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  1. dmkellett

    Carving Camp

    I was stupid enough to book my vacation for the week before the carving camp. I left the day it started... seeing all the jumpers enjoying the warm up jumps and the atmosphere building , I can be certain I will attend the camp next year ! Thanks DSE and the coaches at Elsinore for teaching my little bro to fly. He is still going on about how much fun he had. see you all next yr
  2. dmkellett

    Wingsuit design progression.

    MB38, I have thought about the same issues somewhat. I believe that the reason the high end suits have not been surpassed are because of a few simple things : 1. Cost. In order to increase performance significantly over the V series of suits, a far more radical approach to the aerodynamics of the suit would be required. In particular, the design of the leading and trailing edges of the wings (arm wing mostly) would be needed. The arm is particularly poor at forming a leading edge, due to its thickness..... This leads to "separation" of the airflow from the top surface of the wing and lift is lost. I believe more realistically that no lift is produced from the arm wings of most wingsuits during flight, as most pilots think that the high force or "hanging feeling" they experience during a stall is the ideal position to fly in, as this makes the suit act like a very small parachute or "air- brake" and so they get their sacred "3 MINUTES FLIGHT DUDE!!!" They are deriving the forward speed of the flight not through lift but through air deflection, but they get high times and so think they have the ideal position. The lower times but more distance flights are the only ones that should be called "flights" as these are the only flights that are derived from the production of some form of lift. So increasing the performance of the suit must come from refinement of the wing design in order to increase lift and give more drive. More drive = greater glide ratio = better performance. Getting back to cost, in order to refine the arm wing significantly, a true aerofoil leading edge must be introduced. This means that a custom made wing individual to each pilot must be measured and produced. This is because the only effective way to produce a leading edge is to have a foam formed aerofoil section supported by several mylar sections (ribs, as current V series, but mylar in every rib) with the arm inside the mylar sections or ribs. This would most likely mean that the arms could not be unzippped as in most current designs. Safety issues would be raised now.... It would be necessary to cut away the wings on every flight, as the only method of releasing the arms after deployment. Custom measuring, custom rib designs, production time and materials costs would all increase significantly. With respect to the trailing edge, ( the second most important part of the wing) stiffeners would be needed as trailing edge "flap" occurs on most suits now and is another cause of airflow "separation" Again, when stiffeners are incorporated into the trailing edge, deployment issues will increase as performance increases. I foresee eventually having to alter deployment methods and possibly return to spring loaded PC's activated by ripcord! This seems to be the safest way to have large, awkward relatively stiff arm wings for maximum performance and still be able to deploy a canopy.... The hand deploy throw-out is not particularly suitable for any more surface area or further stiffening of the arm wing than the V series of suits IMHO. So again expensive, time consuming alterations to rigs etc will be required to facilitate anything more than slight improvements over current high end suits. All these issues are relevant to the leg wing as well. Stability issues will occur when the leg wing becomes much larger than current designs, and product durability problems will occur. If the leg wing protrudes much further than V series of suits, moving around on a rocky exit point / walking to aircraft repeatedly will soon cause material destruction of the suit. Nobody wants to fork out several thousand dollars on a custom suit to have it fall to pieces after a few months..... Also the more stiffening that is incorporated into the leg wing the more skilled the pilot will have to be to control a large powerful wing and not be "flown by the suit". Wingsuits should be thought of as "lifting body suits" as most of the lift produced when flying 10/10ths as you say is derived from the pilots body IN CONJUNCTION with the three wings. A major part of the surface area of the body is covered by the rig, and the addition of ever larger "bum" deflectors on recent suits is an attempt again to prevent "separation" of the airflow and corresponding loss of lift. A logical solution is to combine the two items of rig and deflector into one, as this will give greatest lift and therefore maximum performance increase. All these new features will lead to what engineers refer to as "attachment" of the airflow to the entire surface of the top of the wing from leading to trailing edge, thereby finally allowing LIFT to be produced as in an aircraft. But again, COST will be astronomical for all these new features. I am sure that the skydiving market is nowhere near ready for this yet (if it ever will be?) and maybe only a few BASE jumpers would be willing to shell out for a new toy costing thousands of dollars, in the hope of MAYBE doubling average glide ratio from 2.5 to nearly 5.0 2 : The idiot in the funky suit There is no way we are going to "soar in thermals" as you put it, no matter how many dollars we throw at it, simply because we are bipedal land monkeys and not birds!!!! Evolution has left us in no fit state to fly even with a funky wingsuit. As the performance of the most recent suits to hit the market has increased, so has the physical demands on the pilot. I have found that after training with weights non specific to wingsuit flight since age 16 and now even with a WS specific workout designed with the help of friends who are PT instructors and physiotherapists, after following it for almost two years solid it is still almost impossible to fly at maximum efficiency for longer than 70 -90 seconds, depending on the day, and how close the ground is.....
  3. dmkellett

