Paragliding

Paragliding

(paragliding) is a sport in which competitions are conducted using a paraglider (an ultralight (5-7 kg) non-motorized aircraft). The paraglider is a wing made of airtight fabric (skythex, gelvenor, etc.), consisting of two shells, between which are stretched special septa (nevyury), equipped with apertures for a more even distribution of air inside the aircraft.

Through the air intakes located in the front part of the structure, the wing is filled with air (because the back and sides of the shell are tightly sealed), and thanks to the ribs it takes on a definite shape (profile). This allows the aircraft to make long movements in the ascending air currents (dynamic, formed in the collision of the wind with obstacles (for example, rocks) and thermal, resulting from the heating of a certain portion of the earth by the sun’s rays).

A system of lines connecting the wing and the suspension system (suspension) for the pilot, equipped with a protector taking over most of the impact when landing, is attached to the lower part of the paraglider.

A similar design (originally a parachute wing that differed from a conventional parachute in form only) was invented by Steve Snyder in 1964. In the 70s of the last century the mentioned invention was used by French sportsmen-skiers to accelerate the descent from the mountains.

The modern view of the paraglider was acquired only after 10 years – for this designers had to work a lot not only to change the shape of the wing (from a single-layer dome it turned into a two-layer ellipsoidal structure), but also over the modification of the sling and suspension system.

The first paragliding competitions (European and world championships) started in the 80s of the 20th century and are regularly held today. Pilots compete in the speed of overcoming the distance (most often along the route of 25 km in length), the altitude of the climb, the duration of stay in the air, the flight range (to the goal, to the goal with return, along the triangular route, to the open range – in this case the pilot himself chooses the direction and the trajectory of motion).

There is also acro (aerial acrobatics) – performing various tricks (turns, loops, “barrels”, “slides”, etc.) in the air. But competitions of this kind are held only in the countries of Europe and America.

ак In the Russian and CIS countries the acrobatic sport is not considered, and the achievements of athletes in this discipline are not taken into account.

The paraglider and the parachute are the same.

No, there is a significant difference between the mentioned constructions. The purpose of the parachute is to protect the descent of a person from a certain height as much as possible, because it is designed for a dynamic impact of great force that occurs when you open. The paraglider is an aircraft equipped with a control system and intended for long flights. Take-off is carried out from the ground, respectively, the design is not designed for dynamic impacts, inextensible and the wing has a more correct aerodynamic shape, resulting in higher flight performance than the parachute. However, both of these structures appear to be so similar at times that it is difficult for a layman to distinguish a paraglider from a parachute.

Aviators do not like paragliders.

Yes, it is. The matter is that the paragliders (especially equipped with motors) are extremely mobile, can take off and land from small areas of the earth, besides they are almost not fixed by ground service radars of airports. Therefore, it is rather difficult to prevent the appearance of a paraglider on the way of an airplane. In some countries (for example, in Germany) paragliding is generally prohibited, in others (in France) in order to facilitate the identification of the offender, numbers of aircraft that are clearly visible from the ground and from the air are painted on the wings of non-motorized aircraft.

The term “paraglider” is a shortened phrase “parachute planning”.

There are several versions that explain the origin of the term.Some researchers believe that the word “paraglider” came from Fr. parapente (“hovering over the slope” or “preventing landing on the slope”) or from the English paraplane (“parachute wing”).

Paragliders are used only for entertainment and sporting events.

Wrong opinion. Paragliders (especially motorized) are used for environmental inspection, checking the condition of power lines and pipelines, and conducting photo and video shooting of the terrain. In addition, single-parameter paramotors are used in agriculture and during predator hunting (for example, on wolves), and double ones in the field of air tourism and for excursion flights.

Paragliders fly faster than hang gliders.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. The speed of hang-gliders is from 28 to 130 km / h, and the maximum speed that the paraglider can develop is 70 km / h (at this speed this aircraft can start to form, which is a considerable danger to the health and life of the athlete).

Paragliders are easier to hang-gliders, because they gain altitude faster than hang-gliders.

