The much-awaited Crossfire 3, by New Zealand Aerosports, is now available to order. NZA promised “A truly unique design. Now completely redone in the new Crossfire 3. This is how we do justice to the Crossfire legend.”
We weren’t just going to take their word for it so we asked Julien Peelman, Aerodynamics Engineer at NZ Aerosports, to explain
We used Catia V5 to design the Crossfire 3. 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.
One of the most noticeable changes is the Crossfire 3’s new line set which, thanks to a slightly steeper trim designed completely in 3D, will make the recovery arc longer.
For the first time in the industry, the panels on the Crossfire 3 have been 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.
Crossports have been strategically placed in the Crossfire 3 to have the least influence on the upper surface shape. They have also been designed with an elliptical shape that optimizes their area while reducing the upper surface distortion.
The aspect ratio and taper have not been changed dramatically from the Crossfire 2. This was to keep the Crossfire 3 in the same class of wings, suitable for intermediate to advanced pilots. The planform has been optimized to follow an ellipse as accurately as possible in order to reduce induced drag.
Definitely. It's benefited from research on rib shaping that was originally used to design NZ Aerosports' new range of hyper-performance wings, Petra and Leia.
The split leading edge ‘Powerband’ was pioneered with Petra. It allows better control of the aerodynamic shape in the nose area, which prevents parasitic drag.
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.
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.
The power moustaches are the distinct moustache shaped miniature panels on the lower Powerband. It sounds like marketing bullshit but without them, we couldn't get the exact shaping we want on the nose, because it wouldn't be possible to flatten the lower panels. So with the moustaches we are able to design the canopy in the actual shape it's gonna fly in. This means fewer wrinkles, less tension in the fabric and a more efficient wing.
She's fun at wingloadings between 1 and 1.4 for a confident intermediate pilot, but we recommend a wingloading between 1.5 and 2 for maximum performance.
It’s a versatile all-round canopy for intermediate to advanced pilots, especially those who want to upgrade from their Crossfire 2 or Safire.
For more detail, watch the video below or see NZ Aerosports website
Aerodynamics Engineer Julien, test jumper Chris, and NZ Aerosports founder Jyro talk about the design and development of the Crossfire 3.