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Air Design UFO 21 & 18 Achieving EN-B certification for the UFO 21, we can now officially declare the everyday suitability of this incredible glider.

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UFO 21 & 18

By now achieving EN-B certification for the UFO 21, we can now officially declare the everyday suitability of this incredible glider.The first ever certification of a single surface wing has been a sensation the world over. We are now proud to announce the certification of the UFO 18. All sizes of the UFO are easy to fly and exhibit very forgiving handling characteristics. With remarkably simple and stable launch phase response, coupled with extremely relaxed flight behaviour, the UFO is an incredibly safe and fun glider.

The UFO is a revolutionary single surface glider with no bottom sail, developed by Stephan Stieglair and Joe Keppler. With this new design, it has been possible to reduce glider weight to just 1.7kg (in size 16²).

First appearance and impression of the UFO is that the design is completely unconventional, but we’ve built in flying characteristics to be more or less the same as what you’d expect from a standard conventional glider. 

Our main goal during development was to create a very light and usable glider. For alpine applications, it’s important to have a wing with good speed and durability. The UFO fulfils both criteria. Trim speed is around 37km/h (at 90kg, size 21) and can be accelerated up to 42km/h via a speed-system. Although using lightweight materials, we’ve incorporated durability with the integration of edging tapes along the ribs. Another direct result and benefit of the concept means that the glider has an extremely low packing volume. 


Pilot Profile

Overall, the UFO flies almost like any other conventional glider and demonstrates comfortable and well-behaved all-round flying characteristics. It only takes a short time in the air to get used to the low dampening – meaning that the glider provides greater feedback in the air.



The art of simplicity…

Irrespective of whether you’re adopting a forward or reverse launch technique, the UFO inflates overhead with one step, and resists overshooting tendencies that you may normally expect within the category. The canopy design actually ensures that the glider centres itself without pilot input. 

The special concept of single-surface technology translates to enhanced lift - meaning that the lift that the 21² generates is more comparable to a conventional 26², and that’s why launching is so easy. Even on the smallest of take-off locations, it’s possible to launch effortlessly thanks to the compact dimensions of the UFO and its outstanding starting behaviour.

At first launch, the UFO feels a little different to any other conventional paraglider due to the construction. With the exclusion of the bottom sail, glider feedback is more direct in nature. The overall impression in flight is confidence inspiring. Climbing behaviour in thermals is excellent, and the glider remains stable in all conditions.


UFO is available in "LITE" colours as standard. The UFO can be customised with a different colour of design stripes and trailing edge. The main top surface and leading edge is offered in white only.



Design Details

  •  RAM-AIR-STRUTS: With the implementation of our ‘RAM-AIR-STRUT’ technology, we are able to achieve excellent speed and performance (glide angle around 7) within the hike and fly category. These struts are v-shaped closed cells that are pressurised by ‘shark nose’ styled leading edge intakes. These self-inflating struts provide the glider with greater overall stability in all flying conditions.
  •  Ultralight Dyneema risers with incorporating a 3-line configuration (A,B,C) with accelerator
  • Polyamide rods in leading edge for enhanced performance
  • 3D-cut leading edge
  • Light-weight construction (Skytex27, unsheathed lines, lightweight risers)
  • Edging tapes integration on ribs for durability
  • Rapid descent manoeuvre capable (big-ears, b-stall, spiral)
  • Excellent starting behaviour
  • Very small packing volume
  • Glide angle around 7, trim speed at 38km/h (at 75kg) to 43km/h (accelerated) 


AREA FLAT (m²)14,501618,0820,61
AREA PROJECTED (m²)12,1413,3815,1217,24
SPAN FLAT (m)7,878,268,789,38
SPAN PROJECTED (m)6,086,386,787,24
ASPECT RATIO FLAT4,264,264,264,26
ASPECT RATIO PROJ.3,043,043,043,04
TOTAL LINES222222222222
WEIGHT (kg)1,601,701,802,00
V-TRIM/V-MAX (km/h) with 80 kg40/4538/4338/43 36/41
TAKE OFF WEIGHT (kg) according EN 50-70 55-7060-8075-90
RECOMENDED TAKE OFF WEIGHT "STANDARD" (kg)50-6060-7070-8080-90
RECOMENDED TAKE OFF WEIGHT "MINI-WING" (kg)70-10070-11080-12090-120
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AD UFO Manual

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