Buyer's Guide Flight Instruments

Paragliding is the most natural way to fly. Paragliding pilots don’t need the countless switches, knobs and displays you find in aircraft cockpits. However, by the time the first thermal or cross-country flights are planned, pilots will probably ask the question which Vario will work best for their needs.

Here we briefly introduce four models for various applications:

  • Syride Sys oneReliable micro Vario as backup:
    Syride Sys One

    The less than 20g lightweight unit is no larger than a cigarette lighter. It is suitable as a backup for competition pilots or for high alpinists who want to safe every gram for their Hike & Fly tours.

    There's a reliable and adjustable climb and descent tone and a simple LED display - no more, no less. However, the Syride Sys One is not intended to replace a full Vario. 
    to the Syride SYS One...
  • Flymaster Vario SDLow-priced entry Vario without GPS:
    Flymaster Vario SD

    Beginners or hobby and leisure pilots without cross-country flight ambitions, who do not need a GPS find an inexpensive, highly accurate, yet easy-to-use basic Vario with the Flymaster SD that can be configured to personal preferences. The data exchange and firmware updates work via the USB interface.

    The Vario has a built in low power wireless interface for connecting compatible accessories. The "Next to climb-Indicator" helps the pilot to even use weak climb rates. Also handy: Certain pages can be automatically displayed when a specific event occurs, such as "flight into a thermal" or "leaving the thermal". The Flymaster Vario SD is also fitted with a 6-axis accelerometer and magnetometer.
    to the Flymaster Vario SD...

  • SkytraxxOur purchase recommendation:
    Skytraxx 2.0 Plus

    The Skytraxx 2.0 Plus combines an extremely precise (resolution <5cm) and fast (<1s) variometer with a GPS receiver. A magnetic compass, thermometer, and the G-sensor provide additional readings, the data exchange takes place via Bluetooth ™ - or USB interface. Thanks to its large range of functions, the sound processing and any configurable user interface, the Skytraxx 2.0 Plus is our top recommendation for all pilots – from leisure to competition pilots. 

    Even those who do not use their recorded GPS data to participate in competitions such as the XC (OLC) benefit from the increase in safety, if he knows his current position at any time (for example when outlanding).
    to the Skytraxx 2.0 Plus...
  • Flymaster LIVE SDHighend Hightech:
    Flymaster LIVE SD

    Those who want everything get a combined device with the Flymaster LIVE SD that leaves nothing to be desired. Complemented with a SIM card, the Flymaster LIVE SD transmits flight data to the Internet, so that all flights can be followed live online in real time, for example on Google Earth ™ or Google Maps ™.

    The user interface is easily assembled individually with the included Designer software. The built-in UltraSense variometer has an incredible resolution of 0.01 m/s. Other sensors, such as a wind speed sensor or temperature sensors are connected via the wireless interface. The lithium-ion battery powers the Flymaster LIVE SD
    for up to 30 hours.
    to the Flymaster LIVE SD...

Conclusion: Since all models offer excellent quality and good operability, the desired functionality is the most important factor in the buying decision.

Practical tips on avionics 

  • Check the battery charge state/batteries of all avionic equipment before flight
  • possibly pack spare batteries or rechargeable batteries, spare memory card(s)
  • possibly download data from the device memory or memory card and delete to free up disk space again
  • periodically check firmware and maps for updates
  • If not used: remove batteries if possible, store equipment in a dark, cool and dry place
  • connect all devices with a sufficiently thick piece of string or a rope and fix it to the harness to protect it against falling
  • When packing the equipment, ensure that electronic devices are turned off and not be subjected to pressure.


  • Midland M48 SPMR radios

    PMR radios are particularly favorable and ideal for the leisure sports. Sufficient range, long battery life, good understanding and royalty-free operation are reasons for the large popularity. The radios offered by us have already proved their value in the daily flight school practice of the Papillon Paragliding Schools. With a radio, communication is possible even in areas without mobile network.
    to the Midland M48 S 2-er Set...
  • A "flight radio" is only needed when pilots have to contact ground stations, e.g. to use controlled airspace.