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Everything posted by RiggerLee

  1. RiggerLee

    Tom Scott: Wingsuit Wind Tunnel

    Interesting. I wonder what the speed range is in that thing. It would be interesting to have a wind tunnel in which you could text dynamic control. So instead of just. Changing the angle of a model and measuring forces of pressures to directly test flight control systems... Lee
  2. RiggerLee

    Slider Swapping

    I have no idea how this got so complicated. I'd just do it. There are some basic rules like don't use a slider with grommets significantly wider then your cell. Depending on the length of your stabilizers your slider should not be setting on your bottom skin when packing. If it's so much wider that it's just crumpled on the bottom skin the fabric will not be holding the grommets up the lines till they slide low enough to lift the fabric off the bottom skin. Only then will the wind be holding it up. That's a fairly extreme limit but I have seen people make that mistake. Don't people futz with there gear any more? Lee
  3. RiggerLee

    Latest Flight

    Actually the coolest stuff was done back when we were known as Armadillo Arospace. if you search around on you tube for some of the old stuff that they used to do there are some great videos. th ey did a lot of lunar lander type designs. They played with a number of fuel combinations. They played with a lot of peroxide. They were making it in bulk distilling 90% in Russels garage by the barre l. 200 gal is a lot of go juice. Then they did a lot of bipropelle my work injecting different fuels into the chamber with the superheated decomposed peroxide. Think black arrow. Later won one of the lunar lander challenge and went on to do some other NASA contracts. Lee
  4. RiggerLee

    Latest Flight

    Leaving tomorrow for the desert. Next flight will be on Saturday 10/26. If you look on the Exos Aerospace Face book page there should be some type of live stream Sat morning. It will probable get off some time between 11:00 and 12:00 MT. Last one was... entertaining. Read that scary as shit. I'm hoping that this one will be much less exciting. We had a short but very good hover test. Simulator is looking much better. I'm feeling pretty good about this launch. I'm hoping this one will make altitude with no problems. Lee
  5. RiggerLee

    Best Canopy for Smaller Older Jumper

    Ground hungry... I wouldn't list the Spectra as being a particularly ground hungry canopy. There are certainly other canopies out there that are steeper trimmed. Keep in mind that any canopy that is designed to land easily and be forgiving on the flare will have to have an excess of flare authority. It has to be trimmed a little steeper to have the ability to increase it's CL to give you that powerful flare. If you were to fly a flatter canopy, one with a flatter glide, less ground hungry, you would find that the flare is some what less forgiving. I actually prefer flatter canopies and the way you generally land them is with a little extra speed. Even just a bit of front riser, so in a since you trim it more nose down, ground hungry, to get an easy landing out of it. One thing that was noticeable about the specter, is the way it pitches front to back. It was noticeable on landing as you descended in to the stiller air near the ground. When you passed through a wind shear between two layers. Think end of the day as the ground cools off and the ground winds die but the wind is still blowing a couple hundred feet up. Well there is a wind sheer as you drop from one layer to the next. Some of your airspeed goes away. Interestingly the larger the canopy is for you the more noticeable this is. 5 knts is a larger percentage of your air speed and when that head wind dies you are 5 knts slower. The canopy wants to correct that. It wants to speed up. It feels like it takes off surging forward and down toward the ground. Flaring dosen't seem to help because the canopy is pitching forwards and can not make lift to support you till it pitches back above your head. The larger the canopy and the longer the lines the more dramatic this can be. You see it with student canopies. They induce it all the time. If you make a small turn with a break, the canopy pitches back and then when you let up on the toggle the canopy surges forward. Not a lot but enough to ruin your flare. Worse is the student that flares high and then decides to let up because miss judged it. When he tries to flare again the canopy is well in front of his body. These are more dramatic examples but the same thing happens when you come in to land. If the wind drops off you get a surge in the canopy. Some canopies do this more then others. Line length is one factor but I think the airfoil also plays a part in it. It really depends on the pitch stiffness of the canopy. I don't understand all of it. But it's noticeable in the specter. You might try a Triathlon. They are not as prone to this. Back when these canopies came out they were neck and neck and we had jumpers that went back and forth between the canopies. It was the same market. They loved the specter but had noticeable more trouble landing them under some conditions that they had no problem landing their Tri in. I would not categorize a specter as a bad canopy you just need to learn to land it. Under those conditions I like to carry a little extra speed, front risers, or a small turn but hook a bit high. The idea being to to have a bit more speed when you enter that still air. You could also barrow a saber 2 from some one and give it a try. They also have a forgiving flare. Or go up a size. But with the specter I think it may just be a mater of learning to reconise the wind conditions. Or just use it as an excuse to hook that bitch down wind on the last load of the day. That way the wind sheer acts in your favor. Or at least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Lee
  6. RiggerLee

