The Lancer Parachute

The design of the Lancer parachute was an exciting project. My associate Stu Duncan, and I conducted a primitive but effective development period that included an extensive series of test jumps.

With the aid of several of Canada's top competition parachutists, we extensively modified and fine tuned the Lancer into an aggressive and competitive accuracy canopy.

Dick Coyne, an avid international competitor from New Zealand evaluated the canopy and wrote the following article for Can-Para the official magazine of the Canadian Sport Parachute Association.


The "Lancer" - Canadian Canopy
By Dick Coyne - Canadian Parachutist Magazine (Can-Para)

"The Lancer" is the first all-Canadian Sport Parachute to be marketed. It has been designed, developed and built in Canada by MIM Parachute Products of Oakville, Ontario.

Basically the canopy is circular with stabilizers and a pulled down apex and is comparable with the currently used super-canopies such as the P.C., Papillon, UT-15 and PTCH-8. Block construction with 24 gores, the Lancer is 22' in diameter and will be made from 1.9 oz. stabilized ripstop nylon with an optional high porosity apex area. It can be bag, sleeve or pod deployed and will pack down comparable in bulk to other high performance canopies.

Performance Data

Sport Lancer

Competition Lancer

Rate of decent 170 lb. suspended load

14 -15 fps

15 -17 fps

Glide angle

1:1.2

1:1.1

360 Turn rate

20 rpm

20 rpm

Maneuver capabilities

Turn, brake, stall

Turn, brake, stall

Striking features of the canopy are the three large drive windows at the rear, the two rows of frontal vents and the eight pressure relief slots in the crown section. These pressure relief slots serve the dual purpose of reducing the opening shock and providing a variable descent rate once the canopy is open. Due to the unique method of attachment to the crown lines, the slots are held closed during the early filling period of the canopy but once the canopy drag surpasses the drag of the pilot chute the crown lines slacken allowing the slots to open and vent excessive pressure, thus reducing the opening shock. Once the canopy is fully open the slots are held closed by the tension on the radial seams but as an optional feature they can be connected to the control system so that they are opened in the deep brake area of control releasing air and giving a fast steady sink instead of the violent stall that is characteristic of other circular high performance canopies. If the slots are not connected to the control system the distortion caused by the application of full brakes is sufficient to partially open them providing a similar sink but with a less descent rate. In all control configuration other than full brakes, the slots remain closed and the canopy has a perfectly normal rate of descent. The steep steady sink without the violent stall is an obvious advantage to competition jumpers.

Technical Data

Sport Lancer

Competition Lancer

Canopy diameter

22'

22'

Suspension lines

24 type III

24 type III

Crown lines

24 type III cordless

24 type III cordless

Steering system

Self compensating

Self centering

Self compensating

Self centering

Fabric

1.9 oz. stabilized ripstop nylon, zero perosity

1.9 oz. stabilized ripstop nylon, zero perosity

   

1.9 oz. greige apex, perosity 100 cfm

Crown

 

Extensive venting system

Early prototypes of the Lancer had a relatively high forward speed when compared with other conventional canopies but as the design evolved this was reduced so that the production model has a similar L/D (lift to drag) ratio to a Papillon or P.C.. The control system is extremely sensitive and response to toggle movement is immediate. Braked turns are fast and stable.

The Lancer will be available in two models - the "Sport" Lancer and the "Comp" Lancer. The major difference between the canopy that I jumped (described above) which was a prototype "Comp" Lancer and the "Sport" Lancer will be that the latter will have a low porosity apex and will not have any pressure relief slots. This will result in a lower rate of decent and a slightly increased forward speed - i.e., a greater L/D ratio - features which would tend to appeal to the "fun jumper" rather than the serious competitor.

With two models of the Lancer to choose from, I feel that both the accuracy jumper and the fun jumper will be happy with the new product from a genuinely sport oriented Canadian Parachute Company.


Photographs by G.B. Lawson