Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear
For quicker old review findings, please go to : ww.dustoftheuniverse.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

Air Design RISE 2


 Full report soon... 

 :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

41th Coupe Icare Interviews

Excellent Coupe Icare this year, I met lots of nice people and i was impressed with the humility of big designers, with their very positive approach.

Lots of pilots and professionals looked very puzzled by my free tests, and asked me if I'm going to keep on doing them ...And why i am still doing this free service...

I never thought about it.

It is true that passion can outcome the hard reality and i can only reply: Because it happens that i am here, at this moment  :-)



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Axis Comet 2 S





Axis Comet 2 S

Opening the Axis bag and the glider showed a very good quality construction .The Comet 2 has a shark nose, thin lines on the upper layers, very sporty risers look.

Performance is written just by looking on the Comet 2 .

Launching the glider is uneventful for the B class. I am flying the S size 70-90 at 88 all up.

First turn showed a moderate and light feel on the brakes with precise response enabling an agile turn.

The Comet 2 S can be very nicely placed inside the thermals by applying the exact amount on the brakes.

It has some moderate roll movements found in the B class. The pitching behavior is nearly absent ,enabling the pilot to concentrate on the flight.
Loading the S size at max didn’t really affect the glider capability to climb in weak cores. In fact with it’s linear and precise handling , the weakest thermals can be easily exploited.

The strongest point of the Comet 2 is it’s glide angle at trim speed . After many glides with top B gliders, the Comet 2 is outstanding ! It stands right by side and not far from the best in this category . At second bar there's more to work on as the glide deteriorate a bit.

The speed system is moderate to light and easy to use ,with a top speed around 54 km/h .

Big ears are very stable and a superb way to descend quickly.

Wing overs are fun, and the S size is playful.

Conclusion: Each glider gives a certain feeling after landing. Some are special, some are exquisite, others are less…
The Comet 2 gave me the feeling of getting it airborne again ,like after a successful first date… Smile
I think the Comet 2 is a balanced and fun glider to fly. It has everything to get it’s pilot on the longest XC’s with the pleasure of flying it.
If this glider meets your budget, i recommend a test flight as soon as possible with the satisfaction that will come along !





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gradient Aspen 5

Soon,
Gradient Aspen 5 26

The size 26 is ready for take off at 99 all up. It looks like a big glider on the ground. The construction details are superb !  The rods on the leading edge of the Aspen 5 are not very long.  The A attachment points on the glider are slightly back . 

Risers are skinny and sporty, and the Aspen 5 has all unsheathed lines.

Launching the Aspen 5 in nil wind is easy just a steady pull … In stronger wind above 25 km/h be ready to control it as other C gliders…

Flying the Aspen 5 26 at 99 all up, in some turbulent cores showed a moderate roll response ,slightly more than Aspen 4 with some movements on the yaw axis.   However at that load, entering some thermals the Aspen 5 pitch back a bit then stabilize above the pilots head. It is very different in behavior from the Aspen 4 .

The brake travel is similar to the 4 with light pressure , and the turning radius is flatter. It is surely more efficient in climb than the Aspen 4 ,but with less agility for the same loadings.

The Aspen 5 gives this feeling of performance efficiency where the Aspen 4 was more oriented for fun. Surely Gradient wanted to get maximum performance out of a C.

Talking about performance lets begin with the climbing ability. After many flights and comparison with my reference glider in the C category, and with the same loadings,i can see that the Aspen 5 is very competitive with the top ones. 

The efficiency in the weak coupled with a flat turn is very good !   In punchier thermals the Aspen 5 will surely climb very well also, but will need just a second to settle after the back pitch.

In gliding power, at trim speed the Aspen 5 also showed similar performance as the top ones, but at top speed which is ±15 km/h over trim at 800 ASL, the Aspen 5 has a very interesting glide angle that could place it on top.

Big ears flap a bit, and it is better to sit in the middle or use the speed system symmetrically with this maneuver to avoid turning left or right.

It is clear that the Aspen 5 was built for efficient flying rather than a freestyle wing to throw around. But still flying it heavy can improve that feeling. 

