Bruce Goldsmith Design

Paragliders with Personality

Bruce Goldsmith Design Founders

It started as a small company working out of a garage, but Bruce Goldsmith Design is now a leading manufacturer of quality paragliders and paragliding related equipment. Inspired and driven by Bruce, the R&D department is based in the south of France where the sun always shines; distribution is in Austria, and the factory is in Sri Lanka.

The BGD family is strong and we are all connected by our love of paragliding. Our mission is to share our sport with friends and family. We love the feeling of being connected to the air and our products are designed with that in mind. We produce safe, fun, and fresh products that are always delivered with the refined handling and innovative qualities that Bruce’s designs have become renowned for.

Bruce Goldsmith Design Founders

Directors

Bruce

R & D

bruce@flybgd.com
Bruce GOLDSMITH

BGD is named after Bruce, MD and head of the development team. Flying is in Bruce’s DNA. He learned to hang glide as an engineering student at London’s Imperial College in the 1980s, and quickly shot to the top of British hang gliding, winning the Superleague in 1991. He was on the British hang gliding team for a decade from 1986, and was twice British Hang Gliding Champion. From 1989 he was also on the British paragliding team, becoming British Paragliding Champion three times and ranked WPRS #1 pilot and World Champion in 2007.

London-born Bruce now lives in the south of France with his wife Arna and three kids. A founding member of Airwave Paragliders and Ozone, he designed for Advance for two years before founding BGD in 2012. A writer, speaker and educator, Bruce has a regular column in Cross Country magazine and is president of the APPI (Association of Paragliding Pilots and Instructors).

Bruce

Arna

Marketing

arna@flybgd.com
Arna GOLDSMITH

Arna was the first Icelandic woman to fly hang gliders when she started at the age of 17, enticed from skydiving by her hang-gliding dad. He bought her a Wills Wing Harrier, and it was love at first sight! Arna competed in several Celtic Cups in Ireland and Wales, hanging out with the stars of the British League but she didn’t know Bruce until a chance meeting in a car park in the South of France in 1997.

When Bruce’s test pilot crashed and destroyed her new competition Airwave Magic, he lent her the paraglider that started her paragliding career. Arna and Bruce married in 1997, and Arna flew a lot, accompanying Bruce to up to 14 competitions a year. Flying took a backseat for a few years while she concentrated on the family, but now the kids are grown and she is back in the skies where she belongs, on a Magic.

Arna

Christoph

Finance

christoph@flybgd.com
Christoph SCHEER

Christoph’s flying career started back in 2002. He learned to paraglide near his home in Wolfsberg, Austria, and instantly fell in love with the sport, flying his Airwave paraglider on some big XCs and breaking the 100km barrier by a big margin. He went on to compete in Austria’s A-league. An engineer by trade, his work life had him involved in some big construction projects, including building bridges across Austria and Serbia for PORR, one of Austria’s largest construction companies.

In 2012 the lure of a different life beckoned, and he quit the construction world and joined forces with Bruce and Arna for an exciting new project – establishing BGD. Christoph still lives in Wolfsberg, with his wife Mila and son Maximillian, where he manages BGD’s European distribution from the Austrian office and distribution centre.

Christoph

Tom

R & D

tom@flybgd.com
Tom LOLIES

Tom started paragliding at the age of 14 in Saint Hilaire du Touvet. At 15 he bought a sewing machine and started designing his first kites and paragliders in his bedroom. His enthusiasm for paraglider aerodynamics and structures grew even more when he entered one of the top aerospace engineering schools in France, ISAE-Supaero in Toulouse. He started working for BGD in 2017, when he was entrusted with the development of a new simulation software that became operational in 2018.

The software is now an integral part of BGD’s R&D tools, and Tom and Bruce work closely together on the new designs. Alongside this work, Tom is pursuing academical work to better understand the physics of our flying machines. His PHD is the first to be dedicated to paragliding: “Fluid-structure interaction simulations of highly deformable sails.”

