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FAQ

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    Where can I see the ADVANCE paraglider test reports?

    You can see the test reports of any of our current gliders under ‘More about . . ‘ for the particular model, in the section Certification.

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    Where and under what conditions are ADVANCE products made, and how is the quality assured?

    Our own factory in Vietnam is an important feature of the manufacture of ADVANCE products, and all our paragliders, harnesses, bags and accessories have been made there exclusively since 1994.

    Most of our 150 production staff have been working for ADVANCE for many years and have built up a lot of experience. Many of them gained their skills at the factory. Permanent checking of the production process and the supervision of working procedures guarantee a consistently high quality of work.

    All materials arriving at the factory are subject to an on-going inspection process. During manufacture every product goes through a series of checks at each stage of production. The quality control process finishes when a new ADVANCE paraglider is flown by the dealer prior to handover to the customer.

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    Why do ADVANCE paragliders have different risers and brake handles for different glider sizes?

    It is our intention that pilots of all heights will feel equally at home under all of our products. That is why we supply our two smaller paraglider sizes with the smaller (M) brake handles, so that women, for example, will find them comfortable in the hand. If this size is not to your liking just contact your ADVANCE dealer. There are two sizes of brake handle, L and M. The lengths of the risers vary similarly with paraglider size, so that the lines are easier to reach for shorter pilots, should they need to apply big ears or clear cravats. The risers are not interchangeable however, as the wing was certified with the risers as supplied.

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    Am I allowed to change the length of my brake lines?

    Actually it’s not necessary! The length of the brake lines is set up at the factory so that there is about 8 cm of free travel with brakes released at trim speed. This setting should really be kept. The free run of the brake line is there to ensure that, along with some other things, the trailing edge is not being braked in fully accelerated flight.

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    Am I allowed to make changes or modifications to my paraglider?

    No! ADVANCE paragliders are supplied in the trimmed set-up that the ADVANCE test team have found to be best. The glider received its certification in this condition. Any modification by the owner - for example altering the line lengths or using different risers or quicklinks - will invalidate the certification.

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    What should I be aware of when carrying ballast?

    If you carry water for increasing your weight it should be supported as near your own centre of gravity as possible. A waterbag hung from the main carabiners can have the same effect as cross bracing, and this can massively affect the glider’s behaviour. The iMRESS 2 has a centrally positioned stowage under the seatboard, with straps for securing a water bag. The compact combination of pilot and harness then allows for an easy takeoff, and the harness behaviour remains unchanged.

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    Why do the smaller ADVANCE glider sizes tend to have smaller areas than those of their competitors for the same weight ranges?

    ADVANCE considers it important that all its glider sizes have the same speed range. It is not fair that lighter pilots should be at a disadvantage, and speed is very much a safety feature as well. That is why our smaller models tend to be of a smaller area than our competitors’ equivalent gliders. It’s also very much the intention of our development team that all our sizes really are the same glider, with the same flying characteristics and the same performance.

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    What might my glider do in the air if it’s completely wet?

    There’s a risk of parachutal stall. Parachutal stall is often the result of a combination of factors. The water adds to the weight of the glider. The additional weight causes a higher angle of attack, putting the glider closer to the stall. Then again, water drops on the wing surface disturb the laminar airflow near the front of the wing, significantly reducing the maximum lift coefficient available. If the wet glider is also being flown at its lower weight limit it will be flying at a slightly higher angle of attack anyway, as well as at the lower speeds consistent with the lower wing loading.

    In order to guard against the risk of parachutal stall with a wet wing the glider should braked as little as possible and big ears should not be used under any circumstances. A moderate application of speedbar (25-40%) is a further safety measure. All these actions play a small part in reducing the angle of attack. If the glider was still to go into parachutal stall recovery should be achieved by use of the accelerate system (speedbar) only.

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    Are there restrictions for safety training?

    For certification flights all the manoeuvres – except the aforementioned 75% collapse – are flown without folding lines, so there’s no restriction for safety training. The said 75% collapse is a special case: when this is carried out without a folding line the pilot should expect a more dynamic reaction from the wing than that described in the certification report.

