Andreas Schubert about the Raqoon
The RAQOON is the latest development in the upper EN-A segment. The balanced flight and material characteristics distinguish it as a particularly well-suited companion from the first high altitude flights to thermal flying and the first cross country experiences.
Thanks to the lightweight fabric, its launch and reverse launch characteristics are definitely among the best and easiest in paragliding. At the same time, the leading edge and upper canopy are robust through the use of 5g/m2 heavy fabric and therefore also suitable for training or frequent groundhandling.
Glide performance of the B-Class
In the air the RAQOON impresses with a glide ratio that until 2015 marked the B-Class. In thermals it turns flat with very little sinking and without dipping away. This is confirmed by the test pilots, who have been the highest in the test areas at all times. The reason for this is the reduction of the minimum sink rate by 0.1 m/s due to a larger surface area of approximately 2 square meters, which improves the climb performance by around 10% compared to most other gliders of almost all classes.
Its take-off speed is low, which is an enormous advantage in the alpine terrain with little wind. Landing is also much easier for beginners. The trim speed is 33 – 36 km/h – depending on the suspension weight – enough to safely fly against the wind in a difficult meteorological environment. When the wind is increasing or during cross country flights, the speed can be increased to 44 to 48 km/h, depending on the load, using the speed system.
Extreme flight conditions
Extreme flight conditions are also extremely rare and can occur practically only after weather-induced overburden. In principle, the profile of the canopy is considered to be one of the most stable so far. Even if it did collapse, the wing reacted with low overall dynamics in countless tests.
In collapses it turns away between 90° (and only with large collapses) up to a maximum of 180°, dives moderately forward and has got my personal best marks for collapses in the lower to medium weight range due to the low sink rate. Even simpler behaviour in collapses was only observed with lower performance paragldiers (see “Fluglehrerpraxistests Papillon”). Frontal collapses immediate re-open occurs after a moderate dive forward. All in all, the dynamic in frontal collapses is also low.
Rapid Descent Methods
The B-stable is reliable and easy to fly compared to its predecessor models Bodyguard 1 to 3. The wing tilts slightly backwards during the introductory phase, begins to sink and remains very stable, even with asymmetrical operation. The sink rate is slightly lower due to its larger surface area of 10 m/s compared to other models. The recovery is immediate without delay. The most common rapid descent method is using “Big Ears”. The outer lines are very well marked. They allow a simple entry for relaxed flying with a higher descent rate, which can be increased from 2.5 m/ s to 3.5 m/s with the use of a speed system. The recovery is immediate. I have only flown the spiral with the RAQOON a few times. The wing has comparatively longer lines, which leads to slightly higher centrifugal forces in the manoeuvre. Therefore, this manoeuvre is only acceptable with training. For sink rates above 10m/s, an active flying style is required for the recovery to avoid further turning. However, active flying is the basis for flying spirals, which are regarded as the most demanding rapid descent method. In the upper weight range, the glider is very manoeuvrable, which also means increased dynamics in all exceptional flight conditions due to the lower roll damping. Talented pilots can experience their first stalls, flightbacks, helis and sats on the RAQOON . I had great fun, because all manoeuvres remain slower and thus also suitable for older test pilots 😉
The RAQOON is the first recommendation our average customer profile due to our safety requirements and our claim to promise the most balanced * flying characteristics.
– Andreas Schubert, Papillon Paragliding
* Greatest measurable glide performance with the safest tested extreme flight characteristics