Katana Flight


Catalog excerpts

Katana Flight - 1

Katana Flight Characteristics and Frequently Asked Questions Introduction Performance Designs’ Katana is a high-performance canopy designed for experienced canopy pilots. The Katana has been described as “a perfect fit between the Stiletto and Velocity,” and a canopy that is “very suited to modern flying styles.” In this document, we will describe the performance and handling characteristics of the Katana, and answer questions that jumpers frequently ask about the canopy. How is the design of the Katana different from the Stiletto? Like the PD Stiletto, the Katana is a highly tapered or “elliptical” nine-cell canopy made from zero-porosity fabric. Both the Stiletto and the Katana were designed using a conventional cell structure, without cross-braces or TM airlocks . The Katana may look similar to a Stiletto at first glance, but beneath the surface they are two completely different machines. The Katana incorporates numerous advances in airfoil technology developed by PD in the years since the Stiletto was released. We experimented with a variety of planforms, line configurations, and other design elements, searching for the right combination to give the Katana the characteristics we wanted. Various prototype designs were tested, modified, and revised for over a year, then shaped and smoothed into a canopy that we believe is one of the finest in its class. How do the Katana’s flight characteristics compare to the Stiletto’s? When comparing the characteristics of two different canopy designs, several factors need to be considered. To make a truly accurate comparison: • The canopies must be the same size and flown at the same wing loading. Comparing a Stiletto 135 to Katana 120 would not yield an accurate comparison. The canopies should be flown under similar conditions. If you jump one canopy when the winds are calm and another canopy in strong winds, this will also affect the comparison. The canopies should be “set up” the same way. Even two identical canopies will perform differently if one has the toggles attached at the location specified by the factory, but the other has had the steering lines shortened a few inches. There may also be a noticeable difference if the risers are different lengths. There may be significant differences between a canopy with new lines and one that has several hundred jumps on the line set. Keeping these factors in mind, we can compare the characteristics of the Katana to those of the Stiletto. Control Range: A canopy’s control range can be described as “long” or “short” depending on the amount of toggle movement available between full glide and the stall point. It can also be described in as “high” or “deep” based on the amount of toggle input required to get a certain response. The Katana’s control range is deeper than the Stiletto’s, meaning you need to pull the toggles slightly farther on the Katana to get a certain reaction from the canopy; but the Katana’s control range is also longer, meaning you can pull the toggles farther on the Katana before reaching the stall point, giving you a greater amount of usable control r

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Katana Flight - 2

Recovery Arc: “Recovery arc” is a term used to describe the amount of time and altitude a canopy takes to recover from a dive and return to normal flight after a maneuver such as riser or toggle turn. Even pulling both toggles down and letting them up quickly will result in a dive, and the canopy will need a certain amount of time and altitude to recover. The Katana has longer recovery arc than the Stiletto, meaning it takes longer to recover from a dive and return to normal flight. The Katana’s recovery arc is not quite as long as the recovery arc of the PD Velocity, but you still need to...

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Katana Flight - 3

Landings: The Katana can generate more lift and reach a lower airspeed than the Stiletto during a flare. With practice, you can achieve longer swoops and softer touchdowns using either a normal, straight-in, full glide approach or a high-speed approach technique. You will also find that, using the proper technique, the Katana creates an impressive amount of lift when flaring from a low-speed, braked approach. It’s always a good idea to try a few practice flares up high before landing a canopy that is new to you. Since the Katana has a deeper control range than some canopies like the...

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Katana Flight - 4

How should I pack it? The Katana should be packed using the same neat, symmetrical PRO-pack we recommend for all of our main canopies. We find the Katana opens best when the nose is left completely straight, with the leading edge hanging just below the front of the slider. We do not recommend pushing the nose into the center of the pack job on any canopy, even a little bit, as this promotes off-heading openings. The slider should be quartered evenly, with the edges spread equally from side to side and from front to back. Be sure to keep the slider fabric pushed well down in the center, and...

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Katana Flight - 5

What size Katana should I jump? This question is best answered in relation to the canopy you are currently jumping. If you are happy with the size of your current canopy then there is really no reason to downsize. Some jumpers mistakenly believe that it is necessary to downsize when you transition from a certain type of canopy to another. For example, many jumpers believe that if someone was flying an original PD Sabre they should drop down at least one canopy size if they want to jump a Stiletto. Many people believe you need to drop one or two sizes if you transition from a canopy like the...

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All Performance Designs catalogs and technical brochures

  1. Velocity

    8 Pages

  2. Stiletto

    4 Pages

  3. Pulse

    4 Pages