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What Wing For Ground Handling?

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After looking through all the training blogs, and virtually every other post on this site, PLUS I think close on a thousand or so videos , as well as getting some great advice from Farmer Dave and Simon etc etc etc. I have decided to do what many have done and that is to buy an old wing for ground handling only.

My intention is to take a couple of days instruction and then get as much GH practice in as possible before going on an intensive course in the summer.

I know there are dedicated 'practice' wings out there, but to my mind, at about £600 this would be a major hurdle for me. Plus I have seen relatively little used old wings for anything from £100+ including harness.

Can anyone recommend such a wing for a 100KG novice? and what should I look for?

I also know the importance of a helmet, gloves and brown trousers too, but just wing advice for now would be brilliant thanks :D

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Swing Arcus Large or "Larcus" lots were sold so many are out there. Brilliant wing, now rebadged and strengthened as the "Powerplay" but still the same old lovely wing.

Even though or particularly because you are "only ground handling" make sure the lines are all at correct lengths. (manual downloadable from Swing) Shrunk lines make the nicest wing very difficlut to handle and particularly launch so you will learn nothing useful. They may need stretching as the lines are dyneema sheathed in some shrinkable woven tube.

Tell-tale when you try before you buy is can you just lean back in the harness in a gentle breeze and the wing launch straight up? If it hangs back or pauses and wont easily come through the halfway mark without pulling the A's you can tell the seller its f***ed and pay peanuts then take it home, stretch the lines and chuckle a mean chuckle.

porosity is not a big issue if you are really only going to ground handle it but if it is well porous write in big fat black all over the canopy DO NOT FLY. It will fly fine if porous but might be prone to parachutal stall so dont be tempted.

how to tell if porous?, lick you finger tip and place in through the centre cell to the under side of the top surface. How quickly does the wet seep through? Instantly wet =too porous to fly. Damp after a bit = get the loft to test it might be a flyer, not damp at all=you have a "gelvenor" Arcus and will be unable to stifle your glee. NB gelvenor is great for not going porous but the fabric can stretch so still needs a trip to the loft for checking. Gelvenor is circa 2002/3 on the Arcus 1. Not sure when they started using skytex. ( a bit hazy about these details so dont quote me)

If the centre top is not too porous the rest is likely to be better as the top is the bit that gets the most dragging acros the grass, stones, beach etc.

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Thanks for that Francis

I really do appreciate your experience

And yes, I really only want to ground handle this wing. Given where I will most likely be kiting it, as well as the fact that I will probably be putting in a hundred hours or more of GH while I save up for the rest means it won't be fit for much else afterwards :wink:

I have saved a copy of your photo so that if I am ever selling something and you walk up to the door I'll know what I'm in for! :lol::lol:

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Actually just thought you dont want a Larcus but a Marcus (medium) 85 to 105kg or even a Sarcus, cos you will want to groundle it in strong breezes and you dont want to get hoovered. That makes it even more likely you will find one. Marcus is the most popular size sold.

Might even have an old teabag in the "quaranteen cupboard", will have a look tomorrow, but would need your testicles as a deposit on NEVER trying to fly it as it will definitely be well past safe flying if it was mine :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

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Well I've just had a word with the wife about the testicle deposit. She said I should definately keep those. Something about "The only things still in proportion" ???

Anyway, I was more worried about her comments to the teabag analogy.

See what's in yer cupboard Francis. I'll look for some drop tested, but virtually servicable cameras I can chuck on Ebay to pay for stuff :D

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Great advice Francis.

For the same reasons as Dragonphotographic I recently bought, admittidely for a miniscule price, what was designated as a ground handling glider. Unfortunately the purchase was made sight-unseen and with no questions from my side.

Obviously I should therefore not have been surprised with what I found after laying out the glider for the first time. It was a 1989 ITV Saphir. This is a glider with what I guess should be described as an experimental delta-wing design and a weight-shift only harness (the risers are actually sewn into the seat of the harness) with the breaks providing only pitch control.

I've had a little fun weight-shift kiting it but I suspect it hasn't taught me particularly much and consequently regret the purchase.


Dean B.

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If I didn't say it before, perhaps go down a size for groundwork. It wont be as tiring and you wont get dragged as violently whilst inexperienced. Dont forget that ground work is just as ,if not more, risky than flying. If you are lucky you might find a DHV 2 performance wing like mine. £90.


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yeah I got one, pretty soggy but comes up ok. Needs a line stretch. They cost about £20 to post but am coming to North Island weekend after next (bank holiday) and going to Somerset and possibly Lambourne. Will stick it in the car unless you desprate and want it posted.

It is my first wing........ :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

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The old girl will get a line stretch and a "retirement flight" along the same cliff she had her inaugural when she lost her cherry to a virgin pilot. There will be a little ceremony involving the pouring out of a libation at the local pub.

With the good forecast for the weekend we might do this on saturday and will post pictures for you all to raise your glasses to her.

I will not sell her as she is absolutely not for flying. I only sell flying wings. Its a bit like an old pony, they go out on "permanent" loan until one day they get boiled up for glue.

NB I have found three of the beasts!!!!! two of which are still in flying condition by the looks of them. told you they were popular.

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That's perfect!! :D:D:D

Thank you sooo much

I'm of course impatient to get started, but I'll let you two enjoy your parting ritual :wink:

Besides, it's not payday 'till Friday so I'll send your postage then if we haven't worked out another method

In the meantime, I may have some good news for the Somerset pilots. I will know more at the weekend :twisted:

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The ultimate Flight of the Arcus.

Am driving to Coventry from Southampton on Monday, early, coming back late, or late Tuesday (not sure yet). Or send me the postage and I will put it in the post.

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