Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SKYMAN Cross Alps S

SKYMAN CrossAlps S

Super-light gliders…Here i come…
The CrossAlps for SKYMAN is a very light glider with a very neat construction and full of small but very important details…
I think this glider was made with ‘LOVE’ because it bears everything a hike and fly expert pilot is longing for, weather he is committed to crossing big distances supported by the thermal breeze and cool fresh air or just a peaceful minded ‘bivouac’ aficionados !  :-)

The Attachment points goes directly to the canopy, the unsheathed lines and thin dyneema risers are very well built.
The leading edge bears some small stainless steel crampons to tuck them into the snow keeping the leading edge from slipping or getting down your feet if some back wind occurs in some remote and difficult takeoffs.

I’m not the right expert to talk about that hike and fly XC machine, but anyone can appreciate a red Ferrari :-)

The take off is super easy with no wind or even with light back wind.
 Flew the S size at 89 all up. The Cross alps with it’s 6.4 ar is not a dampened glider nor an alive one. It sits in the middle of the Delta 2 SM and the Triton 2 S in terms of roll and overall movements.
The brake authority in mild conditions are very good .I could place that machine precisely where i wanted, like a surgeon doing a delicate operation.
Every centimeter result in glider adjustment ! The brakes has a relatively moderate to slightly hard pressure on the loaded S size.
12-14 cm are just needed to steer that glider.
In turbulent and strong thermals, the Cross Alps energy is more present and the authority on the brakes could block swiftly all the glider sharp movements to keep it over head.

The authority of the brakes in those conditions is slightly reduced, just waiting for the wing to settle a bit, and then coring the thermal evenly.

The strongest point of the Cross Alps is the climb in the weakest conditions !
This glider even overloaded can in fact soar and soar the sky without loosing a thermal. It is a super tool for low saves !

Doing some glide comparison with the Cross alps, puts it in the middle C in terms of glide performance.
I know that the purpose was to made a super light and compact XC glider, but the glide was just for information and the Cross Alps has lots of other benefits to look at.

In strong conditions the Cross Alps need active piloting, but it seems a solid and coherent glider if the right amount is pulled on the brakes.

The other good point is the efficient ears. Doing some big ears with the bar, i saw -5.5 m/s !!
The opening needs some time and with a dab on the brakes it opens smoothly .

For sure, the Cross alps is a very interesting, super-light XC glider to test fly ! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


BGD Base M
The Base is the new 2015 B glider from the two time world champion and owner of BGD ,Bruce Goldsmith. The Base has lots of innovations ! From the Cord Cut Billow to the mini-ribs on the leading edge, and an aggressive big white nose ! “A new name for that famous leading edge” ;-)
Bruce often comments about the perfect angle reached with his leading edge design.
Taking off is very easy and smooth on the Base.
In the air , the Base gave me an immediate feel of a compact, comfortable , easy to manage glider for the B category. It feels more coherent and more stable than some low B’s i have tested earlier. It is definitely NOT a fully dampened boring glider . All the movements are still present but reduced to a minimum, allowing the pilot to feel every bit of lift in a slow motion way.
The brake travel is medium to short and is relatively “slightly” heavier than the recent B’s i had in my tests.
The authority on the brakes are very good .It enable the pilot to put the Base exactly where he wants, and also in a moderate slow motion way. It is not the most agile B glider, but i was fully satisfied of it’s agility ! Pulling on the brakes will immediately enable the glider to turn right where it is ordered to go.
Trim speed at 90 all up on the M size is close to 39 km/h and it’s a average to good speed for the category !
The full lengths on the speed bar enhances the speed by approximately 13 km/h over trim, and it’s relatively easy to pull with a moderate pressure like the M4 or the Iota i was testing earlier.
Applying the bar, the Base became even more solid and coherent.

Inside the B category, i found out that the Base has a very efficient sink rate in weak thermals enabling low saves !
I think the ability to slow it down and to squeeze that turn radius coupled with a very good sink rate is putting the Base among the top efficient ones.
With stronger thermals, coring with the Base by lowering the inside brake is fun to do, but the brakes get a bit heavy on the lower end.
Bruce’s philosophy was to put regular lines on the Base,instead of competition lines, for many B pilots wishing for a recreational B glider .
I did some glides with the Base versus the new B’s.
The glide in calm air or racing in strong air at trim and full bar is within the B category. The glide performance puts the Base in the middle of the B category, and it offers a lot more in climb, comfort and agility.

Ears are easy to pull, they are stable with a sink rate around -3m/s. They slowly open with a small dab on the brakes. Conclusion:
At first, just by looking at those colors will surely get you in a better mood ;-)  ! especially the River color !
The Base is a well sorted glider made for big air.
If you fly from +30 hours /year to +200 h, and your wish is a very good climbing glider that has all the latest technologies, a glider that can take you safely and comfortably in the air, a smooth and balanced amount of feedback with nice brake authority, then the Base is an interesting option to look at .

Thursday, February 26, 2015


The Iota is a new B class from ADVANCE that sits between the Sigma 9 and the Epsilon 7 .
It has all unsheathed lines and all the latest innovations. The construction and the purely of the lines, is IMHO ,one of the best you'll ever see...
Launching in moderate conditions the Iota is easy and smooth. I flew the size 26 (75-100) from 92 to 96 and once airborne, the IOTA gave me a solid and confidence inspiring feeling. The comfort is exactly between the Epsilon 7 and the Sigma 9 and slightly toward the Sigma 9 . The brakes authority are slightly less than the Sigma 9 which but still direct and prompt at my loadings . The agility is slightly less than the Sigma 9 but still very satisfying.
The trim speed is fast around 40 km/h.
The IOTA moves as a whole .The structure is very coherent and the turns are initiated from the brakes rather than weight shift.
What impressed me is the gliding power of that superb machine ! I don't want to say anything more than to let you see the videos (more to come)
I think this weapon has the ability to take you wherever your mind is set to go...
The climbing and the ability to surge upward is very good and still the glider behaves very gently for the performance it delivers.
Induced collapses are soft in recovery.At least on my loadings. Big ears are stable and reopen smoothly. The speed bar takes you + 13 km/h over trim taken at 400 ASL.
The IOTA will be the B glider to look at closely this season for it's 'complete ' package of climb - glide - comfort .

More to come on the IOTA 

This video below shows the potential of the 2015 high-end B gliders. It is NOT a comparison with high end D classes ,as the D class will always have the upper hand...But on a B you can fly very far...Grab a beer and enjoy this 27 mn Full HD video ! Smile

A few more words concerning the Iota.

