May 31, 2014

Speed flying...addicted

The purest form of adrenaline, this is why we do all these sorts of extreme sports…
To be in a place or a situation that normal people wouldn’t think off, challenge the lows of physics. This is the secret that some never will understand. And Speed riding/flying opens it all a little bit more…
Speed riding in Kebnekaise

Speed riding is similar to speed flying. The difference between the two is in the launching method. While in Speed flying you launch yourself by your feet, in Speed riding you do take off wearing skies. Making it possible to start with even smaller wings, since its easier to gain more speed for lift

Speed riding Kebnetjåkka, Kebnekaise from Mountainpassion on Vimeo.

Usually "normal" Paragliders are constructed to "absorb" some part of the sudden energy inputs via the residue "flex" (lines and canopy structure as there is a lot more area / line lenght to spread any loadspikes - hence the relatively comfortable ride in thermals) while Miniwings and bigger Speedwings tend to be more rigid and more "harsh" maninly due to the sometimes extremely oversized suspension lines and the much smaller surface to "spread" the loadspikes
Also, because of its small size and high wing loading, the wing responds quickly to little pilot input which makes professional instruction very important

Taking off with a PG wing, 24m2

If a wing is easily flyable / controllable and hence SAFE in thermals or not is to a high degree depending on its flying speed versus the thermal. A wing that is doing around 45 kph handsoff trim and is able to fly around 35 kph with brakes will usually behave very OK and manageable (there may be exceptions to that !)

The faster an wing flies, the more lift is produced by each unit area of wing, so a smaller wing can carry the same weight in level flight, operating at a higher wing loading. Correspondingly, the take-off and landing speed will be higher. The high wing loading also decreases manoeuvrability

Taking off with a speed wing, bunch of more running to do!

Whats important is that the wing should have a good aspect ratio with normal PG wings having a much higher aspect. And most important; resistant for collapse!
I´m just missing the glider that hasn’t been made yet. The optimal piece for mountain use. Low in weight, easy to handle and still not fragile. Some manufactures has been building something similar, but the result has mostly been that they have just taken an old version and put in light weight texture. And using those thin scary lines!!!
Who will be the first to instead put light texture under the wing and use a bit stronger fabric on top, the area which actually suffers the most from the terrain. And use a como of strong lines together with some of those light ones? Can it really be that hard!?
Same for speed wings, how come that a 12m wing be 3.4kg in weight? Common, its a modern world we are living in!!

Premier Zako from Mountainpassion on Vimeo.

Some of the best, in my opinion, gliders for speed flying/riding and for climb and fly use

Speed gliders

Aska sport one-7

Area 17
Cells 30
Aspect ratio 4.6
Raisers 3
Weight 3,7
not. great wing but a little to heavy

Dudek gliders, Zako Speed
Area 16
Cells 30
Aspect ratio 4.66
Raiser 2
Weight 2,1 (3,4)
not. Easy to handle, very direct and flies very nice. And light enough to stuff in a 26l bag with helmet,
water bottle, gloves and an extra shirt and a duvet

Little could Spiruline
Area 16,5
Cells 34
Aspect ratio 4.3
Raisers 3
Weight 3,4
not. Easy to use beginner wing. To heavy though and very boring to fly

ITV Pil-Pit 3
Area 8-16
Cells 22
Aspect ratio 3.47
Raisers 2
Weight ?
not. Rapid and fun wing. More of a speed riding wing

Air G Products
Speedfire DLX
Area 8-14
Cells 22
Aspect ratio 3.4
Raisers 2
Weight 3.2
not. A well made speed wing. The bigger one is perfect for speed flying/foot launching. A good choise for a single wing. Still to heavy though!

/Life dosnt need to be simple, as long as it isn't empty of contents

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