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The Fox BASE Specific Canopy

This page is a chapter in 'BASE Wiki Canopies'

The FOX, BASE Specific Canopy by Basic Research By Craig Fenstermaker, Jan 30, 2002 - 4:02:55 PM: Canopy Specifications - The FOX"

This article describes the specifications of, the FOX, a canopy designed and manufactured by Basic Research.


This post is similar in format to the original series of informative postings by Walt Appel. This format was intentionally copied in order to maintain continuity with the existing series of articles.

Disclaimer: I am not now, nor will I ever be, the final word on BASE jumping. Nobody is the ultimate authority.

BASE is an extremely dangerous activity. In my opinion, the best way to reduce your chances of injury or death is to talk with as many experienced BASE jumpers as you can, learn as much as possible, *think* about it, and jump in a way that makes sense to you. This article is written from one person's point of view (mine) and you'd be nuts to consider it the best or only point of view. There is a lot more to BASE than any series of articles can present. Use the information only as a starting point.

A Look at the FOX

This posting describes the specifications of, the FOX, a canopy designed and manufactured by Basic Research.

The Uninsured Basic Research inc. d.b.a. Basic Research is a full service loft / manufacturing facility located in Perris, Ca. Co-owned by Anne Helliwell and Todd Shoebotham, BR is able to serve most any Skydiving or Parachuting related need. BR was launched when Anne Helliwell, then manager of the loft at Square One, and Todd Shoebotham, owner of T&T Rigging, determined that an opportunity existed to service jumpers involved in Fixed Object Skydiving. BR offers all the necessary equipment to give a jumper piece of mind, and equally importantly offers training to educate potential jumpers.

Todd Shoebotham, President of BR, is a Master Rigger and designer of the Reactor container system. Todd has extensive experience in the construction and the design of parachuting equipment. A Master Rigger and the Designated Parachute Rigger Examiner for her region, Anne has extensive experience to guide her in the design and manufacture of equipment. Master Rigger Martin Tilley contributes superior sewing, and a thorough knowledge of how the gear functions. His insight has led to several modifications to existing designs in order to make them even more reliable.

Here are detailed specifications on the FOX

Canopy: The FOX

Manufactured by: Basic Research, 236 E 3rd St. "D", Perris, Ca 92571

Phone: (909) 940-1324 (Fax) (909) 940-1326 Email: br@inland.net

Sizes available: 185 sq. ft, 205, 225, 245, 265
Number of cells: 7
Aspect Ratio: 1.97 : 1

Description of reinforcement at bridle attachment point:

A metal ring is sewn to the top of the canopy. It is attached via 1 inch tape (1000lb tensile strength) and six 400lb bar-tacks to the top surface reinforcing structure. This reinforcement (2 & 3/4 inch 1000lb tape) runs spanwise through the three center cells (cells #3,4,5). This design effectively spreads deployment induced loads over a wide area on the top surface. Distributing the load to four points, not just two, the Fox utilizes an inverted "V" on each of the load-bearing ribs connected to the bridle attachment point. At these points, the FOX uses 400lb tape to transfer the forces to eight of the line attachments on the bottom surface (four at the B lines, and four at the C lines). This design allows the front and rear risers to lift uniformly during deployment. Directly under the bridle attachment ring the FOX uses 2 & 3/4 inch 1000lb tape on the I-Beam and spanwise across the bottom surface. The connections at these points are reinforced by using bar-tacks and by using 200lb tape in a chord-wise direction

Description of reinforcement at suspension line attachment points:
Nylon tape (600lb tensile strength) is used for the line attachment tab. This tab is attached to the load bearing rib with a bar-tack. At this junction there are three other reinforcement methods; first is a tape running chordwise in the bottom surface seam. Secondly the FOX utilizes two 200lb tapes (400lb tapes are used at the bridle attachment points) that transfer the load to the top surface in a "V", allowing the top surface to maintain an efficient airfoil. Third is the span wise reinforcement which is discussed below in the standard features section.

Canopy material (F-111, Soarcoat ZP, etc.):
1.1 ounce "F-111 Type" 0-3 cfm permeability fabric . A Zero-P top surface is available, although it is not recommended for use as a jumpers primary canopy.

