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Found 109 results

  1. So I have around 500 jumps and want to buy a 135 canopy (1.05 wing load). I have researched different designs and think I prefer cross braced, besides their bad openings. I don’t really understand the difference between 500IB Vectran and 750 Vectran lines. However, I have found myself looking a lot into either a 135 katana or 135 fluid wings gangster. What would you guys recommend for a good snappy canopy that can keep dives pretty well and do fast spins. Open to other suggestions for canopies. But really don’t like saber 2. Also good to state I do a lot of front riser dives atm but hate the fast recovery that takes the toggles out of my hands, but love the quick response time for doing loops or spins.
  2. Hi everyone. I'm selling my beautiful Helix 75 if any one is interested? Less than 300 jumps. Comes with spare line set. Removable slider Any questions please ask.
  3. Fluidwings announced new canopy couple days ago. WairWolf. It took place between AirWolf and HKT in Fluidwings lineup. It is not minor modification of AirWolf, it is NEW wing, based on AW. New features: - Improved opening performance - New planform shaping - Steeper line trim - 5% reduction in line drag - All FT30 construction for a more rigid wing and less distortion - Increased roll rate and overall more harness response - Steeper longer rollouts with more power - new FT 30 fabric colors specifically for this release - New mini-rib profile
  4. I'm also 70kg and started my 90's at similar height (~420) on a Sabre 2 it dives more than a Saf2 and possibly more than both the Crossfire 2 & 3, the 3 doesn't dive a whole lot more than the 2. The Gangster from Fluid Wings is the one I'd choose (and I did) due to the recovery arc, I prefer it to the JFX (haven't tried the JFX2) but it's still a high perfomance wing and please please check with some smart people whether you're ready for it!
  5. admin

    X-Fire

    The Crossfire 2 has set the standard for high performance elliptical 9 cell canopies… until now. The X-Fire is completely redesigned to excel in all areas important to you- the pilot: openings, harness input, swooping, and packing while remaining your ultimate “everyday canopy.” The X-Fire openings are smooth and consistent as ever. Through the application of our Shape Correlation for Inlet Distribution (SCID) recently debuted in the S-Fire and the TX2, the result are fluid on-heading openings. At terminal speeds the X-Fire takes between 800-900 feet to give you that perfect opening every single time. And the best part? It doesn’t need to be packed with meticulous skill! This wing wants to give you soft on-heading openings effortlessly. The X-Fire has adopted the Schuemann Planform (elliptical on the leading edge and less so on the trailing edge) that allows for great lift and reactivity, which is why this planform has been used in paragliders, speed wings and other high performance wings. When this planform is adopted the stall speed is lowered; therefore you can swoop further than with the Crossfire 2. This is also why the X-Fire has a minimum requirement of 400 total jumps and 200 jumps annually.Currency is mandatory. However, at this level of reactivity and performance 800 jumps is what we believe to be the benchmark to really experience the caliber of performance the X-Fire can offer. The X-Fire is above and beyond the Crossfire 2 when it comes to harness inputs, so flying with leg pad input alone is done with ease. The recovery arc has been lengthened, but remains shorter than cross braced canopies- which is exactly why this is the ultimate gateway canopy. The reactivity of the X-Fire translates to awesome front riser pressure, and dramatically easier rear riser control than the Crossfire 2. It takes little effort to land on your rears and experience a powerful flare. Toggle control is improved as the X-Fire has a much stronger low end flare than the Crossfire 2, which results in the ability to shut it down on no wind days even in a tight landing area. Now let’s talk innovation: SCID gives the openings but the performance of the X-Fire demanded elevated Parabolic Reinforcement Tapes (PRT). A full parabola of reinforcement is visible on load bearing ribs, a great deal more than the S-Fire or TX2. A canopy like the X-Fire needs absolutely no drag from distortion of the top skin, so even though it is more time consuming in the production line, the end product is worth it, and when you swoop the X-fire you will understand.
