Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

UPDATE with the Swing Nyos, Mac Eden 6, Ion 4 ,Buzz Z5 and the Skyman cross country .

UPDATE with the Swing Nyos, Mac Eden 6, Ion 4 ,Buzz Z5 and Skyman cross country S.

Infos: In this race for performance, the recent 2015/2016 gliders are having very thin line set up. Whether on a B,C, or D glider, I have found that those gliders from different manufacturer does in fact change slightly (Still with a large safety margin, within the permitted stretch tolerance with no required adjustment ) …They just settle to a certain configuration...Some after 20 hours, and some after 100 hours…But they do change slightly…That’s why flying them again and again will in fact change their characteristic slightly, and this will show on marginal conditions, especially in weak conditions, or in strong head wind conditions.
(THIS COMPARISON HAS BEEN UPDATED ALSO FOR SOME OLDER GLIDERS AFTER MORE AND MORE FLIGHTS UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS)
The best i can do....

Most easy to fly in difficult conditions (most comfortable) :

1-AD Rise 2 M = Atlas X-Alps S = Ion 4 S @ 96 = Buzz Z5 SM @95 = Hook 3 25
2-Sprint EVO= Eden 5 = Advance E7 26 = Kantega XC2= Ion 3 S = Atlas S= Infinity4 S = Swift 4 SM = AD Rise 2 S Superlight = Skyman Cross country S
3-Rush 3 = Mentor 3 S = Summit XC 3 S = Iota 26 = Triple Seven Rook 2 SM = Carrera Plus S = Base M = Swing Nyos M @ 98 = Eden 6 26 @ 96 = Mentor 4 S @ 96 = Ikuma 25.
4-Tequila 4 = Rush 4 = Windtech Bali = Skywalk Aruba 3 S
5-SM-Blacklight = Nevada = Sky Atis 4 = Comet 2 S= Swing Mistral 7 S
6-Mentor 2 = Lightning S
7-Chili 3
8-Carrera S, M


Climb rate in very weak conditions (float-ability)

1-Carrera Plus S @ 91 = Chili 3 S @ 98 = Infinity 4 S@ 90 = UP Kantega XC2 S @ 90 = U-Turn Blacklight SM @ 98 = Atlas X-Alps S @ 92 & M @ 102 = Swift SM @ 90 = Skyman Cross country S @ 88.

2-Nevada = Rush 4 SM @ 90 = Mentor 2 S (Still Efficient) = Tequila 4 SM = Ion 4 S @ 95 = Eden 6 26 @ 96 = Buzz Z5 SM @88 = Eden 5 = Carrera S, M =Triple Seven Rook 2 SM = Lightning S @90 = Arriba 3 S @ 92 = Mentor 4 S @ 94

3-Mentor 3 S @ 95 = AD Rise 2 M = Atlas S @ 90 = Hook 3 = Base M @ 90 = Rise 2 S Superlight @ 90 = Iota 26 @ 95 = Windtech Bali @ 95

4-Summit XC 3 S @ 93 = Comet 2 S @ 88 = Ion 3 S @ 95 = Ikuma 25 .

5- Sky Atis 4 = Advance E 7 26 = Swing M7 S @ 92 = Swing Nyos M @ 98


Climb rate in OVERALL conditions for XC flying (difficult ,weak, or strong) .
“Relatively moving conditions”


1-Carrera Plus S @ 94 = Chili 3 S @ 98 = Carrera S, M = Swift SM @ 92 = Mentor 4 S @ 97

2-Nevada = Triple Seven Rook 2 SM @ 93 = U-Turn Blacklight SM= Rush 4 SM = Mentor 2 S (Still Efficient) = Mentor 3 S ( it is very dampened) = Tequila 4 SM = AD Rise 2 M = Atlas S = Base M = Rise 2 S Superlight = Atlas X-Alps S & M = Ion 4 S @ 95 = Eden 6 26 @ 96 = Buzz Z5 SM @ 92 =Skyman Cross Country S

3-Iota 26 = Windtech Bali = Arriba 3 S @ 92 = Swing Nyos M @ 98 = Ikuma 25

4-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 = Infinity 4 S = Swing M7 S = Lightning S @90 (These gliders have a superb climb in calm conditions away from the valley breeze. Differences are very small .Its up to the pilot !)


Glide in “OVERALL” conditions (upwind, downwind, racing in difficult conditions) Or “efficiency” ! Done in active air.

1-Carrera S, M = Mentor 4 S = Iota 26 = Carrera Plus = Rook 2 SM

2- Eden 6 26 @ 96 = Nyos M @ 98 (Differences between 1-2 are insignificant ! )

3-Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S = Ion 4 S @ 95

4-Rush 4 = AD Rise 2 = Swift 4 SM = Ikuma 25 = Skyman Cross country S

5-Nevada 26 (must be loaded at 100 ) = Windtech Bali = Hook 3 = Tequila 4 SM = Mentor 2 S = Arriba 3 S = Buzz Z5 SM @ 92

6-Blacklight SM (loaded) = Ion 3 S = Sky Atis 4 M = Swing Mistral 7 S = Atlas X-Alps =AD Rise 2 S Superlight = UP Summit XC3 S size (M&L could be different) = Atlas X-Alps S =UP Summit XC3 S.

7-BGD Base M = UP kantega XC2 S = Rush 3 M = AD Rise 1 = Infinity 4 S = Eden 5 = Comet 2 S = Atlas S = Advance E7 26 ( The differences are small with ± half a point in L/D max, in “relatively moderate conditions” . (Racing in stronger conditions will show bigger differences)


Fun feel : “pleasure to fly, “agile” and higher overall fun feeling” IMHO

1-Tequila 4 S @ + 91 kg = Arriba 3 @ 90 all up

2- Buzz Z5 SM @ 90 = Base M @ + 91 kg / Infinity 4 S @ + 89 Kg = Swift 4 @ + 91 Kg / Atlas S / Sky Atis 4 M @ + 95 Kg / Swing Mistral 7 @ +92 Kg / Mentor 2 S @ +95 Kg / Comet 2 S @ + 93 Kg /
3-Rush 4 @ + 91 Kg / Carrera S @ + 92 kg / Blacklight S @ +91 Kg / Blacklight SM @ + 100 Kg / UP Kantega XC2 @ + 95 Kg / Mentor 3 & 4 S @ +95 Kg / Advance Iota @ + 96 Kg / Wintech Bali M @ + 97 Kg / Chili 3 @ + 100 Kg / AD Rise 2 S superlight @ + 89 Kg =Triple Seven Rook 2 SM @ 97 = Nyos 26 @ 99 = Ikuma 25 = Eden 6 26 @ 96 = Skyman Cross country S @ 88.

4- Rise 2 M @ + 103 Kg / Nevada 26 @ + 100 Kg / Ion 3 S @ + 97 Kg / Hook 3 M @ + 97 Kg /UP Summit XC3 @ + 93 kg / AD Rise 1 @ + 95 Kg = Atlas X-Alps S & M.