    Prodigy performances / techniques

    I put 8 jumps on my demo prodigy this weekend and tend to agree with Craig on the "Feel" of the suit. It is remarkably easy to fly straight out the door from side exit, tailgate or still exit. I jumped a heli and was suprised how quickly it inflated, it felt like the back deflector pressurised within a second or two at the latest.... then i covered ground at what appeared to be a decent rate although i dumped high., (Funcky elliptical )... 5800 exit - 4300 deployment 14 second delay.) no gps data. I was not too interested in the freefall only the exit as i plan on more still air exits in the next few weeks that will require sound heading control Overall the suit does float very well as already mentioned, i found it easy to fly relative with a friend jumping a PF tracking suit who was at full drive. Again, as Craig mentioned when adopting a more glide ratio based body position i feel the tendancy to pitch head low more. I think this is most probably a misconception and that when held in this position good forward speed would be obtained. My impression is that the design of the arm wing means that when the head is high and the body slightly arched the arm wings are acting as a bit of a brake and giving the "feeling" of balancing the pressure of the leg wing, when we should be accepting the lower pitch angle even though the "feeling " is that it is out of balance. This is only my initial impression though and someone who has jumped the suit more should comment. I will experiment with these different body positions when closer to the ground soon and should get a better impression of body position/glide ratio relationships. On a different note, i forgot to correctly rig an arm wing to the hip attachment point and managed a 90 second delay flying video for my (not so experienced) friend jumpin a tracking suit) with only one arm wing. It was strange but by contorting my body i found it just possible to fly!!!! The prodigy will I believe re-write the rule book for minimum jump numbers and WS's. I think as long as people understand the importance of the WS flight pattern they are going to be able to experience horizontal flight with less than the 500 jumps needed currently in the UK......... we will see... Overall, as a training suit, or for a fun run to catch a load and have a laugh suit, or for lower wall jumping I give the prodigy a 10/10! A not very experienced packer packed me a monster line twister on my 104 and i managed to get to the riser's, stop the rotation before it got unrecoverable, and kick out the 10 twists all without thinking about the fact i was wearing a wingsuit. Had i been on a more high performance suit I would have had my second cutaway this weekend for sure ! Darren P.S. anyone in the UK wanting to demo a prodigy PM me..... I now have a demo fleet of one medium and one xl. they seem to fit most people well.
  4. dmkellett

    Nylon Crack

    nice. i too suffer the severe form of addiction you describe. i think i need help. do you know where WS addicts can get counselling? I was recently told by a very close friend that i was not her mothers favourite person due to my pushing crack onto her son. What worries me is he seems to be accelerating into a twisted spiral of descent. He just blew his savings for a round the world trip with his new GF on a new rig and WS. I may have underestimated the dose i administered when i let him try my Phoenix fly tracking suit and we flew a simulated BM pattern. His travel plans were re-evaluated upon his safe landing within minutes. In front of his (non-jumping) but supportive new GF. Having recently retired from poisoning myself with tobacco, i thought i understood how to beat addiction but again i feel i may have underestimated severly. help
  5. dmkellett

    S-Fly Access and Prodigy

    I have nothing agaisnt Loic, but a very good pilot i know with many years experience has jumped the access of large terminal walls often, and i can tell you the performance sucked. he claimed to be able to equal the performance in his 20 dollar smokies, and i said BS, then i watched him do it. the prodigy is a different story. it has all the same ease of use, but comes with performance too!! Darren
  6. dmkellett

    Floating handle mod

    coolio. thinking of doing the same thing soon. let us know how it is to reach and if it's ok in freefall.... d