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What are safe wind speeds to fly in?

I had an Arcus Swing (still have it) Paraglider which i used for Paramotoring, it was manufactured back in 2002. In zero wind it took some getting off the ground in fact it was a nightmare, i spent most of the time fighting a front tuck or chewing on the grass with a face plant, now in a 5 to 10 MPH breeze it was a piece of cake, anything over 15MPH and i'd be lucky too survive the take off and flying without a speed bar, well, flying backwards gives a whole new meaning to the sport!

Note: most of the above was probably due to bad instruction. (mentioning no names)

So, what are safe wind speeds for flying in with the new canopies (wings) with and without speed bar using both Paragliding and Paramotoring wings for Paramotoring? The technology in the sport has advanced rapidly especially with wings, are we safe to fly in 50MPH wind yet!?

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Hi Richard,

without getting into a debate on the meaning of the word safe, i can certainly relate my own experiences.

I started with an Arcus, 2001 vintage, and found that it behaved beautifully in nil wind, all the way up ro 21 mph winds.

Not that I was able to fly in those different conditions straight away, that took a long time building up the skills. What you have noticed and I found too, is that a breeze of between 5 and 15 mph and everything is a lot easier. Below 5 takes a different skill and above 15 takes a different one again. But I dont think that is any different to most wings of that time; the Arcus was very well thought of (still is).

I am talking about cliff ridge soaring at 18 to 21mph winds not paramotoring!

I had the power riser set with it and used them in stronger winds to reduce the drag on take off.

I found that, after a while I could takealso off on the paramotor( PAP solo210 130cm prop) in wnil wind up to 15mph. All up I was 115 kilos which was 10kilos over the max weight, but it flew brilliantly.

Nowadays, on my dhv 2-3 Excalibur, I can take off in winds up to 23 mph, but you really dont go anywhere so not a lot of point.

Last summer we had a demo of the Nova Ibex 19 metre and I managed to take off in a 32mph wind and soar the cliffs. There is also a 17 and a 15 metre Ibex and these wings are rated up to 130kilos so strong enough to fly with a paramotor.

With a paramotor on one of these you would fly very fast but would need a slope and a stiff breeze to get up to flying speed on take off, I dont think I could run fast enough on flat ground in light winds. I expect that trikes will prove the way forward for faster wings, just as flexwing microlights have got faster and faster with smaller sails, so it will be with PPG trikes. Then you start to need aerodynamic fairings around the pilot etc but i expect it will come soon.

Great thread though, what do you imagine will happen?

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Hi Francis,

Not sure what i expect to happen, just thought it would be a good thread to start and would be of interest to everyone especially newbies.

It would also be good to learn what the new wings are capable of, I've flown with an arcus swing for 4 years now and i'm about to invest in a Dudek Reaction, i've never flown with a speed bar either on my paramotor so i've just bought one and can't wait to try it out. I went out once and the upper winds at about 1000 feet where strong enough for me not to be able to make any ground i was just hanging there that's when i thought i need a speed bar, took me ages to get back down! :?

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Hi all,

I had a friend wich had an Swing Arcus. He always had a lot of difficulties with no wind start. In air the glider has a low flying speed. Last year he bought another glider (powerplay) and now he doesn't have any launching and wind problems anymore.

Above the 4 beaufort wind I always perform a cobra start. It's more difficult then a reversed start, but

the glider doesn't drag you away. It takes some time to know how to perform the cobra start.

Normally I watch my groundspeed to determ the maximum windspeed. If my goundspeed isn't faster than ±3m/s or ±10 feet/s I think about stop flying. Strong winds also create a lot of turbulence = no fun.

The maximum wind to start depends of the glider and especially the pilot. Experienced pilots can control the glider much better in strong winds then novice pilots. As long as the pilot doesn't have full control on his glider, flying in stronger winds (>3 bft) is pointless.

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