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last updated: Monday, January 7, 2008

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paragliding equipment

In essence, a paraglider is a simple, two part aircraft - a flexible material wing with no rigid structure, inflated by its own movement, to which a harness is attached by a number of suspension lines. None-the-less, it is an aircraft which makes use of the same aerodynamic principles that keep passenger jets flying!

The fact that paragliders and fixed wing aircraft share these same principles is about where the similarity ends. But a paraglider has one advantage over practically all other forms of aviation, and it can be summed up in one word. Portability. Literally, it�s an aircraft in a rucksack! Some pilots take great personal pride in walking their aircraft to launch! Besides, it makes for a great adventure story!

All new paragliders (unless otherwise stated or arranged) should arrive from the manufacturer with its own rucksack. Earlier designs of paraglider bags had a lot of short comings. They were no more than stuff sacks with shoulder straps - very uncomfortable to carry for extended periods of time. Progress has definitely been made in this area with newer designs incorporating the same back support technology and hip-hold load balancing as top of the line backpacks.

An average paraglider weighs around 6 to 8 kilograms, depending on size. Add a standard harness (with industry preferred back protection) and reserve parachute (again depending on size), and the whole kit totals to between 20 and 25 kilograms on average. All packed well into the rucksack, it�s no more of a burden than what a backpacker would suffer hiking their clothes around. But you�ll be carrying an aircraft! Who needs clothes?!

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Inspect your paragliding equipment prior to each launch. Have all your equipment checked thoroughly by an authorised dealer or flight instructor on a regular basis.

"sine pennis volare hau facilest; meae alea pennas non habent"

(flying without feathers is not easy; my wings have no feathers)

Titus Maccius Plautus

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