  6. Meso

    Introducing The Kraken

    “She’s a wing of legends. The Kraken is the ultimate 'party in the front and business at the back', she's super responsive and holds tight when pushed hard. She is the canopy equivalent of Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe and Brian Jones all in one. The Kraken is a must have for any wingsuiter and will have the pilot grinning ear to ear as they fly back to whatever landing area they can make it to. Kidding. Kinda.” We have released the Kraken, finally! Designing the Kraken was a long process because it was new to us: the Kraken is our very first wingsuit specific parachute. Traditionally NZ Aerosports has focused more on flight performance than on opening a canopy in a wingsuit wake. So it took us a few years, but ended up with a very technical end result: a canopy full of cool features and ideas that makes it very different from any existing wingsuit canopy. The result is a low bulk, long lasting canopy with very reliable and stable openings that lands like a dream. Typically, canopies low(er) in aspect ratio and ellipticity (fat 7-cell canopies) have better heading performance, and stability in flight. The problem with this is that wings shaped like this are not exactly renowned for their glide performance and sharp handling. The solution to this problem was a combination of ideas floating around the head of NZ Aerosports’ aeronautical engineer Julien Peelman, and the production and test jump team. We looked to our deep understanding of modern day wings, aerodynamics, and type of ingenuity that produces world class skydiving parachutes – our trademark. Key features of the Kraken 3D Designed: We are now using Catia V5 to design canopies. This is one of the most advanced 3D CAD softwares available. It gives us more freedom to design the canopy down to the finest details and helps generate the most accurate panels possible. The result is a more accurate shaping, a smoother surface, and better aerodynamic efficiency. CFD Tested: The Kraken shape has been tested using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), which gives us, among other things, a better understanding of her behavior in turbulence and during recovery. Photo Chris Stewart Anticipating the zag: First debuted in our Crossfire 3, The Kraken is designed so its panels are designed directly in the shape they will have during flight by taking into account the Zig-Zag distortion. This spreads the load evenly through the fabric and makes the wing more structurally efficient. New Rib Shape: The Kraken has benefited from research on rib shaping that was originally used to design our new range of hyper-performance wings, Petra and Leia. New Crossport Design: Crossports have been strategically placed in the Kraken to have the least influence on the upper surface shape while allowing a good air circulation between the chambers. They are bigger toward the center of the canopy to help with symmetrical openings. They have also been designed with an elliptical shape that optimizes their area while reducing the upper surface distortion. Powerband: We've added the split leading edge Powerband to all our new canopies since we pioneered it with Petra. It allows us to better control the aerodynamic shape in the nose area, which prevents parasitic drag. Curves in the right places: We’ve realised that by sewing our reinforcing tape in parabolas (arcs) on the ribs, we spread the load applied to the top surface more efficiently, meaning less distortion and a more efficient top surface. Don’t say slit: We’ve put a vent on the lower surface to help promote fast center cell inflation. This means better, more on heading openings in the messy wake of a wingsuit. It’s not a gaping hole like a BASE vent, it’s a… horizontal opening... that seals after full inflation. There’s a hole in my slider?!: We became so fond of vents that we put one in the slider! We found that by creating a channel for the air to go straight through, we reduced the crazy oscillation often seen during parachute openings. Those oscillations can contribute to off headings etc, so that’s nice! Big holes: To help out its closest neighbors, the crossports leading from the center cell to the closest outboard cells are enlarged. Promoting symmetrical central inflation means promoting on heading openings! Keeping it short: Shorter lines mean more flight stability, and easier rectification of any pesky line twists – both good things for the whole wingsuit deal! High-tech, low bulk: Because it’s 2019, we haven’t used untreated cloth (F-111) for our wingsuit canopy. Instead, we’ve tracked down a low bulk ZP (treated with silicone) fabric, and used that for the majority of the wing, with the Powerband and top center panel made out of standard ZP for extra longevity. Riser equality: We’ve included a bit of internal structure that means your bridle will load both your risers more evenly during the early stages of deployment. Because of how it looks, we’ve called it the ‘Bow-tie’ – and as we all know, equality is classy! Photo Chris Stewart Little tail thingys: Mini-ribs in the tail of a canopy sharpens its profile, which reduces drag and increases glide performance by “a lot more than we thought”. This translates to more fun in the sky, and a better flare on the ground. 