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    What should I do when I land in the water?

    Ideally you should always disconnect yourself from the harness so as to be able to get clear of the lines and straps. If this is not possible (to unfasten the LIGHTNESS 2 and EASINESS buckles by feel, under water, takes a lot of experience and practice), your helpers should grab your arms and legs to get you into the boat. Your equipment will fill with water rapidly and become very heavy to lift. If the pilot is lifted out of the water in the harness high localised loads can occur which can tear wing fabric and other parts. The wing should be lifted from the water by its trailing edge so that it can empty in the process. In order to avoid tangles leave the wing attached to the harness, bundle it on the harness seat, and only disconnect it after spreading it out on dry land.

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    Where can I get ADVANCE clothing and accessories?

    Most ADVANCE dealers have a large choice of our clothes and accessories in their shops. You can find the complete collection at an ADVANCE Centre. If you can’t find an item in your size please contact ADVANCE direct on info@advance.ch.

    Dealer List

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    Why does an ADVANCE paraglider have to be flown by the dealer before delivery?

    Even though ADVANCE has thorough quality control procedures at its factory, a final check at the point of delivery ensures that the glider is handed over in perfect condition. Every ADVANCE paraglider also has to be flown by the dealer to check that its set-up and trim are correct. The dealer then enters the date of this first flight on the placard fastened to one of the ribs in the wing.

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    What advantage do I gain by filling in the warranty card online and sending it to ADVANCE?

    The completed warranty card received by ADVANCE – together with the first flight date on the placard – confirms that defects in the glider, attributable to the manufacturer, will be covered by the ADVANCE warranty. ADVANCE will then also automatically send you any safety-relevant information for your glider.

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    Why are there no polar curves for our paragliders?

    Document: Polars EN (pdf)

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    Which ADVANCE glider is suitable for which level of pilot?

    Always choose a wing that is suitable for your skill level, flying experience and the type of flying you do. The certification rating alone can give little information about the flying qualities of a paraglider in thermally active and turbulent air. Go to your ADVANCE dealer for advice, and test fly the wing of your choice.

    ADVANCE paragliders:

    ALPHA – for beginners and recreational pilots
    The ALPHA is a very good model for beginners, and is ideal for the safety-conscious leisure pilot. In addition the wing is perfect for paramotoring. The HIKE version of the ALPHA is lighter with better performance and, depending on the intended use,  can be used at a higher takeoff weight. Because of its lighter construction the Hike will, however, have a shorter lifespan.

    EPSILON – for leisure and part-time pilots
    The EPSILON is the definitive wing for thermalling and, for many independent pilots, provides the incentive for them to leave their home site for the first time. It’s a wing to be flown actively, but, at the same time, affords a high level of passive safety. The EPSILON is also highly suitable for paramotoring.

    SIGMA – the cross country wing
    In order to get the best out of this top-end intermediate the SIGMA pilot is an experienced cross country flyer who has the necessary feeling for a glider. It’s perfect for experienced thermal and distance pilots who are looking for performance, but would prefer not to fly a competition wing.

    OMEGA – for pilots looking for performance
    The OMEGA is primarily intended for performance-orientated frequent flyers and serial class competition pilots. It delivers precise canopy feedback and good thermal bite. The Omega offers the maximum in manageable performance.

    BI BETA – for professional tandem pilots
    This robust and versatile tandem wing was created especially for the professional tandem pilot, but it is also very popular with recreational tandem flyers. It gives you nice handling with as much safety as possible. Takeoff and landing qualities were high on our list of priorities.

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    Which glider size should I choose?

    The correct glider size depends primarily on your takeoff weight. The certified weight ranges of ADVANCE paragliders can be found on the webpage for the particular glider type under the heading “technical data“. The weights quoted there refer to total in-flight weight – everything that’s going to fly. This includes the pilot’s body weight plus clothes as well as the weight of all the equipment (glider, harness, reserve, instruments etc.). When a glider is flown outside its specified weight range its certification is not valid.

