XC Secrets

How To Topland Safely (On a Paraglider)

Landing on top of a ridge or even on the launch site is a useful skill for paraglider pilots, but the top of the ridge is usually the windiest place to land. This is partly because of wind gradient (wind often increases with altitude) and partly because of the Venturi effect: the wind is accelerated over the top and around the sides of any obstacle. In this article we study various approaches to making a safe landing.

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Speed To Fly Basics

Do you feel the need for speed? Perhaps you should. Or maybe you ought to rein it in a little? Speed to fly is all about applying the appropriate speed to achieve your flying objective in the current conditions. In this article we'll take you through the general principles so you can make a clear and simple choice.

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Making the most of sea thermals

Thermals over the sea? How can it be? UK winter flying can be surprisingly good. We explain how to identify a good day for sea thermals, where to look for them, and what to do with them once you find them.

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Catching the Drift: Thermals and Wind

Holding on to a drifting thermal can be very challenging, but improving this skill can yield exponential gains in airtime. Due to their buoyancy, thermals want to rise straight up. At some point the prevailing wind will overcome this inertia and tilt the thermal column. The winds at different altitudes can vary in direction and strength. The thermals therefore follow a wandering tilted trajectory as they rise, which can be difficult to map in three dimensions.

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