I have been flying the Iota with lots of B gliders recently, and now i have a more clear idea about that glider.
The IOTA from ADVANCE is best flown at 95 all up on the 26. I could fly it less about 92 easily. And i did try to fly it at 98 which also didn’t affect at all the climb !

The turning behavior is as i said before not as agile as the Sigma 9 but the IOTA doesn’t dive in turns and has that stationary turn with this biting ability into thermals giving the pilot a very efficient climb rate !

Big ears are very stable and it’s efficient ! Very useful …Reopen smoothly…

Today my flying was in difficult conditions with a north wind
that reduced our trim speed to 12 km/h facing the wind.

I was really surprised that after some hours flying with the best B’s of the moment at exactly same loadings for both (96.5)  that the IOTA is a very interesting and efficient glider in difficult conditions whenever in climb or glide !
All that with a very relaxed behavior for the high end B category. I’m convinced to the point that i’m not selling the IOTA for now, and keeping it as a reference B glider for future testing.

After all …what do B pilots really need more than a comfortable, high performance B glider that can deliver when nicely asked?  :-)

Mac Para Elan Light 24

Mac Para Elan Light 24  70-90

Earlier i test flew the Elan 26 normal version, and was very impressed by the comfort and the performance of that C glider.
Now here's the Elan light in size 24 flown at 88 all up with a lightness 2 harness.

The risers are very thin and connected directly to the lines as the Mac Yucon light glider .

Take off is smooth and easy¦
First turn and i was already having an ear to ear smile !
The brake pressure is light and the brake fan is super precise, super direct, and a real pleasure to fly that glider as ±15 cm are needed to turn that glider in thermals.

The comfort is there ! The Elan light is also inherited the comfort of the Eden 5 . It moves smoothly as a whole, without excessive movements as if the pilot is on a mid B glider.

Of course in strong conditions it needs a C pilot, but it surely is a mild C and pilots coming from the B category will find a real pleasure in thermal flying.

The climb ability of the Elan light is among the best in the C category. It climb quickly with the first thermal breathe.

The glide angle is similar to the normal Elan which is very good for the 2015 middle C category.

Test flying many gliders, makes it sometimes very difficult to be impressed, but the Elan light 24  has one of the best handling (turning ability) , with exquisite flying pleasure and feel a pilot can experience !

NOVA Mentor 4 S

NOVA Mentor 4 S

Upon NOVA statement that the Mentor 4 is a step forward in performance compared to the Mentor 3, here’s the M4 in S size flown from 94 to 98 all up.

Launching is straight forward for the B category.

Once in the air the Mentor 4 feels more alive than the ‘3” and less than the ‘2’ version.
The brake response is direct and precise and puts the Mentor 4 in the middle of the M2, and M3 version in terms of responsive character .

It is not like the M2 which was short and super direct, but also not like the M3 which lacked a bit of linear response.
NOVA nailed it with a direct and nicer handling and more performance oriented than the M 3.

Climbing in weak thermals ( 0.5m/s) at 94 all up on the M4 is average… I cannot say that it has the best climb in the B category, but it could be very close to the M3.

In punchier thermals and facing the valley breeze, the Mentor 4 shows it’s potential to wipe out the M2, and M3 off the bench ! The M4 cuts through and climb going forward like a high end performance glider !

This cutting and going through the airmass is the strongest point of the M4 when loaded near the top weight ! Climbing in strong thermals facing the valley breeze is enhanced on board the M4 and could be very competitive with the class above.

The trim speed of the M4 is higher than the one on the M3 similarly loaded.

In turbulent conditions the M4 needs more active piloting than an M3 , and could be slightly less than the M2 or same in terms of pilot control .

Now comes the interesting performance part….

To give you an exact answer about the Mentor 4 glide performance, I did several long glides with some recent B ,C and last an ‘out of the box’ 7.0 ar , 2014 ,very well known ,3 line, D glider !, in calm and in moving conditions.

Of course the climb rate and the floating ability of a 7.0 AR D glider is un-matchable…but it was a very interesting information for me to know how the Mentor 4 glides among today’s B,C and D gliders. And the surprise came…

I can easily confirm now, that the glide angle of the Mentor 4 S loaded at 98 is very ….very…competitive especially facing the valley breeze and surprisingly superb at second bar !, and that would be a big surprise for many after the test movies will be released …

NOVA has built a super ‘performance’ B glider. The climb in weak is average to good for the category but the Mentor 4 will take you on dream glides at trim…”or should i say” especially at full speed !!
Like it’s predecessors, the hard part is trying to beat this glider in glide !

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Windtech BALI, S EN-B

Windtech BALI

Bali is the new 2015 Windtech EN-B glider . The size S (80-100) is the glider I test flew from 93 to 97 all up with different harnesses.

The Bali has a few lines, with 2 thick lines on the A’s per side, with 7 lines /side and it’s a pure 3 line glider.

The construction that appears in transparency above me is well built with lots of work to support the fewer lines.

The brake lines passes through a very small ceramic ring, with very close diameter to the brake line !

Take off is fine, but I can feel the few supported lines by the reaction of the glider when kiting.

First flight at 93 all up with a Woody Valley X-Rated 6 harness (slightly agile) worked fine for me. The turning radius was nice with a moderate to slightly long brake travel, but in this configuration the Bali was slightly more agile than an Iota I was testing at the same time.

The climb rate in weak conditions less than 0.3 m/s was average to good at 93 all up as I was matching the climb of the Iota. The trim speed is around 38 km/h and the top speed is only 8 km/h over trim.

In strong thermals the Bali pitches back a little for a second and climb quickly in the core. It is efficient in the climb as the pilot could slow it a bit and make a stationary turn inside the core.

Gliding next to the latest B’s showed a moderate to good glide to the Bali that needs constant push on the bar to match the trim speed of the latest B concurrence especially at that load.

Getting on a heavier Exoceat harness with 97 all up wasn’t really a good idea in weak conditions, as the Bali doesn’t really like to be heavily loaded. And the very stable Exoceat harness for higher aspect ratio glider, was limiting the roll movements and swift weight shifts . I wasn’t able to turn the Bali as it was on the agile WV harness. Some gliders needs good weight shift and more alive harnesses.

The top speed, I got flying it at 97 was +9 km/h over trim.

Big ears with the outer A lines are big, stable and are efficient with the bar .They reopen smoothly.

Only in punchy and strong conditions, the Bali moves a bit and needs a good B pilot to control it, much like some other high-end B gliders with fewer attachment points.

Conclusion: Today’s B class is the fiercest class of all! It's the main artery on which manufacturers feed ! Competition here is really strong !

In that particular period, i was test flying four new B’s. So every time i swapped gliders, the feeling under was immediately noticeable.