7 cells are not usually known for their amazing flare power, so it all helps! Improve your pull-out game with a snatch: Symmetry is good, and so it is with your pilot chute. We’ve discovered that using snatches help with our wingsuit openings, so we have stocked up on them and highly recommend to purchase one with all Kraken purchases! Inward Rotated end cell: While most ribs are perpendicular to the lower surface, the end rib is rotated inward to reduce the size of the end cell and prevent it from losing its shape. This reduces tip vortices and induced drag. Photo Chris Stewart New line trim: Despite being a relatively docile canopy, the rectangular planform has been compensated with a trim just a notch steeper than you would think. This helps with up wind penetration, fun and is one of the reason for the great flare. New Stabilizer shape: The shape of the stabilizer has been modernized to prevent it from flapping too much in flight. It also helps the slider to sit in the right position. Custom Sizing The Kraken is available in any size between 119 and 189 so that you can get the perfect wing loading for you at this stage in your canopy progression. See the Kraken’s key features interactively on Emersya: https://emersya.com/showcase/5GFIH0C9Q0 Key flight characteristics of the Kraken Openings The modern day wingsuit is capable of incredible glide, but this efficiency brings its own set of complications when designing a parachute to match. The biggest factor is the turbulent wake formed behind the wingsuit – right where the parachute is deployed. Kraken openings are quick but not hard – you’ll feel inflation immediately. The vent helps control the heading. Once the center cell and adjacent cells inflate, the canopy slowly pressurises with a predictable reliability. The Kraken will sail on level seas even with linetwists! Inputs Intuitive and precise, each input delivers a predictable response. From opening to landing the Kraken is a confidence builder. Toggles Big inputs will produce an immediate response - the pilot will feel in control from first point of contact. Stall point The slow flight characteristics were a very important design factor for the Kraken, so there is plenty of warning before she stalls, and will recover to normal flight in an easy and stress free transition when slowly letting the toggles back up. Rear risers There’s lots of feel and response – the Kraken has fantastic glide! Milk those rears and disprove the myth that all wingsuiters land off! Front Risers F is for fun! Yep, the Kraken can dive! Performance The Kraken has loads of zip! Fly her nice and slow for those busy landing patterns when you want lots of vertical separation. Or dive her at the ground and drag some turf. There’s plenty of fun to be had! Recovery Arc The recovery arc is longer than typically experienced with similar 7 cell designs. For someone who wants to have their cake ( a nice sensible wingsuit canopy) and eat it too (swoop the shit out of it), then go go go! Flare The Kraken has a wide range of performance, the flare is one of the most important aspects - she wont disappoint. Those nil wind tiptoe landings will feel very natural. More information available from:
  7. The Echo is now avaliable from Fluid Wings Super strong offering that will really be a fun addition to the sport jumpers quiver. Lots of good technology used in ultra class wings being brought to the canopies we all fly. Enjoy the openings, and love the flight. Flare for days and rears that feel right. LMK If you have any questions. 107, 120, 135, 150, 170
  8. Fluid Wings is a new and innovative company based in DeLand, Florida - which is aiming to close the gap between the parachuting, speed flying and paragliding. The company was born through a love of human flight, and focus on an engineering-based approach. Fluid Wings draws from the expertise of Scott Roberts, a skydiver with over 15 years experience, who has been competing for more than a decade; Kevin Hintze, an active pilot, paraglider, speedflying instructor and test pilot; as well as Shane Shaffer, chief test pilot and production lead. From the first of June this year, Fluid Wings will begin production on their newest main - The Prime. The Prime will be a 9-cell hybrid main, available initially in sizes from 150-190 square foot in a combination of ZP and low porosity nylon. The canopy is aiming to provide pilots with a fun and predictable flight, with focus also being placed on how easy it is to pack. The Prime will look to cater to jumpers of all experience, being easy enough to handle for newer jumpers, while still being responsive enough to be fun for the more advanced skydivers. Stock colors are Royal Blue top skin and stabilizers, with a white bottom skin and ribs. Please note that bottom and rib colors are limited to white due to color section of low bulk fabric. The canopy ships with Vectran lines and soft-link connectors, with a low-bulk option packing up to a size smaller is also available. “The Prime is responsive and playful, while still easy to manage. It has a good glide for those long spots, with a nice strong flare for tip-toe landings,” said Scott Roberts of Fluid Wings. “We like her a lot and think jumpers will too!” The Prime will retail for $2090 with all options. You can contact Fluid Wings at info@fluidwings.com for more information, purchases or demo requests.
