CANOPY
TESTING RATINGS
 

AFNOR

This rating system was governed primarily by the French and Swiss. The test pilot flies the wing while performing a number of manoeuvres, while being recorded on video. Afterwards a panel evaluates together with the pilot how the glider responds Canopies are rated-standard Performance. Competition Tandem.

GUTESIEGAL

This rating is German based and similar to Afnor where the test pilot again performs manoeuvres, and for example determines how quickly the canopy enters & recovers from different situations. Canopies here are divided into-- DHV 1,2 , 3, 4 or part there of. 1 being the safest.

ACPUL

Also a French organization, and formed by an association of paraglider pilots, this is closely linked to the AFNOR system. Canopies here are divided into rating--A, B, C &D, depending how quickly for example the canopy recovers from certain manoeuvres. A= V GOOD

2nd Hand Canopies ideal for
powered and non-powered flight
from R4000.
2nd Hand Paramotors also available

Acpul ratings determine the ability of a glider to recover from various situations and not necessarily how easy it enters a given situation. For example it may be given an “A” for ease of recovery from a deep stall however it may also enter one just as quickly! For an interesting article on Acpul Vs DHV refer to the “Cross country” magazine June / July 94 and the Dec / Jan 93 / 94 issues.

Different countries are more biassed towards certain testing organizations than others, and some go as far as banning the use of canopies that do not hold their own stamp of approval. Other countries just require a testing stamp, showing that the canopy has in fact been tested, visible on the wing tip. While this ensures safety there are however mixed feelings regarding this regulation. I had been flying a copy of one of the overseas designs for around eight years, and I can honestly say it was as safe as any regulated design. So the reality is: yes there are non rated canopies out there that are just as safe as the rated designs. I am not condoning or advocating using one over the other, this is just something you should be aware of. These regulations do however prevent rogue manufacturers from placing unsafe gliders on the market, SAFETY IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA.

My thoughts on choosing a canopy for powered paragliding is to obtain one that is safe, with a relatively good performance, and most important, while staying in the realms of safety, not one that will require upgrading in 12-24 months

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