The Bali has a fairly good overall performance to fit inside the high B category. It’s better to fly it at 60% of the weight range and with a good weight shift harness to get the pleasure pack with it.

Bigger brake rings would be slightly better for lesser friction, and more top speed would be welcomed.

But gliding at full speed is still very good ,and many pilots may be won’t need to use more.


Air Design Rise 2 Superlight

Sunday, January 18, 2015

ADVANCE Lightness 2

ADVANCE Lightness 2

The 2015 Lightness 2 is ADVANCE new light harness and the replacement of the old Lightness 1.

As usual, ADVANCE products are a pleasure to un-box, for their superb quality and the excellent workmanship.
The materials, the sewing, and the design of the Lightness 2 couldn’t be compared to any recent light harness. It is a class of it’s own by the purity of a high-end, very well engineered piece of equipment.

Comfort in the air :
Having flown many pod harnesses, ADVANCE seat-less board Lightness 1 and, Impress 3 were the most comfortable ones for the flying position as they deliver un-matched body support in the air.
The Lightness 2 with it’s 3 kg, inherited this incredible comfort of a superb back support !

The roll movements of the Lightness 2 are slightly more than the ones on a WV GTO or a Genie light but less than the lightness 1 , as there’s an option of adjusting the chest strap.
It is also slightly more roll stable than an Impress 3 who had some un-necessary 2 cm ‘roll slack’ on each side.
The lightness 2 pilot will feel a more compact roll movement as if he is a part of the harness.

On the lightness 2, i could just let my feet rest on the front part of the pod without a single effort to keep my feet leveled ! With all the harnesses i flew, except the Impress 3, i had to sustain a slight effort to keep my feet horizontally inside the pod.
Inside the Lightness 2, the feet are supported in some ingenious way, that they just rest straight as if you were on a bed ! Very relaxing on long flights.

The weight shift on the seat-less Lightness 2 are more efficient than on the Impress 3 .
A seat-less harness doesn’t have a pressure point on your thighs ,like the edge of a seat board does provide for an efficient feeling in turns, but the lightness 2 new geometry is close to this efficient and precise turning feel !

The light materials used for a warm pod are excellent. I was flying for an hour in +3 C to +5 C inside this pod and i was perfectly warm and feeling great !

One small detail: The storage under the seat should bear a strap in order to support a +3 kg water ballast. Without this strap a small ball shape of the ballast is shown from the outside under the pilot. It’s very easy for anyone to sew or add one if needed…

I’m waiting curiously for the Impress 4 as a regular XC and comp harness with a more heavy duty use. Especially at this level of comfort !
But would also wish for even an adjustable roll movement control…

From all the harnesses i flew especially among the light ones, the Lightness 2 stands as the most comfortable, for a superb back and hip support.
With a light glider, and the ADVANCE compact rucksack, All equipment will be under 10 kg.
The simplicity and magic of flying will keep you even more enchanted.


Friday, December 5, 2014



The GTO 2 is the replacement of the old EN-D GTO first version.
I flew both the S and M size of the GTO 1 and commented at the time about the difference of behavior in the air, as if it was completely another glider.
I wasn’t really happy of the S size at the time, and the M size was much better in homogeneity and feel. It was indeed a floater with an impressive climb rate .

Here’s the second version :
Launching the GTO 2 S in nil wind require a very light pull as the glider inflates quickly and getting airborne is immediate ! In more windy conditions some slower pulls are required .

The factory settings of the brake travel is a bit long for my 94 all up weight on the S (80-95) size.
Half a wrap on the brakes and I’m set to attack the first thermal.
10 cm of brake travel is needed to initiate a turn ! You don’t need more.

In homogenous thermals the GTO 2 S turns like a lady ! Not too agile but also not too dull. The right amount for the outstanding 7.0 AR glider.
The pilot under the GTO 2 S doesn’t feel any yaw movements, but the glider does look a bit busy .
The pitch behavior is dampened for that class of gliders. The roll also is very well coordinated.
On the second day i found myself in a thermal on the lee side .It was a bit turbulent to let me know that the GTO 2 S is indeed a high performance glider that should be treated with the understanding of the level it was designed for. Nothing much for the ken pilot it is designed for !
The ability to turn when the conditions are difficult and punchy will affect a bit the turning behavior of the GTO 2 S. The glider needs a little time to react at my commands. But eventually will follow . It just needs a bit more time to settle it’s energy…
For an aspect ratio of 7:0 i liked the handling.

The climb rate at max weight is good but i found the best is to fly this glider 3 kg from top weight. At 92 ,the S size climb like no other could…Especially in those bullet thermals, the ability to shoot high up is amazing !
I was flying next to an IP 6 as loaded as mine (92 for me ),( 99 for him on the 23 ) and the climb did in fact surprised us both !

Now the best part is yet to come Smile

Gliding the S size next to the IP 6 at trim with those loadings showed a slight positive trim speed for the GTO 2 and also a 0.1 better glide . That’s on the S size ! The M size will be tested shortly Wink

The speed at full bar for both (pulleys overlapped) are identical !
With a similar glide angle slightly favoring the GTO 2 S…

The structure feels very solid and coherent at all times, like it is not going to collapse…At least that’s the feeling under it !

In full accelerated mode, the second bar is a bit hard to push .
The GTO 2 S felt more pressurized to the point that i didn’t feel the wing anymore. Just the sound of the wind, and some wave roll movements. May be i must adapt a bit to hear and understand it better at that speed.
The C risers becomes a bit loose. A gentle pressure will enable the pilot to feel it more .

Big ears are doable and fairly stable with most important a (stable structure) .
They are very efficient with the bar ! They reopen gently by themselves.

With the arrival of the GTO 2 ,IMHO, GIN has created a well sorted D glider that has everything to be on the top category leaders !
It is of course a high performance glider ,not a low D glider like the Mantra 4, Omega 8, Peak 2, …
Just “slightly” a step further.
Flying it in strong conditions will need the experience of an advanced pilot to extract those amazing performances safely…
Among the latest high end D’s i have tested (M6, IP6 ) the GTO 2 S is a very competitive glider in every way if carefully loaded !

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NIVIUK Artik 4 25


 NK delayed all my ordered gliders . Artik 4 probably in + 8 months … !! or never...
It was an obvious and clear message. Thank you … :-)
Got many supporting emails… Two pilots even offered to send me their gliders (Really grateful) …
Or an immediate purchase from anywhere in the planet, thanks to all the superb friends in the social media network !
One option taken :
The ARTIK 4 25 is here  :-)
OLivier Nef designs with the Artik 1/2/3 was very good .
First impressions on the Artik 4 seems interesting ...  ;-) 
NIVIUK Artik 4 25

I had received many emails concerning this glider, and i got one against all odds…for a test flight.

