Wing Design(s)

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OP
The Cosmicist

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The Oxy was the first of the new style of super slim wing. Credit were credit is due. The Oxy Mach V was and is the slimmest of wings that I have seen and it was first. My Oxy 30 was sans slots, it is that old. I added some however. I have had it a long time. When I first saw the Oxy 30 MV it was like, whoa!!!!!!, what is that! It was different and I had to have one. It is my favorite wing and is currently installed on my early (prototype) Freedom Plate. I just dove with it a couple of weeks ago on the wreck of the Zebulon Pike or General Pike (??) in Table Rock lake.

These wings, the ones you mention OP, well, they do look much alike or share similar features, it is convergent evolution. They all look similar for the same reason so many cars look identical today, the forces driving the designs (laws, physics, regulation, crash protection---I hate car analogies, lol!) are the same. No, wing BCs are not being driven by regulation or crash protection, lol, but market forces now favor the slim, low profile designs innovated largely by OxyCheq. And tech (diving) or at least the tech look is also now a major driving force in diver consumer choices of gear.

James

If we are going to talk about car design, let me just say that I HATE how every car looks the same now. SUVs aren't SUVs anymore, they are a product of evil engineering between minivans, real SUVs from decades past, and run-of-the-mill sedans. Again, that's a first world problem but don't get me started... :mad:

Walking back from the rabbit trail, I see your point. Companies adopt what sells works. I also see the "tech look" sales pitch the same way I see the "tactical" (tacticool) sales pitch in many other industries. As a former infantryman, it rubs me the wrong way. For tech stuff, I'll worry about looking technicool when they start making things in colors. The ocean (rivers, etc also) has no problem with beautiful colors! I'd love to use colorful wings, fins, harnesses, etc. If I decide to keep my OMS, I'm ordering one in green and selling my black one. Or is it a prerequisite of tech courses to wear black? Also, as @loosenit2 said, doubles and tech diving doesn't always need the most streamlined form. The technicool look is attractive, but what actually fits the needs of tech divers?
 

Jcp2

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To be fair, if you are properly weighted and not diving a thick wetsuit, there should be only a little bit of air in the wing. If you are in such a situation that the wing is fully inflated, then streamlining to reduce drag is pretty low on the list of things that you are trying to immediately address.
 

Eric Sedletzky

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I think you summed a lot of it up for me. We as consumers all work within the bounds we have, which (even during COVID) pamper us compared to most of the world. I think the VDH is ideal. I also think I want to dive and not wait for the golden wing. Not the company's fault... Blame mother nature!

I agree with your evaluation of the Oxy. The inner panel is too narrow on the DGX (and assumedly the Oxy since they are basically the same panels), and I think a little more width would be a good thing. But it has made a huge impact for good reason!

But that's just it... There's nothing really wrong with any of them. @AustinV dives an OMS 32# and likes it. I have it also. Others say it's too big. Most everyone likes the DGX/Oxy, while I say its inner panel is too small and it's a bit too narrow. It's all about preference. But I do find the thinking behind the designs interesting.
I’ll be honest and tell you that with all this wing stuff, it is not without a healthy serving of hype behind much of it. Sometimes enough that some designs can almost seem a little too extreme just to prove a point.
We’ve been doing this now for 20 years or so and just like everything, it takes time for the dust to settle and the truth to kind of develop into practicality.
I think where we’re at with single tank wing design is actually pretty good these days. We have variety and that’s a good thing.
 
OP
The Cosmicist

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To be fair, if you are properly weighted and not diving a thick wetsuit, there should be only a little bit of air in the wing. If you are in such a situation that the wing is fully inflated, then streamlining to reduce drag is pretty low on the list of things that you are trying to immediately address.

That's a good point. In those specific conditions, a fully inflated wing would be odd to say the least! I was asking more from a design perspective, since a wing that claims 30# lift might not be able to achieve that in certain circumstances, as mentioned above. Also, I think streamlining and reducing drag must come second to proper weighting, etc. I digress.

For someone who is diving cold water with a thick wetsuit and also going deep enough where the wetsuit will compress significantly, I still think it's a pertinent question (Or they should just wear a drysuit haha).

Let's make a couple of extremely precise assumptions with numbers simply out of my ass. :wink: Let's say your wetsuit has 14 lbs of buoyancy, your backplate weighs 6 pounds, HP100 is -8 lbs or so when full, reg set is -2 lbs, and you are weirdly wearing 4 pounds of trim weights for loss of air at the end of the dive (this is all just on the spot). You would be around -28 lbs or so at the beginning of the dive at 120ft, assuming the wetsuit retains some manner of buoyancy (If you checked my math). If your wing has 30# of lift capacity, but can't fully inflate because its design doesn't like trim weights, you run the risk of not being able to achieve neutral buoyancy, let alone use your wing to help you ascend if something goes wrong (let's say cramps or a Kraken bit ya and ya can't swim up well). There's not even any buffer for that idiot.

That's all just hypothetical nonsense that can be "what if'd" to death. In that situation I would choose a different wig with more lift, a drysuit, or a weight belt, yada yada... But you get my point. That design feature is the last in a series of negatives for that diver, but it's still one of them in that specific situation. In yours, it wouldn't matter at all.
 
