The tenth Kössen Paragliding Testival is on from 31 May to 3 June 2018.
Last year saw record crowds at the Austrian event, with 4,300 pilots and 7,500 flights flown over four days. It’s rapidly becoming a must-attend for everyone in the paragliding industry.
The idea of the festival is that pilots can turn up, drop off their passport in exchange for a demo wing, and then use the cablecar to swiftly head up for a test fly. Dedicated pilots can fly lots of wings.
The Saint-Gervais paragliding club host this festival dedicated to everything lightweight. It’s an opportunity to see and try the latest lightweight kit from a range of manufacturers.
Hike-and-fly group excusrsions are arranged, with a range of options to suit different tastes and abilities, so you can borrow kit and test it out.
The Montegrappa Trophy competition takes place at Borso del Grappa in north-east Italy over the Easter weekend, 18-22 April 2019.
There are places for up to 150 pilots in the competition, which is also a round of the Italian Nationals 2019. Alongside the competition is a season-opening trade show – come and see the current lines of some of the industry’s biggest names.
The UK’s music and flying festival, Parafest, returns to the stunning setting of Caerwys in North Wales in July 2019.
Parafest is the UK’s only event for all foot launched and single-seat trike aviation. The festival site is ideally placed for access to both coastal and mountain flying, with several North Wales flying sites a short drive away for free-flyers, and a dedicated field for powered craft to use from Thursday to Sunday.
There will be a trade show with demo equipment available, and the British Vintage Hang Glider Rally will be on site with up to 40 fully rigged gliders charting the history of UK hang gliding from its beginnings to the present day.
The pilot-run ‘Fly Inn’ bar will be stocked with Welsh real ales, gins, rums, Pimms, Prosecco, cocktails and more. In addition there will be arts and crafts markets, a children’s area, live music from 1pm to 1am on the Friday and Saturday nights, sideshows and much more.
Tickets are on sale now and cost £65 for pilots (Thursday to Sunday) or £55 for non-flyers. Under-16s are free and dogs are welcome. Organisers warn, “Parafest sells out to capacity every year and tickets must be bought in advance from the website”.
The magical mayhem of the Coupe Icare takes place on the third weekend of September at Saint Hilaire du Touvet and the Lumbin landing field near Grenoble in the south of France.
This year’s festival pays homage to the great Leonardo Da Vinci, who died 500 years ago! There will be an exhibition at the church of Saint Hilaire and shows on the theme of the great Italian inventor.
A huge trade show takes over two large marquees as well as outdoor stands; demonstration flights from all sorts of craft fill the sky, and the fancy-dress fly down is one of the event’s biggest draws, with some truly crazy costumes. Don’t forget the all-important film festival that runs throughout the long weekend. As well as all of this, the south take-off becomes a children’s wonderland, with activities from kite-making to science lessons to meeting birds of prey.
Paragliding from the sites during the daytimes is restricted to fancy-dress competitors and authorised pilots, but plenty make the early-morning hike to the Dent de Crolles if conditions allow, for a morning fly down among hot air balloons.