Have you ever heard of AirCross?
Or you´ve noticed the big U ? It stands for Ultimate gliders – The hype around AirCross is not only placed in France – Where one of the three designers Hervé Corbon called “Gibus” comes from. AirCross stretches its wings around the world and introduces itself:
If you´re still interested in AirCross, then do not stop reading !
Since the 1980`s the designer Hervé Corbon named “Gibus” is designing Paragliders under the label AirCross. He designed the logo and was always ahead with his avant-garde style glider design. The gliders were designed and self-made only for himself and his friends in the north east of France. It is and has always been only for the pleasure of flying with customized equipment!
Gibus was also one of the first designers to design his ideas in a computer animated environment in order to seek perfection in the design!
When Gibus came out with his competition glider U3 first made in 2000 a few friends in the Vosges , where he still lives today, joined him as they saw the commercial potential behind Gibus and his designs. A few years later they founded AirCross S.A.R.L and sold the U3 as a competition glider and the TriAlp with an AFNOR certification. The U3 was the first glider in its class with a pure 3 line concept and an aspect ratio as high as 7.4. The TriAlp had a pure 3 line concept, too with an aspect ratio of 5.7.
In 2003 Gibus even designed and sew a U3 glider as a two liner.
In fact Gibus was the first one to invent two line gliders as competition wings, however at that stage and on that glider the A lines and B lines were not attached at the best position chord wise, which is why there were still some wrinkles in the canopee whilst flying this prototype, but those who saw Gibus flying it were quite astonished, to see that such a construction could work.
The main reason for this to work is the use of plastic wires in the canopee on the profile which today are even called: “Gibus archs” thanks to the inventor. A few years earlier, Gin invented to use such plastic wires in the nose of a paraglider which he called rigid foil and which nowadays is used in almost all gliders throughout the companies. As an agreement Gibus and Gin exchanged their technologies at that time to be used in further models.
It was in 2006 when Gibus started to design the successive model of the U3, the U4. The U4, designed as a three liner had an aspect ratio of 8.4. The same year, unfortunately the company AirCross S.A.R.L. stopped their business, but Gibus did not stop to design and sew himself his own U4 which took however until 2007 to be ready to fly. Designing the glider, plotting it, preparing and cutting the tissue, cutting the lines, sowing the lines, the glider the risers and putting it all together takes an enormous amount of time of roughly more than 1000 hours of work which he had invested in this project.
At the beginning of 2007 Konrad Görg, a passionated competition pilot, was flying the U3 in the German league. Back then the German AirCross importer was the company Skyline and Bernhard from Skyline told Konrad that he could buy the U3 he was flying, but probably AirCross would not exist anymore in the future. Skyline would have liked to work together with Gibus, but Gibus only speaks French, so communication would be quite difficult. A couple of months later, Konrad contacted Gibus as he had started to enter the paragliding business by doing revisions and repairs having bought the old Firebird/Edel workshop from the south of Germany. He installed the workshop on the farm in Northern Germany, Goslar, where, in the 90s, at the age of 18, he started paragliding in the Harz mountains.
Next to paragliding another passion for Konrad is languages. He speaks French and got into contact with Gibus which resulted in a first meeting in October 2007 in the Vosges. At that time he also had his first flight with the U4 prototype Gibus had sown. The flight impression was so overwhelming that he was convinced the U4 had to be produced! A few more competition pilots had also tried the prototype and wanted to either buy the prototype or order the glider straight away. So Konrad started to work with Gibus and they both found Gin to produce the gliders for him in his China factory.
In 2008 the U4 entered the competition market and in that year Gibus created the “little brother” of the U4, the U Sport, which was going to be the most successful model for AirCross in the EN D class. The U Sport was basically like the U4 however with an aspect ratio of 6.8. More than 400 gliders had been built of this model since then, including the lighter version U Sport Evo which entered the market in 2011.
In order to have gliders for schools and every day pilots AirCross launched the U fly as an EN B glider in 2010. The U fly can also be flown with trim risers as a motor glider. Furthermore the development in competition gliders got faster and faster and Gibus designed the U5 and U6 as two line gliders until all of the sudden in Piedrahita, at the worlds, there were two deadly accidents and non certified competition gliders were banned.
In 2011 the development of the EN C class glider U Cross started and Konrad flew his personal best with 255km in Brazil on the prototype together with Tobi, the workshop manager, who is also with the company from the very beginning.
End of 2011 beginning of 2012 two more designers joined AirCross, one being Paul Amiell who has more than 20 years experience in designing Paragliders and developed the EN/LTF A glider U Prime and now works on a Tandem and EN B glider as well as a light weight version glider and Julien, a young French Acro-Pilot who was taught by Gibus to design and who wanted to build himself his acro wing. He also started on a reflex wing project . These gliders are all in development and will be for the market in 2014.
Since 2011 we are also happy to have Pascal as our test pilot on board. Pascal, despite of his age, is a very experienced Pilot flying since he is 9 years old and he already has test pilot experience from Skywalk and can give Gibus and Konrad perfect feedback as they are coming more from the competition scene.
Now, beginning of 2013, we launched the U Sport 2, the model is really a great successor for the U Sport. It was difficult to make the glider better, as we were so happy with the first model and the success proved it. The second U Sport is still the old type EN D glider and can be flown by pilots who have always flown in that category.
Furthermore the U Prime was put on the market and in order to work on our communication and marketing, Florian, who made his Master Thesis in this area, joined our team to improve the awareness of the community of the high potential in the brand with the manpower and technology behind it.
Next Saison there will be a brand new Bi-Place also also a lightweight glider for mountain climbing and hiking – Julien works on a reflex motor glider and a – Acrobatic – high level B glider – Gibus (Vather of the 2-line glider) woks on the final version of a high level D – U7…
If you want further information regarding our gliders, check out our flyers => https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jgoskp6wums2829/acoss6aiqR
If you are interested to become an AirCross partner, please contact us and we will send you further information!
We look forward to share the Ultimate Feelings with you!