  9. PD has done a full review video series on line types https://www.youtube.com/user/PDBlog/search?query=line+types, watch parts 1 to 8. Vectran is part 4 and HMA is part 5. It's an 8 years old video, so more knowledge is available since then. The video also contradicts skow's comment on HMA being more stretchy. The extra word of mouth knowledge I have is that Vectran lines are easier to evaluate for wear, while lasting about the same number of jumps as HMA, making them, theoretically, safer to jump. I also heard that depending on where you jump, a line may be preferred over another, because of how they react different due to local climate. Fluid wings (Airwolf, HK), PD (valkyrie) and NZ (leia) all ship their xbraced canopies with vectran lines by default. I couldn't get an information on the Petra and Peregrine, but the HK is also shipped with vectran.
  10. I am using a fluid wings RDS (slider only) on my Crossfire3 129 (loaded at 1.7) and it works great. No issues, and it still opens beautify. I just like being able to get the slider completely out of my way.
  11. Pretty sure one (the skydiver) of Fluid Wings' original band members is an engineer (not sure which specialty) by training............Did I read it on their website?
  12. Check the multiple designs too. The icarus ones are the slowest ones to attach IMO, then PD. TST and latest Fluid Wings models are the fastest.
  13. I've noticed this new canopy pop up on the Fluid Wings website and saw a couple posts on the Fluid Wings facebook page, but otherwise I have not heard/seen much about this new canopy (not even a promotional/release video from Fluid as they have done for their other canopies). Has anybody had the chance to jump the Nexus or own one? Thoughts on its opening/flight characteristics compared to other canopies in its range?
  14. the Fluid Wings RDS has been very well received from the community. it pairs exceptionally well with the Fluid semi-stowless bag. Ido work there and am biased (can you blame me?) :) but the new slider design is one of the easiest to use in the industry, and we will happily make it to your size and color specs. Cant best the price.
  15. I think the category of wings goes more like this... Category 5 PD: Velocity, Comp Velocity NZ Aerosports: JVX, JFX Fluid Wings: Helix, Airwolf Category 6 PD: Peregrine, Valkyrie NZ Aerosports: Petra, Leia, Sofia Fluid Wings: HK, HK Terminal, HS Fluid wings also have this nice chart http://www.fluidwings.com/wings
  16. So, Icarus world ended up producing a new wing. Fluid Wings had something (Tesla) and then there's no more info...The Echo seems to be th the new proposition... -- Blue Skies NO FEARS, NO LIMITS, NO MONEY... "A Subitánea et Improvísa Morte, Líbera nos, Domine."
  17. Iäd rather put it like this Category 5 PD: Velocity, Comp Velocity NZ Aerosports: JVX, JFX Fluid Wings: ?? Category 6 PD: Valkyrie, Valkyrie Hybrid NZ Aerosports: Leia, Leia Hybrid Fluid Wings: Helix, Airwolf Category 6.5 PD: Peregrine NZ Aerosports: Petra, Sofia Fluid Wings: HK, HK Terminal, HS
  18. [inline fluid.png] Fluid Wings Demo Weekend -- $25 includes: - Access to Fluid Wings demo canopies - Coaching by John Judy and Scott Roberts - Cookout and keg on Saturday night Reserve your spot by going to http://www.skydivedelmarva.com/fluidwings.php or calling 888-875-3540. Learn more about Fluid Wings Canopies at http://www.fluidwings.com.