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' ! )
* Some C’s and D’s were included to inform pilots about their demanding behavior (Forum request) .




Advance E7 26 (@93 all up) * 3.9
GIN Atlas X-Alps ( S @ 94 all up) *3.9
AD Rise 2 M (@98all up) *4
Skyman cross country S @  88  *4
Eden 5 (@ 95 all up) *4
Hook 3 (@97 all up) *4
Buzz Z5 SM @ 92 *4 

Nova Ion 4 S @ 95  *4
BGD Base M (@90all up) *4.5
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) *5.5
Windtech Bali (@95 all up) *5.5
Swift 4 SM (@ 92 all up) *5.5
Triple Seven Rook 2 SM ( at 97) *5.5
Eden 6 26 @ 96 *5.5
Nyos M @ 98 *5.5
Iota 26 ( @ 95 all up) *5.5
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 all up) *5.5
Ikuma 25 @ 94  * 5.6

Mentor 4 S ( @ 95 all up) *5.6
Arriba 3 S at 92 all up *5.6
Axis Comet 2 S (@90 all up 5.8
UP Summit XC3 @ 93 all up. 6.0
GIN Carrera plus S @ 94 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


C & D gliders:
This grade is to say how busy a glider is, in strong conditions, or the one that’s more difficult to manage, comparing to the B category.

Since this is a very delicate comparison , i must point out that the glider that has quicker authority on the brakes like the Triton 2 will enable a good pilot to keep it swiftly overhead. Some doesn’t have that quick response and in strong conditions they won’t keep the pilot as busy, but he will be the ‘passenger’ for a short lapse of time …
The grade doesn’t indicate the one that recovers easier or harder !!Only that keep you busier ! Most will have easier recovery than the higher graded !


Mac Elan M (@98all up) *7
Swing Nexus (@94 all up) *7.0
Up Summit XC 3 S (@94 all up) *7.5
Mac Elan light 24 (@90 al up) *7.5
Advance Sigma 9 25 (@91 all up) *7.5
Niviuk Artik 4 25 (@91 all up) *8.5
Ozone Alpina 2 SM (@92 all up) * 8.5
Delta 2 SM size (@ 92 all up) *9
777 Queen M (@ 101 all up) *9
BGD Cure (@ 93 all up) *9.3
Aspen 5 26 (@98all up) *10
Skyman CrossAlps S (@90 all up) *10.5
Sol Lotus one (@ 98 all up) *11
Ozone Mantra 6 SM (@94 all up) *12
Gin Gto 2 S size (@94 all up) *12,5
Triton 2 in S size (@ 96 all up) *12.5 (M size could be different) !
Niviuk IP6 26 (@98 all up) *13.5
Ozone R-10 S (@ 98 all up) *15.0



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 Mentor 4 has better glide than the Mentor 3 but with lesser climb “only” in weak conditions.
The Ikuma is a comfortable glider with nice handling. The overall performance is is in the mid of the High B category.
The Iota has a very good glide similar to the Mentor 4, It has a nice climb similar to the Mentor “3”.
The Chili 3 S “still” has the best climb rate and a very nice handling in homogenous conditions. But with a very 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 BGD Base is a confidence inspiring, solid glider.The climb and handling are very good.
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 Windtech Bali has a respected glide angle. It needs slightly active piloting in big air.
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.
The Arriba is slightly more dynamic than the Tequila 4 and a pleasurable glider to fly.
The Rook 2 is a well balanced high performance B glider, with nice handling and efficiency.
The Nyos is very comfortable ,made for strong conditions.The gliding performance is very good !
The Eden 6 26 is a very balanced all round B glider toward performance flying, and respecting a pleasant pleasurable feel !
The Buzz Z5 has an upgrade over the Z4 in performance while retaining the comfort. The brake pressure and feel in thermals is really nice !
The Cross country is a light glider with pleasurable handling, and comfortable behavior.

Conclusion: The Carrera has now two very serious competitors, the M4 and the Iota in pure gliding power.The Carrera still climbs better “in real conditions” than any B in this table.
The Carrera plus climb is even better than the original version only in weak and moderate conditions.The more the headwind, the original version cut forward more efficiently.
The AD Rise 2 is very comfortable to fly with a superb glide for the high B category .
The Rush 4 like the Swift 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.
The Mentor 4 has now the best glide in difficult conditions among the similar aspect ratio B’s very close to the Iota and the Rook 2. The climb in very weak conditions still favors the Mentor 3 S similarly loaded.
The Atlas X-Alps is an easy “all rounder” with very good performance especially in weak climbs and low saves.

I’m certain that a good pilot can break an XC record with ANY of those superb B gliders from above !
Please pick the one that will make you feel happy under it ….The rest is up to you !


Cheers,
Ziad

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Harness comparison (Update)

 Harness comparison ( Update)

Harness comparisons:
Impress 3 M – Genie Race 2- Genie Light – WV GTO-WV X-Rated 6 L— Lightness 2 — Ozone Forza — Ozone Exocet — Genie Lite 2 —Genie Race 3 — Ozone Ozium — Gin X-Alps


Most comfortable seated harness. As 1 being most comfortable “ONLY for the seating position”.

1-Impress 3 / Forza / Lightness 2
2-Genie Race 2 / Ozium / Exoceat
3-X-Rated 6 / Genie Race 3 / Genie lite 2 / Gin X-Alps
4-Genie Light – Impress 2 +
5-WV GTO (being fairly comfortable also)

Most comfortable in roll (In roll stability ). As 1 being most comfortable.

1-Ozone Exocet
2-Genie Light 1 /  WV GTO / Forza /  GIn X-Alps
3-Impress 2 +  / X-Rated 6 L / Genie Race 3 / Genie lite 2
4-Genie Race 2 / Ozium / Lightness 2
5-Impress 3

Harnesses with legs supported naturally (Very comfy) from the current ones.

——  Exocet / Forza / Impress 3 /  Lightness 2  
 
Weight of the harnesses
Impress 3 M   ± 5 kg
Genie Race 2  ±10 kg
Genie Light 1   ± 5 kg
WV X-Rated 6 L   ±7kg
WV GTO  ± 5 kg
Lightness 2    ± 3 kg
Ozone Forza   ± 5 kg
Ozone Exocet  ± 9 kg
Genie Lite 2    ± 4.5 kg
Genie Race 3  ± 7.5 kg
Ozone Ozium  ± 3 kg
Gin X-Alps   ± 2 kg

Conclusion:
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 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.

With the arrival of the X-Rated 6,Woody Valley has created a comfortable harness, easy to access, smooth accelerator pulleys, Two rescues pockets, anti-G pocket. I felt that this harness is the most complete with all the small details in the best finish a harness can have !

It is really not as heavy as the Genie Race. The X-Rated 6, weights around 7.3  kg with a big back protection included.
A very beautiful product with a very clean finish .
The Forza has a comfortable seating position with a moderate roll movement in turbulence.
The Genie lite 2 has a very good construction finish.
The Gin X-Alps is very comfortable for a very light harness with less roll than the lightness 2 and with a compact and coherent feel with the used glider !

