May 3, 2017, 8:58 PM
Post #1 of 17
Now that I've put a few jumps on the new Aura3, I thought I'd throw some feedback out there and hopefully whoever else is jumping one can add to it!
To start, I'm coming from an Aura, never jumped an Aura2, so I'm only comparing it to the original Aura.
I found the start arc to be fairly similar in terms of when I crossed the 45 degree line, but slightly shorter with the Aura3 over the Aura. My best starts in good conditions were in the 550 foot range, my average in normal conditions or with 90 degree turns were 650-700 feet, and with tailwinds and cold air, 800-850 feet, no surprises there, the conditions effect the start more than anything else.
The big thing I noticed was the power and glide I came out of my start with in the Aura3 over the Aura. My shallowest, shortest starts in the Aura were coming out around 1.7-2.1, but the Aura3 was coming out with 2.2-2.5. When I would take it steeper in the Aura and have a longer but faster start (700-750 feet), I was coming out with a 2.2-2.5. With the Aura3 on steeper starts it was getting 2.7-3.2, which I would say is a huge improvement!
I don't have much to say on the glide, as I've only done one jump where I exited and flew max performance to the LZ before pitching, but it was a two way with an Aura2, and we exited at the same time, had a similar start, and pitched at the same height. Our glide was matched but our speed wasn't even close. I pitched 5 seconds before him and ~100' further than he flew. Maybe once I skydive the suit more I'll unlock more of the glide.
In terms of steep flight, the Aura3 is levels above the Aura. With the Aura, taking it steep with little to no dihedral took a fair bit of effort and you had to be very conscious of the point of back deflection, where it liked to "whomp" you or throw you unstable if you hadn't trained for it and knew the exact point where it would occur. The Aura3 feels at home going steep with no dihedral at all. On the few skydives I did with it, I took it from max glide immediately into aggressive dives with no issues like I had with the Aura. The Aura3 wants to go steep with little effort and is way more stable at those steep angles.
The arm sweep is steeper in the Aura3, which took a jump or two to get used to, but after getting over that the suit felt just as natural to fly as my Aura. I laid my Aura3 over an Aura2 that was built to similar dimensions, and if you swept the arms steeper on the Aura2 to match the arm sweep of the Aura3, the grippers would line up perfectly and the wing profile would match. So it seems like the arm wing is shaped to the position of the Aura2 in aggressive flight, without the extra flap of fabric and wing distortion you get when you sweep your arms back in the Aura2. If that doesn't make sense, I'll try to find someone with an Aura2 and recreate that and take a picture this time.
I found the Aura3 more stable at the end of a big flare than the Aura (not that the Aura wasn't stable, the Aura3 is just more stable). It seems to have more pressure in the arm wings, although that could just be that the air is harder to push out when collapsing the wings because of the new inlet, but either way it didn't seem any harder to reach back for the PC. After deploying, I was still able to reach the toggles without touching a single zipper, just like with the Aura. I am running no foam at all in the Aura3, maybe I'll try the thing black foam at some point and repost back on toggle access with that.
All in all, The Aura3 is starting slightly faster and shallower than the Aura with more power and glide, it has tons more speed then the Aura 2 (my friend flying the Aura 2 on that jump has more jumps in that suit alone than I have total and is heavier than me and he is always faster than me when we are in the same suit), is more stable at steeper angles of flight, and still keeps the same ease of deployment and access to risers and toggles.
Below I have attached two pictures of my starts in the Aura3 and my starts in the Aura. The crazy 423' start in the Aura was in crazy thermals with a nice updraft headwind, and I think it was having issues connecting with satellites as the data got funny further down the flight. I haven't had nearly as good of conditions yet jumping the Aura3 and I've gotten with the Aura, so the good Aura3 starts are in similar conditions the the decent Aura starts.
Let me know if there's anything else you want to know about the suit! I'll post back once I get a bunch more jumps on it in more varied conditions
Thanks for the review - A few questions , in skydiving the original aura you are able to contact the point of back deflection while diving steep ? I was never able to do this, as it would only happen in BASE. I would fly from best glide to close to head down and never any back deflection. Were you able to BASE the A3 steep or only skydive it ? In BASE while steep, did you have to stretch the suit lengthwise to avoid the back deflection ?
