Flying Life: teaching Gurkhas to fly in Nepal

Flybubble Team Pilot Alistair Andrews shares the joys of paragliding in Nepal. "After a blinding flying season in 2015, although hopeful, I never expected 2016 to match it. Work was more intense, I spent some time overseas both flying and not, I got married and even lost my job towards the end of the season! I was very lucky to be offered a trip to Nepal to teach some Gurkhas to fly."

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Flybubble News January 2017

In this edition: we investigate reserve parachutes, review the latest wings, and as always share some safety notices, tips and uplifting images to help you fly into 2017.

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Nova SPEEDMAX 2

The Nova SPEEDMAX 2 is a high-performance paramotor wing with soft-reflex designed for recreational and advanced pilots (not beginners) aimed at pilots who are looking for an efficient paramotor wing that is fun to fly. The wing combines high speed with easy launch characteristics and forgiving flight behaviour. Nova claims impressive performance, a high level of stability and balanced handling.

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Ozone SwiftMAX

The Swift Max is designed for experienced tandem pilots who seek a light-weight high-performance XC machine for personal tandem adventures. The Swift Max is a new concept for OZONE and is very different to the Magnum series, which is designed to satisfy the needs of a commercial tandem operation. The Swift Max is based on the popular Swift series (the lightweight versions of the high B Rush), and features the performance features including the new SharkNose, an advanced arc, and low drag line plan. Using Skytex 27 and N20D on the leading edge as well as many design innovations brings the weight down to 7kg. Aspect 5.55 EN C (150-210kg).

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Choose The Right Reserve Parachute

Round, square, hybrid, rogallo? There are many differences between modern reserve parachutes and buying one can be a complicated decision. A reserve can seem like an unnecessary cost, something you could do without or don't need to pay much attention to. But it's a cornerstone of reducing risk, and it's really important to get the choice right.

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Skywalk CHILI 4 Review

The Skywalk CHILI 3 developed a reputation as the 'climbing king' in the XC Class. It also had a fairly impressive accelerated glide, making it a favourite in the UK, where escaping from small hills usually involves pushing upwind from a poor climb before making the best of weak lift that struggles through the ground inversion and into the really good sky near the clouds. The CHILI 4 has slightly more aspect ratio, more cells, is slightly heavier and is designed with more loading. From that I'd expect the wing to be slightly faster and offer better glide. The introduction of a shark nose should increase the speed range and safety. So is it an outright winner?

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Happy Winter Solstice 2016!

Hello and goodbye to the shortest day and longest night of the year! From here on the days get a little longer, the nights a tiny bit shorter and the sun a wee bit warmer. Before too long we'll be climbing in winter thermals (whilst wearing our winter thermals) and going XC. Looking forward to many nice flights and fun adventures - big and small - in 2017!

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Skywalk POISON X-ALPS Review

The Poison X-Alps seems to have a dual purpose: with a 'semi-light construction' it is aimed mainly at adventurous XC pilots while also hoping to attract pilots from hike-and-fly racing. Based on the wing Paul Guschlbauer and Stephan Gruber used in the Xalps 2015 (Skywalk Xalps 2), it has an impressive pedigree. Within the lightweight Advanced Class, it has a philosophy of 'slightly heavier, slightly bulkier, more performance' construction, shared by the Gin GTO2 and Ozone's LM6. But with 80 cells and mini-ribs all along the trailing edge, the Poison X-Alps shows the greatest dedication to reducing drag.

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