Harnesses are very difficult to test fly as each pilot have different structure …But IMHO, for my height of 1.81 m and 75 kg.

Happy flights,
Ziad

Friday, March 18, 2016

GIN Genie 2 light



.



Mac Para Eden 6


Mac Para Eden 6 .26  (The magical flying carpet)


There are many gliders popping out each week/month in every category. It’s very rare to find a flaw in today’s gliders. As a reviewer I always search for those tiny flaws if occurred… But it’s becoming more and more difficult!   

Companies are doing their best to give us the best possible and magical flying carpets J

Here’s one…


After test flying Mac Para EN-D, The Icon, here is the Eden 6 in size 26 for a test flight.

I flew the Eden 26 from 93 to 98 all up.

Take off is quite straightforward for a B, despite the high aspect ratio of 5.9, the Eden 6 inflates as a block and very easy without any delays or even shooting forward.


I had some nice flying conditions for three days and I was lucky to fly next to High end B’s all that time in order to feel and see the differences.


What does it feel in the air?

The Eden 6 is a very different glider from the 5th version.

The Eden 6 is tuned for performance flying with an efficient flat turning radius and a nose that searches for thermals rather than bumping into them.  


The brake pressure is moderate with a linear response and the Eden 6 could be steered around 35 cm of travel.

The Eden 6 is a fairly agile wing trimmed toward an efficient turn rather than a diving turn.

To be more precise, I think the Eden 6 agility is well balanced between a gentle fun side, and an efficient XC use.


The Eden 6 26 could be flown easily at 90 but I found out that flying it at +75 % of its weight range is optimal (95-96)


Climbing ability:

The Eden 6 has similar climbing capability in weak lifts as the Eden 5, which was very good. In stronger lifts the Eden 6 dig through those thermals more efficiently for a better climb.


Gliding power:

Flying the Eden 6 26 in the company of the Swing Nyos M, the Mentor 4 S and the Rook 2 M showed me after many attempts a superb glide angle for the Eden 6 putting it right on top next to the best one in this category!

The gliding at top speed is fully usable and also very competitive like you would expect from the best B’s out there!

The Eden 6 26 at 96 all up has a fast trim speed .The speed bar pressure is moderate and the gain in speed is ±15 km/h.


What are the benefits and differences (Eden 6 over the Eden 5?)?

-Eden 6 needs slightly more active piloting

-Glide at trim and at top speed is well improved!

-Efficiency in head wind glides

-Speed


The Eden 6 is as comfortable to fly as the Rush 4.


Big ears are stable and easy. They reopen smoothly by themselves.

Spiraling down is efficient but the pilot must get out hyper smoothly…to prevent a tuck on surges.


Conclusion:

The Eden 6 is a new breed of Mac Para gliders. There’s something different in the making.

The glide angle is the best you can get .The climb rate is very good! The handling is pleasurable. The Eden 6 is fast!

For sure, it’s a small step over the Eden 5 in piloting but ok for an experienced B pilot looking inside the high B category!

There’s indeed something new over here…









Thursday, March 10, 2016

SWING Nyos M

SWING Nyos

After test flying the Nexus from Swing, here’s the new EN-B Nyos in M size for a test flight.

The NYOS has a mix of sheathed and unsheathed lines with an average width comparing to other B’s . The construction is neat and its what you would expect from a 2016 glider, to the last detail.

The NYOS with it’s 5.8 aspect ratio is in my opinion the best looking B glider to date. It doesn’t really look like a B glider and my friends frequently asked me if it’s a new C glider.

I flew the Nyos M (80-102) from 92 to 98 all up.
Launching the Nyos is quite easy and smooth with no hard point or even any surge.

At both loadings the NYOS M has a relatively medium to short brake travel with a firm pressure rather than a light one. All that with a fairly nice agility resembling the Nexus way to turn into thermals. The NYOS is tuned for XC use rather than a freestyle use. But the agility is moderate to good !

In the same days flying it, i was top landing and switching to other B gliders (Eden 6, Mentor 4) in order to feel better what glider can offer the most in the conditions of each day, not to mention my flying friends who were also helping on those gliders.

After some flying days i can firmly confirm that the NYOS is a very comfortable glider, that offers sweet and relaxed flights like sitting on a VIP luxury seat and people all over are taking care that you are not being disturbed ! Smile

Well that’s exactly how i can describe the feeling under it !
The climb rate in very weak conditions (0.5 m/s) is not the strongest point of the NYOS, but i felt its just a slight step over the NEXUS in that matter. It hovers a bit and the very comfy leading edge is like a Buddhist monk in a meditation process…Nothing will bother him, without the slightest bite in those very weak lifts.

As soon as the thermals are well homogeneous (+1m/s), the NYOS will climb like any other B around and even if the lift gets punchy , it might get upward quicker !

Gliding power !
After test flying the NYOS, i really don’t know what to believe anymore …Its seems to me, like we are swimming in the marketing river of today's hype and tech stories…
Shark nose…No shark nose…Thin lines all over…Thin Dyneema lines…or no…pure 3 liner or no…I’m really puzzled !

After many glide attempt with the company of the well known Mentor 4, my friends eyebrows are mine were exceeding our foreheads!
Considering that the NYOS doesn’t have a Cleopatra nose, and it’s lines are thicker than the M4 ones, with 3.5 line attachment to the under-surface, and it looks quite robust in construction …Believe me, I have seen a lot of B’s… !

The NYOS is faster at trim speed than the M4 S by 1 km/h , similarly loaded, or even if lightly less loaded (+0.5 km/h ) !
The glide at trim is very similar, the glide at 52 is quite similar…the top speed of the NYOS is 2 km faster…
It looks like the NYOS strengths in glide is the pitch movement ‘self’ control on glides…Cannot say it’s a floater, but a real weapon in compensating the movements in turbulent air, and staying focus on the way ahead!

The speed bar has a moderate pressure, and stepping on it gave me the feeling like when i close the door behind me after coming from a loud party. I like that silence ! Smooth ride in a limousine !


Big ears are easy to induce, they are stable with or without bar and quite efficient.They don’t open by themselves but with a small dab on the brakes they reopen very fast.

Conclusion:
Reviews will always be reviews…There will always be positive and negative points on each new glider, no matter what…It depend mainly on the reviewer personal opinion and taste. It’s up to you the pilot to feel if those written words apply to your skills and flying sites.
If the NYOS would be slightly more efficient in weak conditions…Hmmm
For sure the NYOS is and will be SWING biggest success to date, The NYOS is ‘THE’ glider for flying in the strong Alps with a big XC potential for the good level of the B class pilots.