Conclusion: With the Aspen 5 ,Gradient has successfully built an efficient XC machine to compete with this category.  
Choosing a glider comes always to a personal choice of multiple feelings and sensations that comes after a test flight .     



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

SKYWALK Tequila 4 S (YODA ! The Jedi master :-) )


History:
At first i was afraid of getting a Tequila 4 for testing as i thought it could have the same long brake travel as the Chili 3, especially being a low B, then some pilots reported that it was completely different....i was curious...i ordered it...waited ... a ... lot ... Skywalk delay...then it came.
The test:
The last Skywalk glider i have flown was a Chili 3.  That glider amazed me by its overall performance especially the climb rate. The only negative point for my personal taste was its long brake travel.

Now its smaller sister the Tequila 4 in size S (70-95) is smiling at me at the take off....
Quality is now a competitive race between manufacturers, and a Skywalk wing has its place on the higher steps among the best ones available. Talking about quality can be sometimes like poor literature on paper .
The eye is the key that unveils the perfection of the work that has been done on a paraglider .The Skywalk Tequila 4 much like the Chili 3 has a neat finish coupled with refine construction details.

Launching the S size at 92 all up, i found the first pull on the A's to be relatively calm ,smooth and the lift from the first steps was quick.  

In the air: 
I still remember perfectly my last test flights on low B gliders .
 Ion 3, Atlas, Buzz Z4, etc...
Flying the Tequila 4 in thermals surprised me ! The maneuverability in this low B category is unique by a "short" quicker brake response and immediate turning behavior which puts a large smile and even more happy humor the whole flight...(In the past low B gliders were dull and some pilots will be bored)  Not on the Tequila 4 ! I was enjoying my test flight  :-) Farewell to the long brake travel on the Chili 3. The Tequila is ssssspicy :-)
Small bullet thermals can be out-cored !!!      Is that english ??   :-) 

The Tequila 4 doesn't dive in the thermal. It just turn quickly as we use to say "on a dime" !

After several occasions  flying next to my usual friends .I can confirm an excellent climb rate for that tiny Grey/green dot ! ;-) ...In fact i think Skywalk has managed to inherit the Tequila 4 'some' of the fine climbing qualities of its bigger sister the Chili 3 .

Doing long glides against some gliders in the same category did in fact surprised me even more ...The Tequila 4 stand on the higher shelf of the performance scale for a low B glider and could even match the best one up there touching the heart of the high-end B category supremacy... The trim speed at my total weight was very good for a low B. May be 39.5 km/h at 800 asl. 
Some difficult glides were made against the sea breeze and showed some impressive behavior for the Tequila 4 enabling it to always search forward and float rather than to bump against the airmass. And that is totally brilliant for a low B glider.

Who's the glider for?
The 'Spaghetti salad mixture' dilemma of the higher categories,D,C and finally touching the high-end B's with the appearance of the high aspect ratio ones has already made heads spinning faster than ever...to say the least... 
This race for better performance or should i say better numbers ?  ;-) as some pilots are still looking for those !! Yes and they are many still...unfortunately...
This big salad mixture seems to be tasty ...and i 'm afraid it will hit the lower categories soon.

 Back to my green Yoda friend, I found that it has the ability to please pilots in the category above who will appreciate its relatively dynamic but reassuring attitude. The Tequila 4 is not a tamed or dull low B glider. It is a glider for talented pilots searching for their second wing and will find real fun without loosing the 0.2 figure... in L/D on the higher B's.

In fact wing overs on the Tequila 4 are awesome ! In the second weight shift i found myself above the wing...Looking at the small aspect ratio glider ,i wouldn't have thought i will have fun like that! 
It could possibly be and i don't encourage it...but ....a good baby learning acro wing :-) for the basic maneuvers of course.

Big ears are stable and a good way to get down,if coupled with bar.
Speed over trim is 11 km/h with a medium to soft pressure push.
The glide is still good at ± 44 km/h ,then the Chili 3 will prevail.
Low speed characteristics are present with a forgiving 75 % brake pull ,but the glider will keep a certain float-ability before top landing...It's polar seems good .


