Our original tandem was rectangular and zero porosity; it sold well, having been developed and released onto the market before any other manufacturer had released a ZP tandem. Eventually elliptical and tapered 1/2 ZP tandem canopies arrived on the scene, providing similar performance.
In early 1997 NZ Aerosports expanded into the US and Europe. We had also secured an arrangement with Stunts Adventure Equipment to provide tandem canopies for their Eclipse Tandem rig. It now became viable to focus our energy into designing a new tandem main canopy.
We learned a lot from our first canopy; what worked well and what its weaknesses were. We stuck with our proven construction design, evaluated some newly available materials and began shaping, testing, tweaking and re-testing the Icarus Elliptical Tandem.
We have now built in excess of a thousand Icarus Elliptical Tandem canopies. In 1998 it was approved for use by 3 of the 5 FAA tandem exemption holders for use in their equipment in the US (no longer a requirement and not a requirement in most other countries). The Icarus Tandem is the only canopy to be approved in the US, which is not manufactured and sold in conjunction with the exemption holder's equipment.Landings
As with your personal canopy, going to total ZP and a fully elliptical planform improves the landings enormously. Landings on the 365 size and above are more gentle than any tandem canopies we've tried. The 6 & 2 option is maneuverable enough to build up a lot of speed for a good surf if you're into that. Nil winds with heavy loads will still have some minimal forward speed as you will get with any canopy, the light toggle pressure makes flaring and controlling the flare very easy.Openings
The openings are soft, consistent and comfortable, they take 500-700 feet. There is a variable lip over the nose as with many Zero-P canopies, there is no flag or hole in the slider, the slider is flat. The openings on this canopy were exceptional right from the beginning of the development program. We have absolutely no brake settings on the canopy, which has worked out very well with absolutely no down side. The canopy opens centre cell first with the ends collapsed, the remaining cells slowly inflate to a full canopy. Off heading openings do exist but will not dive away so do not become an issue. The openings are very consistent. During testing we opened the canopy at Tandem Terminal (Drogueless) on many occasions and had nothing but smooth soft openings.Conclusion
The cost effectiveness of the Icarus Elliptical Tandem is currently unbeatable. The canopy will still be performing as it does from new throughout its life, rather than slowly losing its performance over the next 500 jumps. For larger Dzs, your tandem masters won't be avoiding the older rigs any more (but the packers might be avoiding the new ones at first). Tandem masters will find the Icarus Elliptical Tandem easy to fly and land; the toggle pressure is refreshingly light and the openings are great.
We recommend the 365sf canopy with the Vectran line (although any size can be ordered).
When you order online, we will contact you to discuss your colour choices etc. In the meantime, please Contact Us if you require further information or would like to demo one of these canopies.