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latest Para-Newbie News-n-Pics, May08, Issue #0017, monthly.
May 28, 2008

Fresh Paragliding Stuff

Selected News, Image, Paraglider

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Issued on Wed, May 28th 2008, Issue #0017
Paragliding Tales and Reviews
12 Muscatel Cct, Old Reynella, S.A. 5161, Australia

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Table of Contents

  1. News of the Month
  2. Image of the Month
  3. Featured Paraglider

News of the Month

After the usual scouring of the Web using a number of world news resources, I bumped into something a little different. An exhibition of large landscape photographs, taken from a paraglider of course! However, no mention is made of whether the paraglider was powered or free-flight. Nor any other details of the wing itself, for that matter.

Bulgarian Paraglider-Powered Panoramas

Source: Balkan Travellers - Bulgaria

Date: 20 May 2008

Yet another piece of missing information - was the photographer, Alexandar Ivanov, also the pilot? No reason why not I guess, particularly if he was flying one of the more forgiving powered paragliders. Even model powered paragliders make decent photographic platforms. Several companies make these and promote them for professional aerial photography. Oops, drifting off track here...

Ivanov's exhibition is being held in an open air setting, in Sofia, Bulgaria. The collection of large-scale landscape images is titled '360 Degrees Bulgaria', and is a striking display of various Bulgarian landscapes. After this initial display, the collection will tour to other cities in the country.

Despite their large size, there are 120 of the images. The subject matter varies from fields and large bodies of water to crowds of people and politically uncomfortable evidence of pollution! Depending on the subject, Ivanov used altitude to artistic effect, taking photographs from between 40 and 4,000 meters in the air.

Ivanov couldn't help himself it seems, in that he seems to have shown his works in public prematurely! A little birdie told the reporter that masses of people were to be seen lining the Loversí Bridge near the National Palace of Culture, gawking at the images. That was several days before the official opening in Sofia.

We're not all Bulgarians, so I'll spare you the precise details. Suffice to say that the exhibition will pass through several Bulgarian cities over the coming months. It all wraps up in early October 2008.

Interestingly, despite the great variety evident in the landscapes, Ivanovís images are of locations no more than six or seven hours drive from Sofia. This diversity caused one of the organizers to comment that the exhibition is (imagine a Bulgarian accent...) 'one of the best advertisement campaigns of Bulgaria until now'. Actually, I'm not sure I've ever heard a Bulgarian accent, have you?

A Good Book For Free-Flight Paragliding

Paragliding - A Pilot's Training Manual. Do you have at least a few hours of soaring experience under your belt? Keen to learn much more? This book will fill out your knowledge nicely. Just remember it doesn't take the place of your instructor!

Complete Reference For Powered Paragliding

Powered Paragliding Bible. This is one of a couple of good books that people are using before and during taking up power paragliding. It's great if you want a really complete reference book about the sport. Authored by Jeff Goin and Dennis Pagen and published in April 2006. That Pagen name pops up a lot in light aviation literature!

Image of the Month

There's plenty of paragliding imagery on the Web these days, much of it so-so. Thanks to some paraglider manufacturer friends of mine, I can bring you some great pics that you might not find anywhere else. Hope you enjoy this month's featured picture, below.

Just click on it to enlarge.

Two intrepid SOL Synergy 3 pilots, flying in formation over water. The guy in red seems to be earnestly communicating with the other pilot... 'Looks cold down there! Ummmm ... can you throw me your spare hook knife?' Actually, I suppose there must be some sand just out of the picture somewhere. Also, if a telephoto lens was being used, that would make the water appear a lot closer than it actually is.

Featured Paraglider

This section focuses on a recently manufactured and certified paraglider that has been written up on the Paragliding Tales and Reviews website. This month, it's the Wings of Change Crossblade. Nothing hugely in-depth, just a few notes based on

  1. what the manufacturer is saying about the wing, plus,
  2. some basic technical data.

The Crossblade was released in late 2007 and apparently is a further development of the Nemesis wing. It seems Wings Of Change are proud of their new 'ram air controlled valves' and re-designed air intakes that are claimed to increase the glide ratio noticeably! The wing was still given a 1-2 rating from DHV, so safety and stability were hardly affected. Interestingly, the XS (Extra Small) version of this paraglider is beefed up to suit Acro flying.

Here's a few very basic numbers describing the M version of this wing...

pilot take-off weight: 80-105 kg (177-232 lbs)
wing weight: 6.3 kg (13.9 lbs)
wing area (projected): 24.8 m≤ (267 ft≤)
wing span (projected): 11.2 m (37 ft)
aspect ratio (projected): 4.9
min sink 1.1 m/s: (217 fpm, 4.0 kph, 2.1 knts)
best glide ratio: 9.3:1
speed min: 24 kph (15 mph, 13 knts)
speed trim: 38 kph (24 mph, 21 knts)
speed max: 50 kph (31 mph, 27 knts)

Min Sink and Best Glide figures are rubbery of course - many factors can cause small changes in these. Pilot weight for example.

The Wings of Change Crossblade paraglider is written up in quite a bit more detail on the website.

Bearing in mind that this paragliding newsletter and in fact most of the website is really for 'newbies', any constructive feedback is welcome! In particular, what would you really like to see in this newsletter? Just reply to this email and tell me your thoughts.

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