This is not quite true. The weight of the paraglider (maximum 7 kg) is actually less than the weight of the hang glider (20-40 kg). However, the speed of decline, which, in fact, depends on the ability to quickly gain altitude, and the paraglider and the hang glider are approximately the same (about 0.7 m / s).

The paraglider is able to climb a spiral of small radius in a very narrow stream, a hang glider is inaccessible.

It should be noted that the radius of the spiral trajectory of the lift is most strongly influenced by the speed of the aircraft and the angle of heel. Because both hang gliders and paragliders can “handle” very narrow thermals, just the first one has to move at a certain angle. The speed of both devices is practically the same.

Learning to fly a paraglider can be much faster than on a hang glider.

Yes, many flight schools teach paragliding flights for 5-7 days, and on a hang glider – for 10-15 days. In addition, paragliders immediately begin flights from a great height, while hang glider pilots first work at a relatively low altitude, gradually increasing it as the various skills and skills necessary for a safe independent flight are successfully consolidated. As a result of this state of affairs, it seems that paraglider flights can be mastered much faster than the art of managing a hang glider. In general, the pilots of both aircraft take roughly the same amount of time to acquire the skill and ability to act in an emergency situation.

It is best to start training in the winter – it is not so painful to fall into snowdrifts.

Indeed, in many paragliding schools, newcomers are trained in winter time. However, it should be noted that flights on this aircraft can only be carried out on days when the ambient air temperature is not lower than -15 C. Stronger frost contributes to structural changes in the wing – airtight impregnation becomes brittle, which can lead to partial or complete destruction of the paraglider .

The best psychological attitude of the pilots-professionals who devoted many years to paragliding.

Not always. Pilot-professional, weighed down with the baggage of knowledge and skills, repeatedly saved his life, yet sometimes able to make mistakes, simply overestimating their capabilities. Equally dangerous is the position of the inexperienced pilot-optimist, who relies not so much on skill and knowledge as on his own luck. Plus, paragliders with the above psychological attitude in the event of danger take certain actions (perhaps not always right and successful) and often achieve success.But the pilots, which psychologists call pessimists, panic-stricken, are not sure of themselves, are afraid of the dangers that are supposed to be trapped at every moment of time, and, worst of all, in an emergency situation, at best they react very slowly, at the worst, completely lose the opportunity to act (“fall into a stupor”). Such behavior may pose a considerable danger to the health and life of both the pilots themselves and all those with whom they share airspace. Therefore, the experts consider such a psychological mood as the most optimal for paragliding flights, which makes it possible to soberly assess the situation that has arisen (without losing self-confidence and without panic) and quickly develop an algorithm of action that is most suitable for solving a particular problem.

Advantage of the paraglider – the possibility of landing on a platform of very modest size.

Other aircraft, such as a hang glider, can not do this. The paraglider can actually land on a very small landing pad, but it should be taken into account that a hang glider can do almost the same maneuver when using a braking parachute.

For flights to paragliders, the same places where hang-gliders prefer to climb into the sky will do.

Not always. For example, Laragne (France) – a place called hang-gliders “Mecca”, paraglider pilots avoided. The fact is that the powerful thermal currents that arise in this area can lift even a fully developed paraglider dome to a very high altitude, and strong winds and a high level of turbulence lead to the fact that the behavior of this aircraft becomes completely unpredictable. This is very dangerous for the health and life of the pilot.

On the paraglider, you can gain more speed than on a hang glider.

No, both in terms of aerodynamic qualities and speed, the paraglider is inferior to the hang glider. Moreover, in the conditions of turbulence, the rigid wing of the hang glider is more stable than the paraglider, which, having got into the zone of strong turbulence, can simply form, which will lead to the pilot dropping from a great height.

Over the long history of paragliders, their classification has undergone many changes.

