Is Wingloading a good metric for Spicyness?

Like the title says, how much is wing loading a factor for how hot a glider handles?

I normally fly a 28m U-turn Emotion 3 on a paramotor at 120Kg all up. I took it to an SIV and to my surprise it didn't handle too differently with about 25Kg less weight. My instructor had a 23m Emotion 3 he let me try, and it was twitchier, spun faster, and built energy much quicker than my 28m did on on the motor, even though the wingloadings are approximately the same (~4.2Kg/m^2). Obviously the same size glider will be more dynamic the higher the wingloading, but it seems like merely having a smaller wing has a much bigger effect than wingloading, at least on the Emotion 3.

This could pose problems for pilots looking when selecting a wing, especially those that are not yet on acro wings designed to perform moves all the moves well. For example, I was able to do a decent misty at my SIV on the 23m Emotion 3, but my 28m struggled to even do a spinover. I suspect that even with the additional weight of the motor making the wingloadings the same, I will be unable to misty the 28m

Does my experience align with everyone else's? Is there a way to correct for this when picking a glider?

Latest Comments

BlueSkies's picture

In short wingloading can be a good metric to compare similar sizes, for example between glider brands, or a slightly bigger or smaller size. But the bigger the size difference, the less applicable wingloading is as a good metric. A friend of mine is flying 25m wings with a wingloading at 7, but he himself estimates the wing behave almost the same as my 20m at wingloading of 4,5.

In XC flying this is well known, so people will opt for bigger wings as they fly better and are less twitchy even when in the same wingload.

I dont fully comprehend why, but you can scale cloth, lines, drag etc, but you cant scale up and down the air. So air as the constant creates some different effects on wingsizes even when accounted for wingload.

dalechamberlain's picture

I fly a 22m peace 2, with and without a motor.
Its got alot more energy free flying. I presume it's because of the drag from the cage

WoodysGamertag's picture

You experience aligns with mine perfectly. I also fly both paramotor and free flight. The extra weight of the motor does seem to make the wing a bit more rigid and prone to staying inflated. However, the difference in how hard to shoots or how quickly it spins seems related to both size and loading, but especially size.

I've just lost about 30 lbs and moved from a 25m peace 2 to a 22m peace 2. Same loading, spicier experience on the 22m for sure.

I'd love to hear from pilots with more expertise. I'm still mastering helis and misty flips, trying to get them as consistent as the easier moves like wingovers and SATs.