Chapter 5: The Flight
Powered Paragliding: Analyzing
the Forward Launch
June 29, 2006,
Chapter 3, 4 | See also Crosswind Launches
Nailing Every Landing
Analyzing the Forward Launch
Analyzing the Reverse Launch
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
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.