TYPES OF RC CANOPIES
There are currently three types of canopies available on the market: single skin, hybrid or double skin. Each of them has different characteristics. For comparison, here are the general properties, advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Single skin is a canopy consisting of only one surface (upper) with ribs sewn into it. The advantage of a single skin canopy is its simple starts. It is very easy to get the glider into the air. Another advantage is resistance against collapse. Nevertheless, should this situation occur due to poor weather or extreme flying, the canopy quickly regenerates, i.e. returns back to the original aerofoil shape. Single skin canopies can withstand a lot in terms of control and tolerate beginner's mistakes. Their downside lies in flight realism. Single skins have a fixed wing and thermal influences have little effect on them. It can seem as more of a “toy”: perhaps almost too stable and static in calm flight and the sort of canopy to just fool around with during more manic flying. The positive qualities of single skin canopies would be appreciated the most by novice pilots who have never encountered paragliding or RC paragliding before.
Hybrid canopies have a combined skin – an upper surface with ribs and a lower surface with only a few panels sewn in. A hybrid canopy basically takes on only the better properties of single and double skins. The paraglider is stable during flight yet allows better flight performances and glide ratios than a single skin. However, its not particularly attractive appearance may be considered a drawback, though that can be purely subjective.
Double skins are a classic – a canopy composed of a complete upper and lower surface and ribs. The flight characteristics of quality gliders are identical to those of large paraglider wings. The double skin has great glide ratio, speed and wind penetration, and its appearance is realistic. The canopy pumps up like a large glider during thermal gliding and the canopy will let the pilot know when something is happening in the air – rustling, edges begin pulsating, sometimes slightly folding up etc. However, the canopy must be actively controlled and is more susceptible to collapse. The pilot must react to the current behaviour of the glider. Double skins can be appreciated the most by experienced pilots who fly or flew on a large paraglider and want to recreate the same feeling while holding the transmitter joysticks, or even by novice pilots who are looking for a realistic wing with attractive appearance.
TYPES OF HANGS FOR RC PARAGLIDERS
There are three types of hangs for flying with an RC paraglider: a harness, an RC paramotor or a motor trike.
The harness is designed for slope soaring. It is unpowered (without a motor) and lift is generated purely by air currents and thermal currents – ascending or descending.
The RC paramotor is designed for powered flight, as the name itself suggests. Unlike slope soaring, powered paragliding uses a propeller unit (electric motor with propeller) to gain altitude.
A motor trike is similar to the paramotor, but has a built-in undercarriage with wheels.