner of a VX-74. I load it at 2.4 with lead on. I have just under 2,600 jumps.

Openings are "interesting". Not too fast, and on heading every time, but there is a pretty big surge upon full inflation that sometimes makes for slack lines. After that initial surge it settles nicely. Getting back from a poor spot is not a problem at all as long as you keep your brakes stowed. I find that method less strenuous than unstowing and flying in deep brakes, though the VX does fly really nicely at slow speeds.

Once you unstow the brakes and start really flying the VX you had better have your sights set 1000 feet below you. My main is VERY ground-hungry and comes out of the sky like a bomb in full flight and in turns. The brakes are set deep and not much happens in the upper end of the control range. The VX has a very long recovery arc. If you are a swoop purist, you will want to set up your final hook/carve much higher than any other main you have ever jumped. As reported in the other reviews in this section, hooking low and having to "dig" out will only make for a shorter swoop. While having brakes deeper in the control range, the flare is EXTREMELY powerful. If you are too low and need to dig, it feels like you are doing a bar-dip to get "around the corner." It doesn't seem to matter how high I hook this thing, it always requires some input to stop the dive enough to get you on plane. I don't mind that at all, and am just now getting the technique dialed.

The noise this thing creates as it flies through the air is enough to alert the entire DZ as to your eminent arrival. I get lot's of "HOLY SHIT's". All in all, it is a very fun canopy and I think it was worth the wait. The VX is not for everyone, though. It is a real handfull and could easilly get an inexperienced canopy pilot hurt or worse. One should make damn sure that he or she has SEVERAL hundred jumps on on other HP elipticals before strapping a VX on.

Oh, packing. The VX packs big as hell. My 74 packs bigger than my Stiletto 97 did. Plus, I was spoiled by the non-slip zero-p on my Alpha and had a fit wrestling the VX into the bag the first few times. Not much of a problem, just a hassle.

Feel free to e-mail me at SkymonkeyONE@aol.com for more info.

Chuck Blue
D-12501

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admin

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Firstly, I don't even own one, so don't count this as a review!! I own a stiletto and 'lurrvve' turf surfing. My friend has just got a VX 82......holy s@*t, does that thing come in on fire!!! From the reviews I have read and the people I have spoken to, this seems to be the best ultra-high performance canopy out there, absolutely destroying the Velocity!! I can't wait to get my hands on one...

They look mean, they have a massive recovery arc so they build up huge amounts of speed and they sound awesome......Hey, does anybody hear that...

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admin

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I got my vx about a month or so ago and have about 60-70 jumps on it. It's a 79 and I load it at 2.6 lbs. per square foot I did about 20 jumps where I opened at 13,500 so that I could REALLY get used to it. Like most x braced canopies I found that bringing the canopy out of the dive closer to the ground only resulted in a shorter swoop and higher risk but when the canopy is allowed to to continue diving once it has totally flattened out you can get a MUCH longer surf higher in the control band. sick speed and beautiful shut down when the landing is reasonably dialed. It even slows down ok on down winders, provided the winds aren't too out of control. if the technique is off the even a little though, the speed and distance of the swoop will suffer severley. it is extremley sensitive in the saddle to slight body movements, which is great to make small adjustments with on approach.

Toggle pressure is tight but super responsive. With a little rear risers and brakes I think I have a better chance making it back from a long or short spot than anyone else on my DZ. The only problem I have seen is mixing in a high speed landing with other dz traffic it's either get down first or sit in brakes, but with the tremendous amount of lift this canopy can generate there is no problem hanging in deep brakes and letting the giant underloaded canopies land first. In my opinion this is the sweetest flying machine ever assembled.

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admin

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Just got my new VX and put 8 jumps on it last weekend. I have an 89, loaded at 2.43#/2ft. DZ elevation is ~1000MSL. Temps were in the low 70s and winds were 5-12mph most of the time.

It took me 3 jumps to set the brakes where I was satisfied. Similar to the FX, you have to go fairly deep, with the first 6" being very soft. Once you get in the power band, it is very strong. I prefer to be able to front riser without any input to the brakes.

The VX seems to be much faster than the FX or Velocity, but I jumped them at a lower wing loading of 2.2#/2ft. The toggle pressure seems similar to the other HP ellipticals that I have jumped(stiletto,jedie,velocity,batwing,fx). The front risers are initially fairly light and the dive is very steep. Speed builds very rapidly and so does the pressure on the front risers. I could not hold the riser down through an entire 360 turn. The recovery arc seemed a little shorter than on the FX, with more speed and a longer surf.

The rear risers, as might be expected, are somewhat light. It is a real pleasure to release the brakes and then spread the rear risers. It takes very little effort and the canopy slows right down. It shocked me to see that I could float along with a Triathlon 220 loaded at about 1.1. My rate of decent at full flight was about 2000'/minute(wrist watch + altimeter).

My experience with this canopy is still very limited, but I feel safe in saying that it is in a class of its' own. It has the broadest speed range and turns faster than any other canopy I have ever flown. It also has the largest pack volume/2ft of any canopy I have ever seen...but who cares! It has the highest list price of any canopy that I know of, $200 more than the Velocity. It is worth it. I expect it will take several hundred jumps on this canopy before most pilots will begin to realize its full potential. It demands your constant attention and respect.

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