Yes, it is. The classification of aircraft depends on the safety certification system. The first of such systems – ACPUL (the French Association of Designers of Non-motoric SLA, the Association des Constructeurs des Planeurs Ultra-Legers) has been widely used and applied since 1991. She was succeeded by AFNOR (French Association for Certification, fr. Association Francaise de NORmalisation) – the state standard of France for paragliders. Around the same time (mid-90s), the German system for airworthiness requirements (German Lufttüchtigkeitsforderungen, LTF), formerly known as DHV (German Deutscher Hangegleiter Verband – German Hang Gliding Association), gained increasing authority from the mid-80s -th. XX century exclusively for the needs of Germany. Based on the last two certification systems (AFNOR and DHV), the CEN (Comité Européen de Normalization or the European Committee for Standardization) was developed at the beginning of the 21st century, which was to become a unified system for the countries that are members of the European Union. It has been applied since 2006.

According to one of the mentioned systems (AFNOR), single-seat safety paraplanes are divided into 3 classes:
• “Standart” – are intended for beginners and pilots flying very rarely;
• “Performance” – devices created for experienced pilots;
• “Competition” – designed for professional athletes.

Double paragliders were classified as “Biplace”. Also, the paragliders, depending on the purpose, are divided into:
• Educational or school – applied at the stage of mastering the skill of paraglider control;
• Created for route flights (Eng.cross-country);
• Acro-wings – the design features of these aircraft allow performing various aerobatics figures;
• Tandem – designed to fly two people at the same time. Used for training, and for sightseeing flights;
• Motorized paragliders: parachutes consisting of a titanium body with a motor and a wing; paramotors – power knapsack installation, used together with a paraglider (in some cases paramotors call any motorized paragliders).

The higher the paraglider class, the safer it is.

No, the maximum security level is inherent in the wings of the Standard class, because in the case of addition (due to turbulence or incorrect pilot actions), they acquire the lost configuration completely independently, without pilot intervention. Good safety at the wings of the Performance class – in order to give them the right shape, lost when folded, will require some effort of the paraglider. And, finally, there is sufficient security for the competition class paragliders, which will not leave the compound without clear actions of the pilot, performed in a certain order. It should be noted that, according to safety standards, it will take no more than 4 seconds for the paraglider to add the desired configuration after addition to any of the aforementioned aircraft.

If a future athlete plans to master paragliding, he will have to purchase an acro wing and comprehend the basics of piloting a paraglider on a specialized aircraft.

Wrong opinion. The initial stage of training all pilots take place on training paraplanes, which do not require the pilot to have special skills and are designed to take the correct position in the air. Yes, and the basics of acrobatics can be mastered on conventional paragliders, for example, Class Performance or Competition. And only after that it is recommended to switch to the specialized wings of “acro”, which are indispensable in the performance of some acrobatic figures. It should be noted that some of them are designed “for a certain trick” (for example, Infinity’s ability to dampen (vibration damping) is minimized), therefore, initial training on paragliders of this kind is highly undesirable.

The wing of the paraglider, devoid of rigid elements, takes shape thanks to the ribs.

This is not quite true – some rigidity in the design of this aircraft is still present. Firstly, the semi-rigid front edges of the ribbon are made-this facilitates the process of filling the structure with air. Secondly, in the design of paragliders, especially designed for flight speed competitions, some rigid elements are incorporated to ensure a stable wing shape even at high speed. The ribs also perform not only the profile setting function – some of them (the so-called power ones) also serve as the attachment point for the lines.

The system of lines of a paraglider resembles a parachute.

Externally – yes, but with closer examination it can be seen that the system of lines of the paraglider has many features. The parachute is usually connected to the suspension by one row of lines, fixed along the perimeter of the structure. And the slings of the paraglider are located in 4 or 5 rows and are attached not only to the front and rear edges of the wing, but also to the power ribs dividing the paraglider on the section. To reduce the drag of the system, the slings are branched over the tiers: some of the thickest make up the lower tier, to each of them are attached a few thinner lines of the middle tier, each of which in turn is connected to the wing by a certain number of thinnest lines of the upper tier. In addition, the slings of the paraglider are thinner than the parachute ones (their thickness is about 1.5 mm, while the thickness of the parachute lines is about 4 mm), but thanks to the use of modern materials (Kevlar, dinim, vektran, etc.), it can withstand the load 120-150 kg.