Conclusion: 
Low aspect ratio B glider , true 3 liner design , top gliding and climbing performance , handles like a toy, a blissful machine , That's the Tequila 4 in size S .


Hi, 
UPDATE :
Hi,
I am been flying the Tequila 4 S those past weeks, and more feedback are available to share.
In my flying years ,there were some special gliders. Flying them gave me an impression that they stand near perfection in their respective categories.
After each flight on the Tequila 4 S , those impressions  began more and more to settle in.

When laying this glider for folding it after each flight , my head always ask the same question: 
How come that a low aspect ratio glider that looks relatively small over my head round and compact ,having all over regular covered lines ! can in fact fly beautifully each time i took it for an air challenge.

In 85 % of difficult conditions , the T4 always kept it’s magical powers saving me again and again to regain some heights, and float away, where some other gliders next to me seems to reject the conditions of the day by their excessive bumping, surging, diving , jumping around and loosing heights.
Indeed there are some special gliders, and the T4 S is one of them. 
It is in fact the whole package that is successful . Where the brake response of the Chili 3 and Cayenne 4 were long and in stronger ,punchier conditions, the brakes weren’t that efficient to control the strong surges, the Tequila 4 is the golden boy! The brake travel is short, and very precise. Yes it moves a bit more than an average low B ,but the precision of the brakes will tame immediately the sudden movements of the glider. 
In weak thermals it is a bliss to steer it.  No B or C pilot would be indifferent toward this precision and pleasure to fly it, and they won’t loose that joyful feeling under it that is not usually available on  some low aspect B’s...
For me the Tequila 4 S is a special glider and the main cause is (  low aspect ratio -  Normal lines-B glider  - High trim speed !  - Pleasure handling - Outstanding performance ‘efficiency' for a regular B !  )

Many did asked me if the glide matches the Chili 3 S.  May be the manufacturer won’t say it…But i will…Yes it has the same glide angle until 44 km/h and the glide in moving conditions is ….b.t….impressive   ;-) 

Designing gliders sometimes don’t bear the fruits that manufacturer are aiming for. A glider replacement is not always better…Too many things involved for success...

But the Tequila 4 S design for the easy B category is indeed a success.  Too many things involved for success...
  IMHO unless there’s a competition for speed , a good pilot can fly the T4 where his imagination leads him .
Cheers,
Ziad.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

EN-C comparison (Update) ----- Inserting the Elan, Argos and Sigma 9


EN-C comparison (Update) ----- Inserting the Elan, Argos and Sigma 9 ----

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- OZONE Delta 1 M = UP Summit XC2 M= Alpina 2= Advance Sigma 9 = Mac Elan
2- ADVANCE Sigma 8 25
3- GRADIENT Aspen 4 26 = Triple seven Queen
4- NIVIUK Artic 3 = AD Volt SM =BGD Tala M = Ozone Delta 2 = Cayenne 4
5- OZONE Alpina M =U-Turn Passion SM = Nova Factor 2 S = Aircross U-Cross= Carrera = Sky Argos
6- MacPara Marvel 25 = UP Trango XC 2

Handling in rough air: (The one that you can turn even in rough air)
1- Gradient Aspen 4 ! (Superb) = Alpina 2= Sigma 9
2- Nova Factor 2 = Artic 3 = Cayenne 4 S = Ozone Delta 2 = Triple seven Queen = Carrera= Elan
3- U-Turn Passion SM= BGD Tala M= Argos
4- OZONE Alpina M = UP Trango XC 2 S/M
5- ADVANCE Sigma 8 25 & U-Cross
6- UP Summit XC2 M = Marvel 25 = Delta M =AD Volt SM
7- Artic 3 Race

Performance in calm air (no activity):
1- Triple seven Queen
2- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = Cayenne 4 S= BGD Tala = Alpina 2 = Carrera
3- NIVIUK Artic 3 = U-Turn Passion S/M =UP Trango XC 2 S/M = AD Volt SM= Ozone Delta 2= Elan =Argos
Between (1) and (2) the difference is “negligible”
4- Nova factor 2 S =Marvel 25 = Aspen 4 26= Sigma 9
5- Advance Sigma 8 25 & Ozone Alpina M & Ozone Delta M
6- U-Cross S
7- UP Summit XC2

