Educational by Chapter of the Powered Paragliding Bible

I: First Flight

01 Training Process

02 Gearing Up

03 Handling the Wing

04 Prep For 1st Flight

05 The Flight

06 Flying With Wheels 

II: Spreading Wings

07 Weather Basics

08 The Law

09 Airspace   

10 Flying Anywhere

11 Controlled Airports

12 Setup & Mx

13 Flying Cross Country

14 Flying With Others

III: Mastery

15 Adv Ground Handling

16 Precision Flying

17 Challenging Sites

18 Advanced Maneuvers

19 Risk Management

20 Competition

21 Free Flight Transition

IV: Theory

22 Aerodynamics

23 Motor & Propeller

24 Weather & Wind

25 Roots: Our History

V: Choosing Gear

26 The Wing

27 The Motor Unit

28 Accessories

29 Home Building

VI: Getting the Most

30 Other Uses

31 Traveling With Gear

32 Photography

--- Not in book ---

33 Organizing Fly-Ins

34 Places To Fly

35 Preserving the Sport

36 Tandem

Chapter 5: The Flight

Powered Paragliding: Analyzing the Forward Launch

June 29, 2006, Chapter 3, 4 | See also Crosswind Launches

Crosswind launch  Nailing Every Landing  Analyzing the Forward Launch  Analyzing the Reverse Launch  The Bump Scale

This style of photography along with some Photoshop work allows close analysis of a light-wind launch. Chapter 4 contains many tidbits for trouble shooting such launches but this may help. A full resolution version of the picture appeared in September, 2006's issue of Powered Sport Flying magazine (pictured).

Notice how much is happening in frames 4, 5, & 6. The wing, which starts off stalled, gathers increasing airflow down the back and accelerates upward while the pilot only moves forward a few steps.

Initially, hands are mostly back and the pilot has throttled up just a bit so that, when the wing gets overhead, he can stand up straight and the motor thrust will accelerate him quickly--that keeps the wing from falling back. With nearly zero wind it's important to avoid pulling any brake until the wing is up and you're moving nicely. The wing did fall back a bit but he had enough speed to prevent it going all the way down. Be careful, even though this is a soft-framed cage, most instructors recommend using NO power on such units to prevent the lines pulling cage parts in the prop.

In this nil-wind condition, the pilot pulls essentially no brakes until he has gathered significant running speed. 

Trimmers are set to slow for a lower liftoff speed but, if your wing tends to fall back, setting them to a faster setting may help with inflation at the expense of a slightly higher liftoff speed. 

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Tim Kaiser performs a flawless forward launch with a soft cage unit. There was, at most, 1 mph wind when this was taken. (Click for larger image).

There are many variations depending on your cage, wing, conditions and difficulties. Techniques vary with power use, body lean, layout and trimmer use.



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From the September, 2006 Powered Sport Flying Magazine. This full-resolution picture showed detail unavailable on the computer without scrolling. 

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!