April 25, 2020
When planning hike-and-fly adventures, it is important to know how far you can get from a gliding launch site. Spotair has recently integrated a calculation tool for this. The slip distance calculator on Spotair. The color shading shows the height at which one would land in the terrain. // Source: Spotair.mobi As early as 2018, the Swiss Daniel Arndt had programmed an algorithm that, based on elevation models and the specification of a glide ratio, can calculate how far you can slide from a chosen starting point on the mountain into the lower, surrounding areas of a site . The result is shown as color shading via online topo maps. Initially operated under the name Parange for the Alpine region (an artificial word combination of paraglider and range), this offer has been available as a global tool on the website hikeandfly.org since 2019 (see Lu-Glidz: Parange - a glider flight calculator and Parange goes global ). Recently there is another source for such information. The French provider Spotair.mobi has integrated the same functionality on its website (based on the same algorithm). If you activate the "Hike and Fly" button on the page and then select a possible starting point on the mountain with a click of the mouse (this can also be done with a tap on your smartphone), the glide range is also calculated and displayed as an overlay. After clicking with the right mouse button on the button, you can specify the glide ratio to be used as the basis for the calculations. You can get there on your smartphone with a longer finger press on the button. The advantage of Spotair over Hikeandfly.org is that the site aggregates a lot of other information - including a database of official launch sites and various wind stations, so that you can get information about the current wind situation directly. Such information is worth a lot for a live query in the field. An interesting functionality of Hikeandfly.org can not be found in the Spotair variant. Spotair always assumes a starting point on the ground for the calculations. At Hikeandfly.org you can also specify other departure heights. This makes the site interesting for planning long-haul flights, at least when it comes to analyzing possible key points. Because thanks to the calculations, you can simply try out on the computer how high you would have to fly, for example, in the case of a large valley crossing, in order to arrive safely over a targeted ridge with a certain glide ratio.
This article has been translated for your convenience and was originally written in allemand.
A popular German Paragliding Blog written by Lucian Haas