Initial experimental flights quickly confirmed our suspicions, but the basic requirements for a 2-liner were so high that the right framework conditions first had to be created in order to push the project forward in a meaningful way. Almost two years ago, Maurizio Bottegal, our long-standing Italian importer and former competition pilot, approached us with his wish for an uncomplicated XC 2-liner, combining the advantages of a 2-liner with the advantages of RAST.
Together with a team of experienced XC and competition pilots used to flying two liners, he offered to help us with the development and extensive tests and comparison flights that would be required.
All this with the aim of being able to offer demanding and ambitious XC pilots a reliable cross-country wing at the highest performance level, where the full performance potential can be utilised as easily as possible.
Our designer and test pilot, Alessio Casolla, was immediately fascinated by the idea of combining 2-liner technology with RAST to make it accessible to a wider range of pilots. With a lot of enthusiasm, the Sphera RS has now been brought to market by SWING and this team of passionate pilots. The first feedback, both from C-class pilots and 2-liner pilots, confirms our impression and reports a remarkable 2 liner XC wing that is coherent and easy to pilot. a coherent and easy-to-pilot overall package.
With an aspect ratio of 6.9, the Sphera RS underlines its hight-performance class claim.
But anyone who takes a closer look at the test flight reports will immediately notice what an exceptional EN-D wing the Sphera RS is.
We are excited to see what development potential the combination of 2-liner technology and RAST has to offer for other paraglider categories…
Who is the SPHERA RS for?
We developed the Sphera RS for XC record hunters who want to live their passion at competition level. RAST gives you maximum control in every situation to get the most out of your flying day.
RAST® – for maximum control
On paragliders with RAST® the canopy is divided into different internal pressurised sections by one or more fabric panels, some with valves running crossways to the direction of flight. This makes it possible to influence the air flows within the canopy.
With RAST, the air equalisation flows within the paraglider canopy can be regulated through defined openings. This applies both when filling,(during take-off) and when emptying. In the case of pressure loss, e.g. caused by canopy collapse in turbulent air, the relative internal pressure of the CORE section increases, while the BUFFER section absorbs the introduced energy by deformation. Furthermore, RAST can be used as an additional support to the leading and trailing edge, which has a positive effect on flight comfort. As RAST connects the ribs over the entire profile height, the construction has a stiffening effect and reinforcements and/or stiffening elements can be saved or even completely replaced by this special construction method.
The idea for the Sphera RS came from the team around Maurizio Bottegal and Alessio Casolla’s intention to build a 2-liner with the “Ram Air Section Technology”.
They were convinced that especially a paraglider with only two line levels could benefit significantly from the separation into two pressure sections.
The Sphera RS, with its high aspect ratio gets significantly more stability with RAST, which results in a noticeably better glide in turbulent air. You will also feel less movement of the canopy while thermalling. This makes the Sphera RS very easy and precise to handle.
However, the most important advantage of RAST is revealed when getting a collapse, or in extreme flight behaviour. RAST prevents the canopy from deflating too quickly, even with large accelerated collapses. The tendency of getting a cravat is thus significantly reduced and you keep control with the brakes longer. This gives you the possibility to recover the glider more promptly and to reduce any loss of altitude.
Nitinol Wires – for maximum profile stability
Nitinol is a high-strength, temperature- and corrosion-resistant shape memory alloy. The name Nitinol is an acronym for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory.This material is well-known in medical technology, and for a long time Swing has been using it as leading edge reinforcement in paraglider design, one of the first paraglider manufacturers to do so.
The Nitinol reinforcements on the SPHERA RS ensure a permanently razor-sharp leading edge and maximum quality of the profile. The reinforcements in the top and bottom sail are also made of this shape memory alloy, which is insensitive to buckling, temperature and moisture. This means that you can be sure that no unwanted deformation of the canopy will affect the performance of the Sphera RS, even if the canopy was not packed up or stored correctly.
Airflow Alignment – for optimized aerodynamics
In the design of conventional paragliders, the cells are stitched the same distance apart across the chord, taken from a line drawn perpendicular to the leading edge in the centre of the wingspan.
This however means that as you near the wingtips the cell stitching and internal ribs are actually not perpendicular to the leading edge, because the leading edge bends around in an arc towards the wingtips. This equates to the airflow actually crossing the cells, creating drag and turbulence. With the SPHERA RS we have aligned the ribs to the true airflow over the wing, meaning far less drag and turbulence, especially at the wing tips. The result is a far more efficient wing.
Sharknose – for more stability at full speed
In order to increase the internal pressure in the front area of the wing at low angles of attack, a Nitinol-reinforced Sharknose adapted to the profile, ensures optimum stability at high speeds.
Pro Dry Aramid-Lines – for maximum performance and trim stability
In the SPHERA RS we are using the latest generation of unsheathed aramid lines. The special Pro Dry coating reduces the moisture absorption of the line by -60%, and also increases both the UV resistance as well as the dirt resistance.
The lines are easily visible and easy to sort even without a sheath due to their magenta, blue and orange colouring. The high rigidity of the line material leads to a reduction in the formation of knots during use.
2 Level Risers – for effective rear riser steering and pitch control
The riser configuration of the SPHERA RS consists of a split A-riser and a B-riser. The split A-riser allows a differentiation of the angle of attack between the centre of the wing and the wingtips during acceleration, which results in an even change of angle of attack over the whole speed range.You can also perform “big ears” easily in combination with the speed system.
The ergonomic “T-Bar”, specially designed for the SPHERA RS, can be quickly and individually fixed to the B-riser and facilitates canopy control via the rear risers.