Template:Comparison of sailplanes hang gliders and paragliders

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Paragliders Hang gliders Gliders/Sailplanes
Undercarriage pilot's legs used for take-off and landing pilot's legs used for take-off and landing aircraft takes off and lands using a wheeled undercarriage or skids
Wing structure entirely flexible, with shape maintained purely by the pressure of air flowing into and over the wing in flight and the tension of the lines generally flexible but supported on a rigid frame which determines its shape (note that rigid-wing hang gliders also exist) rigid wing surface which totally encases wing structure
Pilot position sitting in a harness usually lying prone in a cocoon-like harness suspended from the wing; seated and supine are also possible sitting in a seat with a harness, surrounded by a crash-resistant structure
Speed range
(stall speed – max speed)
slower – typically 25 to 60km/h for recreational gliders (over 50km/h requires use of speed bar),[1] hence easier to launch and fly in light winds; least wind penetration; pitch variation can be achieved with the controls faster - stall speed about 30km/h. Never exceed speed up to 90km/h[citation needed] maximum speed up to about 280 km/h (170 mph);[2] stall speed typically 65 km/h (40mph);[2] able to fly in windier turbulent conditions and can outrun bad weather; exceptional penetration into the wind
Maximum glide ratio about 10, relatively poor glide performance makes long distance flights more difficult; current (as of May 2017) world record is 564 kilometres (350 mi)[3] 10 (beginners hang glider), 15 (competition flex wing hang glider), 19 (rigid wing hang glider)[citation needed] open class sailplanes – typically around 60:1, but in more common 15–18 meter span aircraft, glide ratios are between 38:1 and 52:1;[4] high glide performance enabling long distance flight, with 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) being current (as of November 2010) record[5]
Turn radius tighter turn radius[citation needed] somewhat larger turn radius[citation needed] even greater turn radius but still able to circle tightly in thermals[6]
Landing smaller space needed to land, offering more landing options from cross-country flights; also easier to carry to the nearest road longer approach and landing area required, but can reach more landing areas due to superior glide range when flying cross-country, glide performance can allow glider to reach 'landable' areas, possibly even a landing strip and an aerial retrieve may be possible but if not, specialized trailer needed to retrieve by road. Note some sailplanes have engines that remove the need for an out-landing
Learning simplest and quickest to learn teaching is done in single and two-seat hang gliders teaching is done in a two-seat glider with dual controls
Convenience packs smaller (easier to transport and store) more awkward to transport and store; longer to rig and de-rig; often transported on the roof of a car trailers are typically 10 m (30 ft) long; if it has not been stored in a hangar, rigging & de-rigging takes about 20 minutes[citation needed]
Cost cost of new is €1500 and up,[7] cheapest but shortest lasting (around 500 hours flying time, depending on treatment), active second-hand market[8] €3000 (beginners hang glider) up to €17000 (rigid wing hang glider), life time is more than one decade[citation needed] cost of new glider very high but it is long lasting (up to several decades), so active second-hand market; typical cost is from €2,000 to €145,000[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Technical data for Advance Omega 8 Accessed 22-10-2011
  2. ^ a b Flight Manual of Scheicher ASW27b. Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. 2003. 
  3. ^ FAI Paragliding record Accessed 2010-11-30.[dead link]
  4. ^ Handicap list 2008 of the Deutscher Aero Club Accessed 2008-08-07
  5. ^ FAI records Accessed 30 November 2010.[dead link]
  6. ^ Stewart, Ken (1994). The Glider Pilot's Manual. Airlife Publishing Ltd. p. 257. ISBN 185310504X. 
  7. ^ A major manufacturer's price list Accessed 2011-10-21
  8. ^ Typical set of classified ads for paragliders
  9. ^ Typical set of classified ads for gliders