Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Second (Chantz) Around

Just out of a 3-day stomach bug sick bed, I must still be a bit delirious 'cause that old Sinatra tune, "Love is wonderful, the second time around" keeps winding through my fuzzy brain.
No doubt I'm subconsciously morphing into music the news I got yesterday from old hang gliding pal and ultralight/light sport entrepreneur John Dunham that he's back, in the biz he made so successful in the '80s - Second Chantz Aerial Survival Equipment
His company sold more than 4,000 ballistic recovery systems when it was in operation, and has documented more than 70 saves worldwide.
You can read all the gore-y details on John's blog linked above but a brief bio must include his deep hang gliding/ultralight/LSA background as pilot, test pilot, instructor and savvy manufacturer/businessman from the early '70s.  He's an all-around talent, this guy!
John's Flight Design West biz in Nevada marketed several LSA including the Flight Design CT and the lovely (and we hope soon-to-be-resurrected) Lambada motorglider.
So welcome back John!
By email, he tells me the reinvigorated Second Chantz (which closed shop when he left mid-'90s) will:
* make and sell recovery systems for most LSA in operation and coming onto the market.

* repack, update and do scheduled service for ballistic recovery systems made by any manufacturer - including market leader BRS (More than 6,000 old systems require service, and new rockets!) Propellants do get "stale" over time...not good.  Can't save your neck with a dead load.
* market and sell Magnum ballistic recovery systems from Czech company Stratos 07, which makes several models for a variety of aircraft from hang gliders and trikes to LSA.
Around 100 Magnum systems are installed around the U.S. so far, on models from Remos, Flight Design/Europe, Samba, Lambada and more.
With his own Second Chantz line, John tells me "I'll offer a rocket system, and update older systems with new rockets...and be price competitive with BRS."
He's also resurrecting his compressed gas deployment propellant systems for all types of light aircraft.
"I will be working with new pressure cylinders that give me up to 6000 psi...twice the power we worked with 15 years ago!"
He hopes to develop 10,000 psi cylinders soon, which will  "do the job explosives do for bigger parachute systems, with cool nitrogen gas rockets."
John Dunham and Second Chantz look forward to giving BRS, and its "virtual monopoly" on the U.S. market, a friendly run for its money.
But he's in it for more than that: "It's what I know and love...and hearing or reading the words “Thanks for saving my Life” becomes addictive."

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