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Guest leoibb

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this might sound daft but i got to ask this , why aint wings made with fibre glass poles or a light material instead of lines? i ask this because sureley it would avoid collapipn of the wing , or the leading edge a pole all the way through so it cant tuck? now i know there is prob an obvious reason for this but i cant figure it so i hope you guys can show me the light

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I agree. Why can't para wings have inflatable spar and/or ribs to fix the wing in shape like on power kites? This would surely also reduce collapses without adding too much weight.

There are several drawbacks that I can imagine -

The wing would be harder to subdue on the ground in a strong wind

Some manouveres like big ears would be harder/impossible

Desirable adjustments to the airfoil shape with trimmers and the speed bar would probably be more difficult to achieve

It would take longer to set-up and pack away.

Or am I missing something obvious that would inhibit this being incorporated in future designs?

Best regards,


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I agree. Why can't para wings have inflatable spar and/or ribs to fix the wing in shape like on power kites?.

Umm power kites dotn't have that ... well, at least not for that purpose. Powerkites for use in water have it, and its basically there to keep the front bit afloat and the kite in some sort of decent shape so that you can launch it ... once flying it does little or nothing ... Not seen a land based powerkite with an inflatable leading edge ..

Some years ago, people did try fitting carbon fibre battens to the front edge of paragliders in a bid to improve their resistance to deformation .. didn't really work ... I had an ailes de k Pantair, nice looking glider and very fast for its day .. bit of a pain to pack up with this poxy carbon fibre rod .. and i stopped flying it when it became known that they had a bad habit ... the carbon fibre spar certainly gave some initial tuck resistance if it all went a bit light ... but, if you hit a rough patch, or came out of the side of a thermal with enough down to force a collapse, then if it tucked, it would NOT come out, no matter how much pumping you gave it.

In the end, the problems of wing collapse have been solved by aerodynamic design and pilot training ... if you truly want a stiff wing that CAN'T collapse try hangliding or flexwing microlights :) The dangers of collapse on a DHV1 rated wing are pretty low to be honest, can mostly be avoided in the first place, and failry beninign even if the DO happen. From waht happened with the Pantair design, it was pretty obvious that you would have to make it VERY stiff to avoid collapse entirelyt, because the added risks of it tucking (eventually) and staying tucked, made it actually worse overall. Better to suffer a few minor tucks you can recover from than one you can;t ...

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AIUI, if you make the wing extremely tuck resistant, then it will continue flying in all circumstances, including those where you wouldn't want it to, ie with a strong surge, instead of just partially collapsing and recovering, the wing will continue to fly straight down, leaving you to fall into it.

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