Paraglider Speed: When to Fly Slower or Faster
When riding any type of device or vehicle, it is important to consider speed. More speed will mean less control for the paraglider. You should consider speed together with your altitude and the course. Students should master the techniques first before they attempt to go very fast. At times, you need to slow down to maneuver correctly and regain control.
For Powered Paragliders
The most frequently used powered paragliding speed or trim speed is about 26 miles per hour. Trim speed is described as the speed that the powered paraglider flies through with the need for any controls that will change the wing shape and enhance speed. There are now acceleration controls and systems that can be used by the powered paragliding pilot to boost speed. The paraglider wing is the part usually altered to gain or lose speed. Such systems can lead to paragliding wings pushing the device to about 40 miles per hour. According to Federal Regulation, powered paragliders are not allowed to fly more than 63 miles per hour in still air in level flight.
Speed Boost or Reduction
The decrease or increase of the power provided by the motor usually does not change the speed. The altitude is managed by the power setting changes. If the motor power climbs, the powered paraglider also goes down slowly. The climb may also be faster. If the power is lowered, the paraglider will climb slowly or descend very fast. A paraglider flying right into the wind lowers the speed across the ground. If you fly with the wind, the speed is enhanced across the ground.
On Speed to Fly
Speed to Fly refers to the adjustments made by the paraglider to the speed with regards to lift, wind and sink. Maximizing the glide based on the relationship is a nonstop process as the paraglider continues to fly. Speed to fly leads to better piloting and better management of the wing. There are several ways to adjust speed to fly. You can also use a polar or try to do some simple math calculations and observations. Knowing speed to fly better will help pilots stay in the air longer, boost their senses and improve lift and wind.
During lift or sink you speed should vary; fly faster in sink and fly slower in lift. You should fly faster into a headwind and fly slower with a tailwind. Still air is described as having zero lift, sink or wind. A lot of paragliders can achieve the best glide close to trim speed.