Thursday, March 12, 2009

PodMod

Well, if you were to have read an entry from late Dec. '08, you might remember a post labeled 'Project Time'. I had ordered a leg covering, or POD, from UP. UP is a paraglider producer in Germany. Somewhere along the line things got lost in translation between my supplier and UP for the last 3 months. I'd like to thank Rob and Ty at Eagle Paragliding for staying on things so that the outcome was successful. It isn't unusual for the PG supply pipeline to have some kinks and clogs in it, but Rob is a good expediter and a stand-up guy.

My goal was to add the pod and make whatever modifications to the harness were necessary to do this, BUT I wanted the ability to fly the harness without the pod if I chose to. Since the leg cover mounts to the bottom of the harness I had to move my reserve to the front mounted position. For this reason I ordered the version with the integral reserve container. Moving the reserve was straight forward. The pod has bridle routes that cover the bridle on either side.

The UP Speed cover is made of good quality materials and appears to be fairly durable. It consists of a stretchy material on the top surface of the pod (with the split for entry/exit from the pod) and a light but sturdy Nylon fabric for the sides and bottom of the pod. A heavy-duty zipper is used to join the front of the pod at the waist strap between the carabiners.

The nose cone on this pod has a 2in. hole that allows ram air to inflate the cone. The bottom surface of the pod skirt has Velcro sewn into the skirt to facilitate attachment to the harness. I sewed strips of mating velcro to the harness, just forward of the Ram Race's tailpiece ram-air intakes.

Because the bulk of the front mounted reserve makes it impossible to use my existing flight deck I made my own instrument deck that mounts to the Velcro on the reserve container.

I stand 69in. and 175 lbs. and the Medium size is perfect for me. Anyone taller should opt for the large. The video below shows some of the details of the mod.

The complete project took less than 4 hours and $25 for professional sewing. The results are a good looking and comfortable leg covering. This pod looks like it would work on a number of similar harnesses.

I made some additional changes after flying a couple flights.
They can be seen HERE.




PodMod from Tim O'Neill on Vimeo


I can't wait to fly it. I hope to get a chance this weekend at the Santa Barbara event.

Tim

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