  19. So the only tri-tapered design canopies I've flown have been the HK and the Airwolf, so I don't have any comparable details (though I will be flying a Valkyrie next weekend) to other manufactures, but I can compare the Airwolf to the Helix, and older design cross-braced canopies. The Airwolf, jumped a 79 at a 2.55 WL, compared to the Helix, jumped a 84 at a 2.4 WL, was much less responsive on the harness inputs. The Helix was a little harder to control upon opening, the start of the turn was much quicker, and I was unable to dial-in the rollout with the limited jumps I did on it, always needing to over-correct what always turned out to be a very quick whip. It did recover quicker than the Airwolf, but with its ZP external and Sail internal design allowed for what felt like a faster horizontal speed. The canopy also needed to be transitioned to toggles a little sooner than what feels natural, but still carried as well as ZP with Sail internals can be expected to. I did feel that owning a Helix would, in the long-term, help me become a much better pilot because I would be forced to be able to fly my harness as square as possible and dialing in my harness input during the turn. The Airwolf was definitely steeper than the Helix with a longer recovery arc and was much easier to fly on opening even with an increased wingloading due to the less responsive harness inputs. The turn, roll-in, rollout, and dive were all similar to older design crossbraced canopies, but with increased sensitivity and much more user friendly inputs needed. It has two variations that it can come in, one with FT-30 (which can be placed somewhere between ZP and Sail material, a great article was published by Fluid Wings and is available on their website on the FT-30 material) on I believe the crossbraces and top fabric, which had the awesome benefits of much more powerful rear and toggle inputs and carried forever, even after transitioning to toggles. The second configuration had less FT-30 but I didn't have the opportunity to jump that configuration. The HK on the other hand, which I jumped an 84 at the 2.4 WL including a full RDS as opposed to only removable sliders on the other wings, is by far the strongest wing in their lineup, and comes in full-sail (I very unfortunately did not get to jump the HK-T which is a terminal version of the same wing with other changes to make it more friendly to terminal openings). The harness was more responsive than the Airwolf, but still less twitchy than the Helix. The dive and recovery were steeper and longer respectively than the Airwolf and the power in the rears and toggles was also more powerful. The canopy kept carrying and came to such smooth, easy stops. If I felt more confident flying the HK in traffic, I would for sure be leaning towards that wing (probably the HK-T so I can fall longer before deployment), but as is, the Airwolf was the most user friendly wing with the most powerful responses and great dive and recovery with predictable harness inputs during the turn that I've had the pleasure to fly. Disclaimer: I do not work for nor get any benefit from endorsing Fluid Wings, I just loved the damn canopies, all of them. Plus, I met the founder, and he was one the coolest, most intelligent people I've met in skydiving, which may or may not be saying much... ;p Plus, if you send your canopy to them, they'll do the reline for free, all you have to do is purchase the lineset.
  20. As my 'starter fluid' was being topped off, I found this old idea I totally forgot about: how to measure L/D on the ground, either with real wingsuit/pilot, or a scaled experimental model - all without a wind tunnel! [inline LDMeasurementWithoutWindtunnel.jpg] Imagine a WS model suspended from a balance scale, precisely balanced with counterweight, outside on a windy enough day. The model is held in place by horizontal rope as to keep the suspension cable vertical. Then, rope is released. What will happen? Aerodynamic force (with lift and drag components) will push the model at some angle up from equilibrium state. As shown, horizontal and vertical accelerations in the first moments after release will be ax = g*(D/W) ay = g*(L/2W) (this assumes that scales' arm weighs negligibly little compared to model; if it can't be neglected, then the factor 2 will be replaced by a bigger factor that takes both extra weight and moment of inertia; or instead of balance scale, a lightweight pulley can be used as pictured on the left of the scales) So if we measure these accelerations with a smartphone's accelerometer, we can find out L/D! L/D = 2ay/ax If we're only interested in measuring L/D, even accelerometer is not necessary - since ratio ay/ax is equal to the tangent of the angle alpha of initial movement to vertical, L/D = 2*tan(alpha) We can also find out absolute values for lift and drag, if weight is known: L = 2W*(ay/g) D = W*(ax/g) And, if we measure wind speed with an anemometer, we