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Why Do You Fly A Reflex Wing?


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Over here in the U.S. we just don't seem to be as into the reflex wings as much as pilots in the UK and Europe. Now, aside from competition purposes, what reasons do you guys who fly a GT, Synth, Viper, Plasma, Fusion etc have for making your wing of choice a reflex wing vs a traditional wing?

Did your first instructor just recommend it and you went with it?

Did your pilot friend recommend one?

Did you see them flying and want the same?

Did you read about them and were intrigued by the collapse resistance?

Was it the cross country speed that appealed to you?

Was it the safety aspect of them, if so, what do you see as the safety benefits?

Do you think a reflex glider is a good beginner glider?

Would you say a beginner or novice pilot would be fine on a Viper or Plasma?

Just interested in knowing all the reasons you chose, fly and would recommend a reflex glider over traditional types.



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Over here in the U.S. we just don't seem to be as into the reflex wings as much as pilots in the UK and Europe. Now, aside from competition purposes, what reasons do you guys who fly a GT, Synth, Viper, Plasma, Fusion etc have for making your wing of choice a reflex wing vs a traditional wing?

Did your first instructor just recommend it and you went with it? No did my own research

Did your pilot friend recommend one? See Above

Did you see them flying and want the same? See Above

Did you read about them and were intrigued by the collapse resistance? Yes

Was it the cross country speed that appealed to you? Yes

Was it the safety aspect of them, if so, what do you see as the safety benefits? Yes see below

Do you think a reflex glider is a good beginner glider? Yes

Would you say a beginner or novice pilot would be fine on a Viper or Plasma? NO

Hands off flying

The wing is so much more stable in rough air so sit back and enjoy it you dont know what you are missing.

Started on an Eagle Genie went to a Dudek Reaction and now on a Fusion 26

Pete b

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I sense that this discussion might be a long one and I am glad you started it. I will be very interested to hear everyone's views also, as I am interested in a faster wing. I've sat up there and not travelled far on occasions. An extra 10 kph, without the need to use speedbar, would make a fair difference. Collapse resistance would be good, although I've not had problems as such, even when thermalling.


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Went for the Thrust HP '09 for more speed & penetration into wind, making reasonable cross country distances a real possibility. Also includes a couple of innovations that should help make it safer, the HIT valves and the SRS.

Did loads of research and the wing seemed to suit me and was available at the right price.

Anatholy Coen seemed like my kind of guy when I read about him.

Happy with choice as it fulfils all the above, and a very big plus for me is that it launches loads more easily than my Swing Arcus. Flexon battens rather than mylars are fantastic.

Had no recommendation or instructor advice, hadn't even seen one fly (but then, what is there to see?).

Switched to the Thrust at about 40 hours, but I still consider myself a beginner, and it seems forgiving enough even in quite turbulent air.


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I've moved on to a reflex for two, no make that three reasons:

The old wing is probably getting near time to retire it, it didn't seem worth getting it tested,

Ease of inflation, that is certainly the case,

Extra speed which also helps penetrate sronger winds.

The added collapse resistance is a great bonus. Get one, you'll love it.

I changed wing at the 30 hour mark.


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One day whilst flying with a headwind on my lovely airwave sport 3, Desperate Dan took off on a revolution and then literally disappered over the horizon.

Being heavy boned I have always been one of the fastest hill pilots but I could only move forward at 8MPH over the ground, there was no chance of catching him.

when I spoke to Dan he said he was doing around 20MPH with the trimmers out. which is quite usable airspeed.

I bought the same wing and was able to get airspeed of 30mph or 48kmh (depending how european you are).

The ride is noticeably more comfortable with the trimmers out.

both the revolution and synth are beginner wings


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learner_driver - out of interest did you have trimmer risers fitted to your Sport 3 when you were flying into that headwind?

I think the newer Sport 4 and Mistral 5 are quite similar PG wings in terms of target market / performance etc.

I've ordered a new Swing Mistral 5 with trimmer risers (DULV tested) as I primarily want a PG wing which is OK for motoring (although I understand some reflex wings are sold as good PG wings too). I realise a trimmed out Mistral will not give the stability or airspeed as a reflex but I'm hoping it gives me a bit more than my untrimmed Arcus. Will find out soon when it arrives.

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Hi I never quite got around to fitting risers, I was told they would add 5mph or thereabouts.

In layman's terms the main difference is that on speedbar a pg becomes potentially much less stable. On a reflex wing, first off the centre of pressure is much further forward similar to a DHV 1 wing in old money :D

Secondarily up until a few years back they were much less efficient and would not turn as well.

Now modern motoring folk, :shock: flying the fusion reckon its the first ever crossover wing. By that I mean it can be flown as a PG wing with good handling and low sink or motored at high speed with the trimmers out .

