Anyone who has ever gone paragliding has very likely, sometime later had a very vivid dream. In that dream, they were out flying and everything was effortless. They rode on never ending thermals that seemed to go on and on forever and finding new thermals were as easy as pointing in the right direction at the right time. Could paragliding ever really be so easy?
One upstart software company says yes. Thermals Finder, newly developed software for the paragliding industry has software that they purport to do all of that, and then some. They say that their Thermocompass device will allow one to fly longer and farther.
Company spokesman Igor Cherry says that their software is developed for and intended to be paired with the Holux FunTrex 130 Pro GPS handheld/mountable device. He says that the unique instrument allows paragliders to sniff out new thermals, in flight at a distance up to 500m. If it works, this would allow paragliders to remain in flight much longer. It also may give those using it in competition an unfair advantage.
So what’s the price for flight? The Holux device is currently being sold through at least two U.S. companies and retails for at a suggested manufacturers price of $499. The software from the Ukrainian based Thermals Finder company is an online download. They are offer a limited use trial version of the software with no information on final release costs on the software. If you are hoping to use this device in the USA, don’t go rushing to the store just yet. Their software is limited to certain geographical locations not yet including the USA or Canada. See the full list of available locations.
In an effort to show naysayers that the software does indeed work, they will allow you to read a lot of scientific theory on their web site where they reference Leonardo’s study of thermal volumetric flows, or you could just watch one of their videos if that’s more compelling.