can find out Kl, Kd: Kl = L/V^2 Kd = D/V^2 And from these, sustained horizontal and vertical speeds for this flight mode: Vxs = Kl/(Kl^2 + Kd^2)^(3/4) Vys = Kd/(Kl^2 + Kd^2)^(3/4) And these, for different AoA, will form the polar curve! How cool is that?! We can do fast-iteration wingsuit improvements right on the ground, and without making rich richer at $1000/hour! All you need is to build a balance that can support the model or even the pilot, and probably ~20mph wind should suffice. A model can be built using modeling clay and armature like this one: [inline ModelingArmature.jpg] With polymer clay, the shape of wings, angles of incidence, body position, etc. can easily be adjusted and studied. Or, 3D-print a model, make it from several parts and connect them with adjustable armature. MWGA! Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps: L/D Vario, Smart Altimeter, Rockdrop Pro, Wingsuit FAP iOS only: L/D Magic Windows only: WS Studio
  21. Sorry, nothing to do with performance, both are great wings with similar characteristics that come with the type of planform both use. It's just a mere subjective appreciation. I had to adjust the brakes on the X-fire in order for it to flare better, until I did that the toggle stroke was very long and I found myself a whole weekend comparing it to the Tesla. Which flew awesome the first time. I think this is the reason why I said that... The next weekend when I adjusted the brakes, I felt much better under the X-fire, and the wing performed great. I would be super happy owning any of these wings. Now, Fluid Wings is local, not a huge company like PD or Icarus, my friends fly their canopies and I like them. This also plays part on how I feel about the Tesla. Felipe -- Blue Skies NO FEARS, NO LIMITS, NO MONEY... "A Subitánea et Improvísa Morte, Líbera nos, Domine."
  22. I need to get an RDS for my VK (the seller only included the drawstring slider.) Does anybody have any thing to say on the TST or Fluid Wings RDS' from Chuting Star in relation to PD's stock slider? I want to make sure I'm not making a mistake by saving money on these other companies. Thank you for any and all help.
  23. The Tesla isn't on the Fluid Wings website anymore. There's a spot labeled "Coming Soon" where the Tesla used to be on their canopy comparison chart. Any info about this new canopy? Has anyone seen or flown the prototype?
  24. We recently talked with Robert Harris, who took it upon himself to build his own homemade wingsuit. After years of motocross racing, Robert started skydiving five years ago, and since then has attained over 1600 jumps, his D-license as well as AFF and coach ratings. However, what made us want to talk to him, was having seen that he had developed his own DIY wingsuit at home. He talks to us about what inspired him, how he made it and most importantly, how it flew. What made you want to develop this DIY wingsuit? I have always liked knowing how things are made, when I was a kid I took everything apart to try and figure out how it worked and hopefully put it back together before my parents found out. This didn't stop as I got older, although it changed to learning, so I could make things. Shortly after I started wingsuiting I decided I was going to make a wingsuit someday. So last year I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and didn't get one as no one knew what kind I wanted and I didn't either. I had gotten to use a sewing machine back in middle school home ec class but didn't care about learning sewing, wish they had told me I could make parachutes and wingsuits back then as I would have paid way more attention. After talking to my dz's rigger Sally and some other people and decided to get a singer 20u, after over a month of trying to buy one I found one on Craigslist from an old lady that really never used it for 400$. Then I started sewing. First a pillow case, then a miniature version of my Leia that I made into a traction kite, a belly band, canopy continuity bag, and weight belt. After all of those projects I finally decided it was time to start my wingsuit project. What experience do you have in aeronautics or aviation product development? I don't really have much, but I have started an online class on Aeronautical Engineering to learn more about designing airfoils. I hope to learn to do some equations to determine glide and speed of a given airfoils parameters and hopefully eventually learn CFD(Computational Fluid Dynamics) to push the envelope of what can be done in wingsuits I make later. What were your expectations when starting this project? I was told by quite a few people that I was crazy for wanting to make a wingsuit or that it was too hard and I didn't have a chance. I didn't really care about the designing process when I first started I just wanted to assemble a suit and fly it. I didn't care if it was the best performing suit I just wanted to say I had done it. Although I think I have caught