Volirium P1 Smart Vario

The P1 is a smartvario that is super easy to use, has anything an ambitious intermediate pilot would want, and many features that make even top competition and record-chasing pilots very happy.

  • Easy to use
  • Glove-friendly hardware
  • Display is readable in bright sunlight
  • Precise, fast and “nice” vario
  • Built to last
  • WiFi

The P1 comes with:

  • Quickstart guide
  • USB micro cable for connecting it to a computer
  • Wall charger
  • Softcase
  • Velcro patch for cockpit mount
  • Built-in tether
  • 4 GB micro SD card (enough memory to record thousands of hours of airtime)


The Volirium P1 is a smartvario, combining the most sensitive pressure sensors in the market with a state-of-the-art flight computer in a compact, purpose-built package. Its software is newly designed and developed, focusing on ease-of-use and manual-free operation.

Easy to use

Pilots should enjoy their flights, and not have to worry about technology. This thought is at the core of the Volirium P1’s development: We built a vario that is very powerful, yet very easy to use. Both on the ground and in the air, we use technology to make your life truly easier. Here are just a few examples:

  • A modern user interface that uses the concepts found on other mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. This way you will feel immediately at home and know how to operate the P1.
  • Automatic updates over WiFi: Connect your vario to any WiFi, and you’ll be immediately notified if we have released new software for it. In the near future, we’ll be using this mechanism also for airspaces, flight data and more.
  • After each flight, the flight’s track is stored in an IGC file, the standard format for uploading flights to online contests, competitions and flight logs. But for a quick peek, the flight is also available as a Google Earth file, you can take a look at your track right away.
  • Beeping varios at launch are a nuisance. The P1 only beeps once you fly, when you actually need it to.

Glove-friendly hardware

The Volirium P1 is operated with three large, domed hardware buttons that are easy to feel even with thick gloves on. Additional input can be given through the touch display, which also works with any kind of gloves.

Display is readable in bright sunlight

We use a special kind of display (a so-called “transflective” LCD), which ensures that you can read the information even in the brightest sunlight. Actually, the brighter the light, the better.

Precise, fast and “nice” vario

We use our own sensor electronics, and a calibration process that we developed over the last 30+ years, to achieve an unmatched sensor resolution: The P1 can reliably detect altitude changes of 2 cm, based on the pressure change alone! This gives us an incredibly fast and precise vario. A vario that always beeps when you’re going up, no matter how slowly. But also a vario that only beeps when you’re going up, but remains silent otherwise, regardless of any other movement.

The vario sound can be altered to match your taste, so that you enjoy listening to it and remain calm even in very strong conditions.

Built to last

The P1’s casing has been custom-built to keep its sensitive insides save, regardless of botched launches and hard landings. And even if things do break after all, they can easily be replaced by our service centers.

The P1 is operated by a powerful battery that lasts for “a good weekend in Fiesch”, about 20 hours of airtime.


The P1’s positioning system was designed by our friends at Advanced Sport Instrument, the experts in satellite-based positioning and sports tracking. It uses both the data from GPS and GLONASS, giving us a very quick first fix as well as a very high accuracy.

The positioning information is then used to draw a moving map that indicates your position, airspaces in your vicinity and waypoints.

The P1 works with all the usual waypoint file formats, and gives you the option to either pick one point as your goal (“Goto”), or combine multiple points to a route.

When flying along a route, you get up-to-date information about remaining distance and required glide to the next turnpoint and to goal.

When setting a route as race route, the P1 will guide you through the launch and start procedure, help you fly the shortest way around the course, and give you your race time as soon as you fly into goal.

Find more about the P1’s capabilities on the software page.


WiFi: The P1 exchanges information with our servers over the Internet, using WiFi: Software updates and error reports, in the future also airspace and flight data.

Bluetooth LE: Under development: Connect your P1 with any of the numerous free-flight mobile apps, to feed them with accurate climb, altitude and positioning data.

FlyLink: Under development: Connect additional, autonomous sensors to your P1.

