Meet Juan, one of our designers. Juan comes from Argentina and his designs are now becoming quite famous all over the world – ZORRO, Z-BLADE, AYA, KUDOS, KOOKY. Juan also cooperates with our European team and a Swiss test pilots and the team that works for Sky Paragliders in the Czech Republic. This mix works great together!
Juan is our designer from Argentina. How did he get involved with paragliding design? Why does he like flying? What was the idea when making his first glider for Sky? We asked him.
Juan, so, your first glider for SKY PARAGLIDERS is already flying, and pilots seem to enjoy it. How do you feel when seeing your baby fly?
I feel calmness and satisfaction.
I feel calmness - because KUDOS is safe. It is predictable and has critical elements for these kinds of wings.
I feel satisfaction - because KUDOS makes the pilots happy. The performance and speed reach the top limits of its category.
When I see KUDOS in the sky, I can see my style of design applied to wings and approved for the public.
KUDOS shows a lot of experience and know-how. What was your designing history prior to working for Sky Paragliders?
Since I was a child, I have been interested in everything that flies. I was a modeller and a kite enthusiast. It didn’t take a long time and you could see me flying for the first time on a simple rectangular wing. That was the moment I realised that one day I could fly on my own model. I started designing and building power kites, later I manufactured a rogallo parachute. A few years later I finally flew on my first self- made paraglider, I could enjoy a long flight with a lot of thermals, full stalls and SATs. After designing two mini wings I started working for Brazilian brand SOL. The acrobatic paraglider Sonic3D was the winner of the Acrobatic World Championship, so our cooperation could go on J. I designed an acrobatic tandem, two mini wings and a paramotor wing for them. Later on, I met people from Sky Paragliders. And you already know this part of the story.
Yeah, I think your first project for Sky was…
It was a freestyle wing called KOOKY, with it I had the honour of working with Tomas Lednik. Then came ZORRO where I was lucky to work as a team with the “Guerra brothers”. Now KUDOS is my first design of homologation ready for the general public, and I am very proud of it.
When designing KUDOS - what was the idea? How did you visualize the pilot?
The idea was to maintain the Sky philosophy – to meet the pilot’s needs in his category of flying. I visualized a pilot with a great enthusiasm for flying and look for new challenges. He needs a wing that can forgive all his mistakes and at the same time let him evolve comfortably until he gets the first and unforgettable “Great Flights”.
In what capacity do you work with the European team?
Well, our chief designer, Alexandre Paux, is the man in the right place.
Alex knows how to get the best out of the team. We all understand the importance of each link of this chain, from the first lines of design to the last sewing stitch. Before delivering the paraglider to the customer, there is a typically Czech sense of synchrony and precision. Nobody is complacent with results on this team. Finally, a Swiss test pilot and designer give the final touch before going to the homologations.
Can you describe your flying career?
My first flight at age 24 marked me forever, awakening my tireless curiosity about the wing, its construction and operation.
Since then, I have kept learning and working on everything related to paragliding. I flew ever higher and higher, passing through all homologations, I was interested in almost everything that flies. I tried mini-wing, acro, tandem, paramotor and parachute by towing. At the moment I fly my prototypes and I enjoy flying relaxed. The design takes a lot of time but flying perfectly complements my free time J. But the attentive designer never rests and works even as he flies.
And, the usual question - what are you working on these days?
Currently, I am working on an EN-A wing in the mid-range of school wings. Of course, I will apply all the advances of the KUDOS in this new design. We also have designed an elementary school wing to complete the range for heavy trikes.
There is always a lot of work ahead in Sky!!!
Juan was interview by Tim King, 2018