The pilot’s weight and flight weight are synonyms.

This is not quite true.In order to calculate the flying weight, the weight of the equipment that the paraglider plans to take with him (helmet, flying boots, overalls, suspension system with a spare parachute, various instruments, etc., about 10 kg in total) should be added to the pilot’s weight, taking into account the weight of the wing of the paraglider (5-7 kg). In total, this “increase” is about 15-17 kg, although there are cases of weight changes in the direction of increase – for example, if the pilot is going to grab a video camera, first-aid kit, food, water, etc.

The smaller the pilot’s weight, the better his paraglider will fly.

Wrong opinion. If there is a deviation from the parameters of the flying weight specified by the manufacturer for a particular paraglider, the apparatus will behave in the air in a not very good way. When the flying weight is less (the dome is underloaded) – the paraglider can not move at the required speed and fly against the wind, it will be difficult to keep the form (“play” or “walk”), resulting in aggravated maneuverability and the ability to exit from the additions. Also, the aerodynamic indicators decrease – the underloaded vehicle by characteristics and behavior will be very similar to a parachute. If the flying weight is too high (the dome is overloaded), the speed of the paraglider exceeds the design speed, as a result of which the wing maneuvers become excessively harsh, the transition from one movement to another becomes more complicated.

The more complex the design of a paraglider is, the greater the range of weight it is able to lift without deteriorating aerodynamic characteristics.

This is not true. “Weight fork” (the difference between the minimum and maximum flight weight) is the smaller the higher the paraglider class. If for training aircraft it is about 30 kg, then for sports aircraft, it does not exceed 3-5 kg.

If the wing of the paraglider is formed – the pilot will inevitably fall to the ground.

First, every pilot of the paraglider has a spare parachute, which can be opened if necessary. Secondly, modern paragliders, for whatever reason formed in the air, you can again decompose and continue the interrupted flight. However, such actions require skill and, most importantly, time. If the pilot is at a low altitude while changing the configuration of the aircraft, it is best to use a spare parachute.

The conversation of experienced paragliders to the beginner is sometimes completely incomprehensible.

As with any kind of activity, there are a lot of terms and jargon words in paragliding, the sound of which is familiar to everyone, but the meaning is clear only to experienced pilots. For example, the ascending stream, for lifting in which the athlete does not have to exert any effort, is called the “elevator”, the athermic weather is “milk”, a backpack into which you can quickly pack a paraglider without stacking it – a donut. Some types of aircraft behavior in the air have their own names: “butterfly” – the center of the paraglider retreats, the lateral parts (the so-called “ears”) move forward; “tie” – part of the dome entangled in the sling system; “twist” – twisting the lines, etc. If the above-mentioned flight regimes (representing a considerable danger to the health and life of the pilot) follow one another and lead to a loss of altitude, paragliders say: “disco”.

Using the radio transmitter, the instructor can tell the novice paraglider how to act in this or that situation.

This is not quite true. Radio communication is really used in training, but not to guide the pilot from the ground (in fact, in the event of a contingency, the pilot, especially at a low altitude, simply does not have time to take the advice of the instructor). If the instructor doubts that the student does not have enough knowledge and skills to perform the training flight with a specific task – he simply simplifies the flight task, and the pilot will act independently in this or that situation. However, in some cases, radio communication is very useful.For example, a more experienced and observant instructor can inform a novice paraglider about the location of the thermal stream, using which the athlete will be able to gain altitude and increase the time spent in the air.

The principles of the movement of a group of aircraft in the air are similar to the rules of the road.