Performance at "trim speed" in head wind glides and turbulent conditions:
1- Triple seven Queen
2- Alpina 2
3- Carrera
4- NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM = UP Trango XC 2= Ozone Delta 2= Elan =Argos
5- Ozone Alpina M = Skywalk Cayenne 4 = NIVIUK Artic 3 = Aspen 4 =AD Volt SM = BGD Tala= Sigma 9
6- Advance Sigma 8 25 ( It has a very neutral pitch that allows it to stay on its path)
7- Nova factor 2 S (moves a bit)
8- Ozone Delta M (calm and always steady) & U-Cross S ( like on steroids )
9- UP Summit XC2 (Very close to the DELTA and U-Cross )

Performance at "first bar" in headwind glides and sudden lifts :
1- Triple seven Queen (very efficient)
2- Alpina 2
3- Carrera= Elan
4- UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2
5 NIVIUK Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM = BGD Tala= Sigma 9 =Argos
6- NIVIUK Artic 3 = Aspen 4 =Cayenne 4 S= AD Volt SM
7- Nova factor 2 S
8- Ozone Alpina M & Advance Sigma 8 25
9- Ozone Delta & UP Summit XC2 M

Climb rate in weak but “difficult” conditions < 0.5 m/s (not homogenous thermals ,low in the inversion) :
1- U-Turn Passion S/M = Ozone Delta 2 ML= Elan
2- UP Trango XC 2 S/M= Delta 2 SM = Alpina 2 = Carrera M
2- NIVIUK Artic 3=Marvel 25= Aspen 4 = Skywalk Cayenne 4 S = BGD Tala= Carrera S= Argos
3- Ozone Alpina M & Advance Sigma 8 25 & UP Summit XC2 M= Sigma 9
4- Gin Tribe M =Artic 3 Race = AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen
5- Ozone Delta M & U-Cross S
6- Nova Factor 2 S

Climb rate in punchy thermal conditions :
1-UP Trango XC 2 S/M = Ozone Delta 2 = Alpina 2 = Carrera M & S= Elan
2-U-Turn Passion S/M = Cayenne 4=Marvel 25= Artic 3 Race = BGD Tala M= Argos
3-Artic 3 normal = Aspen 4= AD Volt SM = Triple seven Queen= Sigma 9
Brake description :
- 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 gives you the most efficient XC for overall use.
1- Alpina 2 (why ? simply because it is the most easy to use and efficient C glider.)
2- Ozone Delta 2 = Up Trango XC2 = U-turn Passion = Carrera M & S =Elan
3- BGD Tala M = Niviuk Artic 3, A3 Race, Skywalk Cayenne 4, Mac Para Marvel, Ozone Alpina M, AD Volt SM, Triple seven Queen, Argos, Sigma 9 (Easy and solid)
4- Advance Sigma 8, Aspen 4, U-Cross S, ,
ps: If the queen climb would be slightly better for low saves, then it would have been my favorite !

Faster at second bar:
1- Queen
2- Passion=Cayenne 4= Artic 3 Race = Aspen 4= Argos ,
3- Delta 2=Sigma 8= Alpina 2= Sigma 9
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
Artic 3 = Artic 3 Race = U-Turn Passion SM (stable moderate ears ) =UP Trango XC 2 S/M= AD Volt SM
Marvel 25 ( moderate use of big ears-moves a bit)
Cheers,
Ziad.

ps: I will delete the old wings soon...Waiting for the Triton 2 ...and an updated new comparison should occur.

B comparison update, Summit XC3, Carrera, Lightning

Inserting the all the new B’s, Summit XC3, Carrera, Lightning.

