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    Fallschirmsport Bruchsal
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  1. I have put about 200 jumps on a Vector III (V344) and can only say that I have never had a flap come open on this container, and have put it through every type of (planned and unplanned) manuever that I can think of. Bridle protection is outstanding, with less than 1/2 inch straight-line exposure on mine. It is comfortable to wear and rock solid in freefall performance. If there are shortcomings, I have not noticed them.
  2. I currently have just over 200 jumps and have made 125 or so of those on my Monarch 155 (loaded at 1.1). I bought it used with about 100 jumps on it, and have been extrememly happy with it. I bought it for the same reasons everyone else does, it seems. I heard it was comparable to a Sabre and I could get one much cheaper. I have since jumped the Sabre 150 and 135 a few times and have noticed they are not as alike as I thought, but each having it's better points. PROS: - Value: these canopies give excellent performance for the money, and can be very cheap on the used market. - Surfs: I get excellent surfs (better than just about any other square canopy at my DZ) with a conservative wing loading and never more than a 90 degree front riser turn or some speed-building s-turns. - Reaction to turbulence(or lack thereof): I cannot count the number of times I have landed at our often-turbulent DZ without a second thought only to hear other jumpers exclaiming wildly about how bad the turbulence was during their canopy flights. The worst I ever get is a little buffet when other canopies are getting thrown around and wanting to collapse. - Speed: This thing is fast if you are willing to fly. Only one guy beats me down if I am flying it, and that is our head instructor on a Crossfire 89 who has vowed suicide the day I beat him to the ground. CONS: - Openings: It will spank you if you don't figure out how to pack it. Mine does pretty well if I roll the crap out of the nose and pay close attention to the slider. But I still get smacked on about 1 in 20 jumps. - End cells: I have only had end cell closure about 5 times, but they always open very slowly, and after the canopy is moving forward. This creates the diving turns the others describe if one opens faster than the other. - Slider feature: Damn that stupid velcro slider-killer. That thing sucks and the first thing I did was have kill lines put in my slider. If you do anything but standard half-toggle turns and straight in approaches, your slider will be open five seconds after you spend two minutes trying to get that velcro band around it. That's about it, just one more thing. I also use a smaller 24" ZP pilot chute. That may be one reason my openings are not as bad as others describe. But, I really believe that it's all about keeping that nose away from the airstream, because that's where the smack usually comes from. All in all, the Monarch is a great first canopy that flies very well at conservatice wing loadings. It will carry you through your first few jumps without trying to hurt you and will still be there for you as your skills improve and you become a more aggressive pilot. I highly recommend it.
  3. Skreamer, I have never seen this mod on a sport rig myself, but it seems feasible. I am a S/L J/M and we use the teflon cables on our static lines and another type of plastic cable for ripcords, and I have never seen a problem with them not deploying. I would think the only possibility would be the kink, but if you avoid putting the loop over the exact same spot(i.e. right against the bridal) on every jump or storing the rig packed for an extended period of time (months), you should not have a problem. I think this will come down to a personal preference. I freefly with a normal pin and have never had an issue, but that's on a vector III with excellent built-in pin protection. Personally, I will stick with what I have. As for the closing loop, the wear isn't so fast that you will replace your loop every week, and I think it would be cheaper to buy one extra loop each year than to mess with preventing wear.
  4. Hey Tiger, I turned my old student Pro-Tec into a freefly helmet. I had the full helmet, but cut the ears off to make a half helmet. I then painted it with normal 99 cent enamel spray paint. I striped it fading three colors into each other. It worked pretty well, but there is some cracking around the rivets for the new chinstrap and the edges of the helmet. I don't think you can totally avoid that, but one idea would be model paint. Toy stores sell it and Testors (a brand) now makes a simple airbrush system that is pretty cheap. That paint is made to work on smooth plastics and is probably the best bet. Otherwise you can do spray paint, but prep the surface. You need to roughen up the helmet some with sandpaper (small scratches even over the whole thing). That will help the paint stick, and after one coat, you won't see the scrathces. I'd stay away from the brushes for the whole helmet, it takes too long and will be a thicker coat. Use the brushes to write your name or do artwork over the base paint. Hope this helps!! Blue skies, Aaron