(Last Updated On: October 28, 2009)
Is this the next big thing?
Since 1995, Laurent de Kalbermatten has experimented inflation systems for all types of wings, in order to obtain the lightest and least cumbersome flying machine possible.
With the Woopy Fly concept and it’s a blowers inflation system, the goal has been reached. The concept has been validated by no less than thousands of successful flights, free or motorised, high speed tests, charge tests, and computer simulations.
With the precious support of his test-pilot Guy-Bertrand Jaquier, new ideas and applications have been developed, towards outdoors sports. The idea: use the inflatable wing concept to extend the range of ski and snowboard jumps
I guess the best way to describe it is a small, inflatable, packable hang glider of sorts. At least that’s what it looks like to me. The website translation to English is pretty bad, but I think that the basic idea of the Woopy can be seen on this page, where it shows the entire set-up process: Woopy set-up I’m not sure how fast it goes, or what winds it can handle, but it could be a fun addition to the ski quiver, so to speak. It sure would make descents of Capitol a lot easier 😉 Or would a Woopy descent get a big fat asterisk next to it? tough call. I wonder what it weighs, too- I couldn’t find that on the site, but it’s probably there in garbled English. I’ve often though about getting into hang gliding, and I wonder if this would be a cheaper, simpler way of getting into it. On the other hand, it looks like a small gust of wind would crush it, so maybe it should stay in the hands of the Euros. Hopefully the Woopy makes it to the states soon so I can give it a try. Otherwise I guess I have one more reason to go to Europe.