the bug, now I want to make another one and try some new ideas we haven't seen in the wingsuit world yet. Could you explain your creation process to us? When I started I picked one of my wingsuits as a starting platform. I took measurements all over the outside of the suit, and decided to change the arm wings completely as I didn't want to outright copy the suit. I simplified some parts trying to make it out as few as pieces as possible. After all the outside pieces were made came the challenging part of making the ribs. I was originally going to make it with back fly vents so tried to make an airfoil shape that would be as good either on back or belly. I drew out where the ribs would be placed and measured how long they would need to be on the top and bottom skins and as far as thickness goes I knew how wide I wanted the thickest one and the thinnest, to figure out the rest I used some math to taper from the biggest to smallest. After I started sewing I scraped the backfly vents but left the ribs how they where as after putting the fronts on I didn't want to deal with the headache of the backfly ones as well. I spent a couple days making patterns and writing everything down as I did it to make it easier for possibly making another one. After the patterns were all done and checked for fit against each other I started cutting them all out of some parapac I got from JoAnn's fabric with my new hot-knife my girlfriend got me for my birthday. This part went relatively quickly and only took about a day total. Then came the weekend and jumping time, it was hard to pull myself away from my project but I needed to train for the last swoop meet of the season. As weather got crappy I started the sewing. I figured it would be best to get the hardest part done first the arm wings as if I couldn't get those done there was no point in even making the tail. I started with sewing the ribs to front or bottom skin of the suit and quickly learned the sewing the ribs and vents on together was a pain. I did every step on both wings at the same time so I could try and make it as symmetrical as possible and knew they where both put together in the same order. I felt really accomplished when I finished both arm wings and was ready to push through the tail wing quickly before my swoop comp. The tail wing went together pretty easily after making the arm wings and before I knew it I had 3 wings that needed to be put together. After missing a couple of weekdays jumping as I sat busy behind my blue Singer I had finally finished! I was so excited after 23 hours of sewing to go jump it but jumping had already stopped for the day. And how did it fly when you took it out? I really wanted to get some outside video of its (cough cough) first fight. Go figure, none of the normal wingsuiters where around, I eventually asked my friend Paul who has done only a handful or two of wingsuit jumps if he would try. I gave him an I-bird I use for teaching and rig to borrow so he wouldn't be jumping his velo. We talked about the dirt dive and manifested for a load. As we climbed to altitude all I could think about was my family and girlfriend and how dangerous this could be. I did a lot of practice touches of all my handles and went through my emergency procedures as I always do but did way more of them. On the 2 min call we did all the normal handshakes and then I buckled my helmet and zipped up my arm wings. As all the other jumpers were getting off the plane my heart started racing, I used all my yoga experience to get my breathing in check as I walked to the door of the Twin Otter, I could tell Paul was nervous as well. I had him exit before me as I wanted a nice exit shot, as I hopped out from a poised position in the door all I could think was please don't let the suit blow apart! I made sure to keep all my wings shut down on exit and waited to see the tail before I ever so slowly opened my wings. I got my wings open and started flying, I was ecstatic at this point as the suit was staying in one piece. I started my first turn shortly after and was surprised at how stable it was. It took a little bit for Paul and I to get together but around 10k we got together shortly after my practice pull to see if there would be any issues and it was the easiest one I have done in awhile. We flew with each other for a bit and then about 7k I wanted to see what I could do with it. I started a small dive then went in max flight. I decided I would pull higher then normal as I was still jumping my normal wingsuit canopy a Jfx 84 at 4,500 feet. I came in to land with 90 degree turn for nice little swoop. Shortly after Paul landed close by and celebrated an awesome jump! I have never been so excited and nervous on any of my 1600 plus skydives or 4 base jumps yet alone together. After I landed I had to message family and girlfriend to let them know I was ok, they were all pretty scared about me doing it. Since the 1st jump I have only