Angle of Attack: Test your Paraglider Control!

hey Pilot! today we’re talking about
active flying: do you need to fly actively? how do you do it? what to watch
out for? And at the end we’ve got an awesome game to share so stick around
and we will turn you into wing-control master. if you don’t watch this video you
might get a clapper and not even know what it is. what is active flying? very
simply you’re taking an active part in controlling a wing to keep it in a sweet
spot so that you cruise through the different gusts in the best way possible
without getting the glider to stall or having a collapse so let’s jump into a
wing and have a look. right so as you’re moving through the air the airflow is
usually coming up at an angle from underneath slightly this is because you
are descending down through the air so the airflow, the relative airflow, is
coming up this way and it goes into the leading edge it fills up the cells
nicely and you get a nice pressure in your glider and you get this beautiful
aerofoil shape on the top surface that keeps you gliding and gives you that
lift. if the airflow comes too steeply from underneath like this you know from
your flying school that you get a stall. if the air flow comes too far on the
nose like this you get a collapse, or what the Germans call a Klapper. Now we don’t want that! your brakes are attached to the trailing edge of the glider so as
you pull them down you can see you increase that angle of
attack so you’re getting it bringing a glider closer to stall. so you don’t want
to pull too much brakes when you’re trying to do this active flying to
control the glider but equally if you just let the glider fly into a gust
where the wind is blowing down on the nose and it’s gonna collapse it in like
that. you’d rather pull a bit of brake and
change that angle to just keep the glider flying a little bit longer. that’s
what we’re gonna look at in this excellent demonstration by Flugschule Oberbayern. We’ll play a game I’ll challenge you to get more points than me
with your active flying. check out this excellent tool developed by Flugschule
Oberbayern. you’ve got the airflow over the wing and it shows clearly the angle of
attack at the front of the wing which is the angle between the airflow and the
chord line running straight through the center of the trailing edge and leading
edge as you pull the brakes down. so as you pull the brakes down you generate
more turbulence on the trailing edge and you increase that angle of attack so
pulling down you get a bigger angle of attack and releasing the brakes goes
back to a nice airflow. that turbulence that’s on the trailing edge and on the top
surface is what’s slowing the wing down so when you pull the brake on one side
that’s what gets you to turn. it slows down on the inner wing and the wing will
turn around that and while you’re doing that you’re increasing the angle of
attack and you’re getting it closer to stall point and at some point with too
much brakes that angle of attack becomes too steep and you get a stall. so
let’s keep the brakes nice and high. that airflow over the wing isn’t steady
it’s changing as you are flying through the lift and sink so your angle of attack is
changing all the time and as you fly through these different gusts you need
to compensate with your brakes to keep that angle of attack in the green zone.
if you don’t and you just leave your wing to fly through the turbulent air … KLAPPER! that’s because the angle of attack
became negative, the wind started blowing from slightly on top of the wing and
eventually … KLAPPER! okay it’s highly unlikely that you’d ever stall your wing
by just flying with hands up through thermal conditions so that’s pretty safe
you can help it a little bit by the way that you put input into the wing
but yeah, you’re not gonna stall the wing by
flying around with your hands up but what you will do is you’ll get the front
collapse or the asymmetric collapse, if you just fly around with your hands high. so
your active flying starts with pulling down on the brakes when you feel the
wing has got a very small angle of attack and you need to help a little bit
but you don’t want to pull down too much because then you’re gonna stall the wing
so you keeping an eye on it. you pull down when the angle of attack is very
small and then you just let it fly. okay we’re not talking a huge amount of brake
input here but when the angle of attack gets really small and you feel like the
wind is coming right on the nose of the glider then you pull a little bit of
brake and then you release again just keep it in that happy zone. pull it down a
little bit and release. now it’s a little tricky on the simulation to get the full
picture because the glider will actually be diving forward when the angle of
attack is very low at that point the glider is going to be diving forward
there again it’s diving forward when it’s got a higher angle of attack that’s
usually when you’ve gone through a thermal and you’ll feel the glider will
be slightly behind you but now that’s the glider ahead of me so there I have to
pull down again. relax. release. hold on. Glider is diving ahead of me … Ohhh!
Klapper! I let it go too early. okay so … Wow! I’m getting taken apart here! okay so you’re just gonna keep it …. Ohhh! another one! okay so you don’t want to pull too much. if I pull and I hold onto the brakes too much like this and I just fly
along … uhhh, I’m scared …. stall! and that’s why we don’t recommend pilots to fly
with their brakes on in turbulent conditions and just kind of hold
them for security because a stall is what’s gonna happen. and that’s a normal
reaction, that’s normally what pilots do in turbulent conditions, they come down a
bit on the brakes because oh it’s feeling a bit scary and then you hold
the brakes and then the glider settles into a little bit of sink and you hold on more and then all of a sudden you get a gust and boom, you get
the stall! so you have to … for active flying you’ve got to keep this active.
there isn’t a position that you can hold in rough conditions where it’s safe
to just keep the brakes on at that position if there’s any position that’s
safe, it’s hands up. okay that’s probably the best position if you don’t know what the
hell you’re doing but if you want to try and improve this active flying …
don’t talk too much, pay attention! right so I’ve got a small angle of attack I’m putting a bit of a brake on and putting a bit of break and then I release
and I let it fly normally and whoops, pull that one, pull it and release … as long as you are keeping that angle fairly healthy in the green zone you’re okay. now you’re not gonna see that angle of
attack, so you’re not gonna have this visual clue to work with where you’re
trying to keep that angle healthy. what you will feel is the wing pitching
forward and back so as the wing pitches back that’s when your hands go up and as
a wing goes forward that’s the lower angle of attack and that’s where you
need to catch the glider from having that front collapse. so at the moment it is
healthy and it’s flying happily and then whoa it’s dived forward and I stalled it
by pulling too much and then holding it in. so that was a quick one, probably
a very strong gust of a thermal be very quick to release it when
you feel that you’ve gone into another gust so I’m flying along happily and
there’s a little bit of … ooops, the glider dived forward there so
we’re okay again hands high, hands high still happy, pull down a bit, release and
still flying along nicely all good hold it back release hold it
back release hold back … ohhhh! I didn’t hold that back there so I got the collapse. all
right you get the idea. so let’s move on to the game where I can challenge you.
I know all about active flying so I’m gonna do this with my eyes closed
let’s go! whoops whoops whoops come back pull back pull back where’s our score? Time is over. four seven five zero. right there is your challenge! guys can you do better? let me know in
the comments below, what your best score is. Thanks to Knut at Flugschule Oberbayern
for this amazing tool. I hope you guys have lots of fun playing with your
active flying controls. keep working at it until you hit the sweet spot and get
a green line right throughout and get the high score. put your high-score down below, let me know what it is. Safe flying. we’ve
also got two other videos on active flying which you can see over here,
I’ll link it in the description as well check those out and some articles on the
website. thanks to all our patrons you’ve given us lots of fuel for
the fire that keeps this channel rocking. when you finish playing the game, pop
over to the flybubble shop, who knows you might find out where to get this
bluetooth brake toggle. you might not. keep well guys, fly safe and I’ll see you
in the next episode. Cheers!

