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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

Next NZ Aerosports High Performance Canopy: Leia

Leia in action&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/nzaerosports' class='captionLink'>NZ Aerosports</a>
Leia in action — by NZ Aerosports

The Daedalus JPX Leia is a 21-chamber ZP high performance canopy, designed to put the speed and power of modern competition canopies into a hassle-free ZP wing. The aim is to take bring Petra technology to the open market.

Am jumping a Leia 82 prototype as a cameraman, all openings ridiculously good. Heaps of range for getting back from long spots (2 miles+). Rock solid in nasty turbulence with very little spanwise distortion. Picks up nice speed in the turn. Getting some epic swoops, so much performance to be drawn out of such a low hassle canopy. Top class!

Low pack volume and sweet openings

The Leia has been designed with the everyday experienced canopy pilot in mind: red hot teams, load organisers, freeflyers, cameraflyers and swoopers who want to fun jump their canopy and compete it too. All of the above will benefit from a ZP wing that fits in their small rigs, can be left packed overnight and lasts longer. The substantial reduction in pack volume compared to the 27-chamber design and sail fabric used for Petra, and almost-Crossfire-like openings make Leia a hassle-free canopy that can be used everyday.

Everyday NOT Everyone

No, Leia won’t be for students, intermediate jumpers or a first cross-braced canopy! Yes, she can be used for everyday, but only by highly experienced pilots already jumping small, highly loaded crossbraced canopies. She is intended to be the highest performing ZP canopy on the amateur market – the fastest, most powerful wing you can buy short of going into full sail competition mode.

Details and Design

Leia needed to have amazing openings and be no hassle. We ticked those boxes by choosing to offer a normal slider, or an RDS on request. She will come standard with HMA 400 rather than thinner competition lines that wear out fast. Leia has high ellipticity, a steep trim, compact aspect ratio and NZ Aerosports' signature Powerband on her leading edge.

Richie Munro flying Leia over the pond at Funny Farm
Richie Munro flying Leia over the pond at Funny Farm
Best canopy for everyday jumping ever. Sweet openings, turns are responsive and dynamic and packs up small. Flies like a traditional Petra but has better stopping power. Will be awesome for zone accuracy. Highly recommended for the advanced pilot. It’s a beast - have respect because it is badass.

Specifications

  • Cells: 7
  • Chambers: 21
  • Structure: Crossbraced
  • Tip chord to Center chord ratio: 0.4 (!)
  • Aspect ratio: 2.65
  • Wing loading: 2.2 to ?
  • Features: No stabilizers, Integrated slider stops, Powerband, No Mini-Ribs
  • Deployment system: Normal slider, RDS available on demand
  • Materials: ZP (maybe a hybrid version later on)
  • Lines: Black HMA 400 (maybe HMA 600 later on)
  • Sizes: Any
Leia's flying over Auckland skies&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by <a href='https://skydivemag.smallteaser.com/user/nzaerosports' class='captionLink'>NZ Aerosports</a>
Leia's flying over Auckland skies — by NZ Aerosports
She opens like a dream. When releasing brakes the canopy seems very relaxing, not so ground hungry, but when winding her up she dives and recovers very similar to my Petra 68. For a day-to-day work fun canopy this wing is amazing!

Flight Characteristics

Leia flies true to Petra’s flight characteristics, with a high roll rate, a very long dive, and the widest speed range able to be covered by a parachute. She is superb at both ends of the scale: you will find she can fly slower than any other canopy in her range, and faster. She is a little less sensitive than Petra, but still able to be completely controlled in the harness by her pilot.

We invited TJ Landgren, Katie Hansen and Nick Batsch to try out Leia while they were visiting NZ this summer and they all loved her. Nick did an impressive 175m swoop on it on his first jump (nil wind and at sea level) confirming the awesome potential of the canopy! He didn’t say much right away but his smile left us confident that she is going to be better than any other ZP competition wing on the market.

Kitsch powering through the course on Leia during Nick Batsch camp&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;by Richard Munro, NZ Aerosports
Kitsch powering through the course on Leia during Nick Batsch camp — by Richard Munro, NZ Aerosports

Extras

A wing made out of ZP opens up the colour options. Instead of the customary black and white (plus occasional red and blue) of sail canopies, now swoopers will be able to have those acid drop colours they’ve been pining for. Pink is the new black. Word.

Making Leia out of ZP also opens up the world of SkyArt and enables you to get her printed with any picture, photograph, logo or design of your own.

Available

Leia is the final prototype in the last stages of testing, aimed to release during 2014 or early 2015.

Keep posted: NZ Aero Facebook NZ Aero website

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