Design process: development of new paragliders
Design and development of paragliders is our most exiting an most important activity. We receive lots of eMails from customers who want to learn more about designing paragliders and ask for details of the development process. We appreciate your interest, thus give you a glimpse behind the curtain.
Design: requirements specification
Before we begin the design phase we start with a definition of the new gliders properties. It is not enough though only to give the wished LTF-classification. The developer needs much more information. We have to describe the gliders characteristic in every detail.
As an example we want to specify a typical DHV 1-2 glider. The following questions have to be discussed:
- Which is the target pilot group the glider is focused, beginners or advanced?
- Which performance characteristics do we want?
- How dynamic is the glider allowed to react?
- What are the optical details that have to be considered?
- What is the speed range for the new glider?
- What is the maximum sink rate in accelerated speed that is accepted?
The requirements specification clearly defines the attributes of the new glider and is a requisite base for the design of the glider. If you take a look at the independence product range and the differences between the models, you will see, how important this design phase is!
Construction of the profile
The base for glider development is the profile. The profile is the first part to be constructed according to the requirements specification. It is the basis for further design process.
In the second step the profile is tested in the digital flume. With the digital flume it is possible to calculate the polar and visualize and optimize the air flow around the canopy. All these steps are computer based!
The construction of the profile is very difficult, besides necessary parameters it takes a lot of experience to design a real good profile.
When the profile is ready, the caculation of the shapes begins. In this step the software FlyCad FD comes into operation. FlyCad FD is a AutoCAD based construction tool for paragliders.
FlyCad FD gives the constructor the possibility to design the canopy in "blown" condition. Therefore it is possible to make a more precise calculation of the glider and to get a sail that is free of crinkles. Part of the construction data several shapes, line plans and detailed instructions for the production process.
Manufacture of prototypes
The CAD designs of the new glider is transferred to the production company in Sri Lanka, where the prototype is cut, sewed and lined. When the first prototype comes back from Sri Lanka the next phase starts and we begin to test it.