    Flying at the lower or upper weight limits can influence the flying behaviour of the glider, but this will not affect the pilot’s safety. Basically we recommend that you choose a wing where you will be roughly in the middle of the weight range. If your flying weight falls between two sizes and the choice is not clear the decision then depends on a combination of your personal flying style preference and the conditions in which you usually fly.

    If you often fly in strong thermals and/or plenty of wind, and prefer a dynamic paraglider, we recommend the size that puts you in its upper half of the weight range. If, on the other hand, you would like a low sink rate for weak thermals and a more damped response to manouevring you should choose the size where you will be in the lower half of the weight range. If in doubt it makes sense to try both sizes and make your decision based on test flights.

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    Which wing is suitable for use with a motor?

    ADVANCE have been involved with paramotoring since 1990. Back then we took to the air with a powered Alpha 1; in the intervening years our test pilots have spent many flying hours checking out the suitability of ADVANCE models for powered flight. ADVANCE is convinced that because of its user-friendly characteristics a good mountain glider also satisfies the demands of a good motor glider. Therefore we offer our ALPHA and EPSILON with convertible risers.

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    Where can I test fly an ADVANCE paraglider?

    You can find your nearest dealer from our list.

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    Which colours are available?

    Depending on the type of glider there are three to five colour combinations available as standard. You can find the relevant colour combinations under Products. You can also make up your own colour scheme, but be prepared for a wait of 8-12 weeks and an additional cost.

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    What are the differences between the ADVANCE harnesses?

    ADVANCE is one of the few paraglider manufacturers who develop their own harnesses. The range extends from a light all-round model to the aerodynamically streamlined cross country harness.

    PROGRESS – the convenient classic
    The PROGRESS is a comfortable all round harness with an aerodynamic shape and diagonal-active system.

     

    AXESS - the light compact harness

    The AXESS 2 AIR is a very light and comfortable compact harness with an airbag. This product is suitable for everyday use as well as for Hike & Fly and travel. The AXESS 2 AIR has LTF and EN certification.

    SUCCESS – agile, with maximum protection
    The SUCCESS 2+ is a light, comfortable and ergonomic harness for part-time and recreational pilots. This harness is designed for a slightly reclined to an upright sitting position, and is also suitable for students. The SUCCESS 2+ has LTF and EN certification.

    iMPRESS – for cross country and competition
    The iMPRESS 2 is a streamlined and extensively adjustable harness, whose warm speedbag is appreciated not only by pilots seeking performance. The harness can be flown in a reclining attitude (with foot stirrup or speedbag) or in an upright position (without the stirrup or speedbag). The iMPRESS 2 is available with or without LTF/EN certification.

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    What affect does the harness have on glider handling?

    The feeling of the glider in flight and its flying behaviour depends very much on the harness used. The harness geometry dictates, among other things, how directly information from the wing is passed to the pilot. We always recommend that you test a new glider with your usual harness, so that you can form a realistic opinion. ADVANCE paragliders are neither suitable nor certified for harnesses with cross bracing. Strong cross bracing prevents weightshifting forces from being transmitted to the wing. Roll feedback from the wing is almost completely lost, and the pilot cannot then counter the wing’s reactions (eg collapse).

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    Which size of harness should I choose?

    Depending on the model our ADVANCE harnesses come in up to three sizes. You can find the table of sizes on the webpage Products. Leg length, back length and seat width are just as important considerations as your height when it comes to choosing harness size. Try sitting in our harnesses at your ADVANCE dealer and go through the various adjustments.

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    How do I set up my harness correctly?

    All adjustments to the harness should be done before the first flight, without fail. Correct adjustment of the harness directly affects its correct functioning, safety and comfort. The white sewing across the most important straps shows you the datum (default) settings. To adjust the harness hang it up by the carabiners. With the back pocket packed and the reserve installed you can get a reasonably accurate feeling of the harness in the air. Sit in the harness, do up the leg and chest straps and, by experimenting with the various adjustments, find the seating position that feels most comfortable. After your first flight repeat the adjustment procedure as necessary. Every harness comes with a handbook, in which the exact adjustment procedure is described. You can find all the handbooks on the ADVANCE Homepage under Products.

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    How do I fit my reserve into the harness?