Tom

Crew

Killian Kopczynski

Killian Kopczynski

Product designer

killian@flybgd.com

Killian is our in-house harness designer. He has been flying since the age of 15, encouraged by his father. He also has a younger brother who started flying at the age of 13 – you could say it's a family passion! He studied Industrial Engineering in Grenoble, specialising in materials strength and worked with the R&D team in the summer of 2022. He joined the R&D team full-time in 2023.

Kyle Mooney

R&D / PPG Team Pilot Leader

kyle@flybgd.com

Kyle started flying from his back yard with his father and paramotoring quickly took over his life. He is a paramotoring instructor in Florida, and works with BGD's R&D team in the development of paramotor wings. He also heads up the BGD team pilots on the paramotor side.

Kyle Mooney
Lucas Bonin

Lucas Bonin

R&D

lucas.bonin@flybgd.com

Lucas started paragliding when he was 15 years old. He is studying aerodynamics at ENAC, the Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile (National Civil Aviation School) in Toulouse, to be an aerodynamic engineer or researcher. He's interested in all aircraft and how they fly, and works for BGD in research and development.

Tyr Goldsmith

Test Pilot / graphics

TYR@FLYBGD.COM

Bruce and Arna's eldest son, Tyr was born into paragliding and has flourished. He has already won numerous paragliding competitions (Us Nationals, Rio Cup, Weightless, etc.) and loves everything related to the air. He is a test pilot and works on glider graphic design for BGD.

Tyr Goldsmith
Mila Scheer

Mila Scheer

Office Austria

Mila@flybgd.com

Mila lives in Wolfsberg, with her husband Christoph and son Maximillian, where she helps manage the Austrian office and distribution centre.

Maria Baumgartner

Accounts / Book-keeping

maria@flybgd.com

Maria works in the accounts department in the Austrian office. A mother of two, she loves to travel, and enjoys skiing, snowboarding and tennis in her spare time.

Maria Baumgartner
Irena Koler

Irena Koler

Shipping Austria

Irena@flybgd.com

Irena lives in Slovenia, near the Austrian border, and looks after stock and shipping at BGD’s warehouse in Austria. Before moving to BGD she was a wood technology engineer for 25 years. She loves the great outdoors and beautiful landscapes, but she feels most connected to nature through her sports – paragliding, mountaineering, skiing, cycling and surfing.

Nikola Dukleski

Software developer

nikola@flybgd.com

Nikola has a short history of flying, but a passion for writing long lines of code. An in-house developer, he is responsible for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, making sure every part of the process runs smoothly and error-free. He lives with his wife and his two lovely children next to the oldest lake in Europe, Ohrid. He loves playing guitar and traveling.

Nikola Dukleski
Kay Arianpour

Kay Arianpour

IT guru

kay@flybgd.com

Kay is a paraglider pilot who is enthusiastic about hike & fly, and a kiteboarder who likes to go far in the sea. He has been a computer programmer since 1994. He lives in Fethiye close to the famous paragliding site of Ölüdeniz, and is here to boost the BGD IT infrastructure.

Media

Anthony GREEN, Test Pilot/Social Media

Anthony GREEN

Graphic Design / Film

ant@flybgd.com

By age 16 Ant’s passion for adventure led him to paragliding. He has flown competitively since 2004 in acrobatics and cross country. Studying film, business and math he has been with BGD since the start bringing all the wild colors to the products. Ant is currently our graphic and in-house film guy and lives and works in Morzine, France.

Charlie King

Editor

Charlie@flybgd.com

Charlie’s first paragliding flight was back in 1994, a 21st birthday gift that has lasted 30 years and counting. She now flies an Echo 2, a far cry from the parachute used on that first tow launch in rural England. She lives with her family in southern France and is a daytime desk jockey who works on BGD’s newsletters, manuals and brochures.

Charlie King

Sales Agents

Blaise Brogan

Blaise Brogan

Sales Team Leader

blaise@flybgd.com

Blaise learned to fly in 2009 and soon after became involved in guiding and social media for PG/PPG brands. A former tree surgeon and windsurfing instructor he has always sought adventure. He works with RISE Paragliding in SIV and ACRO, and this role was instrumental in bringing about the EPIC FreeStyle. Blaise heads up BGD's sales team and looks after our UK sales.