(This post was edited by Rotbrett on May 7, 2017, 7:01 PM)
Thanks for the review - A few questions , in skydiving the original aura you are able to contact the point of back deflection while diving steep?
Were you able to BASE the A3 steep or only skydive it ? In BASE while steep, did you have to stretch the suit lengthwise to avoid the back deflection ?
I haven't taken it very steep in BASE in a straight line, only steep carving turns (down slabs that are ~1:1) but I've taken it steep in a straight line skydiving.
I haven't noticed a difference in the way the suit reacts while skydiving vs BASE on the Aura or the Aura3 (or any suit for that matter). Are you jumping a FlySite? When you're going max glide in the sky, is it the same speed as when you're going max glide with BASE? I've noticed a lot of people (including me if I don't concisely think about it) fly slower in BASE when trying to fly max glide. Maybe because you're looking at the rock going past you or seeing a feature you want to fly above and trying to extend your glide to reach it. Then when you dive it steep, it takes longer to build up to the speed you're used to skydiving at that angle, but you're still flying your suit at the steep angle with the same body position as in the sky, just slower and closer to your stall speed. Therefore your suit reacts differently.
I fly my suits fast in skydiving and BASE, the same speed, so it reacts the same in both.
A couple of things to consider regarding the difference in speed. The air is denser at lower altitudes, so you may notice a small difference in speeds in BASE vs skydiving as a result (depending on what object you are jumping). Also skydiving rigs tend to move your centre of mass closer to your head which may have an effect on your angle of attack. I notice, when jumping with a rope for instance, that changes in mass distribution can have a big effect on the way my suit will fly.
Also curious, are your starts all from the same exit? Do you know what the altitude is?
(This post was edited by trenwah on May 14, 2017, 2:29 AM)
All the exits I've been jumping 7000-8500' ASL with the LZ's around 4000' ASL. So totally in line with what I'd experience on a skydive considering my home DZ is at around 60' ASL.
I haven't noticed a huge difference between sky rigs and BASE rigs in terms of weigh distribution. I've never jumped a rope down, but I can imagine the huge weight difference between your legs of nothing to a full climbing rope would have some effect. I've jumped some slings, ascenders, clinging harness, a bit of water and some snacks, and some layers down in the nutsack. It didn't feel that weird or different in flight although it wasn't a lot of weight, but moving around on exit and exiting felt a bit awkward in my legs because of the bulk.
The jumps have been spread out between 9 exit points, all in the same valley.
Sorry to detract from the review, but Trenwah brought up such a good point here that i think often gets overlooked and that's the difference between your skydive rig and BASE rig and how they affect the suits flying characteristics. A few seasons ago a couple of us were trying to figure out that whole "point of back deflection " thing cause none of us had ever experienced it in skydiving . We were jumping 22 lb skydive rigs and then throwing on an ultralight 10 lb for BASE. It also carries over to muscle memory for your best glide , carried over from skydiving to BASE with a 0 airspeed start you're going to be hovering close to stall from the get go. Knowing your speeds and suit for each sport is the key.
(This post was edited by sunchild on May 15, 2017, 9:29 PM)
The Aura 3 is definitely the best suit I've ever flown in BASE environment. Super happy with the start and glide. For me at 5'9 145 pounds in a lighter frame I think the slightly shorter tail does a very good job at balancing out the weight distribution of shorter guys than the A1.
Post flare I was worried the A3 would be starved of air but it really seems to handle the post flare well and still stable at pull time.
Interesting question. Just got my Aura 3 and I only have a few skydives on it and would like to get as many opinions as possible. It is a fast powerful suit in my opinion, but also jumper friendly. But as I am about to transition to the BASE environment and after having some mixed results at pull time skydiving I would like to hear from people who have ideas about the most reliable deployment techniques? Awesome suit, though, I just have to bring myself up to speed on it. Be safe out there this season, Regards, B.