    Downsizing Question

    The difference in wing loading is not that great. Large canopies like that fly very well and will accommodate the weight easily. You'll probable find it to be just slightly more responsive. The differences when you down size are not directly related to wing loading. I know it's the number that we use but there are other factors like line length that also factor into how the canopy behaves. That's why 1.1 on a 150 is not the same as 1.1 on a 107. It's been an issue for small girls that get pushed into buying a smaller canopy because it's the "right" wing loading for her. If you could some how graph it, control response?, call it what you will it would look like a down wards turned hockey stick. That's a little misleading because I would not say that small canopies fly badly or control badly. I've had a lot of fun over the years flying small canopies but they can be a hand full for a young jumper. It's the difference in flying a highly loaded, heavy, air craft and a short coupled one. That refers to the size of the tail in respect to how far back it is. It makes it sporty, think Pits. So although you might fill the tanks and all the seats on a cessna and be over grouse, it's still a cessna. A Pits on the other hand, might be at the same wing loading but it is a very different airplane regardless of how heavy the cessna is. So that's part of why I don't think you'll have a problem down sizing. Not only is it a small change but you are well away from the bend in the hockey stick. Lee
  7. RiggerLee

    Fliteline Reflex Res. Closing loop

    Well, since it's adjustable... Sorry, couldn't resist. As I recall the finger trap starts just past the grommet. and is short only about .75 inch. Then it runs out the other way 180 off from the loaded part of the loop. So it's tied at the washer. Washer on the inside of the pilot chute. comes up through the side grommet. Across the top of the hard cap. Turns and goes down through the center grommet. Just past the grommet is where the finger trap will be. It goes down and forms the loop. Comes back up and enters the finger trap, 0.75 inches? exits the finger trap. comes up through the grommet. Turns 90 deg. away from the side grommet. Exits from the soft cap through the little hole. Pull on that lose end to tighten. Tuck under the soft cap. Don't you have the manule? All of this must be in there. This is just memory from way to long ago. Lee
  8. RiggerLee

    My little project

    I hope you got that fabric for free. It totally saturated my screen and caused strange artifacts around the edges. Hideous. Lee
  9. RiggerLee