In some cases, this is indeed the case. For example, when meeting pilots fly each other to the left, if the courses intersect, the rule “interference to the right” (ie the paraglider, who sees to the right of himself another athlete moving along the perpendicular course, must turn left to avoid a possible collision). But there are exceptions to some rules. For example, if the pilots met at the slope, the paraglider leaves the road, which is further from the slope than his opponent. However, if a strong side wind is blowing, the pilots, on the contrary, try to “cuddle” to the slope and the order of divergence is determined by mutual agreement.

Gliders and gliders should give way to paragliders.

According to the system of priorities in aviation, aircraft equipped with engines must give way without a motor. Non-motorized are divided into groups, depending on maneuverability and speed – the fastest and most mobile give way to slow and low maneuverability. In accordance with this rule, gliders and gliders do give way to the glider, but only if the wing is not equipped with a motor. The motorized paraglider goes into the category of aircraft equipped with motors, and therefore will have to give way not only to balloons (as all paragliders do without exception), but to any non-motorized aircraft. If two aircraft of the same class meet, the one who flies higher should give way, since, having a good overview, can better assess the situation, and it is easier to maneuver.

Experienced gliders try to give way to novice pilots.

This is indeed so. However, one should not think that the title of “teapot” automatically leads to the fact that all other aircraft will be removed from the road of the pilot overnight. After all, it is quite possible to meet with an inexperienced paraglider in the sky, and this could well lead to a collision.

You can enter the thermal flow in any convenient way for the pilot.

Yes, if the pilot enters the stream first. If the group of hang-gliders already “processes” the thermal, moving in a certain direction – the pilot joining it should select a spiral trajectory along which he can rotate in the same direction. Otherwise, the entire group will have to rearrange themselves (according to the rules, paragliders, who are in the stream at a higher level and, correspondingly, have a larger view, height and maneuvering space, should “adjust” to the pilots below). Following this rule makes it possible to minimize the possibility of collision of vehicles caught in oncoming courses.

In order to get the best heat in the heat, you need to narrow the lift spiral as much as possible.

Such a technique can be used at a time when the vario meter readings indicate that you are at the peak of the ascent. It should be remembered that both insufficient and too strong narrowing of the spiral leads to undesirable consequences: in the first case, the pilot uses the flow force only partially, in the second – instead of continuing to climb, will fall in a deep spiral, and with a very large speed. Therefore, the narrowing of the spiral should be stopped at the moment when the rate of ascent begins to fall. It should be noted that the above technique is used only to stay in the center of one flow. If the pilot on some grounds (a drop in the average level of recovery, a feeling of strengthening the upward flow on one side, etc.).) feels that next to it a new nucleus is being formed, it should not narrow, but expand the spiral, which will subsequently need to be narrowed again, using the strength of the new thermal center.

The tornado can be used to climb.

This is not quite true. Tornadoes (the most durable – sandy, sometimes having a diameter of up to 1 km, less “live” water or plain) is best used as an indicator of the presence of thermals. It is necessary to gain altitude in these streams with the utmost care, since in the tornado sometimes there is quite a strong turbulence. Experienced pilots are advised to enter the tornado at a height of not less than 300 meters (and necessarily above the upper limit of the visible part of the tornado) and build a flight path against the rotation of the air flow.

Paragliders on the airfield rarely observe the rules of politeness: they listened to the interlocutor inattentively, interrupted the conversation in mid-sentence, and so on.

Such peculiarities of behavior on the airfield are not dictated by the low level of education of pilots, and may seem a manifestation of impoliteness only to people who are not familiar with the peculiarities of paragliding. It should be noted that the main factor of a successful flight is the constant observation of the weather. That’s why the first half an hour the athlete pays the above-mentioned occupation, and only after that he greets the people present. Conducting a conversation with someone, the paraglider continues to closely monitor the weather conditions, and if he notices the appearance of a strong thermal stream, he will try to use this factor, starting the flight as soon as possible, even if for this he has to interrupt communication with someone from his acquaintances, met on the airfield.

Passive waiting in a dynamic flow above the top of the hill is the best tactic, as the term above this place will necessarily appear.

