Wing options for the Snake
Due to the extremely light weight of the Snake trike we can offer all of the wings listed below and still remain within the SPHG 70kg weight limit with full fuel. This gives pilots access to superior wings specifically designed for nanolight trikes.
If you are a licensed pilot and planning to operate the Snake as an SSDR microlight there is an even greater range of wing options available; please contact us for details.
Grif Italia Srl are a family business based near Rome in Italy. Founded in 1989 they have progressed from hang-glider production to specialising in wings for use with nanolight trikes. They also produce a range of wings for heavier two-seat microlights, from basic trainer wings to high performance topless (kingpostless) wings.
Grif are renowned for the handling of their wings, with very light control inputs required. Their wings are also very ergonomic, being easy to rig and derig without special tools or fiddly techniques.
All Grif nanolight wings are double-surface, meaning that the cross-tubes are enclosed within the sail material. Double-surface wings offer improved efficiency compared to single-surface wings which translates to lower power requirements in the cruise and a better glide ratio.
Most Grif nanolight wings are usually setup for a hands-off trim speed of around 35mph, although the ground-adjustable hang-point allows adjustment of this if desired.
The nanoflight range all share a common frame, with only the outer leading edges and sail differentiating most of the designs. This allows for cost-effective upgrade in the future, particularly in the case of a sail repair. Weights range from 27-30kg. They all have a Maximum Take-Off Weight (tested at +6G) of 190kg, which gives the Snake the maximum payload possible.
All Grif wings offer various ways to reduce the packaged length as standard (useful if storage space is at a premium, or for transporting the wing on airlines). The quick short-pack reduces the packed length of the 3DC from 5.32m to 3.57m. The process doesn’t require any tools and can be completed in minutes.
Grif’s simplest and most affordable nanolight wing is the Zip, which carries just enough double-surface to enclose the cross-tubes. The Zip retains Grif’s trademark light and responsive handling, and has almost as much glide performance as the 3DC.
The Zip truly has delightful handling, and is simple and quick to rig. It is often our recommended wing for the majority of pilots who simply want to have the most fun possible with the least amount of hassle.
The 3DC is a 13.5m² double-surface nanolight wing. The wing handling is wonderfully light and sporty at all speeds, and offers predictable behaviour for short field operation. The 3DC is recommended for pilots who want agile handling or the very best soaring performance out of their sub-70 nanolight.
The Eurofly Snake & Grif 3DC hold the World Record for distance flown without engine power. This was flown by Airplay director David Broom in June 2018 from Sandy in Bedfordshire. You can see the record here.
The Zoe is a small (12m²) variant of the Zip. It shares the benign handling and stall characteristics of the larger wing, as well as being incredibly quick to rig (with only 13 battens in total). The higher wing loading increases the minimum sink rate with the benefit of reduced drag at higher speeds. As such, it is a great choice for pilots who prioritise touring with the motor running.
Available in both 11 and 12m² versions, the stated design brief for the HX series was to produce the best touring performance possible in a sub-70 compliant wing. Carrying a much greater proportion of double surface material than any other sub-70 wing, the HX wings achieve a very high level of efficiency, whilst retaining the light handling that Grif are famous for.
The trim speeds of individual HX wings range from 35-45mph depending on tuning, with top speeds of over 50mph possible.
Due to the higher performance available and slightly sharper stall characteristics, the HX wings are best suited to experienced pilots.
A PX20 trilaminate leading edge is available as an option, as are a range of undersurface colour combinations. Grif can also powder-coat the A-frame and kingpost any RAL colour in order to create your ideal colour scheme.
Vortex generators are available for all of the Grif nanolight range. These plastic stick-on fittings disturb the airflow over the top surface of the wing, reducing the stall speed by around 2-3mph without any measurable affect on high speed performance. They also tend to make the stall break more gentle and predictable. They are highly recommended on the 3DC and HX wings.
Another option is a LED strobe system built into streamlined fibreglass wingtip fairings. These are ideal for improving visibility in low-light conditions as well as improving the aesthetics further.
Aeros are a Ukrainian company, producing a range of hang-glider and trike wings. They have a tradition of extremely good value products, with excellent sail work.
The Fox13T is a simple, low cost single-surface wing with excellent stability and docile handling- ideal for inexperienced pilots. It’s relatively light, at 25.5kg with the optional ODL Technora wing fabric.
A wing-fold kit can be incorporated into this kingposted wing if trailering the Snake is preferred. This can reduce the rigging time to less than 10 minutes.
Hands-off cruise speeds are in the region of 35-40mph, with a 21mph extremely gentle mush stall. The wing is perfectly capable of extended engine-off soaring, although the sink rate increases dramatically at higher speeds. This characteristic makes the Fox13T an ideal choice for short-field operation, particularly as the light weight makes fitment of the 33Hp Black Bull engine possible under the 70kg SPHG limit. Maximum Take-Off Weight is 180kg.
Fly & Rio
Ideal for hang-glider pilots who desire one wing to both free-fly and operate with a nanotrike, the Avian Fly (single-surface) and Rio2 (double-surface) wings are now available with the Snake. A detachable hang-bracket allows the wing (available in both 15m² and 17m² versions) to be quickly converted from trike use to free-flight harness in supine configuration.
The handling and performance of the wing is little affected by the addition of the trike unit, giving it a very low sink rate for optimum soaring capability. Hands-off trim speed is usually setup around 25mph.
Variable Geometry is now standard on all Fly/Rio wings, which allows in-flight adjustment of sail tension. Laminate sailcloth options are available for the Rio only.
The Fly 15 is the lightest wing available for a sub-70 trike at only a quoted 23kg, with a MTOW of 143kg. At the other end of the spectrum the Rio 17 weighs 30kg with an MTOW of 170kg.
New for 2020 is a trike version of the advanced intermediate Puma wing. Offering higher glide performance and more dynamic handling than either the Fly or Rio wings, the 13.6m² Puma weighs around 28-29kg dependent on options and has a maximum take-off weight of 149kg.