How to choose the right paramotor wing is a serious inquest amongst pilots new and seasoned. Some might argue that it’s even more important than the motor you fly – of course both should be given all seriousness in researching what suits your specific needs. Yet, the reasoning stands that it’s the wing you’re flying, the motor simply gives you power to soar. In the event that your motor quits, you still have the wing floating you safely down to earth again.
Of course, understanding personal skill levels, growth over time, individual preferences and sizing specifications, cost, year the glider was minted, and more should all be taken into consideration before making such a massive purchase. So, from A to D (and even unrated), let’s explore what each wing classification means as it directly affects you, the pilot! If you’d like a basic understanding A and B paramotor wings and which ones you should invest in, view the pre-requisite to this article here.
PARAMOTOR WINGS ARE RIGOROUSLY TESTED BY THE EN SYSTEM
The standard testing and rating parameters for paramotor wings are set by the EN system. Ranking in the categories of A, B, C, D, and on rarer occasions as “unrated,” each wing is tested by highly trained pilots – who literally put every glider through the ringer of diverse disasters in twenty-three separate categories. Sometimes it only takes one missed mark in an overall category to shift a glider from A to B or B to C, etc. For example, while a Mojo Power glider by Ozone ranks as an A, Ozone’s Roadster 3 was classified as a B, albeit a “low B,” because it failed in one category that otherwise would have classified it as an A.
As far as unrated wings are concerned, they’re typically more advanced. Because it costs a substantial sum of money to test wings, sometimes they remain in that “unrated” category.
HOW TO CHOOSE AN A OR B RATED WING
For new pilots, the most important thing to prioritize is obtaining your initial flying hours on A and B rated wings. This is for your safety. Everyone should understand how to control their equipment and how to defuse certain errors or even tentatively severe mistakes, because they will most likely have the least damaging effects on those “beginner” class wings.
According to the EN system, A gliders are the safest, most docile wings on the market making them perfect for beginners. While they’re less efficient, they have a lot of passive safety built in. When it comes to building your initial and overall piloting skills, learning on an A rated wing is the way to go; it’s highly forgiving of developing hands. They handle turbulence and higher winds more safely and in general As offer slower ground and air speeds, along with making landings a little softer.
Aviator PPG’s recommendation for an A rated wing is Ozone’s Mojo Power. While it’s heavier and little more difficult to inflate than other wings, it’s passive safety makes it a great “go-to” choice for flying.
B rated wings are also safe for some beginners with experience, which means getting a decent handle on launching, landing, and smooth control inputs on an A rated wing before transitioning is ideal. These wings are more dynamic and efficient in steering, however, overall they likewise offer passive safety with additional benefits of speed which correlate to the B wing’s included features of further trim height settings, tip steering, and speed bar. Best of all is that you don’t have to progress into those added features right way either, you can steadily progress at your own pace – making the B a great wing that grows with you.
Our recommended Bs are Ozone’s Roadster 3 and the Spider 3, which have incorporated “shark nose” technology which makes it easier to inflate as well as stay pressurized (Note, Ozone’s B, C, and D wings include shark nose technology).
Between A and B wings, both have a lot to offer when it comes to safety, learning, leisurely and dynamic flying – if you’re still on the hunt for your perfect wing, check out even more details on those gliders here.
SAFETY IN TRANSITIONING TO C AND D RATED WINGS
As you progress into higher rated wings, equip yourself with the knowledge that C, D, and unrated classifications are incredibly dynamic, and safety decreases with each rating shift. Before attempting to pilot one of these gliders, you should have not only the required skills, but you should also have a thorough – if not masterful – understanding of energy management, physics, and all-around safety.
It does take a lengthy amount of time to build up competent flight skills by using A and B rated wings. But, If you’ve mastered the basics you can more easily move on to C or D gliders, just proceed with the mindset of being completely in-depth with your training. Taking short cuts will cost you, so knowing your limits, and keeping the idea of “don’t bite off more than you can chew” at the forefront of your mind is the safest approach to growing.
With that being said, even C rated wings have a significantly lower margin for error and require active piloting in order to keep the wing under control – with D and unrated gliders requiring even more mastery.
These classifications come with greater efficiency of steering, and less break input is require for maneuvering. With the addition of even more speed and dynamics, it likewise results in faster landings
In the event of a collapse, a huge amount of active piloting is required for re-inflation. These wings will not self-inflate, therefore it’s solely the pilot’s responsibility to know how to divert a life-threatening crisis such as this.
Knowing just how serious taking on C, D, and unrated wings is can seem a bit daunting, but fear not! Learn the basics, put in your time, grow your skills on safer gliders, and transition at a natural point of those mastered skills. Once you make the shift, having trained and prepared in all ways possible, the world of paramotoring becomes much safer and even more exciting.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WING
We’ve covered wing classifications, progression, and learning basic skills, now let’s consider a few other details that are important when it comes to choosing the right wing for you. There are several important factors involved, including the size of your wing, your weight, and technological advancements in the paramotor industry that now make flying better than ever before.
The size of your wing is dependent on your weight. All manufacturers have a weight chart for your reference. Generally there are fairly large weight ranges for each wing, however ideally you want to fall around the 70 percent mark within your assigned range – this is considered the “sweet spot” for most wings. Of course, there are both pros and cons for people who are “lightly” loaded or “heavily” loaded on their wings as well, which we describe in the video above.
Doing your research on which wing fits your body, and once again, growing those piloting skills means you’ll be able to enjoy flying without fear all the more.
Additionally, investing in the newest technology in the wing of your choice makes all the difference in the world. We’re at a high point in the industry where wings are being thoroughly and extremely tested, and through those testing processes, wings are not only becoming safer, but they’re also becoming lighter, and better developed to match honed pilot skills that are rapidly growing right along with the PPG industry.
It’s suggested that you purchase a wing that’s a minimum of two to three years old, however getting the newest technology is to your advantage. Wings keep getting better and better with each modification and upgrade leaving their older counterparts in the dust.
So, there you have it! Hopefully this information will help as you search for the perfect wing for you. Flying through the sport of paramotoring is as safe as you make, and being well informed before making one of the biggest, most important purchases – buying that shiny, new wing – is the key to successfully picking something you’ll be happy with. Just keep in mind these three things as you continue your research:
How To Choose The Right Paramotor Wing:
1. Note the proper EN rating for your level of expertise.
2. Calculate your weight range.
3. Find out how recent the technology of the wing you want is.
Once you find the best paramotor wing for you, we with you happy flying and endless blue skies!