Monday, May 24, 2004

When to Buy a New Wing

Everyone gets caught up in the 'new wing-itus" this time of year. Really, there are only a handful of reasons to buy a new wing:

1) your current wing is worn out
2) you have gotten too fat/skinny to fly your current wing
3) you bought a dog to begin with

Otherwise, there isn't much difference in the motor wings that keep popping up. Seriously, look at the Sting - its an Arcus, not the Arcus 3, a plain ole Arcus. The same Arcus that came out in 1999, five years ago. But if you put motor risers on it and rename it the wing suddenly is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Once more info is available, we will likely see that the Sting isn't alone in this catagory. For some reason motor pilots seem to buy into the 'latest and greatest' hype. The PG guys do to, but all they care about is preformance - show them a .01 increase in glide and you have a new best seller on your hands.

PPG wing evaluation is more subjective, and unfortunately, those doing the majority of the evaluations have a vested financial interest in seeing certain brands succeed over others (myself included). Motor pilots flying low rated wings really don't need the performance that the PG guys obsess about (and causes them to buy a new wing every year).

After having been involved with this sport for 5 years now - I think the real difference between PG and PPG pilots is that PG pilots are all about performance and PPG pilots are all about saving a buck. That's why a 5 year old wing can be the hot ticket - good wing, yes - but its the price that makes it a best seller, not the wing itself. You don't need great sink rates when you have a motor. Another prime example of this is the Fiesta, - Aerolight and Paratoys sold a boat load of these to PPG pilots for one reason, they are cheap

My advice is for us all (self included) is to stop obsessing about our equipment and start enjoying it. Fly enough to wear something out, then worry about the replacement. And this is coming from a DEALER. :)

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