OP
The Cosmicist

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I’ll be honest and tell you that with all this wing stuff, it is not without a healthy serving of hype behind much of it. Sometimes enough that some designs can almost seem a little too extreme just to prove a point.
We’ve been doing this now for 20 years or so and just like everything, it takes time for the dust to settle and the truth to kind of develop into practicality.
I think where we’re at with single tank wing design is actually pretty good these days. We have variety and that’s a good thing.

All true!
 

Nemrod

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Speaking of convergent evolution, then there is divergent evolution and then there are things like a platypus that lays eggs and has mammary glands, like ___! Or something like this:

Screen-Shot-2021-08-18-at-4-17-33-PM.png


With nearly 40 pounds of lift, it is not unlike the old back inflate BCsin capacity and it even has a beautiful taco shape around the tank just like the old days that would flutter in the current. This is the antithesis of a sleek and minimal wing, the opposite of an Oxy Mack V wing. I do like the self fabric construction, I would like to see more of that. Everything has a good point somewhere :wink:. I guess for cold water and dry suit divers who use but a single tank, maybe this has a point. But they could include a retraction system to tame the taco a bit.

N
 

lowwall

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Re- the question about the rated lift being compromised by the tank...

I know a couple of folks have actually tested the VDH wings with a plate and tank and they match or beat the specs. Bryan said in a thread that his manufacturer guaranteed the wings would provide at least 2 more pounds lift than the rating (without a tank). Tobin of the now defunct DSS even posted pics of his wings rigged up and floating with the rated weight.

I don't know if OMS et al do the same thing. I've only owned VDH and DSS wings so never bothered to research it.
 
OP
The Cosmicist

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Speaking of convergent evolution, then there is divergent evolution and then there are things like a platypus that lays eggs and has mammary glands, like ___! Or something like this:

View attachment 677349

With nearly 40 pounds of lift, it is not unlike the old back inflate BCsin capacity and it even has a beautiful taco shape around the tank just like the old days that would flutter in the current. This is the antithesis of a sleek and minimal wing, the opposite of an Oxy Mack V wing. I do like the self fabric construction, I would like to see more of that. Everything has a good point somewhere :wink:. I guess for cold water and dry suit divers who use but a single tank, maybe this has a point. But they could include a retraction system to tame the taco a bit.

N

That's beyond taco... That looks like it belongs with the tank. Like a hotdog. Serious question, though, if you were to get absolutely 100% of the air out of that wing, would it still wrap completely around the tank like that? Like @Eric Sedletzky said earlier, it's good to have variety though. For some, that may be perfect.

Re- the question about the rated lift being compromised by the tank...

I know a couple of folks have actually tested the VDH wings with a plate and tank and they match or beat the specs. Bryan said in a thread that his manufacturer guaranteed the wings would provide at least 2 more pounds lift than the rating (without a tank). Tobin of the now defunct DSS even posted pics of his wings rigged up and floating with the rated weight.

I don't know if OMS et al do the same thing. I've only owned VDH and DSS wings so never bothered to research it.

I believe you. Those wings also have a different design than the Oxycheq/DGX, which was what I was wondering about. The inner panel seems too narrow; I can't see how it could accommodate trim weights and an (8 in.?) cylinder while having enough real estate to completely inflate. With the VDH especially, I see no issues there.
 

Eric Sedletzky

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To answer the OP’s @The Cosmicist question about whether the rated lift capacity of those super narrow wings stays true with an 8” tank and a plate, I think it depends.
There are different bends to different plates. Some are almost flat and some have quite a bit of angle.
My old OMS plate has a lot of angle whereas plates like the now defunct DSS and still available Diverite plates are pretty flat.
Combine an 8” tank and a flat plate with no STA and I don’t think you’ll get enough air in the wing to reach the rated capacity. Unless maybe they allow for this.
Maybe manufacturers fill the wing to the max with air then start hanging weights off it in a pool and see how much it takes to sink it? Maybe some just pull a number out of their ass and slap in on the wing? I have no idea.
Something tells me that I doubt they go through a physical weight check in all conditions to get their rated capacity, I’ll bet It’s probably more theoretical based on measurements.
I know that with my plate you actually do get a little more capacity because the sides are cut away and the wing can inflate more. But even with the FP there are s few areas that don’t fully inflate like down low by the waist.
But then you have to think that a wing is just supposed to be used to take the edge off heaviness at depth and not relied upon as an elevator device.
You would actually be surprised at how little air you use in a wing if you’re properly weighted, even in a 7mm wetsuit.
For instance, I can get away with using my VDH 18 travel wing in my neck of the woods doing a shore dive in a 7mm wetsuit, hooded vest, gloves, booties, etc, using a steel 72 or even an HP 120 and have enough lift to to do the dive no problem. But where the 18 is a bit small is if I want to float the rig with the 120 on it, it want’s to slowly start slipping away below the surface. With the 72 it’s fine. I wear a weightbelt too though.
 
OP
The Cosmicist

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So the narrowness of the inner panel in a design like Oxycheq may not be a big factor, depending on the other equipment and exposure protection used. You and @Jcp2 are correct that only a small amount of lift should be needed (depending on depth and exposure protection) except for when you need to float your rig without you in it. The Optimal Buoyancy Computer that @rsingler created helps demonstrate this.
 
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