- Written by Mike Gruwell
ChutingStar riggers assemble several new rigs a month and the most recent popular reserve/AAD/container combination is Tempo/Cypres/Mirage.
We recently noticed that Parachute Industries of South Africa added spanwise (side to side) reinforcement to its Tempo reserves. This follows similar reinforcement (although not identical in design) of popular U.S.-made reserves manufactured by Performance Designs and Precision Aerodynamics.
Dominic Hayhurst, Technical Director of PISA, gave this explanation for the added reinforcement: “Well skydiving has changed, skydivers regularly exceed ‘normal’ freefall speeds (and) flying on your head evolved. We wanted to make a safer product. As a manufacturer we can’t simply say – ‘well it passed the TSO test’ when we know what’s happening out there. We all are doing this stuff on the weekend ourselves. Being a company that is continuously developing new products and who has an active R&D program we know the benefits of adding spanwise reinforcing tape. The main advantage is that it adds extra strength. Also the chance of someone doing way, way over the design limit is very possible with head down speed skydiving for instance. The advantage is that spanwise tape reduces the chance of catastrophic failure. The failures are less catastrophic as tears are stopped at the spanwise tape interfaces. We decided to add spanwise tape to all the Tempo canopies after an active test and evaluation program. Our philosophy was to build it as tough as possible! The maximum weight specifications have not changed. In reality the safety factor and safety margins have changed for the better when you look at the canopy deployment maximum weight specification. We elected to keep the maximum weight specification based on the canopy flying maximum weight specification. It’s essentially all about safety for us.”
With that said, and from what I’ve seen from the quality of PISA’s reinforced construction, the Tempo continues to be one of the best deals in skydiving.