1 . Paragliding
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders lightweight, free flying, foot launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure.The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing comprising a large number of interconnected baffled cells. Wing shape is maintained by the suspension lines, the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside.
Despite not using an engine, paraglider flights can last many hours and cover many hundreds of kilometers, though flights of one to two hours and covering some tens of kilometers are more the norm. By skilful exploitation of sources of lift, the pilot may gain height, often climbing to altitudes of a few thousand meters.
2 . Related activities
Paragliding is related to the following activities Hang gliding is a close cousin, and hang glider and paraglider launches are often found in proximity to one another.Despite the considerable difference in equipment, the two activities offer similar pleasures, and some pilots are involved in both sports.Powered paragliding is the flying of paragliders with a small engine attached. Speed riding, or speed flying, is the separate sport of flying paragliders of a reduced size. These wings have increased speed, though they are not normally capable of soaring flight. The sport involves taking off on skis or on foot and swooping rapidly down in close proximity to a slope, even periodically touching it if skis are used. These smaller wings are also sometimes used where wind speeds are too high for a full sized paraglider, although this is invariably at coastal sites where the wind is laminar and not subject to as much mechanical turbulence as inland sites.
Takeoff from a ramp, Tegelberg, Schwangau, Germany Tandem Paragliding at Solang Valley, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India Paragliding over Jounieh Bay, Lebanon Paragliding can be of local importance as a commercial activity. Paid accompanied tandem flights are available in many mountainous regions, both in the winter and in the summer. In addition, there are many schools offering courses and guides who lead groups of more experienced pilots exploring an area. Finally, there are the manufacturers and the associated repair and after sales services. Paraglider like wings also find other uses, for example, in ship propulsion and wind energy exploitation, and are related to some forms of power kite. Kite skiing uses equipment similar to paragliding sails.
3 . Wing
The paraglider wing or canopy is usually what is known in aeronautical engineering as a ram air airfoil. Such wings comprise two layers of fabric that are connected to internal supporting material in such a way as to form a row of cells. By leaving most of the cells open only at the leading edge, incoming air keeps the wing inflated, thus maintaining its shape. When inflated, the wings cross section has the typical teardrop aerofoil shape. Modern paraglider wings are made of high performance non porous materials such as ripstop polyester or nylon fabric.In some modern paragliders from the 1990s onwards, especially higher performance wings, some of the cells of the leading edge are closed to form a cleaner aerodynamic profile. Holes in the internal ribs allow a free flow of air from the open cells to these closed cells to inflate them, and also to the wingtips, which are also closed.
4 . Harness
The pilot is loosely and comfortably buckled into a harness, which offers support in both the standing and sitting positions. Most harnesses have foam or airbag protectors underneath the seat and behind the back to reduce the impact on failed launches or landings. Modern harnesses are designed to be as comfortable as a lounge chair in the sitting position. Many harnesses even have an adjustable lumbar support. A reserve parachute is also typically connected to a paragliding harness.
5 . Variometer
The main purpose of a variometer is in helping a pilot find and stay in the core of a thermal to maximise height gain and, conversely, to indicate when a pilot is in sinking air and needs to find rising air. Humans can sense the acceleration when they first hit a thermal, but cannot detect the difference between constant rising air and constant sinking air. Modern variometers are capable of detecting rates of climb or sink of 1 cm per second. A variometer indicates climb rate or sink rate with short audio signals beeps, which increase in pitch and tempo during ascent, and a droning sound, which gets deeper as the rate of descent increases and or a visual display. It also shows altitude either above takeoff, above sea level, or at higher altitudes flight level.
6 . Radio
Radio communications are used in training, to communicate with other pilots, and to report where and when they intend to land. These radios normally operate on a range of frequencies in different countries some authorised,some illegal but tolerated locally. Some local authorities e.g., flight clubs offer periodic automated weather updates on these frequencies. In rare cases, pilots use radios to talk to airport control towers or air traffic controllers. Many pilots carry a cell phone so they can call for pickup should they land away from their intended point of destination.
7 . Gps
GPS global positioning system is a necessary accessory when flying competitions, where it has to be demonstrated that way points have been correctly passed. The recorded GPS track of a flight can be used to analyze flying technique or can be shared with other pilots. GPS is also used to determine drift due to the prevailing wind when flying at altitude, providing position information to allow restricted airspace to be avoided and identifying ones location for retrieval teams after landing out in unfamiliar territory. GPS is integrated with some models of variometer. This is not only more convenient, but also allows for a three dimensional record of the flight. The flight track can be used as proof for record claims, replacing the old method of photo documentation.
8 . Brakes
Controls held in each of the pilots hands connect to the trailing edge of the left and right sides of the wing. These controls are called brakes and provide the primary and most general means of control in a paraglider. The brakes are used to adjust speed, to steer in addition to weight shift, and to flare during landing.
9 . Weight shift
In addition to manipulating the brakes, a paraglider pilot must also lean in order to steer properly. Such weight shifting can also be used for more limited steering when brake use is unavailable, such as when under big ears see below. More advanced control techniques may also involve weight shifting.
10 . Speed bar
A kind of foot control called the speed bar also accelerator attaches to the paragliding harness and connects to the leading edge of the paraglider wing, usually through a system of at least two pulleys see animation in margin. This control is used to increase speed and does so by decreasing the wings angle of attack. This control is necessary because the brakes can only slow the wing from what is called trim speed no brakes applied. The accelerator is needed to go faster than this.More advanced means of control can be obtained by manipulating the paragliders risers or lines directly. Most commonly, the lines connecting to the outermost points of the wings leading edge can be used to induce the wingtips to fold under. The technique, known as big ears, is used to increase rate of descent see picture and the full description below. The risers connecting to the rear of the wing can also be manipulated for steering if the brakes have been severed or are otherwise unavailable. For ground handling purposes, a direct manipulation of these lines can be more effective and offer more control than the brakes. The effect of sudden wind blasts can be countered by directly pulling on the risers and making the wing unflyable, thereby avoiding falls or unintentional takeoffs.