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When is a wing a dangerous wing?

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This is probably going to be quite controvertial, but I'm interested in hearing opinions about wing safety.

I have an old Symphony wing, I think they were sold with the old DK Whisper about a decade ago. I'm considering using it whilst I wait for my Revo2

It's my first wing and studying it, it appears that paraglider wings are, dare I say, almost over engineered. Each line seems capable of carrying my whole weight, the rip stop fabric seems incredibly un-stressed (per sq inch). I know that porosity is a big issue with older wings, but I'm assuming that if the material is still fairly crispy, indicating that it hasn't been used much or exposed to UV too much, that it is probably ok.

My dilema is that I am not sure if I should send the wing off for checking. I live in Spain and just the shipping would be expensive. I contacted a Spanish equivelent to the loft and he immediately said if it's old, bin it, don't waste your money :shock:

I'm sure that having read that last line, you are already typing your automated response along the lines of:

Don't be so stupid, get it sent off, it's your lfe you're gambling with, it's only a few quid... etc etc.

You are probably right, but I am sure that there are quite a few old wings being flown that haven't been tested and I've been trying to find reports of paramotoring accidents caused by wing failure, the sort of failure that would fit into this category ie fabric tearing apart, lines snapping causing loss of control etc. I haven't been able to find any. All the accidents I've been reading about seem to have occurred due to pilot error/miscalculation. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place (AAIB reports).

If the lines have stretched or porosity was a problem, would this show up during ground handling? My wing pops up over my head evenly and is happy to sit there.

Anyway, I'm ready for my ear bashing :|



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It might me ok... but if it's not is it really worth the risk?

Wait for your revo would be my advice :D you will enjoy it more when you know that your kit is in tip to condition.

Not what you wanted to hear i'm sure, I remember what it was like waiting for my kit to arrive!

Tom :explode:

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Tell you what Dan I`ll take a bashing with you :shock:

My first wing was an Apco Santana. 13 years old now.

Never been serviced.

It flew perfectly and handled well. (just a little slow)

Fortunately I knew the history of the wing from new, how it was stored, and how many hours it had been flown.(4)

I still have the wing, still ground handles perfectly.Still crispy (looks new) And if I ever feel the need, I would have no worries about flying it again.

The question is...

Are you happy with the history of your wing :?:

Colin B

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How about testing each lower line by stressing it to about say 35% its breaking strain and see what happens, you may find that 1 or 2 snap at as little as 20 %. I had an old wing once and decided to re-stretch the lines in case they had shrunk. One of the stabilo lines snapped with a petite 11 year old girl pulling at the other end. Dont know what the tension was but my guess was that it was around 10% of breaking strain. Then try porosity test by trying to breath air through the upper leading edge nylon. Finally get someone to hold the material taught and try to poke your thumb through it. I believe these tests would highlight the most common ageing problems.

Flame on!

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