I spent time comparing it with one of the best C glider of the moment in terms of climbing and gliding.

The Artik 4 25 launches very easy .It doesn’t shoot forward and stays gently above the pilots head.

Once in the air, the Artik 4 gave me this immediate confidence inspiring feel, ( pillow feel ) , which is becoming more and more difficult to find in today’s C category.

First thermal and the Artik 4 quickly follow the pilots commands in a smooth and obedient circle…The feeling underneath is surprisingly comfortable !

The brakes are relatively medium to short on the size 25 , flying it 90 all up with moderate to light pressure, linear ,precise ,and the Artik 4 can be described as quite agile !
I could place the Artik 4 in the tightest thermal !
Suits perfectly my taste in turning ability and brake feel .

Despite having only 2 lines on the A, and B, risers, the Artik 4 is very coherent and move as a whole structure, without any weaknesses to the airfoil. The energy retention when going for wing overs is very good ! The structure seems very solid !

Gliding performance:
Despite it’s easiness in flight and the superb handling, the Artik 4 gave me the surprise of the year in gliding power !

Going head to head with another high C glider (A 5) at trim speed for about 12 km, showed an equal trim speed and glide with a slight favor to the Artik 4 ! ! (Video soon )
…At second bar the Artik 4 has a speed around 54 km/h at 1000 ASL.

The glide and speed at full bar matches exactly the Alpina 2 SM i have here. (same loadings)

As for the climbing ability the Artik 4 showed me a potential only found on the high C’s . It climbs in the weak thermals (- 0.2 m/s ) as the A5 does… Low saves are indeed saved with the A4 Smile
I sensed that the key is let this glider fly at trim even in the weakest thermals especially when facing the valley breeze. It seems to be more efficient hands up.

Big ears are stable, and a great way to get down if coupled with bar. Wing overs are a delight.The pilot can get over the glider on the second wing ! 360’s gets you down real quick. The Artik 4 will put it’s pilot or the new comer from a B glider in his comfort zone but don’t forget the strong energy retention .

My earlier mishaps with NIVIUK about refusing to sell me the A4, did in fact put lots of suspicions in my mind …It was easy to purchase one…even from the Esquimo people Smile
Honestly…I never thought it will have this complete package !
I don’t know why NIVIUK was trying to hide that glider !
The administration must trust more their R&D creations … Wink

Conclusion: I’m writing this last paragraph , and i’m still thinking of this well sorted glider…
NIVIUK has built an easy C with a high “fun” factor !
It has a moderate aspect ratio, cool handling, crazy performance in this (medium) C segment.


Pushing the bar at max speed looses a bit in glide, and the flying in strong conditions needs active piloting as the structure snakes around.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

EN-C comparisons . Inserting the Artik 4 25 .

EN-C comparison (Update) -----

Easiest to manage in the category . 1 being most friendly user. (Most comfortable to fly for the average "C" pilot) : After many flights, some changes occurred…Constant feedback…

1- Alpina 2= Advance Sigma 9 = Mac Elan
2- ADVANCE Sigma 8 25 = Artik 4 25
3- GRADIENT Aspen 4 26 = Triple seven Queen
4- NIVIUK Artic 3 = AD Volt SM =BGD Tala M = Ozone Delta 2 = Cayenne 4 =SOL Lotus one M
5- GRADIENT Aspen 5 26 =U-Turn Passion SM = Carrera = Sky Argos
6- MacPara Marvel 25 = UP Trango XC 2
7-NOVA Triton 2 S

Handling in rough air: (The one that you can turn even in rough air)

1- Gradient Aspen 4 ! (Superb) = Alpina 2 = Sigma 9 = Artik 4 25
2- Nova Factor 2 = Artic 3 = Cayenne 4 S = Ozone Delta 2 = Triple seven Queen = Carrera= Elan= Triton 2 S
3- U-Turn Passion SM= BGD Tala M= Argos=Aspen 5 26 =SOL Lotus one M
4- OZONE Alpina 1 M = UP Trango XC 2 S/M = ADVANCE
5- UP Summit XC2 M = Marvel 25 = Delta M =AD Volt SM
6- Artic 3 Race

Performance in calm air at trim speed (no activity):

1-Triton 2 S
2-Triple seven Queen M
3- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = Cayenne 4 S= BGD Tala = Alpina 2 = Carrera= Aspen 5 26 = SOL Lotus one M= Artik 4 25
4- NIVIUK Artic 3 = U-Turn Passion S/M =UP Trango XC 2 S/M = AD Volt SM= Ozone Delta 2= Elan =Argos
5- Nova factor 2 S =Marvel 25 = Aspen 4 26= Sigma 9
6- Advance Sigma 8 25 & Ozone Alpina M & Ozone Delta M
7- U-Cross S
8- UP Summit XC2

Performance at "trim speed" in head wind glides and ‘Average’ turbulent conditions:

1-Triton 2 S = SOL Lotus one M
2-Triple seven Queen M
3- Alpina 2 = Aspen 5 = Artik 4 25
5- Carrera
6- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM = UP Trango XC 2= Ozone Delta 2= Elan =Argos
7- Skywalk Cayenne 4 = NIVIUK Artic 3 =AD Volt SM = BGD Tala= Sigma 9

Performance at " bar " in headwind glides and sudden lifts :

1- Triton 2 S =Triple Seven Queen M
2- Alpina 2= Aspen 5 = SOL Lotus one M
4- Carrera= Elan = UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2
5- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM = BGD Tala= Sigma 9 =Argos = Artik 4 25
6- NIVIUK Artic 3 = Aspen 4 =Cayenne 4 S= AD Volt SM
7- Nova factor 2 S

Climb rate in weak but “difficult” conditions < 0.5 m/s (not homogenous thermals ,low in the inversion) :

1- SOL Lotus one M
2- U-Turn Passion S/M = Ozone Delta 2 ML= Elan
3- UP Trango XC 2 S/M= Delta 2 SM = Alpina 2 = Carrera M
3- NIVIUK Artic 3 = Marvel 25= Aspen 4 = Skywalk Cayenne 4 S = BGD Tala= Carrera S= Argos = Triton 2 S = Sigma 9 = Artik 4 25
5- Artic 3 Race = AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen

Climb rate in punchy thermal conditions :

1-UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2 = Alpina 2 = Carrera M & S= Elan = Sol Lotus One
2-U-Turn Passion S/M = Cayenne 4 = Marvel 25 = Artic 3 Race = BGD Tala M= Argos = Triton 2 S
3-Artic 3 normal = Aspen 4= AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen M = Sigma 9 = Artik 4 25

