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How fast is the BANTAM?

Posted by Martin Havel on

And how much faster paragliders fly in general at higher wing load? Some maths and physics…

We get this question quite often. An obvious question, because high speed is an essential criterion for a miniwing.
The rules of physics say: Higher wing load –> higher speed –> higher sink rate –> but NO change in L/D –> increase of brake pressure –> but NO change in brake travel.

And how much faster does a glider become with higher wing loading? The law between wing load and speed is the same for all gliders: Increase/decrease of wing load by the factor "X" means increase/decrease of speed by the factor "root of X". A 10% increase in wing loading will result in a 5% increase in speed for the BANTAM, just like for the ION and any other gliders (the root of 1.1 is approx. 1.05). BUT: This 5 % measured in km/h have a greater effect in absolute terms on the fast BANTAM than on the slower ION.

Philipp Medicus and his R&D team say about the BANTAM: "The BANTAM is already fast at trim speed: Based on GPS measurements, the BANTAM 12 can be expected to reach a trim speed of almost 50 km/h with a take-off weight of 85 kg. With a take-off weight of 65 kg, the trim speed is about 43 km/h.

Those who want even more speed find a very effective accelerator on the BANTAM. At top speed, the BANTAM 12 is probably currently the fastest certified mini-wing. This was the result of our comparison flights and also the feedback of the pilots at the Dolomitenmann 2019. The non-approved BANTAM 10 is about 10% faster in trim with the same take-off weight. At the full bar, the difference is slightly smaller.

Chrigel Maurer gave us the feedback after the Dolomitenmann that the BANTAM remains very stable even at the full bar while staying well-damped. BUT: The “high” damping and the “easy” flight behaviour must, of course, be seen in relation to the small wing surface! Such a small and therefore fast paraglider should only be flown by experienced pilots!

By the way: Our goal was not to achieve the highest possible trim speed - on the contrary: The BANTAM should be as easy to fly as possible despite its small size".

You can find more information about this glider in the NOVA Bantam product page.

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