SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017

Reflex History

Reflex profiles have been known in the aviation from its early times, and they are to be found in many publicly available profile catalogues. They have been tried in hanggliding and paragliding too, initially with little success. Especially paragliding application proved to be a hard task – lack of rigid elements, low wing loading and high steering forces discouraged many of the designers.

After many attempts, the first serially produced paraglider with really working reflex profile was created: it was the Traper of Dudek Paragliders.

Traper aroused high interest and won a high acclaim among competitors when it was shown at European PPG Championship (Hungary, 2002). It was there that Michael Campbell-Jones saw it and he couldn’t believe his eyes, seeing a practical realisation of an idea he tried to introduce for a couple of years. That galvanized him to enter close cooperation with our company. Michael significantly modified steering scheme in order to make it easy and smooth (hard steering is an inborn feature of reflex wings), and doing that he became a coauthor of Traper’s follower – the Action. Regrettably our ways soon parted, as Michael started promoting the Action as his own development without endorsing Piotr Dudek’s part, to the degree of concealing the very fact of manufacturing the Action by Dudek Paragliders. To this day you can find texts praising Michael as a father of reflex profile – which is absurd, since it was known almost for a century now and was never patented by anyone. Similarly, it is not true that he designed the Action.

In our following reflex designs (the Reaction, Synthesis, Plasma and Nucleon) we perfected steering scheme of the profile with several novel ideas, arriving at a reflex paraglider which is easy to launch, amiably at steering and exceptionally safe.