What made me smile:
Glide angle at trim and accelerated
Smooth ride in turbulence
Smooth ride at bar
Speed at trim and accelerated
Easy to fly for a 5.8 ar glider
Beautiful looking glider


What made me Grrrr  ;-)  :
- The climb in very weak thermals (-0.5 m/s)


Video soon...
Cheers,





Sunday, March 6, 2016

NOVA Ion 4 S ( The tough )



NOVA Ion 4 S

I have flown all the Ion series from the first one to this new 4th version.
Take off on this low aspect ratio B is quite easy and spontaneous.
During the Ion 4 S test flights, i had the Buzz Z5 in SM size also for testing.
For three days, i was top landing, changing glider, again and again, with the company of friends to compare them also in the air.

I flew the Ion 4 S from 90 to 99 all up, to notice that the Ion 4 S can be flown easily at mid weight without loosing its energy. In rough conditions 95 all up could be well enough…For racing upwind, 99 is fast and very efficient !

The Ion 4 S from 92 to 99 has a medium brake travel, and the pressure on the brakes can be described as slightly medium to hard, but agile and precise, and it’s a small step in agility over the Ion 3 S.
The Buzz Z5 brake travel is similar in precision and response but slightly lighter.

The Ion 4 S can be turned very flat with little brake input coupled with weight shift. Stationary turns and coring small bubbles are a delight. Hard pull on the brakes and the Ion 4 will logically dive showing an agile behavior.

Climbing in weak thermals next to an Ion 3 at 95 all up showed a similar climb rate, but once the thermals gets a bit strong and punchy, then the Ion 4 S will show a clear advantage over the Ion 3. In company of a Buzz Z5 SM, in windy conditions showed that in weak thermals they are also similar in climb , but again as soon as the thermals gets punchier the Ion 4 S shoots upward, like a spring, even loaded at top !
I felt it has a tendency to cut through better the airmass and climb without bumping even more efficiently than any new low aspect ratio, B glider i have tested.

The comfort in the air reminded me of the tough Ion 1 which leads me to say that the feeling under the Ion 4 S can be best described as “indestructible" !

The Ion 4 S doesn’t have a pitch back in thermals nor a front one. It climbs peacefully, with a positive vario giving this impression of flying a performance paraglider.
  The roll movements are just present to show the thermals, rather than to shake its pilot.The overall comfort feel is present.

Doing some glides with the Ion 4 S showed an increase in glide angle over the Ion 3, and a significant one when using the bar.
The trim speed of the Ion 4 S (80-100) loaded at 95 is around 0.5 km faster than a Buzz Z 5 SM (75-95) loaded at 90.
The glide angle at 45 km/h is impressively on the Ion 4 side.
The Ion 4 has indeed a very good glide angle especially accelerated !
I was impressed by the amount of performance / accessibility ratio it delivers.

The top speed is around 52 km/h at 1000 ASL.
The leading edge stays solid and the speed is fully usable.
Ears are easy to induce with a fast opening.

The speed bar risers were installed on my Ion 4 S. They are a nice feature that pulls the C’s and B’s evenly without deforming the profile.
Using them in full speed mode is efficient enough but hard to pull.The Mentor 4 S ones are lighter in pressure.

Conclusion:
Tough, fast, comfortable, superb performance for a low aspect ratio glider, good agility and climb.That’s the Ion 4.

It seems that NOVA fine tuned the Ion 4 for a flatter polar and toward a performance use for XC purposes.

The race for performance will never end, but creating a low aspect ratio, easy to use, B glider that has the edge in overall performance especially accelerated, with an indestructible feel in turbulence is what makes paragliding even more magical.









Saturday, March 5, 2016

Questions for designers...

Hannes Papesh Interview 5 March 2016 .

Z- What’s your opinion about :  "Softer leading edge do collapse often but they also recover faster and smoother, harder leading edge with a smaller AoA are very resistant but the collapses are more aggressive".
Do you agree? or no...and why?

Hannes: We're dealing with that issue since mid of the 90’s. During the X-act development we were trying to find an airfoil which is collapse resistant and in the case, collapsing very soft and unspectacular.
As "to collapse" is a fundamental issue of the safety concept of a paraglider, this scenario should be very well predictable.
During the very intensive discussion about folding lines (see attachment) I've been arguing with the "dynamic history" of a collapse: the airfoil should deform, loose air and fold in the middle, to create a soft collapse. In this procedure the static weak points are important. They are given by the suspension points and the airfoil shape (and some internals maybe). When you mount folding lines on new suspensions (where there is no load during normal flight), you're faking new static weak points.
So we should spend some engineering and development effort to find an airfoil / solution that can do both: to be collapse resistant AND collapse soft and recover easy.
-Not just make "a quick cheat".
-Some in the scene are specialists for that, as we all know!


Z-Do you believe for instance that in order to see the real thing, the exact collapse in each individual glider regardless of their construction is to remove the test pilot ability to 'pull' the A's...

Hannes: Pulling the A's is good.
Sometimes it's not possible without mounting some separate lines (in case of an A/B fork).
Important is, that you pull on a suspension point, which is highly loaded during normal flight.
Experience shows, that the static weak points in real flight are between the suspension points: there the airfoil kinks in the case of a collapse deformation.
The simulated collapses should show the same deformation behavior as the real flight collapse.
Putting force on the airfoil further in front does enlarge the "deformation arm": resulting in softer collapses.

Z-Another idea could be to send a paramotor or some machine to create heavy turbulence that passes exactly 10 m in front of the test pilot over a lake...That way it will be clear on the videos how much the glider endure the collapse and how it will react.
-Do you think that this could be an evolution for future test houses ? Can you comment on that please ?

Hannes: It is not easy to create the standard rotor.
And will be quite hard to do: but that kind of testing could offer some more real life results.

The general problem is the exclusion of cheating actions.
We all have had airfoils which were flying fine and collapsed late. But they showed a very nasty and hard collapse behavior.
But you need really some "cheating creativity" to get the idea to mount folding lines far in front to get softer collapses.
With that technique you can get every airfoil look nice.
Because of that possibility and the very bad experiences of cheating by one manufacturer, the WG6 working group decided to limit those folding lines (invented by the same manufacturer) to the D class.


My philosophy (specially in the low classes) is to have a wide "green area". No special "best case scenarios / techniques" are needed. The wing should behave fine however the collapse is produced.


10
10
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-7hV1Po8ObvRUttcF85dlFLaVU/view?usp=sharing

Luc Armant answer to the question:

Z-What's your opinion about :  "Softer leading edge do collapse often but they also recover faster and smoother, harder leading edge with a smaller AoA are very resistant but the collapses are more aggressive".
Do you agree? or no...and why?

Luc:   I disagree. I don’t see that at equal speed airspeed or AoA. from equal speed, fragile profile can easily have much worse recovery than more solid one. There is no strong rule here. Add to that the fact that collapsing is always more dangerous than not collapsing. In Ozone, we are searching for the best “real safety” design. We want gliders that we assess will be the safest to fly for pilots making cross country. We don’t want to compromise that.


