NZ Aerosports – Kraken
She’s a wing of legends. The Kraken delivers unprecedented opening and flare characteristics. She’s ideal for wingsuiting novices but will excite even the most experienced pilots. This hybrid low-pack volume wing has a lightweight configuration which allows the pilot to pack bigger sizes in a normal container without sacrificing fabric longevity (read about Kraken pack volume here). This coupled back with a tighter, firmer tail makes the outline curvy for high maneuverability in the sky. This wing is the ultimate ‘party in the front and business at the back’, she’s super responsive and holds tight when pushed hard. She is the canopy equivalent of Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe and Brian Jones all in one. The Kraken is a must have for any wingsuiter and will have you grinning ear to ear as you fly back to whatever landing area you can make it to. Kidding. Kinda.
Canopies low(er) in aspect ratio and ellipticity (fat 7-cell canopies) have better heading performance, and stability in flight – good for when you’re spun up in line twists after opening – something you wingsuit pilots tell us is possible no matter how much we scream “BODY POSITION” at you!
The problem with this is, wings shaped like this are not exactly renowned for their glide performance and sharp handling.
So how do we make something handicapped by the very nature of its job fly well? The answer – as usual – was a combination of ideas floating around the head of NZ Aerosports aeronautical engineer Julien, and the production and test jump team.
Designing the Kraken was a long process because it was new to us. Traditionally NZA has focused more on flight performance than on opening a canopy in a wingsuit wake. So it took us a few years, but ended up with a very technical canopy full of cool features and ideas that makes it very different from any existing wingsuit canopy. The result is a low bulk (she packs about 15% smallerthan a 9-cell non-crossbraced canopy like the Safire 3 or Crossfire 3), long lasting canopy with very reliable and stable openings that lands like a dream.
This is our very first wingsuit specific parachute. The result of thousands of test jumps,cutaways, and lots of spilt (and consumed) beer. Whist other manufacturers approached designing this type of wing drawing from their experience with BASE canopies, we looked to our deep understanding of modern day wings, aerodynamics, and type of ingenuity that produces world class skydiving parachutes – our trademark.
All in all, we’re super proud of what we’ve ended up with. We have a canopy that is bloody good for its intended purpose of opening well after you’re finished prancing around the sky in your dress…ahem, wingsuit… and simultaneously offers a fun filled flight and powerful flare. Oh, and if you jump it slick, it won’t break your back. Nice.
The game changer. We knew this was a big factor to all the wingsuiters out there. The modern day wingsuit is capable of incredible glide, but this efficiency brings its own set of complications when designing a parachute to match. The biggest factor is the turbulent wake formed behind the wingsuit – right where you deploy your parachute…
Kraken openings are quick but not hard – you’ll feel inflation immediately. The vent helps control the heading. Once the center cell and adjacent cells inflate, the canopy slowly pressurises with a predictable reliability. Should line-twists occur, fear not! The Kraken will sail on level seas. Aarrrrgh-me Hearties! [Applicable Pirate reference. ]
Intuitive and precise, each input delivers a predictable response. From opening to landing the Kraken is a confidence builder.
Your first point of contact leaves you knowing you’ve taken control. Big inputs will produce an immediate response. Flying slow and steady you’ll always feel in control and connected to the canopy.
The slow flight characteristics were a very important design factor. You’ll get plenty of warning before she stalls. Slowly let the toggles back out and she will recover to normal flight in an easy and stress free transition.
There’s lots of feel and response – the Kraken has fantastic glide! Milk those rears and disprove the myth that all wingsuiters land off.
F is for fun! Yep, you can dive the Kraken, and she will respond!
The Kraken has designed to be an exceptional wingsuit canopy. This also meant making sure she didn’t feel like a bus. She’s got loads of zip. Fly her nice and slow for those busy landing patterns when you want lots of vertical separation. Or dive her at the ground and drag some turf! There’s plenty of fun to be had!
We are are firm believer this canopy should have some dive. The recovery arc is longer than typically experienced with similar 7 cell designs. If you want to have your cake ( a nice sensible wingsuit canopy) and eat it too (swoop the shit out of it), then go go go!
The Kraken has a wide range of performance, the flare is one of the most important aspects. She wont dissapoint. Those nil wind tiptoe landings will feel very natural.