The LARA 250 was drop tested eight times by the United States military. Data was gathered at the rate of five samples per second utilizing a SOMAT data logger with on-board altimeter instrumentation. The average descent rate (corrected to sea level) with a 200 pound payload was only 17.5 feet per second! The US military uses 24 feet per second as a maximum allowable descent rate for emergency reserve parachutes. This low descent rate is comparable to the 24 gore PDA being manufactured by Free Flight Enterprises for tandem use.
Free Flight has drop tested all LARA models, with payloads 25% above nominal weight, at 90 knots. No canopies were damaged. These tests also verified the exceptional descent rate performance. (Note: Descent rates shown in the table below are based on average descent rates obtained in drop tests from airplanes conducted by Free Flight Enterprises. There is characteristically a significant amount of scatter in parachute drop test data).
There are no structural differences between the HG and PG canopies. The PG canopy can be converted for hang gliding applications by adding a bridle extension, however we strongly recommend a Paraswivel which is integral on the HG configuration. Without a Paraswivel, a spinning broken hang glider can close the canopy by twisting the bridle and shroud lines.
The LARA is available in three sizes (175, 250, 400) and four configurations.
The LARA Gold utilizes a Kevlar bridle and Spectra lines to reduce weight and pack volume. The “Gold” designation was chosen because the use of these materials increases the cost rather significantly.
The standard LARA has a Type 18 Nylon bridle and conventional lines.
The HG configuration includes a 24 foot bridle and integral Paraswivel.
The PG configuration includes a 4 foot bridle.
The LARA was designed by Vertigo Inc., and is fabricated 100% in America by Free-Flight Inc. The combination of Wills Wing, Free-Flight and Vertigo assure the highest standard of quality available.