Tactics of passive search, i.e. the expectation of a flow above the site of the most probable occurrence of a thermic (the so-called trigger – plowed field, hilltop, etc.) is justified only when the thermal activity is weak, and the ascending flows are formed, but do not detach from the triggers. In other cases, the most correct behavior is the search for thermals and the subsequent climb using the found upstream.

After tracking the heat flow, the paraglider must start immediately.

This is not quite true. Experienced athletes are advised to first “feel” the thermal, carefully watching the behavior of the dome. If the wing, getting into the stream, tears forward and upwards, pulling the pilot behind him – you can safely start. If the paraglider rolls back and in order to keep it in the stream, the pilot has to make considerable efforts, or a stable wind blows – the start is better to be postponed (since the above signs indicate the falling of the descending air accompanying the thermals).

The more you start, the more likely you are to get into a good thermal stream.

Wrong opinion. It should be taken into account that the periodicity of the descent of the streams depends on the time of the day and the weather, and the intervals between them can fluctuate from 5 to 20 minutes (in some cases, for example, when the weather is very warm – the flows appear once a day, often after noon). Precisely in order to reveal how often thermals appear, the paraglider, after coming to the airfield, pays half an hour to observe the weather, and only then determines the frequency of the starts, adjusting to the “schedule” of the descent of the streams.

Using a parachute in case of an abnormal situation will ensure a soft landing.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. The rate of decline in this case is about 5-7 m / s, which implies a fairly hard landing. However, in some cases (the collision with another aircraft, the destruction of the wing, getting into a hard mode less than 100 m above the ground, etc.), the use of the reserve is the only way out.

Faced in the air with another aircraft, you need to apply the reserve as soon as possible.

Yes, it is. But in some cases it is better not to open the spare parachute – for example, if the pilot is entangled in the paraglider of another athlete already using the reserve. In such a situation, one parachute should be lowered (although the speed of approaching the ground will be somewhat larger). The fact is that two spare parachutes open at the same time can be messed up, which is absolutely undesirable and even dangerous for both pilots.

A spare parachute must sometimes be repositioned.

To ensure maximum safety during the occurrence of an abnormal situation, the reserve should be repositioned before each flight, and in winter it should be done in a room with a low air temperature. The fact is that a sharp temperature drop can cause the condensate to appear on the reserve parachute, and during the flight the released liquid freezes, so that it is simply impossible to use the spare part for the purpose.

Breakage of the control lines leads to the fact that the pilot completely loses control over the flight of the paraglider.

Wrong opinion. The wing can be controlled by acting on the lines of the rear row.

The entangled slings can become an insurmountable obstacle to the continuation of the flight.

In some cases, when the foreign body (most often – branches, twigs or thorns), entangled in the lines, does not lead to deformation of the wing, the flight can continue. If, however, the aerodynamics of the paraglider has changed (for example, the wing is strongly heeling or turning, and in dangerous modes behaves atypical), you can try pulling the lines to untangle them. If this does not help – go to the landing.

It is best to land on level glades, away from trees.

Yes, if the landing occurs in the steppe or forest-steppe. But in the case of flying over the swampy terrain, it is necessary to choose areas for landing where the vegetation is the most dense and high. After all, in the swamp the most lofty places look like “glades”, covered with bright green low-grass.

Landing on a tree or a power line is dangerous for life.

Landing on trees is most often the least traumatic, especially in cases where the dome is completely built up and the reserve parachute is refused. But power lines should be avoided. If it is impossible to avoid landing on a power line, you need to land on the last wire, trying not to touch the others.

The behavior of a paraglider reaching the ground can alert observers to an unsuccessful landing.

Indeed, pilots in the air or on the mountain and watching the landing of one of the athletes will hurry to the rescue if the pilot is lying still or is in no hurry to fold the dome.

The slower the paraglider is flying – the safer the flight.