Alex Schweig

Sales Austria

alex@flybgd.com

Born and raised in Peru but now based in the Austrian Alps, Alex is on a lifelong quest to discover and master all types of flying, from coastal soaring, to acro, hike and fly, and most recently, the Paragliding World Cup. An avid outdoor sportsman, he now manages BGD Sales in Austria where his colourful personality is a match for the most colourful brand out there!

Alex Schweig
Masta (Francesco Delpiano)

Masta (Francesco Delpiano)

Sales Italy

MASTA@FLYBGD.COM

Masta, born Francesco Delpiano, was infected with the paragliding virus in 2012 during a trip to Nepal. In 2018, thanks to his friend Malcom Deodati, he started flying under the colours of BGD. He lives with his partner Alessia and his son Theo in the north west of the Alps, works as a show technician and keeps an eye on sales for BGD. If he doesn't answer the phone he is probably smiling under the clouds or on a mountain take-off somewhere!

Navid Saleki

Sales International PPG

NAVID@FLYBGD.COM

Half Swedish, Half Iranian grew up in Sweden and lived in many places. Navid Saleki has a mechanical/business engineering background and has been passionate of extreme sports since he started learning riding a bicycle. After reaching the top in freestyle BMX riding he turned to the sky. After skydiving and paragliding he is all about paramotoring. Navid is rooted in the paramotor and paratrike world.

Navid Saleki
Val Tanniger

Val Tanniger

Sales Switzerland

valentin@flybgd.com

Valentin has been flying since the age of 21, first on planes, then moving to paragliders, drawn to it by the simplicity of an aircraft in a bag you can hike with. He loves flying vol-biv with friends, or combining it with skiing or biking – he is an avid cyclist. He studied geomorphology and is cares deeply about our environment.

Raphael Laghi

Sales International PPG

raphael@flybgd.com

Coming from a family of pioneering pilots in Brazil, Flying is part of Raphael's DNA. He has been flying paragliders and paramotors since 2008 and works as an instructor and tandem pilot in Sri Lanka and Europe. He is passionate about XC across Brazil and paramotoring over the Amazon. Raphael knows our paramotor range well and is our international paramotor sales guy.

Raphael Laghi
David CHAUMET

David CHAUMET

R & D

David@flybgd.com

David CHAUMET works with R&D, and runs a service center. He has been flying sailplanes, paragliders, hang gliders, and UL aircraft since 1989 and was part of the French hangliding and paragliding team from 2002 to 2008 winning several world championship podiums in class 5 hang gliders! He's specialized in composite materials and electrical engines for aeronautical applications. Check out his electric Swift and electric paraglider.

Mario Koller

Sales Germany

Mario@flybgd.com

Mario lives, breaths, and dreams paragliding. He is always smiling and strives to share his passion with everyone. Mario lives and works mostly from home in Nesselwang, Germany.

Mario Koller
Benedikt Bös

Benedikt Bös

Sales Germany PPG

bene@flybgd.com

Another medical man, orthopaedic technician and prosthetics-maker Bene was infected with the flying bug at the age of 16. Powered paragliding is the bug that has bitten the hardest, and Bene is an international competitor in classic and endurance paramotoring. He is also a PPG test pilot and has headed up BGD’s motor division since 2013.

Test Pilots

Pasquale Biondo

Pasquale Biondo

Paramotor test pilot

pas.biondo@gmail.com

Paramotor World Champion Pasquale Biondo has been passionate about flying since playing with his father's wing at the age of 13. He pursued a degree in aerospace engineering before starting out in paramotor competitions. He has been Italian Paramotor Champion multiple times, and in 2022 was crowned Paramotor World Champion. He is part of the R&D team, helping to develop and improve the PPG range.

Wingmen

Franck Largeault

Franck Largeault

Branding/marketing

Franck learnt to fly after a bet with his brother in 2019 and immediately fell in love with the sport. He is a trail runner, father, and general outdoor enthusiast. He has already flown several nice triangles around his home site of Aix-les-Bains and plans to break the site distance record. He is a specialist in outdoor sports marketing strategy and helps BGD with branding, social media, and marketing.