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Ernesto Gainza wanted to fly and land a parachute of just 35 square feet, less than half the size of the smallest canopies currently being jumped. Ernesto needed to have the right mental and physical preparation to be able to react decisively to any situation. To back up Ernesto, Project XCF called Cypres for a custom AAD solution.
Ernesto would jump equipped with 2 main canopies and a reserve. Exit from 11,000 ft with an assisted direct deployment of the 35 sqft first main canopy. In case of a first main canopy malfunction Ernesto had the option to cutaway the small main and manually open a second main, a 65 JVX. As last backup a 126 Nano Icarus reserve completed the rig. The reserve container is fitted with a Speed version of the CYPRES 2.
Ernesto flew and landed the 35 sqft first main canopy and set a new World Record, landing the world’s smallest parachuting canopy!
The major difficulty with small canopies is their dramatically changing flight characteristics and landing speeds. The possibility of a malfunctioning canopy due to a wide range of scenarios is a real risk throughout Ernesto’s flight, not just on the opening stages of the main canopy. A rapid body weight shift or a little too much toggle input could result in an instant spinning malfunction which could cause an almost instantaneous loss of consciousness due to excessive G-forces.
The spinning canopy would almost certainly create a rapid loss of vertical altitude (decent rate) dramatically. In this scenario the 46 m/s (102 Mph) activation parameters in combination with the activation altitude window of 225 to 100 meters (750 to 330 feet), the Speed Cypres is able to start the reserve deployment sequence by cutting the reserve container’s closing loop. Although in this situation Ernesto could be unconscious and would still have his two main canopies attached, meaning there would be a high possibility of a main/reserve entanglement.
To rescue Ernesto from a spinning situation, in addition to the Speed Cypres unit, there was the need for providing an automatic cutaway mechanism/system for the 35 sqft main canopy. In close cooperation with the Project XCF team and the Cypres riggers and technical staff, a highly advanced system was designed: a Cypres-powered 3-ring release system in case of Ernesto being unconscious and unable to manually cutaway the 35 sqft main canopy. The second main canopy function retained unchanged with the manual release and cutaway system.
The reserve was equipped with a Speed Cypres 2, activation at approx 225 meter at 46 m/s. Another potential difficulty was if this activation speed was exceeded just by flying this tiny canopy; so it was made possible for Ernesto to manually switch off the Speed Cypres.
How to determine the right moment when to cutaway? The normal activation instances of altitude and speed are not suitable parameters to describe spinning momentum. Learning from our experiences with Felix Baumgartner‘s Red Bull Stratosphere Mission to the Edge of Space, we refined the G-force measuring modules which we developed for that project and optimised its interpretation of the software readings.
To integrate the G-Force parameter as an activation criteria into a specifically designed Cypres architecture was a task that took the Cypres technicians and their sophisticated skills some time to realise. Special connections and custom cable set-up finalised this unique custom Cypres. The result being that if Ernesto’s moves result in values above 7G, the G-Cypres 2 will initiate the 2-pin cutters to activate the 3-ring release of the 35 sqft main canopy.
After the cutaway Ernesto can manually open his second main or the reserve parachute. In the case of unconsciousness his Speed Cypres 2 initiates the reserve container opening sequence.
We at Cypres congratulate Ernesto on his splendid achievement.
Article adapted from: Cypres Project XCF Story
Massive congratulation to Ernesto Gainza for landing the world's smallest parachute, a JVX35, at Skydive Dubai Palm DZ and setting a new Guinness World Records!
Filmed and Produced by Skydive Dubai.