Just a quick and dirty on the new Pulse canopy by PD
I got to demo the Pulse canopy at Skydive Dallas and really enjoyed jumping the canopy. Some basic info; Total jumps on canopy, 8. Type aircraft, Twin Otter. Weather was nice, temp was in the low 70's. Wind average speed 10-15kts. Sunday morning was windy with the wind pushing about 30 to 40 kts from opening altitude of 3k to about 500 ft. It was about 20kts or so on the ground, but I did not have any problem with landings. Just another windy day in the cowboy state. Wing loading was about 1 to 1.2.
PACKING: This was a new 210 Pulse canopy packed in a Wings container. Normally I jump a Firebolt 200 (a hybrid, elliptical) and the Firebolt packs perfect in the Wings. The 210 packed about the size of a 190 and fit in the container a little loose. No problem whatever. The material was very easy to pack and the zp did not have a great tendency to spread out and basically stayed in place once folded. It went into the bag without any real effort. I did not roll the nose, just let it hang. I was surprised the material did not ballon out as most zp will try to retain it's memory.
Very easy to pack.
OPENINGS: Nice and steady. Opened in about 500-600 feet or so. No searching, just a steady, straight ahead opening. All were on heading and were smooth on the expansion, the snatch force was a little hard and the slider came down easily, no end cell closures. I had one jump that had a line twist, but I kicked out of that easlily. This was probably due to a bad body position as I was tracking away from a 7 way and I remember looking back as I threw the pilot chute. Minor, but worth mentioning.
FLIGHT: Super flat glide. This canopy will get you back from long spots if needed.
One jump my group had a late exit and was quite a distance from the DZ. I turned the canopy on the wind line and flew with half brakes and covered a lot of territory, making the DZ and still able to fly a decent downwind-base-final leg.
Turns were decent and enough speed and bank to make it fun. Brake turns were OK, control ability was excellent. It took an effort to stall the canopy ( had to take two wraps on the brake lines) and it recovered nicely with miminum loss of altitude. Slow flight is super. Front riser pressure was extreme, guess I need to do some curls and build up some arm strength.
Good penetration into the wind, except for the one jump with the upper winds howling and ground speed approximately 25kts or so. Basically, the canopy came straight down in the strong wind, as would be expected.
LANDINGS: Super. All of the landings were just perfect. Start a slow steady flare and the canopy will swing you forward and come to complete stop. It feels like you are stepping off the last stair and then start walking. No problems whatsoever. I only got to do one calm wind landing and it was just as easy, the canopy shuts down nicely in a no wind condition.
Speed on final is slower and easier to judge the flare point. Very forgiving. By no means would this be a swooper canopy.
OVERALL: This canopy has some nice features with it's strong point being ease of packing and size. Lightweight and durable. This is really suited for the fun jumper in mind and does just what was advertised. Decent openings, flies and lands very well. I was impressed with the landings, since I am 58 years old, there are no plans for me to enter any swooping contests.
Overall score "A".