    My little project

    You know there are a lot of facets to the sport. I've found my self drifting from one to the next over the years. skysurfing, freestyle, CRW, base jumping, rigging, manufacturing, now I'm working on rockets and it looks like we are going to get the money to expand it into an orbital system. I don't think I could have done any one of those things for thirty years. Life is really more about growth. Some time that means turning in a new direction but in the end you may find that all of these things are interconnected. What you do is informed by all that you have done before. Every thing you have learned will carry over into what ever you do next. Maybe you'll build a container next. Maybe a pilot rig. One with low pack volume fabric. A better smaller canopy for them. Don't want to deal with a TSO? Maybe build a base rig. Want to do some thing new? Maybe build a modern version of a Sorcerer for the wing suiters. They jump slider up all the time. Maybe it's time they started carring a reserve? Or if you want to stick with canopies, how about doing some thing commercial. High percesion cargo is a thing. Militaries are investing large amounts of money in it in all sizes. There is a contract for a powered one to extend cross range. How about a high altitude eye in the sky, an air deployed aero stat. High altitude balloon. You can shoot down a drone even a big one at 30,000 ft but it's a lot harder to hit some thing at 80,000 feet. Who know were life will take you. Right now I'm actually taking an on line course. Fundamentals of space vehicle guidance, control, and astrodynamics. It's been a while since I stretched my brain cells this hard. Loving it. Getting into math I'd never dived into before. The only real secret in life is to not allow your self to become stagnant. And I still say the solution to all of your problems is to take out an ad in Parachutest or what ever you have over there selling canopies. You are now "Manufacturer" and blow a big fat raspberry at them. They don't want to run your ad, fine put it in parachutist and sell them here. Let me know and I'll renew just to have a copy of your ad to frame. Lee
  10. RiggerLee

    Slider Grommets are uneven Is this problematic?

    It's a product of design choices made in the shape of the stabilizer and from that the slider stops. I'll give you some examples. Look at a specter from PD 7 cell. short stabs. The stab starts at the A comes up slightly to the B attachment point where the slider stop is. The grommets are fairly close to the A's and level. Slow opening canopy with good mechanical advantage to the slider. Compare with the PD reserve. Noticeable longer stabilizers, slider grommets farther down from the A attachment point, lower mechanical advantage, faster opening canopy. Look at the old Flight Concepts reserves. Long flares but no stabilizers The slider initially sets at a very steep angle with the difference being the difference between the A and C Line length. The "ideal" stab shape based on reducing tip vortexcies would be a very different shape then what would be most convenient to support the slider. So like all things it's a compromise of very different objectives. Lee
  11. RiggerLee

    Can You Install a Skyhook Into any Rig? How?

    A Master rigger can perform an approved alteration to a TSO'd container. A manufacturer or the FSDO can approve an alteration. I have an approval for the addition of rings for a third canopy on my harness. If you can develop an alteration for a container or a type of container. Submit a write up on it including drawings, numbers, and test data. Enough for them to approve the alteration. Like meeting the relevant testing requirements for the TSO. you can perform that alteration on your rig, and depending on how it's written maybe all rigs of that type. All you have to do is figure out how to do it, write it up, and convince them that it works. You might actually find the first to be the hardest problem. It looks simple but there is more to that system them meets the eye. Just look at the SB on it. some of those measurements are real specific. Making it work isn't as simple as it seems. Lee
  12. RiggerLee

    using an old reserve as a main

    I don't know what your talking about. The micro raven 150 was a perfectly good canopy for a 95 lb girl. I did every thing with my Maverick. I loved it. I don't know why people diss F111 canopies. I think they have a lot to offer. It's only a problem if you ask them to be some thing they are not. I beleve you can fly any thing, history has proven this, You just have to respect it and fly it appropriately. Lee
  13. RiggerLee


    Any one know what plane it was? https://www.foxnews.com/us/world-war-ii-era-aircraft-crashes-at-bradley-international-airport-in-connecticut-injuries-reported Lee
  14. RiggerLee

    using an old reserve as a main

    I think he wants to really jump it not just put a jump on it. Hanging onto that bag while he free flys or wing suits will be a pain with all the risers and lines running to it. Lee
  15. RiggerLee

    using an old reserve as a main

    Of course you can jump it as a main. It's a canopy. That's what it's for. A good F-111 canopy, depending on your wing loading, is good for hundreds of jumps. As it wears it gets more pores and can not land with as high of a wing loading as easily. That was why we jumped them at lower wing loading <1:1. You could get 600-700 jumps on one before it was a rag. Some reserve canopies have slightly different fabric and may not last as long. Some companies allow you to make X number of jumps on your reserve as a main before you pack it as a reserve. Precision built all their canopies as both mains and reserves. You could use them as ether. Once it was a main you could then not use it as a reserve to keep people from putting rags in there reserve tray. If you have to sew a bridle onto it... there are ways. To really do it right if you were going to copy the normal design would be a pain and probable not worth the bother. However there are ways to fake it just fine. You can sew a patch on the top skin and bring lines down to the line attachment points. You can do it with out opening any seems. Or you could just use a RDS attached to the slider. Problem solved. You got a nice little canopy, why would you just throw it away? Lee
  16. RiggerLee

