Several years ago we decided to get serious about making an all out high performance canopy that would be a significant step up from anything currently available. This is not really a comparatively large canopy market but developing a high performance canopy was both a passion for us and an opportunity to prove ourselves in the most difficult and highest profile market in the sport.
It was definitely going to be ZP and Elliptical but after many different prototypes of conventional construction we realized nothing came close to the improvement in performance we achieved years previously with a rectangular ZP Cross Brace Tri-cell. At the time we gave up on this design due to construction, bulk and opening problems. In 1993 technological changes led us to start work on it again.
In early 1994 we installed a computerized plotter/cutter and had software customized to calculate the shapes. We were then able to begin computer modeling and building our first Zero P, Elliptical Cross Brace Tri-cell. The ICARUS EXTreme. It flew brilliantly straight off the computer but was far from useable. Another year of development was required to get the design to the stage where we had a viable product and enough testing to release it into the market.
In January 1997 we completed testing and released our latest Cross Brace Tri-cell - The ICARUS EXTreme-FX. The name stands for Elliptical Xbraced Tri-cell (EXTreme-FX). The ICARUS EXTreme-FX delivers even smoother openings, an even stronger flare, and packs up slightly smaller than the EXTreme. Most importantly, the EXTreme-FX will now give you turf surfing performance that is WAY AHEAD of anything you will get from a conventional canopy. The EXTreme-FX is not for everybody. It's built specifically for radical maneuverability and is ideal for turf surfing. It is for experienced elliptical pilots only.
The EXTreme-FX openings are mainly controlled by the nose configuration and are very slow and progressive. As soon as the canopy comes out of the bag it starts to inflate immediately and slowly. You know things are happening straight away and you can monitor the opening as it slowly grows into a full canopy. You won't be screaming earthward with a streamer at line stretch wondering when things are going to happen. Openings take a long time but do not use much too much height as the majority of the opening sequence is waiting for inflation to finish rather than inflation to start.
The EXTreme-FX is not for everybody - it's not an all round canopy or of much advantage at light wing loadings. But if you're a bit of a canopy connoisseur who likes flying a canopy and enjoys a radical turf surf then you should definitely consider the Icarus EXTreme.
We recommend wing-loadings from 1.8 PSF to 2.4 PSF