The interesting bit in all this is that a PG on bar = less stable

A reflex with trims out = more stable as the centre of pressure moves even further forward. leaving you literally hanging on the front of the wing.

I like it as it opens up your ability to fly distance and penetrate - woof :arrow::arrow::o

Admin: Please excuse the editing, there is some good stuff here and I wanted to follow it.

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I moved to Reflex for the speed and the safety. It really opens up the number of possible flying days in a year. Being able to take off and fly with a 10-15 mph ground head wind which is also causing some rotor. The reflex handles the rotor and pushed me forward through the air using trimmers alone. For more speed push the speedbar and weyhey making ground but using fuel. Trims out is now quite economical but speed bar is still thirsty work.

I started out on an Edel Saber, very floaty very slow, moved through some other paragliders, FireBird Matrix didm't like launching off a flat field, FreeX moon, 50kmh with speed bar WOW ... but in reality I was waiting till the wind was 5mph or less to be able to go forwards at height. Dudek Synthesis was my first Reflex wing and wow it was all now so easy launching was a treat I would just set the trimmers according to the wind stength, the more wind at launch the more trims I let out making the wing rise sooo easy. I still do this today. 2 reasons by letting the trims out I get a bit of reflex when its windy and for rotor again. Moved upto the Re-action which has great dynamic handling and huge fun to fly.

Now on a fusion, which is faster on trims than any previous wing and more economical. With speedbar I clocked a downwind GPS speed of 50mph just last weekend. Max I have had is 55mph Im sure others would get more. I would recommend the Revolution or Synthesis for a first or only reflex wing.

Good fast reflex wings allow you to fly a large wing at speed. Offering slow landings, short take offs, good economy, high top speed, dynamic handling. safety. stability.

What does a paraglider offer the paramotor pilot that a reflex does not?

The reason I think the UK fly more reflex wings than the USA is we are closer together on this tiny island a fairly small community of pilots and it only takes one to say hey try this and if its good which they are, word gets around Very fast. Myths are dispelled quickly. + With our changing weather we are desperate to expand our flying options.

I do sell reflex wings but I was already flying them before all that nonsense.

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Hi I never quite got around to fitting risers, .[/i]

In fact, you never got round to picking them up from me and paying for them!

So if anyone wants a set, I have them in stock.


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Yes, it does seem the small community and the marketing of the reflex wings there in the U.K. is much stronger than here in the states. Probably more consistently windy over there and to make decent time on XC you gotta go into the wind one way or another. Seems also that pilots tend to follow what is known, many of you fly reflex so newbies would tend to think that is the way to go.

Just interested in all of your opinions as to why you choose a reflex glider, they really haven't caught on at all in the PG world and I don't see them doing so in the near future. Yes, people have used them for PG, but mostly just marketing stuff. No comp pilots or even serious pilots looking to get the most from PG have or would choose a reflex glider.

So, any idea on safety over the years? How many collapse induced accidents were seen before as compared to now that most of you guys choose reflex wings? How many of you had a major collapse and that spurred the interest in moving to a reflex wing? How many of you have attended training clinics where you practice collapses and recovery (SIV)?

I got to fly a Synth here a few months ago and it just wasn't for me, it actually scared the crap out of me. In full reflex mode, just tip steering toggles in hands, horrible responsiveness, flies like a truck etc. I love to fly low, crank and bank and contour the landscape. Can't really do that in reflex mode. It makes me very uneasy to have trims full out and in reflex mode only a few feet from the ground with tip steering toggles in my hands that don't allow very authoritative control. Seems they are really mission specific to penetrate wind so a trip out and back can still be had. I know the Plasma and Viper are probably more my speed and I've heard good stuff from the pilots that fly them. I'll fly those soon to see what they are all about, but this reflex thing just isn't catching on over here in the states.

I think one reason is price: Most are above 4,000.00 USD.

Another reason is notoriety: You see a few at a flying event and usually it's dealer demo wings. Out of 100+ pilots at our flyin in Arizona, the only reflex wings flown were those of a Dudek dealer. This is true of most events here in the states.

I know the old adage "to each his own" and this seems to hold true across PG and PPG, there are so many opinions, biases and choices as to why pilots choose the gear they do and also how they fly and enjoy it.

Thanks again guys for your feedback and keep it coming!



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Hi Adam

I only fly close to the ground when conditions are smooth and I pull the trimmers in i.e off, it then flies on the normal brakes and behaves just like a pg wing.