Z- What's the benefit that a Delta 2 pilot will get flying the Delta 3 in order to disregard the certification at accelerated mode?

Luc: Best benefit for a Delta2 pilot, should be slightly higher speed and more performance at speed. We will not make anything special to try to convince pilot about recovery and EN rating, apart from a notice trying to explain things. Like usual, we will release our product and the pilot will make their choice. But again, we know that if we release it EN D we would for sure lose sell because many pilots still think that EN rating is their best way of knowing which wing to buy regardless of what the manufacturer is even recommending.


Z- The Delta 2 and Alpina 2 are still in personal view 'legends' in the C category. Many new C's that came after were more difficult to handle in rough air, except the Carrera plus. Was this only related to the back positioning A's on the leading edge ?

Luc: Of course not even though it’s an important one. There are a lot of other parameters. Too much parameters !  We believe that Aspect Ratio is one of the strongest one .


Z : Now seeing that the Carrera plus has similar performance or very close to the Alpina 2, Delta 2,
that GIN aimed for a B certification as a marketing strategy that could lead to larger sales.With the D3 going in the D category, OZONE is going on the exact opposite way in marketing strategy. Which leads to the question:
With the D3 certified as an EN-D, how will Ozone convince the Rush 4 pilots to move on the D3 ?

 Luc: That would not be marketing strategy. We know we would lose significant sell because of that. But that’s the way it is. Good products are our priority.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Ozone Buzz Z5

Ozone Buzz Z 5  SM

The Buzz Z5 is the new Ozone glider for the low B segment pilots.
It features a mild shark nose, 3.5 line configuration and a very moderate to low aspect ratio.

Launching the Buzz Z5 is quite simple for that category with no hang back, just stop the glider in strong wind to keep it from slightly overshooting. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I flew the Buzz Z5 from 88 all to 93 for the SM (75-95) size.

In both configuration the Buzz Z5 has a precise, direct, brake control . It seems that any high-end pilot will be more than satisfied test flying the Buzz Z5 as it delivers that performance touch in the brakes…especially for a low B !
I was happy test flying it, for it’s refined brake feeling and thinking that only the Rush 4 or the Delta 2 were a pleasure to fly won’t be fair for the Buzz Z5…
I was impressed by the way that every small pull on the brakes can make it turn on my commands, despite it's forgiving long brake travel !
So pulling 30 cm can steer the glider on almost all thermals…pulling more like 50-60 cm doesn’t really make the Buzz Z5 spin or else..It just respond with a clam nature without being dynamic !
Beyond 45 cm the pressure on the brakes becomes moderate to slightly heavy. 
What surprised me the most on the Buzz Z5 was it’s ability to search or to sniff a thermal !
It doesn’t have the tendency to stop or hang back, rather than to slide through the air mass and entering the thermals calmly and smoothly!
For sure this characteristic is not very common on low B gliders, and the Buzz Z5 was keeping me satisfied enough “for a low B” during this test.

Flying next to the Rush 4 and some high end B gliders, i can confirm an excellent ability to climb in weak or strong thermals !
Doing some glides at trim with the Rush 4 to have an idea, was also very rewarding and really competitive. I was really surprised … Pushing on the first bar, the glide was still very good ! It showed me that the performance at around 44 km/h is very usable and really good !

Trim speed is around 39 km/h and the full speed is around 49 km/h.

Big ears are very easy to induce, and very stable even with bar.They are efficient and the reopening is very smooth.

Conclusion: It seems that the manufacturers are trying hard to create low B gliders with enough performance to keep the low air time pilots surf the air endlessly with the option of going XC when they are ready.
The Buzz Z5 moves slightly more in the air than the Buzz Z4, but with a full  enhancement package of performance feel, and gliding performance.
The Buzz Z5 has it all. A comfortable, agile, high passive safety, low aspect ratio B glider with an interesting option for going XC.


I have UPDATED the B comparison (Please see further down) 
http://ziadbassil.blogspot.com/2015/12/b-comparison-update-inserting-ikuma.html 











Saturday, January 9, 2016

EN-C comparison update Inserting the Cure M, the Volt 2 SM, and the Nexus S.



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 =Volt 2 SM = Carrera plus M = Swing Nexus
2- ADVANCE Sigma 8 25 = Artik 4 25
3- GRADIENT Aspen 4 26 = Triple seven Queen = Cure M
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 = Cayenne 5 XS
7-NOVA Triton 2 S
8-Trango XC 3 SM

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

1- Gradient Aspen 4 = Volt 2 SM = Alpina 2 = Sigma 9 = Artik 4 25 = Cayenne 5 XS
2- Nova Factor 2 = Cure M = Artic 3 = Cayenne 4 S = Ozone Delta 2 = Triple seven Queen = Nexus = Carrera = Elan= Triton 2 S = Carrera plus M at 105!
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 = = Trango XC 3 SM
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 = Cayenne 5 XS = Trango XC 3
2-Triple seven Queen M  = Cure M
3- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = Volt 2 SM = Swing Nexus S = Cayenne 4 S= BGD Tala = Alpina 2 = Carrera= Aspen 5 26 = SOL Lotus one M= Artik 4 25 = Carrera plus M
4- NIVIUK Artic 3 = U-Turn Passion S/M =UP Trango XC 2 S/M = 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 = AD Volt SM
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 =Cayenne 5 XS =Trango XC 3
2-Triple seven Queen M = Cure M = Swing Nexus S
3- Alpina 2 = Aspen 5 = Artik 4 25 = Carrera Plus M
5- Carrera = Volt 2 SM
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 =Trango XC 3 SM= Cayenne 5 XS
2- Alpina 2= Aspen 5 = SOL Lotus one M = Cure M = Carrera plus M .
4- Carrera = Elan = UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2 = Volt 2 SM= Swing Nexus S
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 homogeneous thermals ,low in the inversion) :

1- SOL Lotus one M = Cayenne 5 XS = Volt 2 SM = Carrera plus M.
2- U-Turn Passion S/M = Ozone Delta 2 ML= Elan = Cure M
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 = Trango XC 3 SM
5- Artic 3 Race = AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen = Swing Nexus S

Climb rate in punchy thermal conditions :
1-UP Trango XC 3 SM = Cayenne 5 XS = Cure M
2-UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2 = Alpina 2 = Carrera M & S= Elan = Sol Lotus One =Volt 2 SM= Carrera plus M.
3-U-Turn Passion S/M = Cayenne 4 = Marvel 25 = Artic 3 Race = BGD Tala M = Argos = Triton 2 S
4-Swing Nexus S = Artic 3 normal = Aspen 4 = AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen M = Sigma 9 = Artik 4 25

Brake description :
-UP Trango XC 3: Moderate pressure, linear, precise, agile is homogenous conditions.
-Cure M : Agile, direct, precise, linear.
-Swing Nexus S : Moderate, smooth, average agility.
-Volt 2 SM : agile, precise, crispy and linear
-Cayenne 5 XS: Sharp and very direct, precise, agile even in turbulent conditions, short and efficient!
- 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)
‘NEW’