    Lubricating the 3-ring loop

    It's an interesting idea. I see two questions, the first being how much would it help, the second being what down sides there might be. The friction from the loop of course plays some part in the pull force but I think a lot of it is from the bend in the cable as the loop tries to pull the cable through the grommet. It doesn't have to pull it all the way through. All it has to do is cause a small bend there at that point. As you try to pull the cable through that point your trying to pull it through a rather sharp bend. Pinch a cable between your fingers, pull. Not a problem. Take two fingers and your thumb and put a small sharp bend in the cable. Try to pull it through that with out relaxing your fingers, much harder. The sharper and greater that bend the harder it will be. In reality it's probable a high peak force followed by a more moderate but still high load from say a spinner. Cable gets a kink and although the loop can move it's now pulling on a point on the cable with a kink and it's harder to pull that bend past the grommet. I think a better solution might be to reexamine the end on the housing. I was really interested when Mirage came out with their housing ends. Why should we be stuck with #0 grommets. That hole could be smaller. At first they had sharp edges and there were some marks being left on cables, They radiused them and fixed that problem but that makes the hole "wider". I just think that hole could be smaller. Large enough for a twist in the line to pass through but smaller then we have now. If you put a lube or grease on the loop I'm worried that it will be more prone to pick up dirt and grit off the floor. They are a wear point. It would be an issue. I wonder if a "dry lube" Like some of the things we use for magazines in fire arms would be better. Generally you spay it on and it evaporates leaving behind a Teflon or some thing like that. Point is that it's a dry surface that does not attract dirt. I have not tried this. I am not advocating this. It's just an example that popped into my head as I was setting here typing. For all I know these things might eat nylon. Just tossing it out as a thought. This is an interesting idea but you should test it before we all go out and do this to our risers. Take a couple of really active teams, 1000 jump a year guys. Convince them to let you do this to ONE of their risers. All the left hand risers, not the right. Let them put a thousand jumps on those risers and at the end of the year, when they should be throughing them out any ways, evaluate them. Including pulling that loop to breaking on a test stand. Compare the two sides. Do this in a few places like Eloy where it's dusty and some place not. I'd like to see how the wear changes. Hell I could probable convince Phil to pull them for you. And to be fair you would need to convince the manufacturer to sew up some riser ends, at least the loops as a brand new base line. I haven't done this but I might bet that the new ones would break at the sewing and the old ones at the end or at a wear point over the ring. Lee
  17. RiggerLee

    Riser ring

    Looks like a Very poor forging that was never finished. Webbing is sensitive to the radius that it is bent over when you pull on it. Example, the problems we had with the old stile RW7 rings. That forging is causing a very small radius. All of the load on the riser pulls up there.If it's been jumped, I would be surprised if you didn't see damage there. You got to ditch those, like now. Further more you need to make a call to who ever made them. They need to be traced back to what ever batch of rings they came from. All manufacturers keep records of their Perches Order Numbers for all materials. They can be traced back to the original batch. and every one who has baught from that batch can be notified so they can do closer QC on every thing built from it or contact any one who has products from it. Where did that come from? Lee
  18. RiggerLee

    B12 Harness for Jumbo PC

    It wasn't finding a chest mount. It was finding a big chest mount. He was a big boy. In the end we found a 28' chest mount container with a C9 with a four line release kit. We thought about going with a 28 ft Phantom but he was a heavy boy and we went with the C9. Lee
  19. RiggerLee

