WingBoard, round 2

WingBoard Development Phases
WingBoard Development Phases

WingBoard Development Phases

Last week we posted about the WingBoard (still in concept stages) and had quite the lively discussion in both comments on the post and on our Facebook page.

The inventor, Aaron “Wyp” Wypyszynski, replied to the comments and addressed some of the questions put forward. See below, if you are one of the WingBoard enthusiasist, and just can’t get enough. We hope we will see the prototypes of this flying soon!

A few further details to some common questions:
Rider Strength: In fact, the RC model is fully articulated with small nylon bolts at each of the joints to ensure forces are not too high on the rider. The small plastic servo gears also served as a great test for over stressed joints. The balance of rider force was worked and reworked on the scale models for over a year. When intolerable forces were experienced in the early models, it was readily seen as the specific joints of the rider would break. A key element to the design was also minimize shock on the rope, a specific amount of spring is required to absorb turbulence and not result in sling shooting the rider.
Air Launch/Wake Turbulence: Air launch was the original goal, but it is hard to find an aircraft that has a 12 foot wide opening. Also, the tow rope likes to cause lots of oscillation when it is short, it needs to be at least 150 feet long for the tow rope forces and the aerodynamic forces to work well together. The wake turbulence close to the tow plane, especially one big enough to launch the WingBoard is too much, thus requiring a smaller plane and a longer tow rope, the high wing loading of the WingBoard is then enough to cut through the turbulence (notice how smooth the video is).
To hard to learn/ take off from the ground: There is a plan to tow with a tail-rotor-less / enclosed tail rotor helicopter for initial tests and learning. Climb to 5000ft and then start. The tow rope limits the maneuverability to avoid the main rotors.
Parachute Deploy Height: The great thing is that when you are on tow, you can deploy the parachute without loosing much altitude (10-20 feet). Deploy parachute and then automatically timed cut the tow rope a second or two later. Canopy is fully inflated and you have barely come off tow.
Tow Plane Control: We towed the 1/6th scale model with a 1/6th scale piper cub. Yes the tow pilot can feel the WingBoard pulling him, but mostly in yaw and rudder is able to counter the effects. The forces generated by the WingBoard are much less than a glider (it only has to lift 300lbs total vs 1000+ for a glider). It is all about weight ratio, the WingBoard is 1/10th the weight and force of the tow plane ( a glider is typically 1/2).

BSBD Eldon Vasquez Burrier & Andrew Munson

BSBDcrop sm

BSBDcrop smOn Sunday September 28, tandem instructor Eldon Burrier and his student Andrew Munson were killed following an extremely hard landing. Initial reports indicate a main/reserve entanglement, followed by an off landing in a  a residential neighborhood. The jumpers were from Skydive Barnstable – a Cape Cod drop zone located in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts.

The incident is under investigation.

Eldon was an experienced skydiver with several thousand jumps and many years in the sport. He was one of the original competitors on the Pro Swooping Tour, back in the infancy of Canopy Piloting as it’s own discipline. Eldon could be counted on to go big or go home on every single competition run – and there was never a dull moment when he was around.Eldon certainly sported a bit of a wild side, and through his antics BASE jumping, swooping etc, we had truly come to believe he had more lives than the average cat. He also had a huge heart, and a matching big smile to go with it. He will be missed, but live on in our many memories.

Andrew was reportedly making his first skydive. He was remembered by friends as an active, adventurous and kind man.

We send our sincerest condolences Eldon’s and Andrew’s family and friends.

News Reports: The Boston Globe, CBS Boston,, The Seattle Times 

30 September 2014: We’ve updated the title and post to include Andrew in our memorial and condolences.

Steve’s thoughts on the new Contour (Roam3)


Last week Contour sent out a press release announcing their new Roam3. We got in touch with a local DeLand jumper – Steve Hubbard – who has been a loyal Contour fan for his take on the new toy. 

Hi, my name is Steve and I’m a techaholic.

