Greetings fellow pilots! As many of you have heard, PIO acquired the intellectual property of High Energy Sports' Cocoon and Tracer harnesses in September of 2020. Our goal was to make something that we personally would love to fly, and the old designs fell somewhat short of our expectations. Rob Cooper has also designed and built our very own in-house laser cutter that has allowed us to import all the old patterns into CAD files and parameterize all the harness measurements. Since then, we've made a lot of progress, and wanted to share it.
Caterpillar: Our "cocoon" style harness
There have been many changes to the original cocoon style harness. While still retaining it's open-back design, it has been a major, and much needed, update to the original High Energy design. In this update we have included the following as standard features in the Caterpillar:
- High tesnile strength ROBIC nylon 6 fabric
- Webbing layout redesign
- Lightweight hardware
- Load distributing bars
- Redesigned parachute container (In development)
- Leg loop configuration that allows for easy upright posture
- Fold-away "backpack" system
- Hideaway aerotow loops
We expect to finish the final design of the Cateripllar the end of January 2022 and go into testing, prototyping and send out test harnesses shortly after. Once the test trials have been complete, the harness will be available for purchase.
BTS: Basic Trainer and Stirrup Harness
While a more lowkey development, the stirrup harness plays a major role in all schools and tandem operations. This was a priority before the cocoon to help assist schools, but we have focused back on our Caterpillar due to more competition coming on the market. Both designs are very close to completion and we hope to have the BTS complete by March 2022 at the latest.
POD V1: The Tracer evolved
The final announcement we have is the update to the Tracer harness. While the beloved design has played a pivitol role in hang gliding, we couldn't justify spending the time making a 20+ year old design and charging premium prices for it. Right now, the pod is in a very early stage of devlopment and our target goal for final completion is beginning of 2023. Stay tuned for more!
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Ian Brubaker & Rob Cooper - January 16, 2022