Wrong opinion. When flying at minimum speed, there is a danger of a “flow failure”, which leads to a sharp drop in the lift of the wing. However, do not give preference to the maximum possible speeds (modern paragliders can be accelerated to a speed of 55 km / h), since in this case the soft wing can lose its shape or even develop due to atmospheric turbulence. Therefore, the best is the speed at which both acceleration and deceleration of flight are possible. Such speed is usually not less than 10% and not more than 20% of the maximum possible. It is in this mode that most often fly not only beginners, but also professional athletes.

While flying on a paraglider, you can make sharp and fast turns.

This aircraft really has a fairly high level of mobility, but beginners should remember that for the entrance to the turn, the paraglider will need a certain time – 1-2 seconds. Inexperienced paragliders do not take this into account, pull the brakes (control knobs of the aircraft) in different directions, as a result of which the wing is strayed from the trajectory of motion, loses its stability and height.If you pull the brake too much and sharply – the wing speed can increase excessively (up to 100 km / h), increase the overload (up to 3 G) and the speed of descent (up to 18 m / s) – the so-called deep spiral mode, which can only control experienced pilots. For beginners, the flight in this mode can end very badly.

Fluctuations of the paraglider during flight are unsafe.

Yes, it is. And it’s not just that they are accompanied by strong shaking and loss of altitude. The most dangerous is approaching the position of the wing, which can lead to a break (if the angle of attack is too large) or folding (the angle of attack is too small). However, it should be remembered that paraglider vibrations in the air are a common thing, they can be caused even by a small wind or, say, inept approach to landing. This is provided by designers during the design of the wing – all paragliders (especially training) have a considerable margin of stability. Distinguish stability by roll, course and pitch, thanks to it the device, the position of which for some reason changes, returns to flight mode at a given rate after 1-2 oscillations.

Trying to reduce the amplitude of oscillations, you need to closely monitor the dome in order to properly influence it in accordance with the situation created at one time or another.

Acceleration of damping (damping) of oscillations can be achieved by proper control of the wing. However, firstly, newcomers are best not to take any action at all, since they can only aggravate the situation by inept piloting. Inexperienced athletes in the case of oscillations can only hope for the ability of the paraglider to self-leveling. Secondly, by shifting all his attention to the wing, the pilot does not have the ability to follow other, equally important things, for example, is the flight altitude sufficient, are there nearby paragliders etc., which is fraught with the danger of a collision or unexpected therefore, a rather hard and, possibly, traumatic) landing. Experienced athletes argue that to successfully damp the oscillations, you do not need to constantly look at the dome. It is much more important to feel the behavior of the wing in the air, trying to keep the paraglider’s constant load by manipulating the brakes (if some part of the wing is weighed weaker – it is quite possible that it can be added).

If the endings (“ears”) of the paraglider for any reason add up – the horizontal speed of the wing will increase, as its area will decrease.

Yes, if we are talking about some models of sports paragliders. But the training wings with developed “ears” will not fly faster, but slower.

A wind blowing from behind can tilt the paraglider.

No, rollover of the aircraft can cause turbulence, i. unexpected gusts and wind swirls. For flights the same is suitable, and passing, and counter, and even the side wind. However, it should be remembered that in case of a side wind the paraglider will demolish, and to remain on the course the pilot will have to make a lot of efforts. The head wind is excellent for landing and take-off, since the wing speed relative to the ground with this direction of air flow is minimal. Passing the same wind contributes to the maximum increase in speed, so fly in the wind is best at high altitude.

Paragliders fly in a stable atmosphere.

This is not true. Stable wind (uniform flow, best not very strong – about 4-8 km / h, blowing at a constant speed) is really suitable for flying on a paraglider. But the stability of the atmosphere does not contribute to the long stay in the sky of non-motorized aircraft, although it is ideal for traveling on motorized hang gliders or paragliders. It should be mentioned that the stable is called air, which does not move in the vertical plane.It is this state of the atmosphere that does not contribute to the occurrence of thermal flows necessary for long-term flights on the paraglider. External indicators of atmospheric stability is the sky, which is completely covered with clouds, weak visibility, fog and wind blowing at a constant speed. In an unstable atmosphere, on the contrary, active movement of air masses upward and downward is observed, which leads to the formation of thermals. Air instability can be easily guessed by some external signs: a gusty wind, cumulus clouds, staggered, dusty tornadoes, good visibility.

