New Speed flying or speed riding sport:
BY NERVURES: www.nervures.com
Since autumn 2004 and with the help of Val Montand we have been working on a mini-wing concept. Finally in January 2006 we reached our goal!
The theory might look simple but the reality is a lot more complex: we wanted a good glide to be able to fly above shallow slopes, trees etc. Moreover the good glide had to allow for foot launch and landing. We had to abandon the idea of copying or adapting skydiving parachutes because of their lack of performance.
We quickly realised that even though it is easy to design a mini-wing with an acceptable glide, it is much more difficult to make it resistant to turbulence. On the top of that the mini-wing had to have a sound behaviour on diving trajectories when it is set to a very low angle of attack.
We had to build several prototypes to find the right airfoils. In the end, using our experience gained with the design of the “performance parachute”, we got the “SWOOP”.
The usability is very high: with the 12 and the 14 m 2 wing, it is easy to foot launch and land in null wind. With the 10 m 2 it is bit more demanding, but still possible. As soon as the trims are off, the wing accelerates, the trajectory dives and you enter the world of speed flying.
The structured airfoil (use of diagonal ribs) and high tension cloth give the wing speed and acceleration qualities very different from those of a sky diving parachute. The glide at landing is superb and allows endless flairs without the need of a hook turn. This greatly increases safety as you can land on foot on hardcore surfaces after a long approach in a straight line without having to bank hard before hand.
Our main concern has been to make this wing as resistant to collapses as possible. The Swoop is very solid in turbulence. Trimmers off, it is perfectly fitted for the practice of “Speed Flying” and to give you the freedom of limitless radical manoeuvres.
The “Swoop” is available in 2 sizes:
- 14 m2 for beginners in the sport
- 10 m2 for the expert pilots
Even though the product is mature, the activity is highly specialised in itself and has nothing to do with conventional paragliding. We are distributing the Swoop through a specific network of few specialised instructors. The sale comes with an introduction to the sport on a suitable slope