(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. (ratio of comfort efficiency)

1-Cayenne 5 XS (By a small margin to the A 2)
2-Alpina 2 SM = Cure M
3-Triton 2 S = Sol Lotus One = Trango XC 3 = Carrera plus
4-Aspen 5 26 ( very efficient at second bar ! )
5- Ozone Delta 2 = Up Trango XC2 = U-turn Passion = Carrera M & S = Elan = Artik 4 25 = Volt 2 SM = Swing Nexus S
6- 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)

Faster at second bar ( if equally loaded ) :
1- Queen M
2- Passion=Cayenne 4= Artic 3 Race = Aspen 4= Argos ,
3- Cure M = Delta 2 = Sigma 8= Alpina 2= Sigma 9= Aspen 5 = Cayenne 5 XS =Trango XC 3 SM= Triton 2 S = Sol Lotus One = Artik 4 25
4-Volt 2 SM = Trango XC2 = BGD Tala = Carrera= Elan = Swing Nexus S

Big ears efficiency:
-Swing Nexus S: Stable, fairly efficient, reopen quickly.
-UpTrango XC 3 ( stable and ok for a 7:0 aspect ratio glider! )
-Cayenne 5 XS ( small -2m/s and stable, little big and un-stable on this size )
-Cure M (stable ears, efficient)
-Volt 2 SM (stable ears, efficient)
-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)

The Triton 2 S 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 Cayenne 5 has the edge in surges into thermals, and the superb sharp and direct brake travel!
In weak conditions, it requires a bit more to handle than the Alpina 2 but it’s a very efficient C glider. If only the ears were a bit more efficient and stable …
The Trango XC 3 is demanding to fly regarding the surrounding C’s. Of course it’s very efficient in cutting and climbing. The glide is good also but it needs the most energy to handle in this specific category!

The BGD Cure surprises by the ratio comfort/aspect ratio. The overall package of performance, accessibility and pleasurable feel is very nice.

The AD Volt 2 SM is a very comfortable glider to fly with a very nice brake authority. The Climb rate is ‘great !

The Nexus is a very comfortable glider to fly. I wished for an efficient climb ,especially in moderate to weak conditions.The trim speed is fast and it gives an immediate confidence inspiring feeling.

UPDATE for usability:
Please remember that sizes differ a lot and surely the loading's! Other sizes may have other characteristics …
The first 4 places are very close. Indeed superb machines! Different taste for everyone …
The most important: Only the pilot will make a difference.
C & D gliders: UPDATED.
This grade is to say how busy a glider is, in strong conditions, or the one that’s more difficult to manage, comparing to the B category.

Since this is a very delicate comparison, i must point out that the glider that has quicker authority on the brakes like the Triton 2 will enable a good pilot to keep it swiftly overhead. Some doesn’t have that quick response and in strong conditions they won’t keep the pilot as busy, but he will be the ‘passenger’ for a short lapse of time …
The grade doesn’t indicate the one that recovers easier or harder!!Only that keeps you busier! Most will have easier recovery than the higher graded!

AD Volt 2 SM @ 90 all up *7
Swing Nexus S @ 94 all up *7
Mac Elan M (@98all up) *7
Up Summit XC 3 S (@94 all up) *7.5
Mac Elan light 24 (@90 al up) *7.5
Advance Sigma 9 25 (@91 all up) *7.5
Niviuk Artik 4 25 (@91 all up) *8.5
Ozone Alpina 2 SM (@92 all up) * 8.5
Delta 2 SM size (@ 92 all up) *9

777 Queen M (@ 101 all up) *9
BGD Cure M (@ 90 all up) *10

Aspen 5 26 (@98all up) *10
Skyman CrossAlps S (@90 all up) *10.5
Sol Lotus one (@ 98 all up) *11
Skywalk Cayenne 5 XS *11
Ozone Mantra 6 SM (@94 all up) *12
Gin Gto 2 S size (@94 all up) *12.5
Up Trango XC 3 SM *12.5
Triton 2 in S size (@ 96 all up) *12.5 (M size could be different)!
Niviuk IP6 23  (@98 all up) *13.5
Ozone R-10 S  (@ 98 all up) *15.0

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mac Para ICON

Mac Para Icon 24


The last Mac Para EN-D glider I test flew in February 2011 was the Magus XC2. I still remember a comfortable glider, with very good climb rate at the time, inside the D category.

After five years, Mac Para launched the ICON, with 7 aspect ratio, and with a clean 3 line configuration.
The Icon has a strong shark nose, and full unsheathed lines.

I flew the Icon 24 from 93 till 98 all up.
Launching the Icon 24 is very easy and smooth. The glider inflates as a block without any structure movement. In 5 km/h  wind, a gentle and steady pull will place it quickly overhead. In strong wind, the pilot must control the surge, which is really easy for the D cat.

Flew the Icon in different conditions, from smooth thermals to turbulent ones, and surprisingly, the Icon strongly remind me of the feeling I got when I flew the Elan !
Of course the Icon needs more active piloting, but this ‘shock absorbent’ feel is present !

The Icon 24 has a similar comfort of the Mantra 6 but with a slightly softer feel in turbulent bumps!
Actually I found it best to fly the Icon 24 near the top weight for a more compact feel and enhanced homogeneity.

The trim speed is around 39 km/h and the top speed is at 57 km/h taken at 1000 ASL fully usable!

Applying bar, from the first half, to top speed, the Icon has a very good glide angle and an efficient usable speed range.

The handles on the C have lots of pressure and slightly harder to pull than the M6, even at full speed, but usable to dump some surges if the pilot is used to that method.

The glide angle at trim and especially accelerated is competitive in the middle of this very competitive D category.

The strong point of the Icon, is the float ability and the climb rate especially in weak conditions.
A good pilot can stay endlessly in weak cores waiting for a stronger lift !
The Icon doesn't dive in turns. The brake pressure is moderate, with 25 cm to steer the glider and nice agility in smooth cores. It gives the D pilot an efficient flat turn, with smoothness and efficiency.

The Icon 24 has moderate to good agility in disorganized thermals, slowing the turning ability a bit, and giving the impression of a solid homogenous glider.

Entering the moderate thermals the Icon 24 slows a bit and enters smoothly with a positive vario without any excess in pitching.
Strong thermals and bumps needs a loaded Icon, with some bumping and back pitch presence, but fairly small and quite manageable.

Big ears are stable and stays tucked, in smooth air. In turbulence they have tendency to reopen. The structure stays solid, with no wobbling or shaking. They are efficient and applying bar during ears give a better sink rate.

Conclusion: Any pilot who flew the Elan for Mac para, will find that same pillow feel under the Icon, with of course more pilot control.
The performance over the Elan is obvious, logical and well targeted. The Icon will inspire confidence to any D pilot, and has enough overall performance to keep him well satisfied.
It seems again that the “fly in peace” motto, of Mac Para is not just some marketing words, rather than a true commitment towards the pilots in our small, but magical flying community.    :-)



Update: After later attempts on glide with an M6 SM, I think the Icon 24 has the edge in head wind efficiency with a slightly faster trim speed.






