All That's Trucking

Volvo Does it Again With Paraglider Video

November 29, 2016

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In Volvo's latest promotional stunt video, the goal is to maintain a precise speed that allows pro paraglider Guillaume Galvani to stay in flight behind the Volvo FH rig on a highway in the Croatian Alps.

In the 2-minute "The Flying Passenger" video, New Zealand truck driver Louise Marriott passes vehicles while traversing a windy two-lane road. (Although the test was conducted in a closed-off area, so the vehicles apparently were a planned part of the demonstration.) At one point, the speed slows too much and Galvani's feet skim the roadway as cows look on curiously.

Perhaps the trickiest part comes as the highway goes through a narrow cut beneath a crossing overpass.

According to a report in the New Zealand press, Marriott last year became the first ever female driver to win the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge, beating 16 other international competitors, and the first woman to ever qualify for the Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge global final.

The goal of the video? To demonstrate how a Volvo FH can maintain its speed in difficult conditions like hilly and curvy roads, using the Volvo D13 engine and Volvo's I-Shift Dual Clutch. The transmission, which Volvo says is the world’s first dual clutch gearbox for heavy trucks, can help drivers to save both time and fuel. (And keep paragliders up in the air thanks to seamless gearshifts and a steady flow of power.) It's not available in the U.S., but you can read one European editor's impressions here.

Another Volvo video offers some more insight into the powertrain.

This is the latest installment in Volvo's series of video stunts demonstrating its trucks capabilities; probably the best known was the one featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme in the "Epic Split."

In other videos in this series, we've seen a world record-holding highliner battle the wind to cross a line between two speeding trucks to demonstrate "the precision and control" of its FH series. Claes Nilsson, then-president of Volvo Trucks with responsibility for Europe, got to dangle -- along with a Volvo FMX – more than 20 meters in the air over a closed part of the Gothenburg Port in Sweden. And how about that hamster steering a Volvo FMX in a rough quarry? And in last year's video, a 4-year-old gleefully uses a remote control to steer a tough Volvo FMX through a gravel pit with obstacles.

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Deborah Lockridge

Editor-in-Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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