USB: When connecting your P1 to a computer via USB, it appears as a mass storage device (like a USB drive), giving you direct access to your flight tracks, and allowing you to upload waypoint and airspace files.

The P1 user manual is still work in progress. Right now we provide an online version, but we are working on a version you can download and read offline as well.

The Volirium P1’s software is newly designed and developed, focusing on ease-of-use and manual-free operation. Its user user interface makes use of the concepts found on other mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. This way you will feel immediately at home and know how to operate the P1.

Development is still ongoing, we continue adding features to the P1, and making it even easier to operate. Check out the Technical details tab for a list of planned enhancements.

Automatic updates

To get the latest software version for your Volirium P1, simply connect your vario to the Internet:

  1. From the main screen: “Wi-Fi” – “Enable Wi-Fi” – Select your network and enter its password, if required
  2. If a newer software version is available, the information icon (i) appears in the status bar at the top of the screen
  3. Click on the status bar to open the information screen and see information about the latest version: “A software update is available”
  4. Click on this message to open the update screen, where you then start the update process.

Current state: V19.3

Golden eagle
Golden eagle (aquila chrysaetos). Original by Kretschmer and Jahrmargt, published in “Merveilles de la nature” by Baillière et fils, Paris, ca. 1878. Stock Illustration.

Software release notes

  • The time indicator can now be configured to show current time of day.
  • Race route: Distance to next is now calculated correctly also if the next turn point is a goal line.
  • Relative altimeters can easily be set to zero again: Either long-tap on the indicator, or tap the “reset” button visible after a short-tap on the indicator.
  • Under certain circumstances IGC and KMZ files were missing. We solved most of those cases in V19.1, but not all of them. The remainder has been resolved now.

What we are working on right now

  • Airspace: automatic updates, show details when clicking on airspace in map
  • Bluetooth LE: Implement Flytec Sensbox protocol for data transmission to mobile apps
  • FLARM beacon
  • Usability improvements

Next steps

  • Maps: flight trail, auto zoom, geographic features
  • Thermalling coach

Join the team

The P1 software development is driven to a large extent by a team of volunteer developers and translators, in the following areas:

  • Translations: add new languages to the P1, using a professional translation tool and our PC simulator
  • Sensorics: Realtime software development: C on an ARM Cortex M0+
  • Application development: C++ with Qt running on Linux, development possible under Windows and Linux
  • Web development: various web-based projects, technology tbd

Contact us to find out more about any of these topics.



  • Robust, shockproof ABS housing, dark grey with orange sides
  • Dimensions: 142 x 88 x 23 mm
  • Weight: 305 g
  • High contrast transflective LCD, optimized for good readability in direct sunlight
  • Resolution 240 x 320 pixel, 16 levels of grey
  • On/Off button
  • Keyboard with three clearly detectable, glove-friendly keys with situative double function (short / long press)
  • Resistive touch screen, can be operated with pen, finger or glove
  • Dual processor system: ARM Cortex M0+ for real-time sensor calculations, ARM 9 running Linux for screen output and user interaction
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy, FlyLink
  • Memory: 4 GB on Micro SD card (included)
  • FLARM (optional, in preparation)
  • Slot for Micro SD card
  • Micro USB (charging battery, data exchange with PC), charger and cable are included
  • 3.5 mm jack (external airspeed sensor or external loudspeaker)
Power supply
  • LiPo accumulator with 5.5 Ah
  • Operating time: about 20 h
  • Charging time: about 5 h with the supplied Volirium wall charger
Attachment options
  • Velcro patch (included) for paraglider cockpits or leg mounts
  • M5 threading on the backside, for most standard hang-glider mounts


  • Languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
  • Choice of time zone, automatic adjustment to daylight saving time
  • Screen lock
  • Metric and imperial units
Flight pages
  • Available pages: thermal flight, thermal XL, wind XL, XC, general map, route map
  • Choice of flight pages actually displayed during flight
  • Free choice of indicators displayed on flight pages (list of all available indicators)
  • Absolute and relative barometric altitude (m / ft / FL)
  • GPS altitude (m / ft)
  • Barometric pressure (hPa / inHg)
  • Automatic setting of barometric altitude before launch
  • Maximum and minimum for flight
  • Acoustic
  • Graphic (m/s / fpm)
  • Numeric, raw or integrated (m/s / fpm)
  • Predefined acoustic profiles
  • Climb tone, near-thermal tone, sink tone
  • Vario sound only in flight
  • Maximum climb and sink for flight
  • Speed over ground from GPS (km/h / mph)
  • Average, maximum for flight
Wind indicator
  • Wind speed (km/h / mph / knots)
  • Wind direction
  • Moving map with air spaces, route information, current position
  • Air spaces: Import of OpenAir files, display on map
  • Indication of current position
  • Coordinate formats: DD.dd, DD:MM.mm, DD:MM:SS.ss, UTM
  • Waypoints: Manual entry, store current position, import of waypoint files: CompeGPS (*.wpt), GPS dump WGS84 (*.wpt), GPS dump UTM (*.wpt), GPX (*.gpx), Ozi Explorer (*.ozi), SeeYou (*.cup)
  • Goto: Distance and bearing to a selected waypoint, with graphic indication on map
  • XC distance: Live calculation of currently flown XC distance, over three turnpoints.
  • Unlimited number of routes, each with a unique, user-editable name
  • “Next turnpoint” indicator allows to advance navigation to next turnpoint, or retract to previous
  • Distance calculation according to FAI or WGS84
Cross country routes
  • Route over multiple turnpoints
  • Adjustable cylinder radius for whole route
  • Automatic switch to next turnpoint
  • Distance and required glide to goal
Race routes
  • Optimized route with cylinders, start of speed section, end of speed section and goal
  • Adjustable cylinder radius per turnpoint
  • Adjustable cylinder tolerance (0.1% – 1.0%)
  • Exit or enter for each turnpoint
  • Goal shapes: Cylinder, line, half-circle
  • Times: launch, start (multiple start gates), task deadline
  • Automatic switch to next turnpoint after start time, given correct crossing (enter or exit)
  • Distance and required glide to goal along optimized route
  • Automatic launch and landing detection
  • Export flight as IGC file, including C records when route was active at launch
  • Export flight as KML file for Google Earth
  • Flight log with key values for each flight, and statistics over all flights
  • Flight replay
  • Support for WEP and WPA2
  • Automatic software updates
  • Transmission of analysis data in the case of software problems
  • Charge battery
  • Data exchange with any computer

Future enhancements

This following items are given as an indication of planned future enhancements. This list will change over time, due to pilot feedback and our own assessments. We prioritize the items based on pilot feedback and our own plans. Check out the software page to find out what we are currently working on.

  • Flight page indicator for time of day
  • Flight page indicator for battery level
  • Further languages
  • User-editable profiles
  • Airspeed from external sensor
  • Airspeed from built-in Pitot sensor
  • Polars
  • Speed-to-fly
Wind indicator
  • Graphical wind indication
Thermal assistant
  • Graphical support for optimal use of thermals
  • Air spaces: detail information, warnings and alerts, automatic update of airspace data
  • Obstacles warnings
  • Display all waypoints on map
  • Points of interest on map
  • Geographical features on map
Cross country flights
  • Distance from/to launch
  • Current points in selected online contest
  • FAI triangle assistant
  • Automatic upload of flight track to select online contest
Race flights
  • Electronic task board: Transfer of waypoints, airspace data and task
  • Automatic upload of flight track to score keeper
  • Support for further WiFi authentication mechanisms
  • Updates of airspace and obstacle data
  • Electronic taskboard
  • Automatic upload of flight tracks
  • P1 appears as an external USB drive on any computer
  • Transfer track files directly to the PC
  • Copy waypoint and air space files from the PC to the P1
  • Malware protection: Read-only mode
Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Data transfer to external displays: Tablet, smart phone, smart watch, smart glasses
  • Data transfer from external sensors
  • Collision prevention beacon
  • Live tracking
  • Swarm flying (aka buddy flying)