The Free Flight Physiology Project

The Free Flight Physiology Project

The Free Flight Physiology Project made its debut this year at the Coupe d’Icare, aiming to improve the safety and performance of pilots, and to push the boundaries of comparative physiology research.

The group is led by expedition doctor and paraglider pilot Dr Matt Wilkes and Exeter University physiological ecologist Dr Lucy Hawkes.

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Flybubble News October 2016

In this edition: we get the goods on Coupe Icare, consider light wind freedom, chill out in a cloud (brr), consider landing area conflicts and hang out in a harness that almost isn't there.

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Coupe Icare 2016: GIN

Gin Gliders at Coupe Icare 2016

We were delighted to hear some news of planned product releases, as the sudden forced closure of their North Korea factory has surely required attention as they restructure production facilities. Considering their impressive product catalogue it's clear Gin Gliders have the strength to weather the storms.

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Coupe Icare 2016: NIVIUK

Niviuk at the Coupe Icare 2016

Niviuk have an impressive array of new products this year.

Niviuk stand

To achieve a reduction of nearly a kilo and a half, the Hook 4 P has been made of lightweight materials: Porcher Skytex 27g fabric, Nitinol rods and Dyneema risers, which are much lighter than those used in conventional wings.

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Coupe Icare 2016: KORTEL

Kortel Design at the Coupe Icare 2016

Carlo met the team at Kortel Design. He chatted with Guillaume, who shared their latest design innovations.

Kortel Design at Coupe Icare 2016


This is a basic school and tandem passenger harness that is very innovative! It is adjustable: the seatplate can be altered by 10cm; the seat angle can be corrected; the back support has adjustable length; there are 2 positions for the height of the hang points.

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Coupe Icare 2016: NOVA

Nova and High Adventure (Coupe Icare 2016)

Carlo met Mik Broschart, Kristin Lamm and Andrea Heerd (Nova) and Urs Haari (High Adventure).

Nova at Coupe Icare 2016


Pre-orders of the new concept high performance Progression wing have been very encouraging.

The S size has completed certification, and is expected to be available from dealers at the same time as M and L sizes.

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Coupe Icare 2016: Freeflight Equipment

News from the freeflight equipment show: the Coupe Icare is the biggest festival of the international paragliding community.

The exhibition is held in St. Hilaire du Touvet in France.

Carlo Borsattino found out what is new in the world of freeflight manufacturing.

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Coupe Icare 2016: SUP’AIR

Sup’Air at the Coupe Icare 2016

Carlo met the friendly Sup'Air team and chatted to JC Skiera about products in development.

Sup'Air team at the Coupe Icare 2016


On the stand was an early proto of this deluxe XC harness, also suitable for competition flying. It will be a similar weight to the Skypper, maybe slightly lighter, with a pronounced taper at the tip to improve aerodynamic flow.

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Coupe Icare 2016: SKYWALK

Skywalk at the Coupe Icare 2016

Carlo chatted to Arne Wehrlin, head of Skywalk and one of the founding partners.


Combining climb and glide performance with balanced handling is a big challenge.

Skywalk Chili 4 specs

The new CHILI4 promises more precise feedback through the brake lines and more direct (higher) brake range. It’s a whole new design, incorporating a shark nose and optimised cell structure.

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Coupe Icare 2016: SYRIDE

Syride at the Coupe Icare 2016

Carlo met Vincent Del Medico, Marion Roche, Anthony and Yann.

Syride team

The current range is very successful so there are no plans to change any of these in the near future. Of course the software, website and online features will be continually upgraded.

A feature of the Sys'Nav V3 which pilots might not be aware of is the 'instant vario' setting introduced recently via firmware update which can trigger the inertial vario using the accelerometer for faster vario response.

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