The Airwave Flite was designed from scratch to meet the latest DHV-1 rating requirements. This meant a real emphasis on safety and ease of handling, to produce a paraglider suitable for learners or anyone interested in being able to really relax while flying.
Apparently it was much harder to achieve these design goals for this wing than it was to develop the top-performing Competition Class wing! But I'm sure catering for hordes of novice pilots is where the money is, so it's likely the company's effort was very well-spent.
Given the effort put into the design, the 38-cell Flite is surprisingly simple in construction. A new wing profile was developed to ensure a good balance of stability and performance.
In common with all the latest Airwave paragliders, the top surface of the wing is a hybrid construction with heavy, hard wearing material along the leading edge and lighter than average material for the rest. So the whole glider is relatively lightweight, but is claimed to last just as long as other makes that are constructed of just one grade of sail material.
Big Ears risers come standard with the Flite, so no more grabbing individual lines to lose height in a hurry.
A speed system is also fitted. Although a speed system isn't necessary to learn to fly, a good modern DHV-1 paraglider can take it's owner right through to cross country flying.
|take-off weight incl. glider||81-106 kg||178-233 lbs|
|wing area (flat)||26.9 m²||(289 ft²)|
|wing area (projected)||22.9 m²||(246 ft²)|
|wing span (flat)||11.5 m||37.7 ft|
|wing span (projected)||9.1 m||29.8 ft|
|aspect ratio (flat)||4.9|
|aspect ratio (projected)||3.6|
|min sink||1.0 m/s||(197 fpm, 3.6 kph, 1.9 knts)|
|best glide ratio||7.5:1|
|speed min (mid weight range)||21 kph||(13 mph, 11 knts)|
|speed trim (mid weight range)||35 kph||(22 mph, 19 knts)|
|speed max (mid weight range)||45 kph||(28 mph, 24 knts)|
The Airwave Flite handles as you would expect for a modern, learner-level paraglider. Easy progressive inflation during launch, a minimum of swinging about during flight maneuvers, and stable.
The Airwave Flite is currently available in 3 color schemes: blue/white/blue, orange/red/white and red/white/blue.
The medium Flite was recently offered with a suggested retail of US$3200. There will usually be a few other charges of course if you actually buy one, check directly with your paraglider dealer to figure out a final cost for you.
For any Brits out there, this paraglider has been advertised for £1,895.