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  1. HPC

    Container comparison

    The 500D may be softer but it doesn't wear as well. Wear spots will appear sooner. My first rig was made from 500D cordura.
  2. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    I understand what you're saying and agree, but most of the ideas and suggestions I've mentioned in this thread really only apply to the Racer, since that rig deviates more from the rest of the rig manufacturers. However, if I come up with an idea that I don't see on any rigs then I would definitely approach the other manufacturers first, as I feel that my idea would at least be given some thought and examined to determine its viability by almost all other manufacturers - except PL. As has been mentioned in other threads regarding the management at PL, it seems that only those ideas that are generated internally are taken seriously. Just my impression, anyway. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  3. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    If this is indeed the primary reason the Lolon cables are turning black and need regular cleaning, has any rig manufacturer put anything on their website that recommends jumpers have the inside of their cutaway housings cleaned? Seems like a no-brainer to me. I'll ask about this the next time I talk to someone at RI, or maybe I'll message them via FB. Thanks. Actually, I'd love to see how the Racer is built and see if some of the ideas I have are viable. There's really no reason why PL can't make several changes to the rig that would put it more in line with all the other rigs without taking a step back in safety. For example, if they cleaned their cable housings and lined them with a flexible insert with a low friction coefficient then they could probably either eliminate the need to clean the cables monthly, or at least reduce the need to clean them to once every six months (so that they could be cleaned during the reserve repack cycle). This would allow them to return to Lolon cables instead of the Teflon cables that have had their own issues. I also have an idea for a single-pin design that would make the two-pin cutter optional for those willing to pay extra for cutter redundancy. It would also make the loop adjustment so that it could be sealed, meaning someone would have to break the seal to readjust the loop. And if it were up to me I would go back to offering a standard free bag as an option. I would also offer a MARD, either design their own or look at the various designs introduced by other rig manufacturers and license the one that is the one they believe to be the best and is also economical to license. There's really no reason why they can't make several changes that would eliminate every reason people have made for not buying their rig. Most of them would not require major changes. The only one that would require major changes is the one that would address its dated look. And let's face it, that's the least important criteria (or at least it should be) when deciding on what rig to buy. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it PL that used to have ads going as far back as the 1980s saying something along the lines of "when you're going through a grand with nothing out, having pretty gear is your last concern?" The external RPC design itself has its merits and shouldn't be abandoned. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  4. HPC

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    What was the company's response to the Nova problem? What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  5. HPC

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    On looking at it again it looks more like a Vortex, a little less like a Wings. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  6. HPC

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    Mike Furry (frequently misspelled on the forum as Fury) owned Django Enterprises in Chamblee, GA for several years. They made five main and one reserve sport canopies at the time they lost a patent infringement lawsuit with ParaFlite regarding the direct line attachment method, which shut them down on November 22, 1983, I believe. After the lawsuit the company was renamed Flight Path International and I believe it was mostly his then-wife Lucia's company, with Mike on board as either advisor, or maybe design engineer. They also renamed all of the canopies after coming out with the flare line attachment method. Flight Path was sold (I don't know which year), and later Mike left canopy manufacturing for harness/container production. Just my guess but possibly the fiasco with the Nova main canopy might have been the impetus to change from canopies to rigs. He co-designed the Javelin H/C. At some point he sold that and started Altico which produced the Dolphin rig. It was built to provide a no (or low) bells-and-whistles, economic rig for jumpers looking for a new, custom rig but at a much more affordable price. He sold that company at some point to the company which I believe today produces the Glide H/C, but the company name became Peregrine Manufacturing, Inc. After he sold Altico I believe he retired or perhaps got into another line of work. I haven't heard what happened to him after he sold Altico. I met him at the 1983 Freakbrother Convention in Freeport, IL. Great guy, very personable. I sometimes wonder how Django would have done had it not been shut down by the courts. I don't think the success of Glide Path ever matched that of Django. It would have been interesting to see how Django and PD would have done in head-to-head competition. Before PD I think that Django was the Boeing of canopy manufacturers. For those few years they dominated the sport canopy market with excellent canopies: 7-cell Pegasus (220'), 7-cell Firefly (172'), 9-cell LR-288 (288' - basically a 9-celled Pegasus), 9-cell Dragonfly (220' - a 9-celled Firefly), and their final main which was also my first square, the 168 sq. ft. 9-celled Bandit (that's the Bandit in my profile pic). This canopy started the trend of the small 9-cell which continues to this day. Even John LeBlanc at PD credits the Bandit as the first small 9-cell that started the trend. They also produced a reserve version of the Firefly. My guess is that had they stayed in business they would have eventually produced a Pegasus reserve - but that's just my guess. Not only did their canopies outperform the competition but they were very competitively priced. If I remember correctly, before Mike got into parachute equipment manufacturing he was a studio musician - I don't remember what he played. I had heard a rumor that Django derived its name from the first letter of each of his kids' names, but Mike told me, if memory serves me correctly, that it was named after a jazz musician, perhaps Django Reinhardt. I welcome any corrections/additions as this is all from memory which isn't quite what it used to be. So to answer your question, in my opinion, yes, Mike did contribute a lot to the sport. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  7. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    I'm looking at a pic of a custom Reflex that a (now-deceased) friend used to jump and it has the reversed risers - was this standard or an option on the Reflex? What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  8. HPC