    Glide Path Nova

    I do remember these but it was at the very beginning of my jumping so I can't say that I had full understanding of the issues at the time. Here is what I can put together from my current understanding crossed with my spotty memories of that time. Keep in mind that this was around the time of transition from F-111 to ZP canopies. It was not uncommon for people to still buy F-111 canopies at least as their first canopy. The saber had been out for a while. Precision was building the Monarch. I'm trying to remember if the Stiletto was out yet but I don't think so at least not where I was at. Glide path needed a new canopy. They had been playing with a design called Ariel in various forms. I knew a big cameraman guy from canada that had been doing some test jumping for them and still had one of the prototypes. The Nova was another design that they were playing with. Paragliders were getting better and I once heard that the air foil was based on one? Rumor. CFD was getting better and I heard that they had hired a consultant to help them with the new design. Rumor. What I actually know. One of our instructors went off to Quincy and jumped a bunch of their demos that year. He came back to Texas and we got a couple in that he and others were jumping. For Glide path they were supposed to be the hot new canopy better then the Saber. I don't think I jumped any of them. They were out side my skill set at the time. But I remember that Scot liked them. I packed them for him and he had good openings then one bad one. It of course happened when he was shooting video Which was a lot more chalenging back then when the cameras weighed over 7 lb. I'm trying to remember if he bought one but he got sick with ball cancer and quit jumping. No one considered them to be bad canopies. There were no problems with them around here. Then there were a couple of incidents. High profile very public incidents, I think in FL but I don't recall which drop zone. Collapse on approach to landing, possible turbulence. Suddenly people started to get gun shy of them. Glide Path went into panic mode and recalled them. I'm not sure if they ever really came to a conclusion as to the root cause of the issues on those canopies. And I don't think it was wide spread. There were not a lot of them out there but they were out there and people liked them and were not dieing. They didn't have flares like most of there canopies. I heard that the tape they put in the bottom seam to spread the load was shrinking and distorting the airfoil. Rumor. Line shrinkage was not a widely known concept at the time and I have heard since then that the collapses were caused by them going out of trim. Rumor. I don't recall it having a nose on it like you see on many canopies today. PD had some kind of patent on how they sewed their nose lip, I recall that later Flight Concepts was trying to work around that in their construction on newer canopies. I've heard theories that the issues were with how the canopy pitched front to back, when a canopy surges forwards it loses lift on the front of the canopy and the front can roll under. I herd that this was a product of the airfoil, the max thickness being farther back then on other canopies. Rumor. None of it really mattered. They pulled the cutaway handle. I don't know if there was a lawsuit or just the fear of one but Mike Furry got out. He was done. Some of the other people there went on to buy him out and start over with a, legally, unrelated company, Flight Concepts. They went on to build many good canopies including CRW canopies. They have kind of fallen off the stage as far as sky diving is concerned which is a shame. I don't think there was any thing special about the Nova. It was just another of the post Saber ZP nine cells. It was an early attempt at a "high performance canopy" and it seemed to be a good canopy but I don't think it would be any thing to write home about to day except for the mystique that has grown up around it. I wound up with one years later. A 170 or maybe a 190 I think. Too big for me never jumped it. I was surprised how many people were interested in it. Gave it to a CRW guy that was smart enough not to jump it in turbulence and he never had a problem with it. I think he sold it to his DZO, lost track of it sense then. I think people blow them out of proportion both their porformance and there problems. If you want to jump it, I'd say do it. I'd advise you to play with it up high testing it's stability. I'd advise against jumping it on a turbulent day. But if it behaved up high I would probable land it. See what the fuss is about but I think I think that you will find that there is no fuss and if you a sencable about where and when you jump it I don't think you will be in any real danger. Lee
  20. RiggerLee

    Abnormal Closing Loop Wear?