10531411_10201803263963431_6072425999794553422_oWhen I (finally) reached the 200 jumps required to start flying with a video camera on my helmet, I did quite a bit of research. I took in to account everything that I think a skydiver should – quality of video, picture capability, and maybe most importantly, the potential snag hazard that I was introducing to my setup. That was a major factor in my decision to purchase a Contour Roam instead of a GoPro. Not to mention, the ease of use that the Contour gave me over the GoPro – I never had to ask anyone if my camera was on – it was either on or off – probably one of my favorite features of the Contour cameras.
I loved my old Roam – it wasn’t necessarily state of the art, but I was willing to sacrifice some of the quality for the small footprint and side-mounting option for my Cookie G3 – I didn’t want a big thing sticking off the top of my head. I had my Roam for maybe a year, and then a riser slap sacrificed it to SkyGod and it was never seen again.
Well, it was time to buy another camera, and seeing as I was pretty happy with the Roam, and the Roam 2 had just been released, I decided to stick with Contour and picked up a shiny new Roam 2. No big deal – got the camera and it simply replaced the Roam – same helmet mount and everything, so I stayed pretty pleased with the camera.

Fast-forward to August of 2013 and the big buzz was that Contour had shut down. I, for one, was pretty disappointed – I had been pretty pleased with their cameras for 2 years or so – sure, it wasn’t the best, but it suited my needs just fine. A few months later, I decided to see if I could find a deal on the Contour +2 (their highest-end product) and lo and behold, I found one for less than what I paid for the Roam 2. I decided to buy it and give my Roam 2 to my girlfriend, since she was getting close to the 200 jump mark and wanted a camera. Easy decision and one I certainly don’t regret. The upgraded +2 camera was a pretty nice upgrade – gave me slightly better resolution/frame rate options, gave me the option to easily switch from video to picture mode (even though I’ve never used it as a picture-only camera), had HDMI output, had replaceable batteries (the Roams both had internal batteries) … so I was even happier – got a great deal on a better camera.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Contour announced that they are back in business! Again, having jumped nothing but Contour cameras, I was pretty happy to hear this and excited to see what they would come out with. Well, months and months went by and we heard nothing from the Contour camp. Then the fateful day came. A funneled 4-way exit sacrificed my beloved Contour +2 (and I hadn’t dumped the videos in a while – so I lost those, too. Bummer.) It was time to start looking at what else is out there so I could replace it. Looked at a bunch of different cameras and options and WAIT! Contour’s releasing a new camera! The Roam3! I must take a look at that. And this is where my love for Contour stopped. As you’ll see in the specs below, the difference in what really matters – VIDEO QUALITY – was non-existent. And now it’s up against the likes of the GoPro Hero 4 and the Sony AS100V – both SIGNIFICANTLY better cameras, and with the Sony, you get an even smaller footprint than the Contour. The only difference is the price point, but in this case, you definitely are getting what you pay for.
Here’s my question – how can a company who’s competing against the biggest names in the POV camera industry go out of business, come back, and have their first product release be something that not even someone who’s owned the last 3 versions of their product would be willing to buy?
I, for one, am majorly disappointed in Contour – I expected much, much more from them.

Camera Specs:


About the Author:
Steve Hubbard is a DeLand jumper with just over a 1000 jumps. He’s a wingsuiter, 4-way jumper and occasionally gets on a big-way. In his spare time, he likes to geek out and do all kinds of nerdy stuff.  To balance out the geekyness, his girlfriend makes him pick up heavy things and put them back down. 


CONTOUR releases the ROAM3


CONTOUR_ROAM3_3QRTR.1CONTOUR_ROAM3_3QRTR.1Contour, the company that closed down earlier this year – but then didn’t – has now released a new camera in their ROAM series – the ROAM3 action camera.


From the Press Release:

This POV camera is waterproof up to 30 feet without a bulky case, features a quick-photo mode and has CONTOUR’s award-winning low-profile design.
Features of the ROAM3:
• Instant photo mode can be set for single frame or multiple burst shots
• CONTOUR’s flush rail mounts allow for secure and dependable attachment
• Built-in universal camera mount (¼”-20) makes it compatible with all standard mounts and tripods
• Instant-on video record switch
• Waterproof up to 30 feet without a case
• Rugged impact resistant aluminum casing
• Records video at 1080@30 frames per second or 720@60 frames per second
• 270-degree rotating lens
• The best video and sound quality of any CONTOUR to date
• Built-in laser level ensures the perfect angle every time
• Locking switch keeps the camera from turning on or off accidentally

Read the CONTOUR ROAM3 PRESS RELEASE or watch the launch video below (partially filmed using the ROAM3).