Frequently Asked Questions
Miniwing, paraglider, speedflyer...?
Back in 2008, when LittleCloud was born, speedflying/speedriding was a quite trendy activity.
People were skiing with small canopies or old parachute.
At the time, our gliders were aim for more flying, foot launched, more surfaced, not really what speedflying was about. We decided then to call them “Mini wings”.
A couple of years ago, all manufacturers started to use this trendy “name” for everything that was not a paraglider, creating then a big confusion onto the public!
At the same time, in our quest of versatility, we were increasing our surfaces, getting some of our gliders to fly more in the same conditions than paraglider, even though they kept their “Miniwing” characteristics (pitch less, direct handling, short lines).
Today, our range offers glider from 7.5 to 26m2… can they all be called “Miniwing”? Can we call the big sizes “Paraglider”?
Today, there is still no definition of “Miniwing”, even federations of each country are lost in that one.
Can we look only to the size and/or wingload? Probably not as Acro wing or CCC gliders have also a very high wing load or small surface…
From now on, We will only call Miniwing every of our solo glider that is used with a wing load above 4.5 to 5kg/m2 and which have a glide ratio below 8.5/9:1.
Learning with a LittleCloud glider?
Despite all what you can hear, it is possible to safely learn flying under a LittleCloud wing. We have designed the EZ range in larger sizes for this purpose. Hundreds of students have been instructed with the EZ XL, XXL and KingSize. We could note a faster and more efficient progression and learning. This is simply due to the very easy and direct behavior of the EZ: they answer quickly to your inputs, allowing you to understand quicker the reactions on your actions. They are also very easy to set up, rise and land. Ground handling is fun. XL and XXL are even certified EN B(low) which make them ok for most of the schools.
What kind of flights I can do with a LittleCloud glider?
Well, it will depend mainly on your wingload. With a low wingload (what we call the optimum weight range), you will be able to fly thermal, XC, local, hike&fly, soaring…. Compare to a paraglider in the same weight range, you will be “struggling a bit more” in super light conditions, but you will be more comfortable once condition get to the above limit (stronger wind). The main difference will be the sink rate, a little higher, with a little bit more speed (so in the end the same glider ratio). Over all, you will do probably more flying because of the ease of use, setting up and fun handling… Even on an average day, your fun factor will be higher. If you increase your wingload, you will push up the upper range and reduce your lower range. This will allow you, if your skills are enough, to fly in conditions you would not fly with a regular paraglider. All models are optimized regarding weight and are suitable for hike and fly and traveling (low packing volume). We believe that flying is like kiting or surfing, you need different gear to take advantage of most of the conditions. Spending more time in the air is key to your safety and your enjoyment.
Each glider is optimized regarding weight VS durability: we use smart weight fabric combination and construction to reduce the glider weight. We focus a lot on the shaping parameter in order to avoid to have to put extra reinforcement in the glider structure (Trailing edge mini Ribs, large nylon rods, extra compression straps…). In the end, our gliders are pretty light despite the non use of super light material.
EZ or GT?
If you look only at the charts, you might wonder if you would better get an EZ or a GT. The new GT is used in schools and shows not problem at all! The mains reasons to choose a EZ XL or XXL instead of a GT will be the lower price or if the certification matters. They are both very accessible, fun, but the GT will offer a larger progression range.
What makes LittleCloud glider so unique?
With all LittleCloud gliders, we can find some similar behavior which makes them unique and kind of a trademark.
Handling: All our gliders, take a big attention on the handling characteristic. This handling can be describe as direct, progressive and very intuitive.
Pitchless: pitch is a behavior that we think is useless for flying (except acro). It makes the flying more complicated, increase the consequences of flying incidents. Note that a lot of people are mixing the “pitch” and the “bite”. A pitchless glider can still have a “bity” behavior on thermal!
Long brake travel: we believe that safety is coming with long brake travel with a hard point before stalling. This will reduce the risk of oversterring a partially closed glider or incidents when playing with the stall point (top landing, soaring…).
Intuitive: we work hard to make all gliders easy to understand and to use. You will feel safe and straight like at home.
Safe: on top of provocated flying incident, we fly a lot all of the gliders in a large kind of conditions to make sure they are behaving safe. We publish flying incident tests video to give people an idea of how they behave in provocated collapses.
What is the difference between a LittleCloud and a regular paraglider?
In the LittleCloud range, you will find sizes and models that allow you to fly in the same conditions that a regular paraglider. Although you will fly them in the same conditions. The feeling will be the biggest difference.
Shorter lines: more reactive on the toggles. Offers you a precise and fun handling. The turning radius is shorter and you can core the thermal much more narrow. The short lines gives a pitchless behavior to the LC, which will make you feel more comfortable and allow you to focus on your flying. You can feel some little “attack” on the pitch or roll, but they are stopped immediately by the pendulum momentum. Preparation is much quicker and you will need much smaller take off place.
Speed: the LC gliders are a little bit less surfaced for the same AUW. This will give you an extra couple of km/h of speed (4/5km/h), a good wind penetration, and a very good collapse resistance (note that like any soft structure, it will inevitably collapse at some stage!).
Because of these 2 differences, you will have to adapt a bit your way to handle your glider:
– use more the outside brake to stop the dive in the narrow turns or flatten them in weak conditions.
– Anticipate a little bit more when thermaling, especially in weak conditions where you will have to focus more on the core and work it. In the end, you should be able to perform the same kind of flying that a regular PG. We manage to fly up to 200h a year (still we have to work;-) ). Big distances have been achieved with Goose and GT!!! Even with a EZ L wing was possible to fly 100km distance.