Brake description :
- Artik 4 25 : Moderate brake travel, linear , precise, agile .
-Sol Lotus, Short, moderate to hard, precise, linear.
-Triton 2 S, short, direct, linear, precise, average pressure.
- Aspen 5 26 , moderate brake travel, moderate to agile in turns, light.
- Sigma 9 Direct .
- Elan linear and direct,smooth.
- Argos Linear light to moderate and direct
- Triple seven Queen M ( relatively short and linear,precise,medium pressure,like D2 SM )
- Alpina 2 SM (soft,linear,longer than Delta 2 SM ,agile moderate to light pressure)
- Carrera S (shorter than Alpina SM,linear, precise, agile, moderate pressure)
- Ozone Delta 2 SM ,ML ( linear, short ,precise ,agile with moderate pressure)
- BGD Tala M (Long and linear, fairly precise in turbulent conditions, moderate to light pressure, forgiving)
- Nova factor 2 S (very direct and precise)
- NIVIUK Artic 3 (Linear, precise, agile)
- Skywalk Cayenne 4 S (Moderate pressure, Agile linear, forgiving, smooth!!)
- Gradient Aspen 4 26 (Agile,moderate,linear,forgiving,smooth)
- U-Cross S Direct and agile if the conditions are smooth, and a bit less in turbulent ,the glider must settle first)
- U-turn Passion SM ,light to moderate, linear ,agile.
- UP Trango Xc2 S/M ( medium pressure, precise, fairly agile, short)
- Marvel 25 (precise, moderate pressure, needs a bit of work in turbulent conditions)
- Ozone Alpina M (A bit longer than Factor 2 and a bit softer , more precise and shorter than the Delta M and much better turning behavior) 10-
- AD Volt SM ( Needs a bit time to enter the turn in moving conditions) - Niviuk Artic 3 Race
- Sigma 8 25 (very close in handling ,a bit long but still agile)
- UP Summit XC2 M (Long average agility to good)
- Ozone delta M (Soft ,long and average precision)

(Most efficient C glider in overall XC flying ) IMHO
(1 being best) .
The one i personally feel that will gave me the most efficient XC for overall use.

1- Alpina 2 SM ( IMHO , It has still the best overall ratio of performance and efficiency with ease of use )
2-Triton 2 S = Sol Lotus One
3-Aspen 5 26 ( very efficient at second bar ! )
4- Ozone Delta 2 = Up Trango XC2 = U-turn Passion = Carrera M & S = Elan = Artik 4 25
5- BGD Tala M = Niviuk Artic 3, A3 Race, Skywalk Cayenne 4, Mac Para Marvel, Ozone Alpina M, AD Volt SM, Triple seven Queen M , Argos, Sigma 9 (Easy and solid)

ps: If the Queen M and the Triton 2 S climb would be slightly better for low saves, then it would have been my favorites !

Faster at second bar ( if equally loaded ) :

1- Queen M
2- Passion=Cayenne 4= Artic 3 Race = Aspen 4= Argos ,
3- Delta 2 = Sigma 8= Alpina 2= Sigma 9= Aspen 5 = Triton 2 S = Sol Lotus One = Artik 4 25
4- Trango XC2 = BGD Tala = Carrera= Elan

Big ears efficiency:

- Aspen 4 26 (very efficient in big ears) = Nova Factor 2 =Cayenne 4 S =
- Ozone Delta 2 = BGD Tala = Queen = Alpina 2 = Carrera (stable and efficient)= Sigma 9 =Elan =Argos = Sol Lotus One= Artik 4 25
Artic 3 = Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM =Triton 2 S (stable moderate ears ) =UP Trango XC 2 S/M= AD Volt SM = Aspen 5 26 .
- Marvel 25 ( moderate use of big ears-moves a bit)

Why did I choose the Alpina 2 SM as still efficient ?

It is of course my personal taste. Different pilots will have other tastes and requirements…
For me it is simply because the overall flying feeling and the handling in different conditions is still very rewarding. The Triton 2 S has the BEST performance but moves a lot more and requires much more energy from the pilot to control it in heavy conditions.

The Lotus one has also some impressive performance, but to place it wherever you want in turbulent conditions requires also some finer inputs.
The Aspen 5 is really some great glider at second bar ! It resembles the Triton 2 S in full speed glide! …To extract the full performance it needs an active piloting for sure and the way to turn it quickly in turbulent cores needs a little time.

The first 3 places are almost equal. Indeed superb machines ! Different taste for everyone …
The most important: Only the pilot will make a difference.


Friday, November 14, 2014

SOL Lotus one

SOL Lotus one M

The last DHV 2-3 glider I had from SOL was the Torck. Its climb rate and nice handling impressed me. It was a bit slow.

Here’s the Lotus one M for a test flight.

The beauty of this glider shape in the air is a sight for the eyes!

The Lotus one has all unsheathed lines .It is a bit heavy comparing it to other C gliders.

The take off need a progressive pull on the A’s but ok for the high C category.

In the air the glider gives a comfort feel. This test was made after flying the Triton 2, and surely the Lotus one is more comfortable in the air. The Lotus needs more ‘finesse’ and piloting level as a Delta 2 and slightly less than a Mantra 6.

The brakes pressure is considered a bit heavier and shorter than a D2. The handling is smooth and nicely coordinated.

The climb rate in weak and broken thermals even loaded at 100 all up is ‘exceptional’!

This glider knows how to hug a thermal like a passionate woman who doesn’t let go…

Gliding in zero wind doesn’t really show the Lotus potential unless the valley breeze settles in…then the Lotus cuts trough and climb efficiently. Some C gliders will move, bump and surges, but the Lotus one will climb and move forward. This is the most important feature in a glider and the Lotus has it !

Loaded at 100 the Lotus one M has a relatively faster trim speed than many C gliders with the same size and load. It has a slightly similar trim speed as the Triton 2 S.

Flying it in different conditions gave me an idea of its character.

It is slightly more demanding to fly than a Delta 2 M , and for sure it’s a high end C glider.

Ears are stable and they open smoothly.

The top speed is around 54 km/h taken at 1500 ASL.

Conclusion: The Lotus may not be the most agile C glider or the easiest one, but SOL introduced to the market an efficient and very competitive high-end C with a relatively comfortable ride and coherent structure.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Harness update ( Exocet/Race 3)

Harness comparisons:
Genie Race 3- Exocet - Impress 3 M – Genie Race 2- Genie Light – WV GTO- WV X-rated 6
/ With Impress 2 + , as reference.

