DMarley wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:27 pm
Any suggestions on where I can purchase the latest proper example?
Wills Wing, or your local/favorite Wills Wing dealer, will have or can get the Free Flight Enterprises Drogue. It is a miniaturized representation of their LARA design... which is, hands down, the best reserve parachutes in the sport. Smallest pack yet most efficient decent (or drag, in the case of a drogue/drag chute).
Per WW's site, about the LARA reserves:
Wills Wing offers the LARA (Low Aspect Ratio Annular) Emergency reserve parachute for hang glider and paraglider pilots. The LARA is a higher performance alternative to conventional Conical and PDA (Pulled Down Apex) configurations. The LARA’s aerodynamically efficient shape produces a higher drag coefficient and corresponding lower descent rate during an emergency deployment. It also offers the best value (price/performance) available today.
The LARA was designed by Vertigo Inc., and is fabricated 100% in America by Free-Flight Inc. The combination of Wills Wing, Free-Flight and Vertigo assure the highest standard of quality available.
The LARA 250 was drop tested eight times by the United States military. Data was gathered at the rate of five samples per second utilizing a SOMAT data logger with on-board altimeter instrumentation. The average descent rate (corrected to sea level) with a 200 pound payload was only 17.5 feet per second! The US military uses 24 feet per second as a maximum allowable descent rate for emergency reserve parachutes. This low descent rate is comparable to the 24 gore PDA being manufactured by Free Flight Enterprises for tandem use.
Free Flight has drop tested all LARA models, with payloads 25% above nominal weight, at 90 knots. No canopies were damaged. These tests also verified the exceptional descent rate performance. (Note: Descent rates shown in the specifications below are based on average descent rates obtained in drop tests from airplanes conducted by Free Flight Enterprises. There is characteristically a significant amount of scatter in parachute drop test data).
There are no structural differences between the HG and PG canopies. The PG canopy can be converted for hang gliding applications by adding a bridle extension, however we strongly recommend a Paraswivel which is integral on the HG configuration. Without a Paraswivel, a spinning broken hang glider can close the canopy by twisting the bridle and shroud lines.
The LARA is available in three sizes (175, 250, 400) and four configurations.
I'm not sure why, but very few people seem to know Free Flight Enterprises makes a drogue chute, and Wills Wing distributes it, and it is a Low Aspect Ratio Annular ("LARA"). A lot of science in what appears to be a simple thing... but getting a smaller amount of material to perform like or better than a larger bunch of material... back in the day people called stuff like that MAGIC
I'm obviously a big fan, and wouldn't say so if I hadn't used it extensively. Never a problem or a hickup, although I do recommend never COUNTING on something like a drogue chute, as there are many stories of them failing to open or perform as expected (or doing more harm than good if not used carefully!). But with a mini LARA design, I like that not only does it pack smaller in the harness... it is also easier to pull out, less intrusive to hold on my thumb until I let it go, OR SHOULD I CHOOSE NOT TO, and a smaller drogue is much less likely to catch on stuff!
I know Jono likes the design he found/re-discovered, and he either uses or has used very large iterations of that drogue. I have found the FFE/WW drogue to be super effective, reliable, and it is WAY smaller than what I see him using in his videos. I have never, NEVER, wished that it was any more effective than it already is... and I love the LARA design! (thanks Roy Haggard!)
Shut up and fly.