    Look around the loft. There will be a bin of scrap line from the last few relines that your rigger has done. Ask him if you can have some scrap line. There will be enough 750 and 1000 lb line there for 10 life times of loops. If you don't know how to finger trap, learn, or just look for loop ends that are still good where they took them off the links. Their are up to 24 pre made closing loops in every line set. Or borrow a fid and make hundreds of your own. Each will last 100 times longer then the ones made from gutted type 3 that you are using now. Lee
  21. RiggerLee

    Abnormal Closing Loop Wear?

    What are you making the loops out of? It's not a fix for other existing problems but if you go to a heavier loop, like a spectra it may last a lot longer. Lee
  22. RiggerLee

    Financing for dropzones

    It took a great deal of effort to avoid busting out laughing in the middle of the shop reading this. But then I stopped and thought about it and there are some very successful DZ owners. I am not one of them. This is just my perspective from observing this for close to thirty years. There seems to be a formula for being successful in this industry. Oddly it seems to be to not try to make money running a DZ. As far as I can tell most of the real money is made in other side operations. Running, leasing, buying, and selling aircraft for example. And even then unless you are very smart about it you can lose your ass. It's hard for me to imagination a busyness plan that you could walk into a bank with that would not make them cringe. Such people are extremely risk adverse, and I'm just talking about finance. I can't imagine how they would react to the liability. I'd try to couch it in the form of a aircraft deal supplying services to another company with whom you have a signed contract... etc. And it's hard for me to imagine being successful with the payments for a busyness loan hanging over your head. People finance aircraft and the payments kill them. Banks want a lot of insurance on some thing like an aircraft. Insurance companies ether will not let you use them for skydiving, or want a good/expensive pilot, or want a lot of money. Some people self insure which basically means you don't need a loan to begin with. If you want to look at an example, look into how Roger Nellson started his Chicago drop zone after he got out of jail. If he was still around he would straight up tell you how to do it. Maybe his family will tell you the story. If I was going to try to make money in that field... I wouldn't do it, not directly. I'd buy a plane. I'd start an independent aviation service supplying service to drop zones. Be careful with you contracts. If they can't make the payments or supply the busyness move some where else. Be a snow bird. I would fly the plane my self, or hire a very good pilot. I'd self insure. And I would not take out a lone. If you can't do that, buy a smaller plane or don't do it at all. You need to be a pilot, A+P, I. Why on earth would you want to buy a dropzone? Is it making so much money, are the books so good that it is actually attractive as an investment? There have got to be way better investment opportunities out there with better and more certain ROI then a dropzone. This smells passion motivated. If that's the case, then if you don't have the money to do it then you don't have the money that you will lose supporting it. No loan for you. Lee
  23. RiggerLee

    B12 Harness for Jumbo PC

    So if you find a harness, what are you going to use as a reserve? We set up a rig for a guy one time on an all round jump. It was a jumbo crossbow but the biggest challenge was the reserve system. We finely found him a 28 ft chest pack. Also, the only malfunction that I've seen on a PC was with a bag. It does pack up much smaller but I think there is some thing to be said for getting a round canopy to full extension of the canopy before the sleeve slides off. A bag gets it to line stretch but then it's just a dump and a lot of ugliness can happen before the canopy is extended and under tension. With larger systems a lot of work goes into getting the canopy to full extension and the apex under tension before the skirt starts to open, keeping tension on the apex, and controlling the fill and crown location. Over the years these ideas have been trickling down to smaller systems. It would be a shame to burn up a nice PC. Lee
  24. RiggerLee

    UPS left rig in truck for 3 days

    It'll be fine. If you don't want it I'll take it. Ship it to me and it can sit in a truck for three more days. Lee
  25. RiggerLee

    No Pilot Chute Belly Reserves

    There is this guy in... Guatemala? or some place down there. I keep running into him over the years. He has a fetish for old gear and is out to jump every thing ever made. He borrowed my paradatctals to jump them. He's also trying to recreate all the old stunts and did that one a few years ago. Lee