Most comfortable seated harness. As 1 being most comfortable.
1-Impress 3
2-Genie Race 2 / Exocet
3-WV X-rated 6
4-Genie Light / Impress 2 + / Genie Race 3 /
5-WV GTO (being fairly comfortable also)

Most comfortable in roll (In moving conditions). As 1 being most comfortable.
1-Exocet - Genie Race 3
2-WV X-rated 6
3-Genie Light - WV GTO
4-Impress 2 +
5-Genie Race 2
6-Impress 3

Most easiest accelerator system (1 being more efficient travel)
1-Genie light / Genie Race 2 / Impress 3 / Genie Race 3
2-Impress 2+ - WV GTO- Exocet

Best combination:
Exocet and Race 3 are harnesses that could erase a bit the yaw effect on high aspect ratio gliders. They are also roll stable .

Which size ?
(test were made by a pilot measuring 1.82 and 75 kg)

Genie Race 3 M (Fits perfectly and could support a 1.83 / 80+ kg pilot )
WV X-rated 6 L ( Fits at the extreme margins )
Genie Light M ( Fits perfectly and could support a 1.83 / 80 kg pilot )
WV GTO L ( Fits at the extreme margins )
Genie Race 2 ( Fits perfectly and could support a 1.83 / 80 kg pilot)
Impress 3 M ( Fits perfectly and could support 'max' a 1.83 / 80 kg pilot )
Exocet M ( Fits nice...Felt that I’m pampered. Surrounds me completely .Could easily support an 1.85 / 80+ pilot )

The WV GTO and the Genie Light are intended for the recreational pilot that wants a light pod.They are easy and a pleasure to fly .
The Impress 3 is the most comfortable seated harness, but has a bit more roll than the others and would need some time to adapt under it …
The Genie Race 1 is a harness oriented for competitions or for pilots looking for refined sensations. It has more roll than the Impress 2 + but its roll is limited to a certain angle and then it stops allowing its pilot to re-adjust under the glider. The pilot will not feel disoriented, but some flights are required to adapt to this excellent harness. The only bad side is its high weight. Beside that it is an excellent harness with every detail a pilot would think of…A full professionally made, complete harness. I liked it very much.
The Race 3 has everything a competition pilot will look for… The back comfort is slightly less than the Race 2 and it is more roll stable. The seating is a bit stiff but ok.
The Exocet is a comfortable harness that envelops and surrounds completely the pilot .


Friday, November 7, 2014

GIN Genie Race 3

I'll post a comparison shortly with WV X-rated 6 / WV GTO / Genie Race 3 / Exocet .

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ozone Swift 4 SM

Ozone Swift 4  SM

After test flying the Rush 4 here’s is the light version the Swift ready to take off…

Launching is even smoother and very easy.

First turn and i was immediately smiling :-)   The brake travel is medium to short with excellent precision and linear feel through the pull.  After testing the D2,A2,Buzz Z4, Rush 4, M6, Ozone really never missed a good handling. The Swift have nothing less is turning ability .

This superb handling is coupled by a very pitch neutral behavior ! After many flights i can confirm that the Swift is smoother than the Rush 4 in thermals. It doesn’t move around as much as the Rush 4 !  It feels like the same difference between Delta 2 and Alpina 2. The Swift 4 is more comfortable to fly and even more efficient in climb rate in weak conditions than the Rush 4 !

The accelerator pull is smooth and has a medium to low pressure .In full accelerated mode which is fully usable, the Swift 4 is very stable and has an impressive glide !

Totally usable and confidence inspiring, the Swift is a glider for adventure flights in some remote areas where the pilot should expect a comforting feel under his glider.

Ears are stable, and landing is very easy with good low speed capability.

Conclusion: The only thing i wished for is a faster trim and top speed. The Swift has the same trim speed as the Rush 4 which is less a bit from the concurrence . But the glide angle fully accelerated is on top of the category for the same speed at least.

Friday, October 24, 2014

No IP7, IP 8, Artik 4 .... etc....   :-)

The truth, the plain truth, and nothing but the truth … ?

After my personal and honest Niviuk Peak 3 test in May 2013, i was received in Saint Hilaire festival on the Niviuk stand by an angry and hysterical Niviuk owner…
All i could say angrily, is that i am still convinced by what i wrote and everything went smoothly afterward.

In June 2013 i ordered an IP 7 and followed it up ,but never received to this day…!
In early September i ordered an Artik 4 25 but didn’t get a answer. In Saint Hilaire 2014, i confirmed again with the export manager at the time that didn’t show me the Artik 4 25 …Two minutes later, It was claimed by a pilot who got it while i was still on the stand !!!  ;-)   

Later after many exchanged emails. I understood that Niviuk won’t send me any glider to test fly …May be after one year of sales …  ;-) 
Olivier Nef is the coolest, kindest and among the most “gentleman designers” you will ever meet !  I respect him, and he has nothing to do with this whole mess.
Companies has structures…
I fully understand Niviuk policy as an act of respect and recognition, which reminded me of this funny ,true story.  :-)

My aunt Rose is a natural born cookie baker. She can bake different kinds of delicious cookies.
On special occasions, the whole family gather around to taste her cookies.

Some cookies are really good, some are a bit less. She’s rushes sometimes a bit to be ready for the event… ! and forget an ingredient, but they are still nice to most.

When gathered around she always ask about the taste…We don’t want to make aunt Rose angry if she rarely forgot the sugar or else …so we always say  “Delicious as always !  thanks” !  ;-)
But my other ‘always smiling’ aunt Mary who’s seven years younger than aunt Rose is very picky and direct and she always like to tease her.
All the family awaits silently aunt Mary’s comments…Some people gets angry of her criticism and always question her intentions by saying :
“Why do she always wants to say anything? lets eat, celebrate, try to digest ;-) and go on…after all this is just an event ! ”  ;-)
But she always keep telling her personal, true taste …We all laugh afterward…  :-)

Despite some direct criticism, Ant Rose respect and love her sister immensely as she said :
‘She keeps me on my toes when i’m cooking’,
But I noticed that she always gave her the first cookies only when she’s sure that they are flawless…  ;-)   Of course family cookies are free …  And that’s a different story…

Sunday, October 19, 2014

EN-B Comparison (Update) Inserting Tequila 4, Infinity 4, AD Rise 2,Ion 3 S ,and Atlas S .

Inserting the new B’s, Tequila 4 and Infinity 4, Comet 2 S, Ion 3 S.

Choosing a B glider today is not an easy task at all !!…
Looking at the spaghetti mixtures of design, technologies, nose profiles, aspect ratios, thin risers and unsheathed lines…

The B pilot situation cannot be envied …

Of course manufacturers has to sell… Some believe that new releases won’t sell if their design doesn’t hold the latest gimmicks…and daily chat of the take offs and landing…Shark, Thin, Unsheathed, aspect ratio…etc..

