specially coated with polyurethane
to avoid porosity. The shape is attached to a reed by lines. The canopy
is constructed of a top and a bottom surface joined by a number of
vertical segments, resulting in chambers known as "the cells". The
opening at the front is called the leading edge. After inflation the
canopy takes up an airfoil shape with a fattish lower surface and
a curved top. The rear edge of the wing is called the trailing edge.
The lines are made of very strong Kevlar and are usually encased in
an outer sheath of nylon. The risers connect the canopy lines to the
reed. The trailing edge is connected by risers called control lines
and constitute the most important part of the glider. The control
risers let the pilot maneuver the paraglider.
Some frequently asked questions on flying
What is a Paraglider?
A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed
to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements other than
the wind, gravity and the pilot's musclepower. A Paraglider descends
at about 3 minutes per 1000' of altitude. However, if the air is rising
faster than the glider is descending (as often happens) the glider
will gain height, Flights of 1-3 hours are not uncommon and easily
possible around the coastline of Jersey. Paragliders are designed
for soaring flight u
Is Paragliding Safe?
Paragliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated risks
and to operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must
strive at all times to minimize those risks. The most important pre-requisites
to learning to fly safely are: pilot attitude, competent instruction,
and safe equipment. If these conditions are met the slow speeds and
inherent stability of paragliders can provide a safe and easy way
to experience Flying with the Birds! nlike Parachutes which are designed
Do you jump off a Cliff?
Definatly not! I don't jump off anything. Paragliders are usually
launched by running off of moderate slopes (could be above a cliff)
with the glider inflated above your head untill you are lifted off
your feet and thus flying!
What is the difference between a Paraglider and a Hang Glider?
A Hang Glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing,
with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider
canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended
in a sitting or supine position. The Hang-glider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic
profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than
a Paraglider. A Paraglider folds down into a package the size of a
largish knapsack and can be carried easily in any form of transport.
Conversely, a Hang-glider needs a vehicle with a roof-rack (usually
with extensions) for transportation to and from the flying site, as
well as appreciable time to set-up and strip-down. It's also great
deal easier to learn to fly a Paraglider than a Hang Glider. What
can compare to hiking to the site with your aircraft strapped to your
How high can you fly?
When training you will start out just skimming the ground. As you
progress and become more skilled and confident you will gradually
go higher. (Under your instructors directions) Using ridge lift as
is the case in Jersey you may be able to get up to about 800ft above
sea level but by thermalling in other countries Paragliders have been
able to reach over 18,000' above sea level.