Triple Seven Q-light (PAST MODEL)
Model Status: Past model
EN Certification: EN C
LTF Certification: LTF C
The Q-light is the ideal tool for long, difficult hike&fly adventures in remote mountain areas. Its high passive safety level in combination with a performance level that is way out of its class together means that you couldn’t find a better wing for such an endeavour. But as usual in these cases, if your own goals are less ambitious, and perhaps involve nothing more than being able to take your XC glider on trips where baggage weight and bulk is a concern, then the Q-light is again the ideal companion.
The Q-light is the latest step in Triple Sevens' ongoing push to make lightweight versions of all their wings. Triple Seven's background for this push is the fact that the PG world is going LITE, something Triple Seven fully support, and Triple Seven want their product range to reflect that fact.
The Q-light inherits all of the design and flying characteristics of the Queen 2, but it does so in an even lighter, more agile package. In the air, you’ll be hard pushed to even notice the difference, but on launch and when you are walking towards it the difference is clear – this is a thoroughbred racehorse in a para-alpinist disguise. Use it for your own long-distance adventures, or use it like a Queen 2 that saves you some sweating whenever you carry it around!
- Back position air intakes – perfect internal pressure at all angles of attack
- Smooth trailing edge
- Line material optimization
- Visual design optimization
- Load distribution optimization
- Optimized cross vents
- BC System – for active flying with C riser control
- Mini-ribs in the trailing edge – better trailing edge definition and reduced ballooning
- Optimized mix of line diameters and materials – performance with maximum longevity and safety
- Refined wingtip design – minimal induced drag and intuitive handling
- Optimized aerofoil – great climbing abilities
- Trim speed adapted to the pilot target group – fast, but not so fast as to be demanding to launch and land…
- Porcher 27g/m2 except for the leading edge
- Dominico 30 in the high-stress area around the leading edge
- EN C certification
- Webbing: Flat Dyneema 13 mm
- Brake ring: Tylaska 4 (original)
- Pulleys:4x Harken P18
When other paraglider manufacturers go Light, they often compromise user-friendliness in a number of ways, not least by using round risers made from Dyneema cord. These risers look and feel unfamiliar to most pilots, and are tricky to fit usable speed systems too. As a result, many pilots end up choosing the standard risers on their lightweight wings, because these are simply easier to live with and less intimidating to look at – but that means some of the weight saving is lost.
Triple Seven has decided to address this challenge in their usual uncompromising way; they sourced a flat Dyneema material that looks and feels almost exactly like the standard black Nylon webbing, is even stronger and also much lighter. With their lightweight risers made from this material, they have several advantages over the risers made from Dyneema cord:th.
|Number of cells||73||73||73||73|
|Projected area (m2)||20||21.4||22||22.9|
|Flat area (m2)||23.6||25.3||26||27|
|Projected span (m)||9.6||9.9||10||10.2|
|Flat span (m)||12.1||12.6||12.8||13|
|Projected Aspect Ratio||4.6||4.6||4.6||4.6|
|Flat aspect ratio||6.3||6.3||6.3||6.3|
|Glider weight (kg)||3.9||4.2||4.4||4.7|
|In-flight weight range (kg)||70-85||79-99||95-108||100-120|
|Canopy Fabric Code|
|Leading edge||Dominico 30|
|Upper surface||Porcher Skytex 27 universal|
|Bottom surface||Porcher Skytex 27 universal|
|Internal construction||Porcher Skytex 27 hard finish|
Line Material Optimization
One of the things that sets Triple Seven wings apart from most other paraglider manufacturer’s products is the way they employ different line materials down the chord of their gliders. Triple Seven feel that this is a logical and necessary way to get the best out of the available technology and minimise potential problems caused by the very low number of lines on modern wings.
On recent Triple Seven wings, they use the strengths and weaknesses of these materials to their advantage, deploying the new PPSLS Liros Dyneema lines for the A’s and B’s, which are always under heavy loads and thus don’t shrink, and using High strength Magix Pro AramidA8000 line, dyed in dark grey for UV protection, for the C lines. The C-lines are critical in keeping a paraglider within trim specs, and line shrink here leads to sluggish behaviour on launch and in the air, but with these Edelrid lines they eliminate that problem. At the same time the C-lines are not subjected to heavy loads, so if Triple Seven make sure they dimension the lines appropriately from the beginning they can build gliders that will remain in spec for their life cycle.
Load distribution optimization
Drag is also caused by canopy wrinkles; just one more reason to make canopies as wrinkle-free as at all possible.
Enter the Triple Seven Load Distribution Technology
Consisting of a thin Nylon “rod” sewn into each cell wall in a carefully designed wave pattern, the Load Distribution Technology distributes the loads from each line level across the whole chord of the wing, making the wing so much more true to its shape regardless of what the air is doing around it. This translates into a higher resistance to collapses, better energy retention and not least significantly improved gliding performance through turbulent air – and the best part is, with the very thin diameter of the “rods” it doesn’t impede the packing of the wing at all.
Visual Design Optimisation
Although all wings look great from a graphical perspective, there’s more to the design than meets the eye. Each and every seam (except the “7” logo on the wingtips) has been placed precisely where it is for a reason, and there are no more seams in the canopy than necessary for the optimal panel tensioning everywhere. If you design for looks rather than for efficiency you often end up with many more seams than you should ideally have, and every single one will increase the total air permeability of the canopy. In extreme cases this may lead to porosity issues at readings that wouldn’t normally be considered critical – if too much air is escaping via the many seams, then smaller increases in porosity in the individual panels may cause the whole wing to fall over the edge of what is still flyable.
