The smallest aircraft in the world

Technically, a paraglider is a “light-weight flexible glider”. This means that it does not need a motor to fly because it glides. As it’s so light, we don’t need wheels or external supports for launch and landing, we just carry our plane on our back. Finally, it is flexible because it is made out of materials that have no rigid structure.


Its origins go back to the 60s, when NASA engineers designed a light-weight aircraft for recovery of space capsules. This was the original design of the paraglider -or steerable parachute- and the Delta Wing. Later, paragliders and steerable parachutes became clearly differentiated. Paragliding began in the mid-80s in Catalunya.

The paraglider in the picture is an Ailes de K from the mythical Super Max films.


Paragliders have changed a lot since the 80s. In the very beginning it was a sport only for the brave adventurer but these days it has become an officially regulated sport and all the equipment goes through a thorough certification process to meet international standards before it can be commercialized. The equipment must be able to stand about 8 times the maximum effort for which it was designed. But as we all know that nothing is impossible… we always carry a reserve parachute just in case. If the paraglider stops working properly, we would be able to land safely with the parachute (we have never had to use the reserve parachute in over 15 years and thousands of flights...). In fact, the most dangerous part of the flight is driving up to Àger... the road is much more dangerous than paragliding with an Entrenúvols professional pilot...


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