Friday, January 1, 2016

Air Design VOLT 2 SM


Air Design VOLT 2 SM

After test flying the Volt 1 and the Rise 2 from AD, here’s the Volt 2 in SM size .

The Volt 2 has lots of features, a shark nose profile, all unsheathed lines, vortex holes, adjustable brake handle, there’s 2 lines per side, and on each line level there are(2A, 2B, 2C) . The C lines are split into a fork for a C and D attachment on the glider.
The construction is very neat, and it looked very tough to the last detail.

Launching the Volt 2 is as easy as any moderate aspect ratio C glider, with no tendency to overshoot and an immediate take off.

The Volt 2 SM at 92 all up, has a moderate brake pressure, coupled with a direct, precise steering power. The Volt 2 has a superior agility over the Rise 2 and the Volt 1and can be described as fairly agile. Coring thermals are really pleasant as precise turns can be adjusted with each pulled centimeter.
I believe the Volt 2 is the first improvement in Air Design gliders, that goes in the right way concerning agility and pleasurable feel.

The second feel-able improvement flying the VOLT 2 is the climb rate !
Well, I can tell you, that team Air Design outdone themselves this time with a glider that can climb in weak conditions very efficiently, putting it next to best climbing ones in the C category !

Stephan Stiegler's gliders for the B and C class have a reputation of being comfortable to fly. And flying the Volt 2 in moderate conditions felt quite comfortable, resembling the Elan, Sigma 9, and other moderate aspect ratio C glider.

The trim speed is around 39 km/h at my loading and the top speed in the first part of the 50’s .
The glide ratio is good and on par with those C gliders mentioned above.

Big ears are efficient , stable, and a good way to get down. They open smoothly .

The Speed bar has a moderate pressure and the speed is fully usable in moderate turbulence.
The handles on the C to control the pitch in accelerated flight is very efficient. In fact AD has the most efficient C steering capability among many gliders i have tested. If you have flown a Rise 2 you will know what i mean, and the Volt 2 C steering is as efficient and usable !

Conclusion:
I always favor climb capability over glide capability.
It is always better to arrive "comfortably" 10 m lower and still flying, rather than 10 m higher and not being able to catch that low save.

For me the VOLT 2 SM will be an Air Design success by the amount of coring pleasure, comfort, and climb capabilities.
It gave me a feeling of a tough, well built, reliable C glider any good pilot coming to the C category would be satisfied flying it !

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Triple Seven KING ! S & M

Triple Seven KING 


Triple Seven KING

Triple Seven gliders was founded by two PWC flying brothers, that used to work with several manufacturers and their reputation at the time was the fast flying ability and the competition at the highest level.

Triple Seven was born and their first products in the B and C category were the Rook 1 and the amazing Queen which still has the best glide at full speed for a C glider !
Then came the Rook 2 which sits on the top places with the best performers in the B category with a very good accessibility.
The gliders made by the Valic brothers, seems to inherit a high performance aim with a relatively comfortable handling each in their respective category.

Now the King EN-D is here…
The King has a strong shark nose with a 3 line layout. The lower lines are small but sheathed, the mid and upper ones are thin and unsheathed, and the extremities + the brake line geometry are very thin micro lines.
I have the S size (75-95) which i flew from 90 all up till 95, and the M size (90-110) flown at 107.5 all up.
My recent D gliders for this comparison are: The Mantra 6 SM and ML, the Peak 4 21 and 23 , the Avax XC 5 26, the IP 6 23 .

Launching the King S and M in, 5 km/h to + 15 km/h , needs a steady pull to accompany the glider. It’s a slightly slower than an M6 to reach overhead, but it’s surely very easy for a D glider as it goes up in one compact piece !

Flying the King S with the same X-Rated 6 harness i used for all the mentioned gliders, showed me at 93 all up, a moderate to agile glider and could be similar to the Mantra 6 SM agility flown at the same weight also.
The brake travel is short to moderate, resembling also the M6 SM brake travel .
The differences in thermal entry is that the King S pitches slightly back a little before entering.
The King M flown at 108 doesn’t have that pronounced pitch back movement and gives a neutral one instead.
The King could be described as a comfortable D glider when flown in moderate turbulence.
Flying the glider is some nasty ‘winter’ turbulent air, the King needs more active piloting than a Mantra 6 MS and slightly less piloting than a Peak 4 21 i was test flying at the same time.
The glider movements in some lee side thermals are sharp with always a marked back pitch on the S rather than a forward pitch. The M size showed me a more neutral pitch.
Of course sometimes it pulls you to the thermals, but in the relatively “moderate” turbulence conditions i flew it in, (only the summer conditions will give a better idea) , i found it easy to control the forward pitch, and in some macaroni stuff, i wished for a more neutral pitch on the S size.

The climb rate performance for both the S and the M size in very weak thermals (0.3m/s) is moderate to good resembling the Peak 4 one.
Once the thermals are steady and homogenous the very good maneuverability of the King doesn’t loose any weak thermal, and the flat turning ability, helps immensely to stay in the core. It has much better climb than the Queen in small conditions even loaded.
In those very weak conditions the M6 could still have a slight insignificant edge in float-ability…But i’m being too picky…as you already know Wink

Now comes the glide part.
Doing some glides with the M6, Peak 4, IP 6, showed me for several times a superiority in gliding power for the King S and for sure the M size !
For instance the M6, MS (80-95) at 93 compared to the King M (90-110) flown at 108, gave the King a full + 2 km/h trim speed and for sure an impressive glide angle, like from another dimension ! It looked like chasing a full CCC competition glider !
Flying the King S (75-95) at 93 all up next to a Peak 4 23 (85-105), gave me the same big visual advantage in glide for the King S and as we both used the speed bar, the differences became larger to my favor !
The top speed of the Peak 4 23 is still around +3 km/h more similarly loaded versus the King S size.
I found it that especially around 45- 47 km/h the king glide angle is remarkably better !
I was never expecting a clear visual glide difference ! Usually there’s a small glide difference between newly tested gliders.But not this time !
The King does have indeed an amazing glide…or should i say:
The glide angle is worthy of a King ! Smile
The IP 6 23, still has also more top speed (+ 6 km/h) , over the King S, followed by the M6 (+ 2 km/h) .
I measured the King S top speed at 1000 ASL with 93 all up around 56 km/h with overlapping pulleys.
The glide at that speed is very nice, but i felt that the best glide is around ± 46 km/h for the S size which many XC pilots use frequently.
I found that racing at that speed through moderate turbulent air is quite usable as i was able to keep my feet on the pedal.

Big ears are easy to induce with a stable behavior and efficient descent rate at -3m/s with full bar.
They open smoothly !

