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Introducing the new UP Ascent 3

Wednesday, 06 November 2013
ascent3 prodDesigning an EN A wing is a lot more resource-intensive than designing wings in any other class, because there are so many different variables, and so little room for getting it exactly right.

As an example, you want an EN A wing like the Ascent 3 to come up very easily during the inflation process - but you most explicitly DO NOT want it to overshoot, as that will just lead to frustrations and dangerous situations on the training slope. The inflation characteristics are primarily defined by the aerofoil, and that bit is hard to thoroughly "test" with simulation software - so you build prototypes, and test them by trying to launch without even touching the A's first. Likewise, an EN A wing should come up straight even if the pilot initiates the inflation process a little off-centre; but if you overcook this characteristic then the wing will fly like a barge and be a dull acquaintance.

Once the launching is just right you must make sure the wing is still performing like a comp wing from only a few years ago - today's pilots are spoiled for performance, and rightly expect their school wings to be able to take them on loooong xc flights. And once THAT is taken care of then you recheck the handling, because even a school wing must be agile and FUN to fly, but it must never be nervous or twitchy. And with all that taken care of, chances are that the launching characteristics have changed a little, so you do it all one more time, and then again, and again.

All through the process you'll probably be coming up with brilliant new ideas for even further improvements - but these likely can't be incorporated into existing prototypes, so you head back to the computer and come up with yet another prototype, to be sewn in the East Asian prototype workshop. And when the wing shows up in Europe you start all over again...

Or that is how things work at UP anyway, and fortunately (for the beginners out there) so.

The new UP Ascent 3

A pilots' first wing may be the most important one in their whole career; too dull and it'll make paragliding "boring", too twitchy and it'll scare people away. After countless iterations of the process outlined above, we know that we've now got it exactly right; JUST the right compromise between agile and dampened, between safety and performance, between "fun" and "too twitchy". If you demo it we know you'll agree.

The new Ascent 3 is available in 4 sizes, covering a weight range from 55 to 135kgs. The first sizes are already certified, and we expect all sizes to be ready to ship around New Year - preorders welcome already!

Read more about the Ascent 3 here