Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Material
ZP & F-111
Cells
9
The MERIT has been designed by our R & D department to satisfy many of us. This was achieved with both the pleasure of the flight and the best safety criteria in mind. Blue Track canopies are known throughout the world for offering the ultimate flight performances. Yet, their superior characteristics may not always be needed for recreational skydivers.

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leadgenx

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  • 4
easy to pack, fast in turnings
flaring

I have just bought Merit 170 and made 20 jumps on it (with the wing load 1.2). Before I started jumping it I thoroughly read about packing and I must admit that putting right & left inlets into central cell and rolling the tail tightly really works. When adding slider with pockets you get quite nice openings - brisk but far away from hard. Last jumps were made with camera - no problem about openings. Merit requires a special landing technique since it needs time to make the flight horizontal (and forget about going that way for 10 or even 5 meters like modern canopies can do). But when you get use to it you will have quite nice landings even on no-wind days and with high exit weight (label says max. 100kg and I fly it with exit weight of 94 kg). However I would not dare to overload this canopy.

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deronde

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 4
Flying properties
Risk for hard openings

I only recently purchased a merit (190, 4yr old, ~250 jumps). I did 5 jumps with it before I bought it, and didn't have a single hard opening! The main thing with it is that you can't just pack the thing any old way. I talked to 3 people who either own or have owned a Merit, and they all gave the same tip as in the manual about rolling the 4 left & right inlets evenly and tucking them into the center cell. When it comes to flying it, well compared to the PD & Sabre I jumped with, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that the Merit was the canopy for me. Talking to others though this is a very personal thing, and the Merit is definately something of an odd choice some have said. For those of you who don't like having to fuss too much during packing, forget Merit, for those who don't mind, go out there and try one out!

--- 250 jumps later ---
I no longer roll the nose, instead I role the back of the canopy tight, works just as well and you don't get the rocking motion if the nose opens unevenly... if you're not an experienced packer then be careful as it's easy to role a line into the back which can cause mals...

I still prefer this canopy over many others in the 190 range (have 5+ jumps on Silhouette, Sabre, PD-9 & Spectre). Yes the openings are quick (100m at a WL of 0,88) but I've not got a bruise on my body, bad neck, broken ribs or anything like that during all the jumps. I've had a couple of hard openings that took the wind of me but mainly because of bad body position in opening and a dodgy packjob here and there...

This baby will take you home from the longest of spots... open that chest strap, deep brakes and this thing flies for miles! (over 2.5km from 1300m and 5m/s winds is my personal best, OK some lift from hot runways was helping me along but still...).

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Costyn

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 3
Easy to pack, nice turning capabilities
Hard openings. Difficult to flare.

The Merit is an older canopy, and its successor is the Electra, which is a much much better canopy.

I'm writing this review on the basis of a canopy I jumped which already had quite a lot of jumps on it (500+). I can't tell how a new Merit would behave, although I've heard that some of the characteristics (hard openings, difficult flare) happen during all stages of its lifetime.

The Merit is a semi eliptical canopy (tapers at the trailing edge) which was meant to be an intermediate canopy.

The Merit opens hard. I've tried all sorts of different packing techniques, some of which reduced the opening shock a bit. It is unfortunately a design issue which parachutes from Parachutes de France of its generation had.

The canopy turns nicely, although it takes a while before it responds to toggle input. The toggle input is not crisp, that is.

The flare was exceptionally difficult, although the age of my canopy might have been to blame. I tried many different flare techniques and asked lots of people, but the canopy kept slamming me into the ground, especially on low wind days.

The pack job was always pretty easy, especially since the fabric was somewhat worn and no longer slippery (your mileage may vary).

Parachutes de France no longer manufactures this canopy but there are still many second hand Merits available.

All in all, I don't recommend this parachute. Get a PdF Electra instead (see my review about this canopy here on dropzone.com too).

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richclive

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  • 4

This is the basic intermediate chute from PdF, and although it's now been effectively replaced by the Electra, it's still a great piece of kit, sort of a French version of the Silhouette. Drawbacks are the openings, which tend to be brisk unless you roll that nose, and the fact that anyone with American kit tends to look at you in disbelief when you tell them what you're flying (no idea why). Advantages are that it's very responsive - going from a Sabre 190 to a Merit 190 is a major jump - and you can surf in some lovely landings. Easy to pack because of the F-111, and pretty much the standard rental chute in many French DZs.

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