What are the different levels of Wings or Gliders?

What are the different levels of Wings or Gliders?

Safety of pilots is of highest priority in the sport of Paragliding and reputed organizations and the ambassadors of the sport take every necessary step to ensure the same.

In this scheme of things, the performance and the quality of the wing/canopy/ glider is of high importance.

No glider ever makes it to the large scale production site without getting rated and certified by standard organizations. This happens only after the glider clears some prerequisite tests conducted on it. The rating of the glider is a way to measure its performance and stability.

The rating system

The most trusted and accepted glider ratings are given by the ‘European Committee for Standardization’- CEN or in short EN and the ‘Deutscher Hangegleiter Verband’- DHV, the German Handgliding and Paragliding Organizations which has changed its name to LTF from DHV.

The EN rates the gliders in the decreasing order of stability as A, B, C and D and the LTF rates the gliders in the same way as 1,1-2, 2 ,2-3 and competition glider or 3.

The A or 1 rating is meant for a Beginner pilot, B or 1-2 for Intermediate, C or 2 for Advanced and D or 2-3 for Master pilots. The glider of rating 3 is generally meant for the extremely skillful gliders with years of experience behind their back and it isn’t something that the EN or LTF certifies.

These ratings are conducted by licensed agencies and are mainly meant to ensure two main aspects for the pilots-

1. That the performance and stability of the glider match with the level and skill sets of the pilots that it is intended for.

2. That the glider has undergone proper testing before it’s used for flying.

The testing of the Paragliders.

The ratings are the results of tests which are conducted under run time conditions. Sophisticated and highly precise measuring instruments are used to record accurate measurements during the tests which are only conducted by experienced pilots.

Among other things, these tests measure the time it takes for the glider to re-inflate itself and get back to stable condition without any input from the pilot after it has collapsed during the flight.

The faster the glider responds to such scenarios the lower it’s rating will be.

Generally, beginner level gliders are more stable and re-inflate themselves within 3-5 seconds, whereas gliders with higher rating can take an added 3 or 5 seconds to get back to stability. Precision cameras provide run time information about the inflationary times and also the angle the wing turned during the inflation stage.

It is always advisable to choose such wings which are intended for your level of expertise in flying.

Respect the sport and follow the standards, you will sure fly safe!


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