    We strongly recommend that you get a trained and qualified person to do it for you. The connection between the harness and reserve, and the making sure that the release system works properly (compatibility check), are just as important as the packing of the reserve parachute itself. Your safety depends on a correctly installed and regularly checked reserve system. Flying near the sea raises the risk of corrosion between the parachute release pins and their eyelets. A regular check of the whole system is essential!

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    What must I be careful of when installing a reserve in the harness?

    Every reserve/harness combination has its own peculiarities. It is essential that pilot and parachute packer take the time to become thoroughly familiar with the system and its workings - especially with new combinations (new reserves in existing harness or conversely).

    Comparatively bulky old-style reserves are basically more difficult to release from compact, modern harnesses, especially under high g loading. In addition it should be noted that the volume calculation (weight of the reserve x 2.7 = volume in litres) used by the test centres, and quoted by ourselves, is simply a broad-brush rule-of-thumb. Depending on reserve packing technique and style it can be that a reserve/harness combination, which conforms to the permissible maximum volume given by this formula, may still not release perfectly.

    In any case a successful compatibility check (test release) will decide whether a particular reserve/ harness combination works properly (see also Info “So you want your reserve to really rescue you…”). We recommend that every pilot carries out such a test release himself, in the presence of the reserve packer.

     

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    What can make a reserve difficult to throw?

    The following factors can hinder or actually prevent a reserve from working, especially if they are combined:

    • Reserve is too big, i.e. is too bulky for the reserve compartment and/or the inner container
    • Reserve has not been packed to the shape of the inner container and/or the reserve compartment
    • Reserve is not thrown using the correct technique
    • Release attempted under high G-loading (>3G, e.g. in a spiral)


    Other essentials points:

    • According to the latest certification standards the reserve inner container forms an integral part of the harness, so the reserve must unquestionably be packed in the original inner container of the harness.
    • The larger the harness (of the same model) the larger the reserve compartment.

    Fundamentally, we strongly recommend that a reserve should only be packed and installed by a trained and qualified person.  

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    What should I be aware of when I adjust my speed system?

    Make sure that the speed system lines run freely through all the pulleys in the harness. Connect the lines to the risers with the Brummel Hooks. Finally check whether your settings allow you to use the full travel of the speed system. To do this hang up your harness and sit in it, connect the risers and get someone else to hold them up. If the pulleys on the risers don’t touch when you push the speedbar fully, you should shorten the lines and test the settings again. Make sure, however, that when speedbar is not applied the speed system lines are not under tension.

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    Which Rucksack size should I choose for my glider equipment?

    Rucksack sizes, as supplied, depend on the glider model and its size, but you can choose a different size if you like. We have found that any sized solo glider and its harness (including speedbag and back protector) will go into an M sized rucksack. We recommend an L for a more loosely folded solo wing, or for tandem equipment. Lightweight equipment is best packed in an S rucksack.

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    What’s the best way to pack my equipment in the Rucksack?

    It’s most convenient to carry the EASYPACK if it’s narrow and compact when packed, so don’t choose a size that’s too big. Ideally the glider should be folded to the same width as the base width of the inner bag, and the same height as the length of the risers. This narrow, longish parcel is then laid against the back of the rucksack, making a comfortable surface for your back. Then fold the harness over and lie it on the glider, with the reserve underneath. The foam protector should be facing the bottom of the rucksack so that it can be compressed with the built-in rucksack compression strap. The rucksack zip fasteners should now be easy to close without a struggle.

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    Tandem spreaders, hard or soft?

    Pilots can choose from four different kinds of suspension systems. All of them are tested to 8g and fitted with the well-tried separated reserve attachments.

    The soft spreaders allow more room between pilot and passenger when running for takeoff and landing. The passanger can also stand beside the pilot. In thermal conditions the pilot and passenger centres of gravity fly closer together, making for a more compact unit for glider handling – and the crew don’t behave like a set of scales if they are of different weights. The soft spreaders come in three different versions: Soft – the simplest with three hang points. Soft Trim – for pilots who would like to adjust their own position in flight relative to the passenger. Soft Quick – like the Soft Trim with the option of fitting Quick-Out carabiners.

