Which glider service suits you?
- Tandem or paramotor wing £90
- All the technical tests required to confirm airworthiness and performance
- Pilot remains solely responsible for checking for physical damage
- Tandem or paramotor wing £160
- Comprehensive assurance that everything is as it should be
- Typically one full day of a qualified technician’s time
We check your wing is in trim using a laser and software to compare actual line lengths against specification.
A gradual loss of trim often goes unnoticed, but restoring a glider to specification can be quite dramatic. Both Kevlar and Dyneema lines change in length over time, particularly if they get damp or exposed to heat. Being out of trim can affect both safety and performance. Minor variations outside the ±10mm tolerance can make a glider harder to launch, handle poorly, fly more slowly and lose height more quickly on glide. Greater deviation from specification can increase the likelihood of a collapse, stall or spin. Corrections are made by taking various different loops at the maillon or in the upper cascade to shorten individual lines and bring the glider back into trim without the expense of making new lines. This can refresh the handling and performance of a wing to the way it was when the glider was new.
Depending on the age of your wing, we may remove an upper and main line to test their breaking strength.
Gliders may cease to be airworthy if their lines are no longer strong enough. Line strength reduces with age and use. We sample test Kevlar lines if your glider is more than two years old, and Dyneema after four. We may test younger gliders if the condition of the lines indicates significant use. Under European standard EN 926-1, the lineset must carry 14 times the maximum flying weight.
We check that the fabric of your wing will keep the internal pressure high enough to maintain normal resistance to collapse and parachutal tendencies.
This is the first test we do on a service. It’s particularly important for an older glider that may be approaching the end of its serviceable life. The porosity meter measures how long it takes to draw a given volume of air (0.25 litres) through a small (38.5 cm2) area of fabric. For a new glider, this will take over 275 seconds, but reduces with age, use and the conditions the wing is exposed to. We examine much more closely if the result is less than 20 seconds. Poor results in conjunction with weaker fabric strength revealed by a Bettsometer tester may indicate that a glider is no longer safe to fly.
Hanging the glider up in the workshop allows us to examine the canopy really closely to find any damage.
Minor damage to the fabric, stitching or line tabs easily overlooked on the hill can be identified and repaired. Most damage revealed on a service is minor and can be quickly patched without charge. If more significant damage is identified, we would discuss the repair with you first.
We check the risers, maillons, brake handles and speed system are all as they should be.
Webbing can become damaged through wear such as line burn from brake lines when ground handling. Brake and speed systems need to run smoothly. Maillons must be secure, and movement of the main line loops around the maillon should be restricted by maillon inserts or O rings.
We examine every line carefully to check they are not damaged.
A careful and thorough inspection of the lines is important to confirm there is no physical damage that might reduce individual line strength. If we find extensive damage to the lines, we would let you know before making replacements. We carry a wide range of line material, so can usually match the original line exactly. Occasionally we do not have the identical colour or pattern, but you can be confident that the technical performance will always match or exceed the original specification.
A Full Service also covers this
Example service reports
Does a service involve any other charges?
Measurement of all lines by laser will establish whether or not your glider is in trim
Retrim work, if needed, typically costs between £25 and £45, depending on how much work is involved
Replacing a line during a service costs £15
Damaged lines are replaced
If we strength test any lines (based on age and condition) they will need replacing
We will repair a small holes without charge as long as there aren’t too many
If your canopy needs some repairs or more than a few lines need replacing, we’ll get in touch first
Book now for a one week turnaround
We have been working for many years with manufacturers from around the world, so we can ensure that every glider leaving the workshop fully meets their specifications
A few manufacturers have formal service arrangements under which they offer extended warranty cover. We are fully accredited by all these manufacturers
We can arrange collection and return by courier
Glider service FAQ
A glider service can be either a Technical Service or a Full Service (what’s the difference?) and they are priced as follows:
|Paraglider type||Technical Service||Full Service|
|Tandem or paramotor||£90||£160|
These prices include all necessary testing. The test results may indicate that work is required to restore the safety and performance of your glider.
If the laser measure of all lines reveals that your wing is outside the manufacturers’ ±10mm tolerance of specification, then retrim work typically costs between £25 and £45, depending on how much work is involved.
Replacing any damaged lines or lines that are removed to test their strength costs £15.
We will usually patch small holes without charge unless they are too numerous. If we find more significant damage, we will contact you with a quote before making the repair.
We’ll carry out all the service work in the week you book
That means we should get your glider on its way back to you that week. Of course something unexpected may come up. For example, if your canopy needs a repair or a lot of lines need replacing, we’ll be in touch about the cost and timescale to put things right.