Conclusion:
The King is the new reference in gliding power in the D category .
It seems that Triple Seven has built a powerful, fairly accessible, agile, gliding machine for “experienced” D pilots.
Upgrading from the Queen is logical if it was already flown easily for two seasons in strong conditions.
I’m sure that any C or D pilot test flying the King, will be shocked by this superb gliding Albatros Wink 


UPDATE: After flying over 30 hours on the S size from 90 to 94 all up, i realized a change in trim speed .After email exchange with 777, it was obvious that the A's are slightly stretching by 0.5 cm and maybe the B's slightly...
I found the best way to re-trim this S size is by releasing the two (inner) C loops .The outside C loop stays . (confirmed by 777). Bearing in mind that the S size has no loops on the A's and B's .
You will be impressed that by releasing this loop (0.7 cm) on the inner C loops you will have a completely different glider ! In this configuration, the S size is more dynamic but still very compact, faster trim speed +1km/h , direct and beautiful handling...! Still solid and usable on full bar !
The M and L size are trimmed differently...There are simple loops 0.7 cm and cowboy loops 1 cm .Please contact your 777 dealer before any change.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

BGD Cure


BGD Cure

The Cure is the new BGD glider for the C category.
It has 6.75 aspect ratio and it’s a pure 3 liner, with digressive unsheathed lines all over.

Launching the Cure is remarkably easy for the high aspect ratio! Kiting the glider on the ground gives the impression of an easy wing.

In the air:
Flying the Cure M at 90-92 all up feels quite adequate in overall conditions with a very good control even in choppy conditions.
It can be flown easily from 85 till 95 and still retains a good maneuverability at low weight and good climb even at top weight.

The brake travel is relatively short and direct, enabling a quick and sharp turn similar in reaction and strength to a Delta 2 SM or Alpina 2 SM which is really nice! Coring the thermals with the Cure is pure pleasure! Rough, smooth, turbulent, cores can be surgically cured with this beautiful handling machine.
The strong point of the 6.75 aspect ratio Cure, is its coherent feel through turbulent air.
The roll and pitch movements feel smoother than the ones on the Cayenne 5.
I looked up many times to see if I’m really on the Cure not on the Delta 2 SM, as it felt comfortable enough in the C category.
I noticed also a very taught leading edge at trim and cruising around 50 km /h, as I was able to leave my foot on the bar in moderate turbulence giving the impression of a solid glider.

This new construction seems very successful as it gives a very coherent and homogenous feel. No wobbling and snaking around whatsoever in the normal flying envelope…

The climb in weak conditions is really good. The Cure at 90 all up is an efficient glider to get you some low saves.
Punchier thermals will get the Cure to slightly pitch back but with a fast climb. It has the efficiency of a Delta 2 SM in the very weak stuff which i think is impressive.
Doing some long glides with an Alpina 2 SM similarly loaded showed a very close glide at trim, half bar, and at top speed, with a slight edge for the Cure in lift areas.
The trim speed of the Alpina 2 SM is (+ 0.25 km) over the Cure.
The top speed of the Cure is (+ 0.5 km/h) over the A2.
Gliding at full speed in a relatively moving air, showed that sudden surges are more efficient on the Cure.

The speed bar is smooth and also similar to the Delta 2 pressure, and the full speed is around 55 km/h taken at 1000m ASL.

Big ears are stable, with a descent rate of -3m/s with bar.

Upgrading from the Base is not really a big step rather than a logical evolution for those who already mastered the Base in different conditions with ease.

Conclusion:
Name: CURE.
Ingredients:
Beautiful elongated shape glider, top performance in the category, cohesive structure, comfortable to fly, pleasurable handling, C certification, impressive choice of colors, Smile guaranteed. Smile

Video soon...
Cheers,
Ziad.

PS: Merry Christmas  :-)





Monday, December 14, 2015

XC Tracer

XC tracer.

I flew with this small light black device a few times and the sound was very imminent in climb and very precise. Since my friend Rony is more into electronics than i am, i gave him this small device to test fly and he came back with this:


I have been flying with an XC-Tracer besides my Flymaster vario for a while now so I am getting a pretty good feel about it.

At first I thought of using the XC-Tracer for my hike and fly needs since it is small, idiot proof and logs tracks. It serves that purpose perfectly but I then started keeping it on my regular cockpit as a backup logger for real flights.

What I found out:

° XC-Tracer vario is extremely accurate and has practically no delay.

° The ability to fine tune the sound of the vario is simple enough for the great range of options available.

° Changing the volume in flight is straightforward.

° The saved tracks are easily accessible through GPSDump, and they are correct when compared to the Flymaster logged tracks.

° Linking XC-Tracker to my Samsung Note 4 and XCsoar through Bluetooth works perfectly.

° I dropped the XC-Tracer a few times and I also leave it on my cockpit when packing my harness tight but never had any issues, so it is solid enough for me to keep.
https://www.xctracer.com/en/the-xc-tracer/?oid=1854&lang=en


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gradient XC 5 26




Gradient Avax XC 5 26
The last tested Gradient glider was an Aspen 5 26 in the EN-C category.
Here’s the Avax XC 5 26 EN-D with an aspect ratio of 7.0 flown at 93 all up with an X-Rated 6 harness.
Launching the XC5 is simple and quick.The light cloth helps with a rapid inflation and the glider comes up perfectly.
My flights were made sometimes in turbulent air, with quite punchy lifts. Despite all that i felt that the XC 5 is comfortable enough for a D and could be similar to the M6, which is more comfortable than a Trango XC 3.
The brake travel is short, light and the authority on the brakes is really good! The Avax XC 5 doesn’t have the yaw movements seen on the Aspen 5.
I also felt that the overall handling on this 7 aspect ratio glider is much better than the Aspen 5 !
It can core thermals with ease and pleasure !
Entering strong lift the XC 5 pitch back a bit and brakes are needed to stop the surge afterward.
The roll movements are dampened enough on this glider.
The strongest point of the XC5 26 is the authority on the brakes and the overall turning capability inside the thermals. If i considered the Peak 4 to have a very nice brake response, i think the XC5 has a little step over, just because every centimeter results in a change of the trajectory. And there’s no yaw movements as felt on the Aspen 5.
Saying that i believe that the XC5 is also one of the best handling D gliders “in homogenous conditions”.
I flew the XC5 in some turbulent conditions with my X-rated 6 harness, and the glider was still very dampened in roll movements . However when entering strong thermals the back pitch ability of the XC5 increased and it was sometimes bumping the airmass.
The XC5 climbs quickly in well built thermals, however i found it a bit difficult to climb in very weak conditions, where the Aspen 5 could catch those tiny bits of lift…
The Avax XC5 is best flown slightly above mid weight in weak thermals.
As for the glide angle efficiency, I did lots of different glides comparisons with different gliders, and i could place the Avax XC5 26 in the first part of the D category.
The top speed at 800 ASL and 92 all up on the size 26 was around 55km/h which is quite close to the Aspen 5.
Big ears are very easy, stable and efficient.