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The harness for records

In 2019 Chrigel Maurer flew a record 343 km FAI triangle with a pre-serial IMPRESS 4. We asked him how he assessed IMPRESS 4 comfort, whether he flies it with or without the seatboard and what part he played in developing the IMPRESS series.
  • You made a FAI triangle Record flight last year with a pre-production IMPRESS 4. Wow!

    Yes, that was really a super day. Actually I had no time, I was in the middle of preparations for the X-Alps 2019. So I cancelled everything on the spot to go flying. It more than paid off. Altogether we were five pilots who flew a 300 km FAI triangle this day. It was the first 300 km FAI-triangle in Switzerland ever.

    The IMPRESS 4 is the most comfortable harness that I have ever flown.

    How did you feel with the IMPRESS 4?

    The IMPRESS 4 is definitely the most comfortable harness that I have ever flown with. A real quantum leap in terms of comfort; above all my legs stayed relaxed. Even after 11 hours in the air I had absolutely no pressure points. I was always loose and physically relaxed.

     

  • In the Alps
  • Sigriswiler ridge

Can you say something about in the IMPRESS 4 speed system? How many hours were you flying accelerated on the record flight?

The speed system subject is the next point that I see as significant. In old harnesses you always felt some physical strain when flying accelerated. Not so with the IMPRESS 4. There is no pressure area in the back, and it does not lever you forward or back. It is simply super comfortable to fly. I fly about 90% of transits accelerated. This means that I mostly fly straight flight accelerated; when turning naturally not. When I’m flying accelerated, 80% of it is on the first step and only 20% at full throttle.

 

You were the originator of the IMPRESS tradition. What was it like developing the IMPRESS?

That was in 2002. I got a job with ADVANCE then through this project. I needed an aerodynamic harness for the competitions. At this time ADVANCE didn’t have anything, so I built the IMPRESS for myself. Then, nobody thought that the Speedbag could also be of interest outside competition flying. The IMPRESS and IMPRESS 2 could be flown with or without the speedbag – a revolution at the time. Later the Speedbag became ever more established and was a great success. Today it’s taken for granted.

What do you especially like about the IMPRESS 4?

It’s a harness that has everything you need, but no unnecessary “knick-knacks”. It is lighter than comparable products and more comfortable at the same time. That is really fantastic. The special folding line across the back gives it a super packing size and it will go in every normal paraglider rucksack. My personally favourite harness, that is simple to manage – one reason why the IMPRESS 4 impresses me.

I am thrilled by the simple handling of the IMPRESS 4. At the same time it’s super comfortable and compact.

  • Final glide towards the Niesen
  • Welcome to the 300km club

How do you fly the IMPRESS 4? With or without seatboard?

I fly the IMPRESS 4 with seatboard. I prefer the direct feedback for a performance harness. I get more canopy feedback with the seatboard. If I want to fly without a seatboard I use the LIGHTNESS 3. But luckily the IMPRESS 4 is easy to convert – anyone can try it out for themselves, what they like best.

I fly the IMPRESS 4 with seatboard. However, it is so easy to take it out that, fortunately, everyone can decide for themselves, whether they want to fly with or without the seatboard.

Who would you recommend the IMPRESS 4 for?

All pilots who want to do long thermal and cross country flights – and naturally competition pilots. The longer and further you want to fly the more advantages this harness has. Earlier, ten hours airtime was torture: similar to long flights in an aircraft when you can’t stand up. With the IMPRESS 4 ten hours flying is no longer an issue – the harness is just super easy and comfortable.

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  • XC track from the record flight

    Quelle: XContest

    Here you can find the whole track! Click me