If I'm coming out of a steep line, I'll level it off and at the end pop back up a bit, reach back with both hands just before the apex of my flare, return to normal flight for a half second, then bring my arm in and areach up for my risers to control my heading as it starts to stand me up. When I reach for the PC, I release the gripper, rotate my palm upward, reach over the wing to the PC, then throw it hard. I do everything symmetrical.
If I'm not coming out of a steep line, I'll level off my flight and deploy the same way minus the flare.
I tried pitching from full flight once while skydiving just to see how it was in case I ever needed to in the BASE environment. It worked fine but took more muscle to do.
What's your technique? And what kind of mixed results are you getting?
What's your technique? And what kind of mixed results are you getting?
OK, before discussing technique what about gear? Is it a given....? there are a lot of variables here, first and foremost is your skydiving gear completely Wingsuit specific? The obvious being bridle length, but what kind of canopy are you jumping? and are you jumping a Stowless,semi-stowless, or conventional bag? Does your rig have dynamic corners? What is your canopy type and size? Assuming that all this is Wingsuit specific, which I believe mine is, then let's take a look at deployment technique and then cover what I describe as "mixed results " My original curiosity involves what are various pilots finding to be their most reliable deployment techniques to ensure the most reliable canopy deployments? ( In both the skydiving and BASE world ) You have only to look no further than the tragic demise of Jeff Nebelkoff, (one of the most skilled and experienced WS pilots in recent history, to understand that we should all be paying attention to the small details ). Once again, I should say that I am trying to learn my suit in the skydiving environment before taking it into the BASE environment so obvious differences will be......, no deployment bag, and a less confined container in BASE ( more reliable ), but lower deployment altitudes, so more need for reliable openings. My " mixed results " have included the range from getting an absolute slammer ( almost filipping through my risers ) to a couple of what felt like container locks (a lot of hesitation ) and also line/ riser twists from hell. But mostly, acceptable, reliable openings. My tecniqhue that I felt I had sorted out on my previous suit( a Venom ) was to fly through the pitch until I felt myself being brought feet to earth, and then close my legs and bring my knees up. This has worked very well for me, and I am curious what other people are doing at this point? I recognize that flaring prior to deployment is now a recommended technique on these larger more powerful suits. Mostly I would like to hear about peoples personal preferences for deployment technique. Thanks, regards, B.
Jumping the Aura 1 still, but I really like speeding up at the end and pulling close to the apex of the flare. I really like the nice soft openings and the flare is just a fun move in itself! The pull is just ultra clean too.
Now, I've had a couple of slammers openings - in BASE - due to pitching too early in the flare sequence (basically when I'm leveling out, before the climb and stall). But you sort that one out real quick after one or two openings like that
Edit to add: I return to a flying, stable position after pitching. Laurent gave me that tip and he is worth listening to!
(This post was edited by Heat on May 20, 2017, 1:33 PM)
With skydiving I jump an old Javelin with no bottomless corners, normal D bag, but I do have an extended bridle. I fly a sabre 120. The openings can get funky with the shorter lineset and lack of bottomless corner and no stowless bag, and I do have a new container on the way with all those features.
For BASE I jump a Stream with outlaw lite and 38 snatch with awesome openings on every jump even when my body position may not be perfect. No slammers or twists yet.
Is the leading edge construction on the A3 different than the Freak?
I have a Freak (original) and I can't reach my toggles. Not even close. Suit fits well, but I don't think there's enough stretchy material to allow a toggle grab. I find that my reach is no different than in a PF suit (bottom of the rear risers).
Overall I LOVE the suit. But I was looking forward to toggle access.
*Edited to add that I don't use any foam in the arms.
(This post was edited by bluhdow on May 22, 2017, 11:35 AM)
i jump an A1, in base and sky. i like to pitch as i'm flying up the flare, before i get to the apex. I've had some off-heading issues when i waited to pitch until i hit the top of the flare. it just seems like i go slightly back into freefall with very little surface control if i pitch at the top of the apex. for me it is a lot easier to "drop a shoulder" on deployment with the diminished forward airspeed after a flare.