It is obvious and clear that Nova has released the Mentor 2 with exceptional performance at the time, and refined it later with the Mentor 3 which is even better in headwind glides and the most comfortable high-end B glider till date (June /2014) .

It is also UN-deniable that the Carrera has more performance than a mentor 3, but it is not for the same type of pilot.It is surely a bigger step forward in roll movements and piloting level.

Our tests are done in a microscopical way, First part of it is made in some very difficult areas where the sea breeze are strong and some thermals are sometimes weak..And in that particular case only a good glider can surf the air and climb upward.

In some other parts like the Cedars spot, it is very difficult to distinguish the same gliders that were previously tested and showed a difference in performance.
The lifting thermals in the high mountains are very strong and a pilot can make practically the same flights on different gliders because of the abundance of lift …practically everywhere, as the 800 m long ridge above landing at 2000m ASL extend to + 30 km.
In those mountains a glider can show it’s resistance to turbulence as sometimes it is really heavy !

Most easy to fly in difficult conditions:
1-AD Rise 2 M
2-Hook 3 25
3-Sprint EVO= Eden 5= Advance E7 26 = Kantega XC2= Ion 3 S = Atlas S
4 -Rush 3 = Mentor 3 S =Summit XC 3 S= Infinity 4 S .
5- Blacklight = Nevada = Sky Atis = Tequila 4 SM = Comet 2 S
4 M= Swing Mistral 7 S = Rush 4
5-Mentor 2 =Lightning S
6-Chili 3
7-Carrera S, M

Climb rate in weak conditions .NO head wind (<0.2m/s)

1-Chili 3
2-Blacklight=Eden 5= Kantega Xc2 S =Lightning S = Carrera S = Infinity 4 S
3-Nevada=Sprint EVO=Rush 4 =Summit XC 3 S= Tequila 4 SM= Comet 2 S= Ion 3 S =Atlas S
4-Mentor 2 =Rush 3 if equally loaded =Mentor 3 S= Advance E7 26 = Swing M7 S= AD Rise 2 M
5- AD Rise 1 = Sky Atis 4

Most ‘efficient handling’ in overall thermal flying!
(the way a pilot could have a better authority of control in turning the glider)

1-Mentor 2 S @ 95 = Tequila 4 SM @ 92 all up.
2-Blacklight S @ 90 = Atlas S
3-Mentor 3 S@ 97 =Carrera S @ 93 , M @ 103 = Infinity 4 S @ 90 all up = AD rise 2 M @100 all up.
5-Rush 4 @ 93= Comet 2 S
6-Blacklight SM @ 100 = Sky Atis 4 @ 93= UP Kantega XC2 S@ 90= Swing M7 S@ 90 =Lightning S @90= Summit XC3 @ 93 = Ion 3 S @ 95
7-Hook 3 25 @ 97 = Eden 5 @ 95 = Chili 3 S @t 98= Advance E7 26 @93
8- Nevada 26 @ 98

Climb rate in weak conditions with 15 km/h head wind and thermals (<0.2m/s)

1-Chili 3 S @ 98 +Carrera S, M
2-Nevada = U-Turn Blacklight
3-Mentor 2 S (Still Efficient) = Mentor 3 S ( it is very dampened) = Tequila 4 SM =AD Rise 2 M= Atlas S
4-Rush 4 SM =Summit XC 3 S @ 93= Comet 2 S= Ion 3 S
5-Hook 3 = Eden 5 = Sky Atis 4= Advance E 7 26= UP Kantega XC2 S
6- Swing M7 S = Lightning S @90 = Infinity 4 S

‘Climb rate’ in strong conditions:( With strong valley breeze)
The Eden 5 / E7 needs to be loaded as all the gliders in those conditions.
1- Carrera S, M
2-Chili 3 S @ 98 =Mentor 3 S= AD rise 2 M =Atlas S
3- Mentor 2= Nevada = UP kantega Xc2 S = Rush 4 =Summit XC 3 = Tequila 4 SM = Comet 2 S = Ion 3 S
4- Hook 3 = Sky Atis 4 M =Advance E7 26 =Lightning S
5- Eden 5 = Swing M7 S= Infinity 4 S.

‘Glide in turbulence’ and head wind (Equally loaded)
This was done after many flights (now I am more convinced)

1- Carrera S, M
2- Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S
3- Rush 4 SM = AD Rise 2 M
4- Mentor 2= Tequila 4 SM= Blacklight (must be loaded at top) = Hook 3 = Nevada (must be loaded at top)= Eden 5 = UP Kantega XC2 S (must be loaded)= Ion 3 S
5-Atlas S
6-Rush 3 = Advance E 7 26 = Sky Atis 4 M= Swing M7 S =Lightning S = Infinity 4 S .

Overall efficiency in racing upwind:

1- Carrera S, M
2- Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S
3-Rush 4= AD Rise 2
4-Nevada 26 (must be loaded at 100 ) = Hook 3 = Tequila 4 SM.
5-Mentor 2 S= Blacklight SM (loaded)= Ion 3 S
6-Rush 3 M = AD Rise 1 = Eden 5 = UP kantega XC2 S= Swing M7 S = Sky Atis 4 M = Comet 2 S= Atlas S
7-Sprint Evo = Advance E 7 26 (Must be loaded) = Infinity 4 S (A bit slow) …

Most demanding glider in "strong conditions" (1-10) '10' being most demanding for a high end B ‘: ( Please bear in mind the 'size' and the 'wing loading' ! )
Blacklight S ( @ 90 all up) *6.5
Advance E7 26 (@93 all up) * 3.9
AD Rise 2 M (@98all up) *4
Eden 5 (@ 95 all up) *4
Hook 3 (@97 all up) *4
Rush 3 M (@102 all up) *4.5
Sprint Evo ( @ 98 all up ) *4.5
Nova Ion 3 S (@ 95 all up) *5.0
U-Turn Infinity 4 S (@90all up) *5.0
Gin Atlas S (@ 92 all up ) * 5.0
UP Kantega Xc2 S (@ 90 all up)*5.0
AD Rise 1 (@ 102 all up) *5.0
Blacklight SM (@100 all up)*5.5
Sky Atis 4 M (@93 all up) *5.5
Nevada 26 (@ 100 all up ) *5.5
Mentor 3 S ( @97 all up) *5.5
Tequila 4 SM (@92 allup) *5.5
Axis Comet 2 S (@90 all up 5.8
UP Summit XC3 @ 93 all up. 6.0
Swing M7 S (@90all up) *6.0
Rush 4 SM (@93 all up) *6.0
Blacklight S ( @ 90 all up) *6.5
Lightning S @ (90 all up) 6.5
Mentor 2 S (@ 95 all up) *6.5
Chili 3 S (@ 98all up) *7.0
carrera S, M 8.0