Flights in a thunderstorm are very dangerous.

This is indeed so. Thunderclouds (initially looking like harmless cumulus clouds) have the property of “sucking in” the flying machines that come in their way and lifting them up at a tremendous speed (about 160 km / h). This flight is very difficult to control because of the strongest turbulence, which can lead to the complete destruction of the design of the paraglider. In addition, quickly reaching a high altitude, the pilot will suffer from cold and lack of oxygen. Therefore, flights in close proximity to thunderclouds should be avoided whenever possible, as a close acquaintance with them often leads to death.

Devices should be protected from moisture and sun rays.

Negative impact on various types of instruments (vario – measuring altitude, anemometer – supplying data on air temperature and wind speed, GPS navigator, etc.) is exerted by many factors – both the mentioned sun rays (especially straight lines), and dust, and snow, and dampness. But the greatest harm can be brought by sea water, because if it was not possible to avoid the destruction, it should be washed as soon as possible with fresh water and treated with a special composition that neutralizes the action of salt water.

The main enemy of the paraglider is ultraviolet radiation.

Yes, it is so – it is from exposure to sunlight that the fabric loses not only its color, but its strength. However, no less harm can bring the wing dampness. The matter is that in the paraglider, after several flights, grass dust accumulates, which in combination with moisture becomes an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. The acid produced by them can contribute to tissue destruction. Sometimes the wing can be damaged by some insects, for example, grasshoppers. Getting inside the paraglider and not being able to get out, the small captives simply gnaw through the fabric, leaving small holes in it. To protect the wing and slings (which lose strength in case of landing, for example, on sharp stones or a plateau full of ice fragments) from damages, it is necessary to dry the paraglider after flights and repair (cuts, the length of which does not exceed 7 cm, can be sealed with a special cloth, and it is better from the inside, in other cases, the holes have to be sewn).

New paragliders are quite expensive, therefore the most economical option is to buy a second-hand device.

Indeed, second-hand paragliders are cheaper than new ones. However, during the acquisition of such an aircraft, you need to pay attention to some features. Firstly, very old models should not be bought, and not only because aircraft obsolete very quickly, but also because the wing (with careful operation) is no more than 4 years old. Secondly, without fail (with the permission of the owner), check the strength of the wing fabric, because, even after flying 200-300 hours, the paraglider loses almost half the strength. Find out how much the material from which the paraglider is made is damaged by ultraviolet is quite simple: pull the fabric between the thumb and forefinger of both hands (fingers should touch) and turn the hands. If the fabric breaks from such a tension – you should abandon the purchase.In addition, pay attention to the condition of the lines (excessive ability to stretch signals that their core is damaged, the whole construction looks only due to the outer shell). Third, check the level of airtightness (experienced pilots say that it is quite easy to determine – just “kiss” a small piece of tissue, trying to draw air through it). Also try to find out why the former owner sells the wing, and make a purchase only if the person wants to acquire a newer model, because he “outgrew” the old one, or simply wants to have the most modern paraglider. And most importantly – be sure to make a test flight, and only after assessing the behavior of the aircraft in the air, make the final choice.

Buying your own aircraft, you should give preference to the model of the highest class – because the ability of the paraglider is improved over time, it should be taken into account.

This advice is only for those pilots who seriously decided to devote their lives to sports, and the main goal was to achieve record results in paragliding. In other cases, when completing the training, you need to really evaluate your abilities and aspirations. The paraglider, the features of which exceed your abilities and abilities, will bring a minimum of pleasure with a lot of worries and stresses arising during the development of the “obstinate” aircraft. If your goal is to fly for your own pleasure, you should choose the Standard paraglider, if you have some flight experience (not less than 20 hours) and very ambitious – choose Performance. Paragliders of the Competition class are usually preferred by experienced athletes flying very regularly and for more than one year.

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