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A foot-launched, free-flying aircraft is a paraglider. A harness is suspended below a fabric wing, where the pilot sits. The shape of a paraglider wing is determined by the pressure of air entering vents or cells in the front of the wing, in contrast to a hang glider whose wings have frames. A ram-air wing, which is similar to the smaller parachute design, is the name for this.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective modes of flight, the paraglider is packed and carried in large backpacks thanks to its light and straightforward design. Wings used in competition can reach speeds of 45 kilometers per hour (28 miles per hour) and glide ratios of up to 1:10.

Paragliders, like hang gliders and sailplanes, use thermals or ridge lift to ascend. Although aerobatics and “spot landing competitions” also take place, this procedure serves as the foundation for the majority of recreational flights and competitions.

Jogging down a slope is often used for launch, but winch launches behind a tow vehicle can also be used. Also known as a powered paraglider, a paramotor is a wing of a paraglider that is powered by a motor that is attached to the pilot’s back. The paraplane is a variant of this with a motor mounted on a wheeled frame instead of the pilot’s back.