When flying a Triple Seven wing you can rest assured that none of the design elements has been incorporated out of vanity – there are only technical solutions. Fortunately, the discerning pilot will instinctively associate efficiency with attractive!
Back Position (Air) Intake
On conventional paragliders, the location of the cell openings is always a compromise. The cell openings on paragliders must be located at the separation point (the place where the airflow separates into a part that travels OVER the wing, and another part that travels UNDER the wing) and because there is just one separation point, the cell openings must be either very large, or placed either at the separation point for trim speed, top speed or somewhere in between.
At Triple Seven, ALL their wings have been incorporating dual separation point aerofoils since the very first model – they call it the Back Position Intake. On Triple Seven wings the cell opening is located right between the two separation points, allowing Triple Seven to make it smaller while maintaining maximum inflow and thus maximum internal pressure at all angles of attack. With smaller cell openings and greater internal pressure, the collapse tendency at all speeds is significantly reduced, and the brake authority is increased – a big brake input from behind momentarily increases the pressure at the leading edge because the air cannot escape through the small openings, and this makes the leading edge more solid, less collapse-prone for the experienced pilot.
But due to the nature of the BPI even inexperienced pilots benefit from the BPI technology – the stall characteristics are significantly better, and the wing collapses much less in the first place. Triple Seven have also found that BPI aerofoils have better energy retention, making them more efficient in turbulent air – they aren’t as susceptible to being stopped in their tracks by sudden surges, something that makes them convert bumps along the way into altitude much better than conventionally designed paragliders.
Triple Seven was the first manufacturer to employ BPI technology to the full model range, and their extensive experience with this game-changing technology is just one more reason why they believe that a Valic-designed wing will make your flying more rewarding every time you take your wing out of its bag. At the end of the day, this is precisely what paragliding is about – getting the most out of every flying opportunity, regardless of your own personal goals!
Optimised Cross Vents
As paraglider canopies grow increasingly complex inside, the number of components in each wing grows as well. If you sometimes wonder why the prices seem to always take a small hike upwards with each new model range, this is the reason for it – a modern canopy is simply far more complex to put together than a five-year-old model was.
But with increasing complexity, one would normally expect the weight to go up as well, and one of the main challenges the Triple Seven designers face when working on new products is to make sure this isn’t the case. A heavier canopy is bad on just about every level, from the basic premise that you still have to carry it on your back, to the fact that heavy canopies launch less readily, and have less enticing handling once in the air. So the challenge is to include all the extra elements inside the wing, but make sure they are as minimal in every way as at all possible. When you look through the (small) cell openings of a Triple Seven wing you’ll notice that all the ribs, and the diagonal ribs, in particular, are very elaborately designed and shaped, the cross ports following the stress lines very accurately, and also that they’re split up into several smaller sections. Through this extra complexity, Triple Seven has managed to get the best of both worlds; the lightness that they feel is essential for obtaining the handling and safety characteristics they want, and the rigidity and formwise integrity that gives Triple Seven wings their hallmark class-bursting performance under real, active flying conditions. It is not a very visible brand characteristic when you see a Triple Seven glider in the air or on the ground, but it is very easy to recognise the resulting performance and handling benefits as soon as you take to the air!
Smooth Trailing Edge
The paraglider’s trailing edge is a critical part of the design for both glider handling and performance, and one where Triple Seven invest a lot of effort into perfecting it. As the paraglider is inflated, the pressure inside makes the cells billow, and the Triple Seven STE technology is there to control the billowing near the trailing edge. Too much billow in this region shortens the trailing edge in a spanwise direction and may make the canopy pitch unstable in combination with pressure changes. Besides, too much billow at this critical part of the canopy adversely affects performance, because it may cause the airflow to separate in an uncontrolled manner.
With the Triple Seven STE technology, Triple Seven Designers designers have managed to completely eliminate excessive billowing, making for a much more coherent and sharp trailing edge. This is great news for performance and handling because the solid trailing edge transmits brake line input into turns much more readily.
“We’re quite proud of the Queen 2 and the way it has demonstrated our ability to build a wing that is right up there with the very best of the “conventional” paragliders yet is an honest EN C wing at heart. In our minds there is no reason why the adventure flying and the hike&fly crowd should be denied access to such a wing just because they don’t wish to carry the extra weight – so we made a version where they get the best of both worlds! The Q-light is a full kg lighter than the Queen 2 (size MS) and has the trademark Triple Seven lightweight risers and line maillons, but other than that it is not easy to distinguish the two wings from each other. This is completely on purpose since the Queen 2 is already the finest wing we can imagine at this point in time – the Q-light is all that but lighter!”
"If you’re an experienced Sports Class pilot and you’re wanting to try your hand at competitions and at least stay within striking distance of the lead gaggle, this is a good choice. If you’ve got at least one XC season on an EN C wing... you’ll love the performance combined with great stability. It feels trimmed, taut, steady and relatively fast … designed for long days in the mountains, chasing distant goals."
- Greg Hamerton, Flybubble (full review)
|EN Certification||EN C|
|LTF Certification||LTF C|
|Model Status||Past model|