Monday, May 18, 2015

Is there a quest for the best performing paraglider?

Despite the header being bold enough, the text below will explain what ‘true performance’ is in my own "dustoftheuniverse" philosophy.

First I believe that the word performance is slightly misunderstood. The best performer isn’t the one that will fulfill one paragliding pilot's dreams, whatever they may be, in best climb or on longest XC’s.
As individuals, we have huge differences in glider requirements. Some won’t bear flying a very talkative glider, others would appreciate more the handling and maneuverability…etc...
I have written before that there is no best wing rather then best pilot for a certain wing.

Efficiency:
Is the most important word in our paragliding world.
Efficiency should be split in two parts.
Efficiency of a glider, and efficiency of the pilot.

Let's begin with efficiency of the pilot:
With our different skills, talents and training hours, plus the different conditions we fly in, this quest for pilots efficiency starts with each pilot inner self to train and learn more, depending on his own time for that matter.
To be fully operational and to fly efficiently, each individual pilot must be true to himself in choosing a glider that meets his own skills.
“Being humble toward nature will be handsomely rewarded!”

Today’s manufacturers websites are on a high standard. They give you a full idea and description of each glider they have on offer.
Of course high aspect ratio on gliders has to be carefully understood.
And there are the schools, instructors, which can give you their insights hoping that they don’t get attached to one or two brands…

Efficiency of a glider:
Efficiency is NOT the glider that arrives higher in glides…
It is the one that has a high rate of everything.
The one that allows you to get out of low saves ex: 85 %, that can have a smooth and stable glide angle in turbulent conditions ex: 85 %, the one that can core every bubble with a swift and direct brake travel ex: 85 %.... speed …85 %.... etc.
A complete glider is what we all are longing for.
   
My videos are available for the fun part of your eyes. They only show a small portion of the flying tests. It is impossible to make a 5 to 10 hours YouTube video!
If the differences sometimes are difficult to discern, it doesn’t mean that they do not exist ;-)
  
Gliders are like fine wine. A wine taster could see the difference. But I’m sure that there is finer wine taster out-there appreciating what I have tasted ;-)

I’ll begin with a logical example.
If one manufacturer take his certified B glider, and re-trims it by changing only the line lengths. (Live Ex: Carrera), with a new but identical EN B certification, do you believe that the overall efficiency and accessibility of this glider is the same?
The logical answer is: Of course not, and I fully agree as the Carrera plus has indeed a different flavor.
Then if this ‘same’ glider is now different, don’t you believe that in one single class among manufacturers “some” differences can occur?  

Another visual example is paragliding competition.
After 3-4  PWC’s, one glider is always found consistently among the top 20 knowing that the first 50 pilots or so are the finest in the world…That’s what I call efficiency.

Combining both glider and pilot cocktail for efficient flying will give you the best moments of your life !

For me each flight with different wings has it’s own flavor and it’s absolutely free information for the interested pilots.
I’m not a reseller, nor a salesman, so I have nothing to gain or loose. I do those tests for absolute fun and for the pleasure to change wings and feel that difference in efficiency.

In the end, any glider in the B category of today’s technology could give you more than enough high rate of pleasure and efficiency, and when test flying, the best glider is really the one that makes you smile immediately after landing.

Happy flight, 
Ziad

1 comment:

  1. I like your way of measuring. Nice. Thank you very much. Pedro J.

    ReplyDelete