Think of having a motor wing and a pg wing except they are all in the same glider. The fusion which I have not flown was said to be good for PG with the trims off by the CEN tester. the sink rate is also similar to a pg wing with 1.1 m/s sink or thereabouts

read this independant review by the uk PG body


here is an excerpt

In flight

The Fusion definitely requires a light and controlled

touch on the brakes when trimmed at the slower

end of the trim range, but in this mode the handling

is light and very precise and makes easy work of the

low and slow flying that is so rewarding on a


in England we say you can have your cake and eat it :D

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The same can be said for the Synth ( ref: slow and low ) not PG flying....

What I mean is, the synth on full fast trim using the tips to turn is a slow flat turn 'as designed as far as I am aware?' . This works very well on long XC flights to course correct over a distance, if used with speedbar on, it becomes a LOT more responsive to tip inputs.

If you were going to fly low, you would of course have the trimmers fully closed / in, and using the brakes to control the wing.

As wings get faster and smaller the tips react better, so the new gen wing that is the Fusion 23 responds to tip steer very quickly in comparison both on and off speedbar but you should always use brakes for low level flying so that you can convert your speed into height 'when' needed.

Ref Reflex and the UK.

I think that the reason that Reflex wings are used by many of Paramotor Pilots in the UK is more to do with the weather than 'becasue my mate flys one' As Big Simon said, He flew with a reflex wing once, watched him speck out into the sun with his new Revolution, landed and placed an order for his reflex wing LOL

Although some say that having a Reflex wing should not 'open' the flyable window (Skywings mag last year, so they may well have had a re-think by now...) But I think that they do open the flyable window a huge amount, and should be considered to do so. (why try to hold back technology?) In a few years we could all be flying 10-meter wings in 40 mph winds! :lol: well maybe not, but you know what I mean.....

In the UK Flyable windows are few and far between, so we have to make the most of them (and push them open) if we can with new kit, that can deal with the UK conditions a little better. :D


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I often flew the Re-Action trims out low and using full brakes, I still fly the Fusion in reflex using full brakes but at half trims. To fly low turn and burn you can pull the trimmers in and you have a paraglider just as you are used to. Then to go up and fly along to your next play spot in full fast reflex. If you are used to active flying then it takes some nerve to blast along full speed in bumpy air with your hands off. Mike Campbell-Jones is British and the father of true reflex so when we buy paramanaia reflex we are buying British which can be an incentive over here.

The USA will catch on and there are already a couple of reflex wings on offer over there (speed demon, apco thrust, action GT) all have reviews on http://footflyer.com/Equipment/Wings/Wings.htm I have a list of wing manufacturers on http://www.ppgnews.com under the manufacturers link, I put 'PMR' (paramotor reflex) next to the companys I know do reflex wings and have to keep going back and adding PMR to others as they introduce a reflex wing in there line up.

Paragliders flying in lift without a motor are going to prefer a dedicated wing to get the most out of what lift they have, flying a paraglider with a motor has dropped the glide ratio to about 6 to1 so not ideal,

We have the option of dedicated motor wings which can be reflex.

I fly the Fusion which ups the game with even more paraglider performance and 100% reflex an evolution in design expanding the limits in all directions.

Edited by Guest
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I get the impression from a few web sites that a majority of USA pilots fly low, less than 500 feet.

So maybe reflex wings just aren't suitable for the prevalent flying mode :?:



If you ask the boys down at The flag pole that have seen me flying the Fusion You might not say that.

Pete b

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checkout some of my youtube vids, http://www.youtube.com/user/surfervince Fusion and Re-action both with low level flying touching the grass rtimming the field, trims out and trims in, you can tell just by the ground speed. On a first wingover of the Fusion its reaction speed took me be surprise moving over very quickly from what I was used to. Now I like it :) you can also see its ground speed is higher.

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Sorry if this is a repeat - had some problems with sending (my first post).

I am a new PPG pilot and I fly an old wing made by Reflex, one of the first by the company that became Paramania. I love it. Feels really stable (especially compared to the PG wing I was flying on the hill today) and I love the hands off flying.

Does anyone else have any experience with this Reflex wing? How does it compare to the new ones like the Fusion.

Sooner or later I will want to upgrade my Paramotor wing. Although my focus will be PPG I was wondering if it really is possible to fly something like the Fusion without a motor as a paraglider. Might be useful to have one that I could use for both.

Moving to the Swindon area soon - looking forward to joining the club and flying with some other pilots!


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An interesting stat is the number of pilots that choose to leave PG wings for PPG reflex wings compared to the other way round. You'll notice it's one way traffic.

I'm now flying PPG with a reflex wing (DUDEK Synthesis) and will definitely not go back to paramotor flying with PG wing. Certainly the reflex gives me a new sensation of flying that allows me to relax hands free. Something I could not do with my other PG wing.

So for paramotoring I will not go back to a PG wing. Luckily I am keeping my PG wing for free flying which is designed for that purpose.

Cheers. JC

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