Suspension line material(400 Dacron, Spectra 1000, etc.):
525 lb Dacron line and 900 lb lower control lines, with the center A-B lines being continuous 525 lb Dacron.

Standard features:

1.Tail pocket with an anti-line dump design. The tail pocket utilizes a design from Rigging Innovations. This design helps to prevent line dump, a nasty potential malfunction-in-the-making. The chances of line dump occurring are significantly increased with the greater deployment loads that are generated when using large pilot chutes and long bridles. The design utilized on the FOX uses the weight and force of the lines to help keep the tail pocket closed during deployment. When a slider is utilized, the design of the tail pocket allows the user to employ a single stow of a bight of line, or to free stow the lines during deployment.

2.Spanwise reinforcement. The FOX has complete spanwise reinforcement across the bottom surface. At the A-line (nose) 200lb tape is used, at the B,C and D lines 120lb tape is used, and at the tail 250lb tape is sewn into the tail seam.

3.Mesh and Sail sliders.

4.Stainless steel connector links and covers.

5.Two brake settings so as to adjust opening characteristics.

6.3 sets of packing tabs above the B,C and D line groups.

7.Triple cross ports.

8.VHS Video owners manual.


1.The color choices are black or grey on the #1,2,3,5,6 and 7 cells, while the center cell(#4) may be navy blue, royal blue, purple, black, grey or red. Other
colors are available, but may be assessed a custom color fee.

2.BR has developed a "Multi" bridle attachment that is available to qualified and experienced jumpers.

3.BR has also developed the "Tail Gate", an anti line-over, anti tail-inversion device.
Contact BR for further details concerning these options.


Let's go down our generic checklist, i.e., "...a seven cell with the following features:"

A low aspect ratio

The Fox's aspect ratio is 1.97 : 1. The consensus of many BASE jumpers is that an aspect ratio of 2.0 : 1 seems to be ideal.

Made of non-zero-porosity fabric

The standard FOX utilizes F-111 Type fabric.

Dacron or nylon (not Spectra) suspension lines

The FOX utilizes heavy-duty Dacron line.

Strong reinforcement scheme at bridle and suspension line attachment points

(Have you got your canopy beside you for reference and comparison?)

See the above description of Bridle and Suspension line attachment points. The FOX utilizes only the highest quality materials and construction methods in it's well thought out design that effectively distributes loads over a large area. The inverted "V" is particularly effective in it's load dispersal ability.

Very durable construction

Each FOX is individually hot-knife cut, never stack or scissors cut. This prolongs the life of the canopy by reducing fraying of the material. Grey thread is used to allow for easier inspections. Bar-tacks show up on the tapes and lines due to use of a contrasting thread color Reread the description of the spanwise reinforcing scheme. This canopy is purposely designed and manufactured to withstand the forces generated during unreefed deployments. A cursory inspection will show that the FOX is reinforced in all critical areas. A detailed inspection will reveal crucial design and construction elements incorporated to give the BASE jumper confidence in their gear.

Surface area large enough to give soft landings even in deep-brakes approaches

The FOX is offered in a variety of sizes, 185 - 265 ft^2. BR recommends that careful thought is given prior to deciding which size is most appropriate. Many people routinely skydive with canopies that are too small to be safely utilized for Fixed Object Jumps.

In addition...

The FOX has truly been designed to be a parachute that perfoms in the BASE environment. BR also has designed and manufactures a round BASE canopy, the "H2O".

Personal Comments

As the heading indicates these are my personal, subjective comments.

While excelling at unreefed deployments, the FOX perfoms very well when either reefed or unreefed. If packed properly, and deployed with correct body position the FOX responds with crisp, on-heading openings. Any possible surging that might occur after bottom skin inflation, but prior to full canopy inflation, is controlled by using the multiple brake settings. Once inflated the FOX displays a very flat glide, noticeably flatter than the Ravens, Super Ravens, "Pegasi", or Cruiselites that I have jumped in the

Even though the FOX has relatively short stabilizers, in order to facilitate packing, it is very stable in deep brake modes. I have found flight characteristics quite controllable when site conditions demand a steep, deep brake approach.

More comments upon request.

(Walt Appel's writeup on the FOX does not yet exist, and Part 5 on Vertigo's Dragon canopy is still pending.

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