Collapsing and lowering the slider behind your head, as well as releasing some tension from your chest strap, is also of some benefit. Although not providing as much gain as a collapsible pilot chute, it can add some extra performance while changing the feel of your canopy quite a bit. Lowering and collapsing the slider creates 3 effects:
- The drag from the slider will be greatly reduced
- The canopy will produce more lift upwards. With the slider sitting at the connector links, the spread of the canopy is slightly restricted, increasing the anhedral arc. This means the outside edges of the canopy are not sitting as flat and the lift generated by the wingtips is vectored further from the vertical, thus reducing the overall lifting power of the canopy.
- Any twisting between you and the canopy will be reduced. The load from the lines that were running into your slider and chest strap and out to your hips, is now running straight from the canopy to your hips which are wider and more securely attached to you than your chest strap or slider. As you turn your canopy, your body tends to move with the canopy as one unit, rather than being left behind in the turn to catch up.
Again, all these effects are felt more when the wing loading is higher, as lift and efficiency become more important and turns can become much faster.
If you are using a class 3 or below (below 1.25 PSF), this gain will be minimal and possibly not worth the complication (as with a student canopy situation). For Class 4 (1.25-1.65 PSF), we recommend a collapsible slider – but the chest strap gain is minimal. For Class 5 and above (above 1.65 sf), it is a necessity to do both; both the performance and feel of the canopy will improve noticeably. To drop the slider you must have 25mm (1″) risers and either soft links or the #3.5 SS links that we provide with the canopy.