Arrange to get your glider to us no later than the Thursday before the week you’ve booked, and we will despatch back to you no later than the following Thursday.
To find out the soonest available service date and make a booking, go to Book a Service
We carry out tests in six key areas to check everything is as it should be:
- Measure the length of all lines by laser
- Assess line strength
- Test fabric porosity
- Examine the condition of the canopy
- Check over the risers
- Inspect lines for damage
You’ll hear about any unexpected damage before we put it right. We’ll discuss with you the price of any different options there might be, so you can decide what should be done.
You can arrange a service online at Book a service. Select either the next available service slot or a later week if that suits you better. You’ll be asked to provide your details including mobile number and email so we can acknowledge your booking and keep in touch. We’ll also need details of your return address.
You’re welcome to drop your kit in with us during our working hours, but most pilots use a courier. You can do that yourself, or we can arrange one for you. Let us know when you book in and we’ll make the arrangements. Our courier can collect from either your home or work address, and the charge for most UK addresses is £25. Alternatively you can drop your kit off at one of 2,500 DPD shops (find one here) for £15.
To use either service you must box up your kit to minimise the risk of damage or loss in transit. Equipment send by our courier is covered in transit up to £3,000 by our insurance.
We use DPD Local to collect from and deliver to addresses in the UK. If you ask us to collect your kit, we can make arrangements for DPD to collect from your home or work address on any working day. Alternatively you can drop your kit off at one of 2,500 DPD shops (find one here).
You will need to put your kit in a cardboard box no larger than 1.0m x 0.7m x 0.6m for protection in transit. The maximum weight for one box is 20kg for collections from a DPD shop, and 25kg otherwise.
On the day of collection from your home or work address, DPD should email and text you to let you know the one hour window within which they will make the collection. Their driver will arrive with a sticky label to go on the box and ask for a signature.
We can arrange a collection to get your kit to the workshop, and there are two options:
Our courier can collect from your home or work address during working hours. This costs £25 for most UK mainland addresses for shipments up to 25kg
If you drop off your kit at one of the 2,500 DPD shops across the country (find one here), the cost is £15 for a box weighing up to 20kg
Return to you once the work is complete costs £20 for most UK mainland addresses for shipments up to 25kg
UK home or work address: collection and delivery charges
|Area||Weight limit (kg)||Timing||Collection||Return|
|Most of the UK||25||Next day||£25.00||£20.00|
|Isle of Wight||10||Two days||£37.50||£25.00|
|Scottish islands||10||Two days||£44.50||£27.25|
|Isle of Man||10||Two days||£44.50||£27.25|
|Norther Ireland||10||Two days||£44.50||£27.25|
|Channel Isles||10||Two days||£44.50||£27.25|
Scottish Highland postcodes are AB36-38, AB55-56, FK17-21, IV1-39, IV52-54, IV63, KW1-14, PA21-40, PH19-26, PH30-41 and PH49-51
Scottish Islands postcodes are HS1-9, IV40-51, IV55-56, KA27-28, KW15-17, PA20, PA41-49, PA60-78, PH42-44 and ZE1-4
If you’re booking a glider service, you can also book to send in your reserve at the same time.
You can also send in your harness and we’ll check the installation at the same time. We can also inspect the harness and check it over if you want. Just select the appropriate options when booking.
How frequently you should get your glider serviced depends mostly on how much you fly and what kind of flying you do. Most manufacturers recommend a number of hours that equates to either one or two years flying for most pilots. Bear in mind that some situations are more harsh than others: if you fly a lot in hot countries, from rocky locations or near the coast, these conditions can be more challenging for a wing.
Some manufacturers recommend a service after the first 25 hours, after the lineset has settled down, to make sure the glider is in trim. Once this is done in the first year, the next service scheduled service may well be two years later.
As a glider approaches the end of its service life, the line strength and fabric porosity may indicate that more frequent servicing is appropriate. If that is the case, we will tell you when we’ve completed your service.
It’s possible that if your wing is older and had a lot of use, then it may be that the lines are no longer strong enough or the canopy fabric may have become too porous. If that is the case, we’ll contact you as son as this becomes apparent. We carry out the tests in an order that is designed to minimise costs should a glider prove no longer to be airworthy.
When we’ve completed the work on your kit, we’ll email your service report and invoice. Your invoice will detail how you can pay online by card or bank transfer. Once you’ve paid we’ll finalise arrangements to get your kit back to you.
If you’re planning to pick up from the workshop, you can pay when you’re here either by card or cash.
If we have to order anything in specifically for you, we may ask you to pay for that item in advance.
Many of these articles first appeared in SkyWings
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