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Paragliding

Paragliders are not just aircraft; they are time machines. With them we can experience, at least in part, the thrill those early pioneers must have felt as they explored the unknown. They take us into a world driven not by the laws of man, but by the laws of nature. We hold this privilege in trust for future generations, even as we enjoy the legacy of those who came before.

(photo : Malbos/CIVL)

Francis Rogallo, Dave Barish and Domina Jalbert share the paternity of the paraglider, and also the experimenters who developed these three men’s designs and took them further and higher.
Most of the activity happened on what were basically jump chutes, until one day in 1985, when hundreds of pilots flew off the slopes of the Alps on specially designed machines and the media announced that a new sport - paragliding - was born.
Although still obviously a close relative of the Jalbert wing, the modern paraglider is as far removed from it as a Ferrari from a Fiat 500. The first mattress-shaped paragliders had a glide ratio of around 4:1 and an extremely narrow speed range; a top competition wing now will glide close to 10:1 at its optimum speed and may exceed 65kph at full speed.
This improvement has been brought about by a continual process of experimentation, lateral thinking and inspiration on the part of the designers.

Today, paragliding competitions include cross-country, aerobatic and accuracy championships.

The Paragliding Subcommittee

To compete:

The competition calendar

The competition results:

The Jury Presidents' reports

The World ranking

Documents