    The hard spreaders keep the pilot separated from the passenger. The pilot hangs nearer to the wing, making it easier to reach the lines. Passenger and pilot form a seesaw, so the heavier hoists the lighter up. That must be counteracted by choosing the appropriate suspension point. The hard spreaders create a separation distance of 27 cm.

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    How long will my glider last?

    A paraglider’s lifespan depends mainly on its total number of flights and flying hours. The effects of ultraviolet light, heat, humidity, incorrect storage or unsuitable transport have a strong effect as well. Contrary to widely held belief light coloured fabric is no more sensitive to UV light than dark. All fabrics used by ADVANCE have – in any colour - the same lifespan where resistance and quality are concerned.

    The biggest influences on the lifespan of the materials are repeated structural stress when landing (glider goes down on its nose), ground handling on stony ground, or always folding the wing in the same places when the glider is packed. The paraglider’s lifespan can be significantly extended by the right care and correct folding techniques.

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    When is my glider due for a Check?

    A new ADVANCE glider has to have a check every 24 months. With intensive use (more than 150 flights per year, use by acro-pilots, school gliders or professional tandem work) an annual check is necessary after the first 2 year check. After an unusual event (tree landings etc.) your glider has to be checked without fail. If these guidelines are not followed your ADVANCE warranty will not be valid. Paraglider checks are carried out by ADVANCE itself or one of its authorised service centres.

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    Who should I allow to check or make major repairs to my glider?

    Paraglider checks and repairs are carried out directly by ADVANCE in Thun (Switzerland) and Oderen (France). There are dealers and importers in other countries who can also carry out checks. Find your nearest service centre on the ADVANCE homepage.

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    How do I change a damaged line?

    It’s best to let your dealer or an authorised service centre change the line for you - but if you have to change it yourself be sure to follow the instructions below. You can find the line plan for your wing in the handbook, or under ‘Products’ on this website. Make a note of the identity of the damaged line and order a replacement from your dealer, or direct from ADVANCE.

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    How do I attach my brake handles?

    The length of the brake line must not be altered, and brake handles should really be changed by a dealer or at an authorised Service Centre. If you do loosen a brake handle, however, we recommend a bowline knot for re-attaching it. Make sure that the brake line finishes up at the correct length, and has the necessary free play.

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    What should I do if my glider doesn’t fly straight?

    If your glider wants to turn to one side the cause is often an unsymmetrically adjusted harness or the effect of a side mounted reserve as well. Try to compensate for the weight of the reserve by a slight (deliberate) asymmetric adjustment of the harness. If you have other problems (bad takeoff behaviour, reluctant handling) go to your ADVANCE dealer.

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    How should I clean my wing?

    Remove dirt with a soft sponge. Only use fresh water and neutral soap, if necessary – never solvents or cleaning agents. The remnants of glue left behind by posters or numbers are best removed with talcum (baby) powder. Leave the wing to dry in the shade, never in the blazing sun. Don’t use a hairdryer.

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    What should I do if my glider gets wet?

    If the glider has come into contact with sea water rinse it thoroughly with fresh water. Let the wet glider dry while fully laid out, at room temperature, in the shade. A canopy’s flying behaviour can be drastically altered if it is wet.

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    How should I store my glider over the winter?

    If you have to store your glider for several weeks or months you should observe the following:

    - The wing should not be packed or compressed too tightly in its bag.
    - The inner and outer glider bags should be left partly opened; so that excess humidity can escape.
    - Keep the glider in a dry, dark and cool place.

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    How often should I repack my reserve?

    Most parachute manufacturers recommend an inspection and repack every 6 months, so that emergency opening will be quick and reliable. Your reserve should only be packed and installed by a trained and qualified person. In addition, ADVANCE strongly recommend that (on the harness) the release pins, eyelets, loops and Velcros (handle, outer container) are checked every 3 months. To do this it is sufficient to open and close the Velcro, and move the pins in their loops. Most importantly, this check should be carried out regularly when flying near the sea, or if the harness touches the snow in the winter.


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