Hightech to fly fast

The athletes use their flight computers for many different features.

Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) performs during the Red Bull X-Alps 2021 on Furka pass, Switzerland on June 25, 2021

When the athletes are flying, they need to climb in rising air called thermals, to stay in the air. A paraglider doesn't have an engine to take care of that. But also when they are hiking, they need to know how high they are for example. All this useful information comes from several devices that they carry, including the Flymaster flight computer and the Suunto 9 Baro sportswatch. 

Air is invisible and high up in the air it's really hard to see if you're going up, down, forward or even backward. That's because you have no reference for example a house or a mountain side next to you.

So how do athletes stay in the air? That's where the Flymaster flight computer and the Suunto 9 Baro come in. There are hardly any paraglider pilots that fly without such flight computers. 

The first thing it tells the athletes is if they are going up or down and how fast. These climb rates are measured by a device called a variometer, which measures air pressure. The variometer beeps when you go up and buzzes when you go down. Beep is good! 

Next, the flight computer tells you how fast you go over the ground and sometimes also through the air. That is both important information, because the athletes can then deduce how strong the wind is. 

Another important feature of a flight computer is that some can tell the athletes if they fly close to or into airspace. It will sound a warning if that is the case, and they can alter their course. 

Last but definitely not least is the tracking feature on the Flymaster and the Suunto. The devices keep track of the location, height and speed of the athletes. The information is saved and sent to a server, which processes it to go on Red Bull X-Alps Live Tracking.

This allows all fans and followers and of course the organizers to see where the athletes are on the ESRI map that is displayed in Live Tracking. 

Have a look at the many features of Live Tracking and find out the addictive qualities of it!

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