24 thoughts on “Angle of Attack: Test your Paraglider Control!

  1. Hi craig. I got a question on active flying. When I am flying in thermic conditions, is it a good way to do active flying by mainly using brakes to keep the glider up my head. I heard also about trying to keep constant tension in the lines… what to do to prevent stall and collaps?

  2. Hi Greg, Thanks for another cool video..Thanks for all you do to educate the PG community. Truly a living legend. I've got a question about active flying I've never been able to get a great answer to: When you're just flying along, wing overhead, all is smooth, how much of your arm weight is hanging on the brakes for trim speed? I've heard no weight at all, hands all the way up is trim.. but then i've also heard that relaxed, full arm weight on the brakes is trim speed. Speed over ground is faster hands completely up, but then I don't feel the wing as much and what it's doing. i know it's never a static amount and it's constantly changing, but where or how much weighting or pull do you recommend for trim? and maybe how much for min sink?

  3. Hi Greg, another great video 👍 how does this work a paramotor wing? Then climbing the wing is piched up so how does this effect active flying??

  4. Although the game and previous explanations are great, the groundhandling explanation at the end is not correct. Glider will have the same AoA while groundhandling and flying. This is why the glider stays at back on flat ground. Or it stays in front when the slope of the ground is too much.

  5. This is what makes paragliding very dangerous for new out of school pilots,I don't think it is stressed enough in training,And then all these new pilots head out for the Alps ,Recipe for disaster

  6. The best info about this topic… maybe hands up is the best option… could foi correlate this vídeo a real flight… showing the pitch control…
    Thanks for sharing

  7. The problem of course, in the real world, is blowouts can happen so quickly that reacting to them before they happen is impossible. Such as flying out of a ripper thermal ( 6 m/s) into the vortex on the edge. Klapper! Then your SIV come into play.

  8. 7630, other than seeing the wing moving forward, is feeling for pressure more accurate if you can't keep your head looking up at your wing all the time?

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