Connecting the speed system

When choosing a connector for the speed system to the wing via the harness, you’ll need to think about convenience, simplicity and security. 

Most wings are supplied with Brummel hooks on the end of the speed system, so this is one choice, along with the smallest sizes of Maillon Rapide, or the knot and lark’s head used on lightweight wings and harnesses.

Brummel hooks

Brummel hooks were invented by Lieutenant Edward Fitzmaurice Inglefield, and are also known as sister clips or Inglefield clips. They are light, easy to connect and disconnect, and can be bought with auto release for the speed system when “Quickout” karabiners are used. They may also have a feature that allows for quick and easy adjustment of the speed system length. They are part of the speed system cord on most standard weight gliders, but can easily be removed without needing to cut what looks like a sewn in connector. You may then substitute one of the other methods. See the section at the end for this.

Brummell hooks
Standard Brummel hooks left. Adjustable Brummel hooks right.

Brummel hooks need a certain level of precision manufactured at the gap used to slide them in and out of each other or they become more prone to accidental disconnection. They can only do this at a certain orientation to each other, so if they are kept out of this shape and in line as they would be in use, the likelihood of disconnection becomes infinitesimally small. To maintain the correct orientation you can buy Flybubble Brummel Covers

Flybubble Brummel Covers
Flybubble Brummel Covers.

See the current Brummel Hooks list on our website.

Small maillon

With sewn or knotted loops on the end of the speed system cord from the wing and the same on the cord through the harness to the bar, another way to connect the two is using a small maillon. They can be nipped up using a multitool which makes them less likely to come undone, but can be fiddly if you are trying to disconnect the wing from the harness, especially in cold weather or with gloves. In this respect they are a poor second to Brummel hooks, but are less likely to come undone, and even more so after they have been tightened up.

Maillons
Standard (Oval) Maillon Rapide maillons (metal quick links).

See the current Standard (Oval) maillons on our website.

Lark’s Head over a knot or cord stop

This is the method used for hike and fly or lightweight wings. The sewn loop on the speed system can be looped back over itself, placed over the stop and pulled tight. This is a simple method, easy to check and the only downside may be trying to unpick the tightened lark’s head with cold fingers. If there is no stop already on the line, a knot can be tied, and the Lark’s head looped over that and pulled tight. 

The sequence below shows how a sewn loop (usually on the glider riser) can be turned into a Lark’s head and finished with tightening over a knot or bead in the end of the speed system line.

Lark's Head over a knot or cord stop

Removing a Brummel hook from a sewn loop

When you examine a Brummel hook supplied with a speed system on a glider, it looks like the hook is fastened by a sewn loop. It is, but the hook can be removed without cutting the loop, and so is a reversible choice if you wish to go back later.

Removing a Brummel hook from a sewn loop

The second and third stages are the most important, it may seem like the loop is too tight to push back over the Brummel hook, but it should just go if you are careful. You can remove a Brummel hook this way to move over to small maillons or the Lark’s Head method of joining the two parts of the seed system in the harness and the wing.

Pre-flight checks

Whichever method you choose to connect your speed system together, it must form part of your daily inspection before flying, and also have a quick visual check before each flight, especially if you have got out of the harness then clipped back in again.

Related reading

Choose The Right Connectors series:

Choose The Right Connectors — Flybubble

Connecting the wing — Flybubble

Connecting the reserve parachute — Flybubble

Choose The Right Equipment series:

Choose The Right Paraglider — Flybubble

Choose The Right Paragliding Harness — Flybubble

Choose The Right Reserve Parachute — Flybubble

Choose The Right Flight Instrument — Flybubble

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