Powered Paragliding Wing Reviews
is life, choose wisely | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good | Para2000
| About The Testing
: About Reflex Gliders |
Origins & Understanding of Reflex Gliders
This is a compendium of comments on various wings that
I'm familiar with and have flown. Remember that a lot of preference comes down to personal
taste. All comments filter through some unavoidable bias in that regard
although every effort is made to minimize it.
More than any other purchase, you should consult with a qualified
instructor about a wing. It is probably your most important
decision, right behind picking a good instructor.
Also, there is a very good reason for choosing a beginner glider, it's
safer! The instructor will help you choose a size that's right and a
capability that's appropriate to your situation. A good instructor will
match your desires, inherent talents, intended flight location, weight,
whether or not you'll use wheels to the appropriate wing.
Detailed specs on wings can be found at www.para2000.org.
Remember that in-flight weight includes the wing's weight (about 7 kg or
15 pounds). So if the spec says 80-105 kg, that means that
it's really certified to carry up to 98 kg.
Handling has a lot to do with a wing's size. A 28 sq meter version of a
wing will be more sluggish than the 24 sq meter model. My comments are
appropriate to the wing flown and I'll try to say whether it was
appropriately sized. But basically at my weight, about 210 lbs (145 lbs of
me and 65 lbs of motor) an appropriate sized wing is about 25 sq meters.
Bigger wings will feel sluggish and smaller wings will be more sporty.
I've flown a lot of wings that aren't reviewed because I didn't get a
chance to do any direct comparison.
Size vs Weight (and Small Wings)
You're bigger than me, how much faster will you go?
a way to tell. Of course it only applies to the exact same wing.
Most all paragliders get some kind of certification to attest to basic
handling and recovery from upsets. Although only DULV does any testing
with power, even unpowered these tests are valuable to have a known
starting point. Here are the primary organizations that perform glider
EN: The European
standardization standards from the Comité Européen de
Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization). This group set out
to combine various testing standards into one that will yield safer
The German Paramotoring Association has received, as of July 2007,
authority to certify paramotors and paragliders. We look forward to
finding out what other ways they plan on serving the paramotor community.
The German Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Germany requires this
certification so it is a semi-official task. It is the most commonly used
and is perceived as being the most stringent. It concentrates more on how
far afield a glider goes when maladies are induced.
A European standards organization for many things including paragliders.
Its tests concentrate on how much time a recovery takes from various
induced maladies. As of 2005 testing standards were combined with DHV into
new standards set by CEN.
DULV: German Ultralight
Association. They certify powered ultralights including paragliders and
Swiss Hang gliding and Paragliding Association.
Speed Vs Sink Vs Weight
One of the most important performance criteria's for a
paraglider is glide performance. It is best shown on a graph where sink
rate is plotted against airspeed. That's extremely time consuming so we typically
just get the sink rate with no brakes and maybe the accelerated speed when testing
glide and sink. Carlos Curti has also done testing on several gliders
and have combined his tests with mine and put the results on the graph
There is also a speed vs glide chart to better compare
performance. Its particularly interesting to see the gliders compared on
the same chart. Remember, these lines wouldn't normally be straight with
more data points.
Also, you can see how fast you
would go at your weight using