done 1 more on the suit and it was a time run, I got 2 min and 20sconds out of it, which was defiantly shy of the 3-3.5 min I should have gotten out of that size suit. Turns out the fabric I used was my biggest downfall, it didnt have a coating on it like parapac used in other suits so it was constantly bleeding air out and never achieved max pressure. What was the biggest challenge in creating your wingsuit? The biggest challenge by far was trying to figure out what order everything gets put together in, I spent a couple days alone trying to piece it together in my head to figure it out. Although I had to unpick a few parts because of misalignment I did not have to unpick anything because of the order I put it together in. Do you feel that your venture was a success? In the end I feel I achieved my goals I set out for the project and learned tons along the way! I look forward to starting my next suit when I return from visiting my girlfriend in London. I already have tons of things I want to try try and do but the major thing will be a fabric that has zero porosity. About Robert Harris (D-31584): I grew up racing motocross at a early age and after many years of racing I stopped because I was tired of breaking myself. I still rode and one day on the way from riding I got a call about getting to do a free tandem. Of course I said yes much to my parents dismay, they thought skydiving was too dangerous at the time and realize now its more dangerous then motocross. I had loved motocross for the jumps as I loved the feeling of flying through the air. Skydiving was just that pure flying and as soon as I landed I signed up for Aff. One year after I started I had 200 jumps and started wingsuiting on jump 201. My 2nd year in I had my D-license and got interested in Canopy Piloting as well. Since then I have gotten my coach and Aff ratings and am currently on my 5th year of skydiving and have just over 1600 jumps.
  25. Fluid Wings Gangster 135 Exit weight 195 Wing loading 1.44 Jumps (513) Test jumps 19 Packing: The first thing I noticed about the canopy is that is packs HUGE. I have a 135 max container and its stuffed like a Saussage. I know that cross bracing packs larger and that it would be tight, but this was next level stuffed. After 10 jumps things started to get a bit easier, but its still not really meant for a 135 container. It fits, but its certainly tighter than Sunpath would like. Openings: The first few opening I had were a bit of a mixed bag and I think that is mostly due to packing and over stuffing the container. The initial snatch force of the canopy is stronger than I anticipated but at no point was it hard. Once the canopy stood me up in the harness the openings were soft with a very staged inflation. The “bad” openings I had were not slammers or spin-ups but they weren’t exactly the expected beautiful openings. Again, I feel as though this is due to packing and I hope to have an opportunity to jump this from a larger container before I make final judgement. 15 jumps in and im in love with the openings. The snatch force is still a bit higher than I would think but by no means is it hard. Its staged and usually on heading. Ive had a few off heading openings but they were super manageable and I never felt like it wanted to spin up on me. So far its the best opening canopy ive flown. Toggle pressure: The toggle pressure felt easy/ moderate. There was light pressure at first and built slowly and steadily to the bottom of the flare. It was super intuitive and as it was what I expected I’m finding it difficult to describe accurately. Flare: Holy shit guys. This thing has flare power. ( thats what happens when you finally have some real speed) Tip toe landing and metric fuck-tons of range Font risers: The fronts were light to moderate and built steadily and progressively as you dove the canopy. Im really working on getting into the fronts and the more comfortable I got with the canopy the better they felt. Rear Risers: Wow wow wow wow wow. Even with my harness only approaches I had enough speed to plane out and feel just how powerful the rears are. Rears for Years! Once I can really dive the canopy I’ll be able to play with the rears more but for now they still have tons of range and power. Harness: The harness was not nearly as sensitive as the Tesla but it felt more intuitive and controllable with more of a dive. I think that once you increase your wing loading the harness will liven up a bit, but as a step up canopy its exactly what you want. On the largest size you make it was fun and easy to fly while letting me know that she has a lot more in her when I’m ready to start ringing out some more performance. Trim: It was steep but not scary. Fast but controllable. It felt steeper than the Tesla by miles. I have a Gangster 120 on order and it will be here in august. I cannot speak highly enough about this canopy as a step up canopy. I liked it a LOT more than the crossfire.