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>>> Hang glider SAPHIR

Bible home » Hang glider : Saphir

If you have additional information (ex: specificity of piloting, various characteristics...) on the hang glider Saphir by Bautek, you can supplement his card by adding your comment or write to us :

Hang glider card : Saphir
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Number of battens : 28 (6 below)
Double sail : 70%

Salutations, Heinz


This hang glider rocks :) See U in in the stratosphere!!!

[Translation of the original French comment]
This glider was a revolution in its time! Bautek had managed to design a glider that was both light to handle and stable. Very light handling indeed! For that reason, even the A frame is smaller than on other wings, cause you don't need to move much underneath it!
A strong crossbar-less glider that was even used for aerobatics in its time. The front tube that extends beyond the glider nose is used to tension the wing but is also a good protection for the pilot.
Very efficient in light conditions. Too bad there are so few models on the second hand market; paraglider pilots would appreciate its light handling.


I was flying the Saphir 16, which came out 1 year before the 17, for a couple of years.
This glider was incredibly manouverable, almost too easy.Figure 8s could be flown with just one hand on the bar.
In weak conditions or bumpy thermals it was easy to outclimb any other wing of that era.
At high speeds however yawing became a problem. Winch towing was almost impossible,I had 3 lockouts out of 10 tows.
At takeoff, it was necessary to keep the nose up. All other bowsprit gliders such as the Zephir (my next glider) had this tendency to drop the nose during takeoff run.
I once managed to crash on a ramp ( Lac d´Annecy).

[Translation of the original French comment]
After various wings La Mouette, including one Atlas, i've had the happiness to own a saphir, a little jewel of speed and reactivity, then a zephir cx that had lost the acrobatic side of the saphir in my opinion. Neithertheless, magnificient and playful wings. If you find one you're going to love it.


I still have a Saphir 16 in my cellar. I have stopped hanggliding in 1989 and have changed to paragliding now.


Forgot something :
In 1984..1986 I have done a lot of towing at the DFC Weser, but I never had a lockout. You just have to concentrate to fly straight in the direction of the rope.
You can turn the glider really easy, what's a big advantage in long thermal flights. The disadvantage on the other hand is, that it's nearly impossible to fly a straight line at higher speeds.
A late congratulation to the Zimmer brothers for this great glider (unfortunately to late for one of them)