Except of the brake toggles, a paraglider has other ways to be controlled.
the trim, speed bar, in certain cases the so called "wingtip steering toggles" (see Reflex at www.reflexwings.com
) and "Big Ears"
The trim is mainly used in paramotoring and it consists of changing the curvature of the trailing edge of the glider (pulling it down or letting it up)
The "wingtip steering" uses two additional toggles that can pull down the wingtips thus enabling a turn.
The "Big Ears" is very similar to the "wingtip steering" but allows a more signifficant reduction of the flying surface on both sides of the wing to such a dergee that the lift is greatly diminished and a considerable sink can be achieved in relatively stable conditions. Using "Big Ears" the pilot can also make turns.
A speed bar is a system that allows the pilot to lower the angle of incidence of the wing by pulling down the leading edge.
In doing so, the drag is decreased and the wing speeds up.
As we can see, a paraglider is a quite complex wing and an experienced pilot has many means to "tune" the wing to the existing conditions.
We shold stress that these systems should not be used by beginners, unless under professional instruction. Certain combinations of these systems are dangerous and could result in loss of control, wing collapses or a crash.
In this article, I will describe how I installed my home made Speed System:
The attachment at the riser is via "sister clips", one of
which came with the wing and the mating one came from West Marine. From there, the line passes through a 2" o-ring which is tywrapped to the J-bar.
The tywrap is passed through some vinyl tubing to keep it from sliding on the J-bar. Passing it through the o-ring, keeps the line from snagging on stuff, particularly during launch.
The second picture shows it as the line starts to pull tight. The o-ring stretches as necessary as the line (cord) straightens. There's also a cord lock just above the pulley on the harness, which keeps it from sliding too freely and holds the speedbar up when not in use.
The cordlock is held in place with a short piece of nylon webbing-- the line passes through a hole in the webbing, and the webbing is tywrapped to the pulley attachment.
I originally had some shock cord to retract the bar when I let
up on it, but this greatly increased the amount of force I had to exert to keep it fully extended. With the cord locks, there's just enough tension to hold it up against the seat.
The third picture shows how it looks in use.
The bar itself is two pieces of 3/8" O.D. x 1/8" wall aluminum tubing, wrapped with cloth "friction tape" (old fashioned electrical tape).
The ends are tapped for a 10-32 machine screw, which holds the tubing to the 1/8" x 1/8" end bars. To apply the bar, you hook your heel in the lower bar and get it started, then move your feet to the upper bar for full effect.
It sure is nice to have when you get downwind of the field on a breezy day!