The Rush 3 , Mentor 2 , Blacklight and Rise are equal if there 's a little head wind ,with a stable profile for the Rush 3 at bar and the Rise and especially the Blacklight . The Mentor 2, Nevada, the BL and the Eden 5 (loaded at top ) seems more efficient when the head wind is blowing. It can cut through with ease, with a small advantage for the Nevada in floating ability. ( But they must be flown at top weight ! ) Choose good your size ...
The Eden 5 has less top speed of 3-4 km than the others.
The Hook 3 is very comfortable to fly with a very interesting glide angle. The climb in smooth conditions is fair.
The Mentor 3 is much easier than the Mentor 2, and its efficiency is in those turbulent glides where it will have less pitch movements and little better glide.
The Chili 3 S has the best climb rate and a very nice handling in homogenous conditions. It has a long brake travel.
The Advance E7 26 is the most confidence inspiring rock solid glider of the cat. It reminded me of the low B cat in comfort.
The Atis 4 has a bit roll movement and need some active piloting in the high end B’s.
It has a fast trim speed, much like the M3 and Chili 3. Long brake travel are needed to let the glider respond in turbulent conditions.
The UP Kantega XC2 S is a very nice wing to fly .It has nice handling and also superb climb overall being also very accessible.
The Swing M7 S is a delight to fly. It dives a bit into turns. It is fast enough for a B, and has enough performance. Not really a floater but a nice glider overall.
The Rush 4 has a very good glide . It is an overall good, very solid B glider, but its trim speed is around 38 km/h and especially the top speed which is low for the cat around 51 km/h .
The fastest are Mentor 3, XC3, Mistral 7…But it is around 55 km/h max.
The AD rise 2 M has the BEST ratio Performance/Comfort in flight !
The Tequila 4 SM is like a precious gem ! combining agility/performance/accessibility!
The Infinity 4 has a very light and nice turning behavior! It has a low trim speed , and the climb rate even loaded is outstanding!
The Comet 2 S give a nice feeling under it. It has a very nice handling .
The Atlas S has everything to make its pilot very happy,with a good feeling of passive safety. The X-Alps version of the Atlas has more performance overall, especially in climb.

Conclusion: The Carrera is the only B until date that has a superior glide but also needs superior skills for this category.
The Mentor 3 has this slight advantage over the rest in long glides and more comfortable than its predecessor, The AD Rise 2 is very comfortable to fly with a superb glide for the high B category .
The Rush 4 has nearly the glide of the Mentor 3 but with lesser speed.It's an overall efficient glider in difficult conditions where it could cut through turbulence and have a very solid and compact feel coupled with a direct handling.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NOVA Triton 2 S

Triton 2 S  

Finally and after a loooog wait the TRITON 2 S has arrived … 

As usual the quality of construction of NOVA wings is beyond a doubt a class of its own. Excellent workmanship and robust feel … 

This test concern ONLY the S size ! It will not reflect any other sizes as the M and L size could be slightly different in some ways… 

My first flight with the Triton 2 S at 98 all up was made in turbulent, punchy conditions… enabling me to open my senses, understand, and feel the glider . 

Flying my usual harness the X-rated 6 with some ballast to reach 98 all up, i launched the Triton 2 S. The launching is easy for that glider and immediate.  

First turn in a small bullet thermal , the Triton 2 S has a moderate to pronounced roll movement .The pitch behavior is average to dynamic especially in those sharp edges where the Triton 2 S would like to cut and surge ahead in the strong thermal. Catching it quickly with the brakes is no problem for a good pilot.  

In turbulent and strong conditions the Triton 2 S is indeed a lively glider.  
It moves in the air with sharp surges and quick responses to the airmass and the pilot could feel it’s energy, but luckily the brake fan is optimized to dominate this overall energy with an active pilot underneath. 

A good pilot and after some hours to acclimatize, has the power and the advantage to control every movement of the glider which at the end gives surprisingly a certain feeling of passive safety for the high C class as the whole structure seems coherent and supple sometimes . 

Describing the handling and maneuverability of the TRITON 2 S is like driving a Ferrari in turns. 
Cornering is sharp and easy with precise and direct input . 
This very good handling is the key to control the TRITON 2 S movements in order to keep it in this particular box of the targeted group of pilots it is designed for ! 

Doing some long glides with one of the best C’s of the moment, the Triton 2 S showed first a slightly higher speed than most C’s equally loaded, and a slight better glide at trim putting it in the higher top performance by a very small edge. This performance is increased when the conditions are more difficult and especially in the presence of a head wind or strong valley or sea breeze. In those conditions the TRITON 2 S has a clear advantage over the current C’s . 

Reference glide : 
Doing some long glides with an Aspen 5 26 loaded at 99 all up showed that the Triton 2 S has a faster trim speed of +0.5 km/h and a better glide angle. 
Pushing the bar for both with pulleys touching showed exactly same top end speed over a run of 5 km 

The climb rate of the Triton 2 S loaded at 96 is average to good in very weak lift . 
In more steady thermals over 1.5 m/s and choppy conditions, the Triton 2 S has the advantage to dig and climb much quicker and more efficient than C gliders .Like it’s another class … 

The top speed for the Triton 2 S with the pulleys touching, loaded at 98 and at 1000 ASL showed a ± 13 km/h over trim. I have tried it many times and i couldn’t read more on my GPS. May be i have to change it   Wink 
I felt that the Triton 2 S into wind glides are it’s strongest point where i could feel it’s ability to surf the air and move higher and forward like no other C could do… 

I am convinced now that it has the performance that could easily tickle the D class.   

Big ears are stable without pushing the bar. The pilot must pump them to open. Ears with bar are unstable.  

Then, i flew the Triton 2 S alone in another spot and then landed and flew another new C glider…and so on…all day… Alternating gliders help me to see the differences in the air.  

Flying the Elan 26, Delta 2, SM  Alpina 2 SM , Sigma 9, Queen M ,Aspen 5, etc..  in the past year gave me an idea about their behavior in turbulent conditions. The Triton 2 S stands more demanding in terms of piloting . 

For sure the Triton 2 S is (Two step) higher than a Mentor 3 in terms of piloting ! It stands strangely between a high C and a D !  
The Triton 2 S IMHO is aimed for experienced pilots with multiple hours in different conditions in order to feel at home and surely needs some respect and understanding in order to extract every bit of the outstanding performance it delivers. 
NOVA has built a C with today’s D performance, but the TRITON 2 in S size IMHO could be welcomed and cherished for a D pilot profile.