Swing Axis - Easy, Safe Machine

by Bosco Daude
(Granby, Québec, Canada)

If you really like an easy, safe machine...

I've been flying for 4 seasons and have just completed my 171th flight, all but the first 25 of them on my Swing Axis 4 paraglider. I even put my logo on it...

I've flown this wing on about 10 cross-country flights, the most memorable being of almost 3 hours in the air and a "as the crow flies" distance of 30 miles (48 KM). The other cross-country flights were in the 10-16 KM range. Keep in mind that in Québec, where I fly, the conditions are rarely right for cross-country flights (about one day every 10 or so), and two-thirds of these days happen during the work week.

The plus: The Swing Axis 4 is a very easy glider to fly, with incredible safety features. For example, I once suffered a 40% wing collapse due to turbulence. While I leaned on the open side the wing re-opened while the craft veered to the side by about 15 degrees... Like I said: safe! You can often let go of the controls to take a picture. It is easy to land slowly and in a tight place.

The minus: A heavy (6.5KG) wing. This, coupled with many heavy parts of my equipment, makes climbing a mountain by foot almost impossible. Wind penetration is also quite reduced, which makes cross-country flying more of a challange. The speed bar is to be used in the first half only, as the second half raises the speed by a little but destroys the glide ratio...

If the conditions were those of Europe, where the ceiling is very often in the 10,000 feet range, I would happily keep my wing until the end of its life. But here, where the ceiling is often below 2,500 feet, I will have no choice but to go towards a more performing machine in the near future. Too bad, for I will surely miss the "no trouble fun flying" this wing has to offer.

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by: Bosco

Our launches are located on Mount Yamaska, in St-Paul d'Abbotsford, near Granby, 60 kilometers east of Montréal.

2,500 feet ceilings during cross-country flights - Yes, it does force you to be always concentrated and on the lookout for possible landing zones. In fact, many a cross-country flight was "shortened" because I refused to venture over a wooded or inhabited area due to my low altitude...

Félicitations, bien faites!
by: Anonymous

Good job on your X-country. Where is your launch located?

Low ceilings
by: Tim P.

Thanks Bosco - good post. 2500ft ceilings? That would keep you focussed wouldn't it...

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