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    Geez, Jerry, I'll bet you know the names of their spouses and kids too! You got that all written down or is that all from memory? But have you noticed that the Fire looks just like a Mirage, right down to the "alien insect" logo? What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  9. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Has anyone complained about the Reflex's adjustable loop the way they have the Racer's? What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  10. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Actually, a lot of jumpers never get past the Racer's looks to give it serious consideration. Check out LeeroyJenkins' post of 1-6 post #92. I've also seen comments on other threads regarding the dated look of the Racer. But your other comments I've already alluded to in my post of 1-5 post #84 when I mention that a lot of jumpers just buy what everyone else buys - the herd mentality. I think part of the reason is because it saves them a lot of research time. They figure that the majority can't be wrong. Or perhaps they're just afraid to be the first one on their DZ with a rig that no one else there is jumping. Question: Is the Reflex's adjustable reserve loop adjustable without breaking the seal like the Racer's? What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  11. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    You bring up a valid point. What will happen to the Racer once John and Nancy have left? Look at the Reflex - nobody has shown any interest in picking it up. Not only does it have a poptop, but it adheres more to industry standards with a single pin reserve, Lolon cutaway cables, reserve closing loop that's not adjustable post-pack (to the best of my knowledge) and standard reserve freebag - all of the things that jumpers and riggers complain about on the Racer. And except for the poptop the container looks more like most rigs as well, particularly the midflap and main container configuration (which resembles a Javelin or Infinity), eliminating the "old look" that younger jumpers complain about on the Racer. I have to wonder about the Racer's chances of survival in the rig market after the John/Nancy era ends. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  12. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Until they make changes to the rig to make it more appealing to jumpers (and riggers) there really isn't much point in updating the website. Both are in need of an overhaul. First update the rig, then update the website to advertise the changes. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  13. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Agree 100% from a technical standpoint. From a marketing standpoint, more jumpers want MARDs on their rigs than those that don't. It's just poor marketing not to offer one. Another Racer deviation from the industry standard. I believe PL uses the red teflon cables because they don't require monthly cleaning like the Lolon cables need. In their effort to create a maintenance-free cable, they introduced a new possible failure mode that is probably more detrimental than not cleaning one's cables. While dirty Lolon cables might cause a harder pull than normal, a cracked teflon cable might hang up completely and cause a more severe issue for the jumper to deal with. As I've already mentioned with the speedbag the Lolon cables have proven themselves by every other rig manufacturer. I'd bet that most jumpers don't clean their cables every month as they should, yet how many cutaway issues have been attributed to dirty cables? It doesn't do any good when in trying to address one issue the "fix" creates a (potentially) even worse one. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  14. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Thanks for the correction - I wasn't 100% sure about all stows being locking, but I did remember that all stows were on the full diaper itself. True, but how many Racers are out there with the speedbag, and how many reserve deployments have there been when compared to the number of standard freebag deployments? The real test of a system's reliability is performance in the field, and the standard freebag has performed excellently for many years and for many manufacturers. When comparing total number of standard freebag deployments to total number of speedbag deployments, the first outnumbers the latter by a huge margin. Skydivers like to go with well-proven designs, and many will buy "what everyone else is buying" without researching rigs for themselves. I believe it's called the "herd mentality". I think the burden of proof would be on the rigger that the reserve was tampered with after he repacked and sealed it. Even if what you're saying is true and I have no reason to question it, the reality is still that many riggers refuse to pack the Racer because of the adjustable loop design. That's the bottom line, and if a Racer owner arrives at a convention and two days in realizes he needs a reserve repack, he may find it difficult to find a rigger who is willing to repack his reserve and more importantly has experience doing so. Again, probably true, but at the risk of sounding redundant, most jumpers won't have this information when they're shopping for a rig and are considering a Racer. What they will know is that MARDs exist, they work, and in most cases it's beneficial to have one. As such, they may quickly disqualify a rig from possible purchase simply because it doesn't offer a MARD, regardless of whether a MARD would benefit that particular rig or not. Rigging Innovations just recently started offering a MARD for their CURV and presumably other rigs. It'll be interesting to see if their sales increase as a result. I'm betting they will. There are several things I like about the Racer. However, while they did get a lot of things right the first time, such as harness design and flaps without plastic stiffeners, no deep container corners, and even the external RPC design, I think that they're making a mistake in thinking that because they got a lot of things right from the get-go that they got everything right. Very few complex products and systems are designed perfectly from the start. They all go through an evolving process of continuous improvement and eventually evolve into very reliable systems. They take advantage of improvements in technology and parts. It just seems to me that PL is so stuck in that "we got everything right the first time" mode that they're not willing to think outside the box and consider other possibilities. Or at the opposite extreme, when they do come up with a different way of doing things that is significantly different than what everyone else is doing they try to force that onto the buying public. When the buying public rejects it PL still sticks to it even when it means dwindling sales. It's great to be an innovator but if certain innovations are rejected by the other manufacturers and the consumers (verified by decreasing sales, negative rigger feedback, etc.) then it's better for the company's long-term survival to stop trying to forcefeed it and just let it go. Mike What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
  15. HPC

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Sorry, that should read "... cutter not properly installed through loop..." What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.