Blog

13 January 2020

Shannon

What’s New in 2020 | NZ Aerosports Research & Development

The game changers and cool new shit to be released this year. Watch out world.

 

With Chris, Chris and Chris’s debuts onto the big screen with our Summer of Live Facebook videos and infamous Point Break poster appearances, you’d be forgiven for thinking they didn’t actually spend much time test jumping in 2019. But you’d be wrong πŸ˜‰

They’ve been at Skydive Auckland doing their best guinea pig and crash test dummy impressions like nothing else. Cups of tea, wet blankets and all.

Icarus Petra 2 prototype being flown by Icarus Testies above Skydive Auckland

Petra 2 and other top secret game-changing out-of-this-world swoop-for-f%$king-miles type stuff

Did ya see any of our little teasers about this goddam beautiful specimen? The Icarus Petra 2, fondly known as P2. She’s got us excited.

Projects like this are a labour of love. Designing the next shit hot wing to take out World Distance and Speed Records isn’t directly profitable because it’s still just a teeny market of people flying these beasts.

So why do we do it?

For the glory mofos.

And it sure does give you something to talk about, makes a good impression and some fancy social media posts, and our athletes LOVE their new toyysss. Aaaaaarghhhh so exciting we can’t contain it. Us, and Julien (and probably you guys) get as excited as a kid in a candy store.

So, what’s the lowdown on this hot piece of canopy-ass?

The photo above is Petra 2’s third iteration. We’re currently testing version 4, and version 6 has been built and is in the test pipeline. That’s not including the iterations of each iteration, with different linesets, type of bracing, some tests in reducing crossbracing, trim changes, a redesigned lineset….we’ll stop there. Basically nothing about her except that gorgeous curvy shape will be like the Icarus Petra as you know her.

Icarus Petra 2 prototype with red zigzag powerband design

Some funky stuff going on with Icarus Petra 2’s prototype Powerband

We’ve done 200+ in-house test jumps (cheers Chris, Chris & Chris, you machines) and probably another 200 from some of our legendary swoopers in the field who had a wee go at her. Lucky things.

Isn’t the Icarus Petra still a pretty new canopy?

You might wonder why we are redoing a wing that still has so much success in the field. Well, Icarus Petra is 7-8 years old now, and in the world of canopies, that’s getting on a little. She’s starting to get wrinkles, forgets a bunch of stuff and we’ve been thinking about checking her into a home for some time πŸ˜‰ We’ve redone most of the range, and come full circle back to where it all began. Our Queen Bee, to give her a little love and upgrade.

Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to smash some new records at the beginning of a decade again?! πŸ˜‰

Icarus Anna prototype being flown by Icarus Testies

The lovely lady Icarus Anna

Icarus Anna

You’ve heard about this gorgeous lady – she’s a work in progress, but we really amped up the test jumps on her this year. Still a little bit more stuff to figure out, but here’s some of the (mis)adventures we had.

With 500+ jumps on the Icarus Anna this year (in-house and in the field) we got to experiment with some craaazyyyy stuff.

The Crazy Stuff

Case in point: we cut the wingtips off. Yes, as in physically hotknifed them off. Then we figured out we didn’t need to do that – oops – so we rebuilt wing tips and put them back on. Excluding the original we’re up to 3 bolted-on wingtip configurations now. How wonderful. The point? Well the idea is to reduce bulk, make construction simpler and make them lighter. The result? Jury’s still out on that one πŸ˜‰Β 

Icarus Anna prototype with fancy wingtip design

Fancy wingtips on Icarus Anna prototype

Icarus Anna prototype with normal wingtip design

Normal Wingtips on Icarus Anna prototype

 

We tried vented sliders like the Kraken too – we’re still umming and ahhing about that vs. a regular slider – we’ll let you know.

The Good Stuff

But we did settle on a brake configuration and are happy with the trim now, so that’s a win. Some of them have our new “Snelly Brakes” which came out of the P2 Project, designed by one of our awesome Chris’s. God bless ’em. Which is great to be able to already implement stuff we’ve learnt on P2 to some of our more mainstream projects.

The Bad Stuff

Right now one of our main issues stopping us from setting a release date is a counter-steer problem…the canopy is turning the wrong way when slight inputs are used. i.e. pulling slightly right makes the canopy turn left and vice-versa – but let’s see what answers 2020 shines a light on!

Icarus Anna prototype opening with a vented slider

A vented slider on an Icarus Anna prototype

 

Wild Rumours & Speculation…the Crossfire X and other things

There’s been whispers of something to bridge the gap between the Crossfire 3 and the JFX 2 foreverrrrr. And a little birdy told us the Chris’s may have dug out some of the old prototypes to reopen this Crossfire X project. It’s safe to say that makes us happy. (And no, we do NOT have a release date for you right now!) But, if that’s what you’re waiting for, don’t worry, it’s on the list. 2020 come at us.

There’s been even quieter whispers about a reserve canopy….just sayin’. Mums the word.

 

 

P.S. Check out all our Test Jump Diaries Videos for a behind-the-scenes slapstick take on what Chris, Chris and Chris get up to on an every day basis