Fresh out the building from our friends on the other side of the world is the brand new JFX2 from NZ Aerosports. This is a canopy that’s going to appeal to a lot of people, especially fans of the original JFX. So what’s new?
Well, first off, their original plan was to just make a couple of tweaks to the JFX and leave it at that. But just like when you start eating a bit of a cake and then eat the entire thing, they made so many changes that the JFX2 was born. NZA are keen to stress that it’s not a radical redesign and that the JFX2 will stay true to all the awesomeness of the original, but it now includes the features they know you want.
So what are you getting for your money? The JFX2 is a fully elliptical, crossbraced 21-cell canopy and the big new additions are a Powerband, mini-ribs and sail loaded ribs. All of these are things which are tried and tested from other canopies in their range. The Powerband debuted on the Petra and helps with controlling the shape of the top surface of the wing more accurately, especially on the leading edge where 90% of the lift is made. The mini-ribs, which can also be found on the Petra and Leia, are added to the tail and decrease trailing edge drag, so increasing glide and flare performance. Sail loaded ribs? These bad boys are added to the loaded ribs, where the lines with the highest stress and distortion are attached, to reduce rib distortion and maintain the wing’s shape through all flight profiles.
NZA say that the JFX2 will offer consistently predictable openings, intuitive flight characteristics and stacks of flare. This new canopy should be a good canopy or experienced nine-cell elliptical pilots who are looking for their first crossbraced canopy and they claim it’s great for cranking turns, raging swoops and gentle touchdowns.
The JFX2 will respond well to harness inputs and pulling on the toggles will give you a powerful response, even at the bottom end. The stall point is slower and power than the original, giving plenty of feedback. The dive is longer than the original, but not as long as with the Leia and it should be easy to get the wing into a dive and maintain it. As to the all-important flare, it’s powerful and especially so in the bottom end – giving you plenty of stopping power.
The recommended wingloading is between 1.8 and 2.8 and, as with any NZA canopy, you can have a truly custom size. For the JFX2, this is anywhere between 69 and 119 sq ft. There are obviously lots of colour options and you get Vectran 500 lines as standard. If you don’t mind changing line sets more often, you can opt for black Vectran 400 lines.
By James ‘Macca’ Macdonald – facebook.com/SkydiveMacca