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-Hook 3 25
2-Sprint EVO=Eden 5= Advance E7 26 = Kantega XC2
3-Rush 3 = Mentor 3 S =Summit XC 3 S
4-AD Rise = Blacklight=Nevada = Sky Atis 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 ,M
3-Nevada=Sprint EVO=Rush 4 =Summit XC 3 S
4-Mentor 2 =Rush 3 if equally loaded =Mentor 3 S= Advance E7 26 = Swing M7 S
5-AD Rise = 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
2-Blacklight S @ 90
3-Mentor 3 S@ 97 =Carrera S @ 93 , M @ 103
5-Rush 4 @ 93
6-Blacklight SM @ 100 = Sky Atis 4 @ 93= UP Kantega XC2 S@ 90= Swing M7 S@ 90 =Lightning S @90= Summit XC3 @ 93.
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)
4-Rush 4 SM =Summit XC 3 S @ 93
5-Rush 3 M (have to be loaded) =Hook 3 = Eden 5 = Sky Atis 4= Advance E 7 26= UP Kantega XC2 S
6-AD Rise = Swing M7 S =Lightning S @90
7-Sprint Evo 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
3- Mentor 2= Nevada = UP kantega Xc2 S = Rush 4 =Summit XC 3
4- Hook 3 = Sky Atis 4 M =Advance E7 26 =Lightning S
5- Eden 5 = Swing M7 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
4- Mentor 2= Blacklight (must be loaded at top) = Hook 3 = Nevada (must be loaded at top)= Eden 5 = UP Kantega XC2 S (must be loaded)
5- Rush 3 = AD Rise (Should be 90% loaded to achieve good results)= Advance E 7 26 = Sky Atis 4 M= Swing M7 S =Lightning S
6- Sprint evo

Overall efficiency in racing upwind:
1- Carrera S, M
2- Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S
3-Rush 4
4-Nevada 26 (must be loaded at 100 ) = Hook 3
5-Mentor 2 S= Blacklight SM (loaded)
6-Rush 3 M= AD Rise =Eden 5 = UP kantega XC2 S= Swing M7 S = Sky Atis 4 M
7-Sprint Evo = Advance E 7 26 (Must be loaded)

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
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
UP Kantega Xc2 S (@ 90 all up)*5.0
AD Rise (@ 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
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.

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 hook 3 is very comfortable to fly with a superb glide for the targeted group of pilots.
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.
Cheers,
Ziad

UP Summit XC 3 S




UP Summit XC 3 S

Laying on the glider is UP new 6.3 aspect ratio B glider.
Seven lines per side all are unsheathed + brake line, Sporty looking risers, with a shark nose profile…or whatever they call it today …
It has everything of today’s innovations and requirements…

Launching is straightforward, easy and take off couldn’t be easier on a 6.3 ar glider !
First turn in a thermal showed that the XC 3 has a moderate to light pressure, linear, precise and direct .The thermalling ability is nice and a joy to fly.
Climbing felt as good in efficiency as a Mentor 3 S loaded at 96 all up.
Surprisingly, the 6.3 ar XC3 felt much more comfortable than a Carrera S at same loadings. The XC3 is much more coherent with a solid structure.The roll movements that i felt on the Carrera S were nearly absent on the XC3.Even the pitch movements are very dampened.
The internal structure feels very solid and i couldn’t sense i am on a higher rated glider…It feels like i am (nearly comfortable) on a Mentor 3 S.

Trim speed at 93 all up on the S 80-98 size is around ± 40 km/h .
Just ± 0.5 km/h more than a Mentor 3 S (80-100) at 96 km/h .
Doing some tip to tip glides at trim first next to the same M3 S at 96 , with a 15 km/h head wind showed a close or similar glide angle .
Pushing the accelerator at full bar on the XC3 (Pulleys overlapping) and racing the same M3 for a 3 km glide showed that both have the same top speed with also very close glide.The M3 was finally ± 5 m higher at the end of the glide which is very small.
The glides were repeated 2 times with same results.

Like the exceptional M3 the XC3 cuts forward through the sea breeze better than a Blacklight or a Lightning.

Conclusion : Flying the XC3 felt very easy …Ears are stable and -3m/s were reached with bar. They open quickly.Wing overs are nice but needs some input to throw them around.It shows that the XC3 is a calm glider for the given aspect ratio.

Cheers,
Ziad

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Advance Sigma 9



ADVANCE Sigma 9 25
Test flying gliders and putting my personal findings into words is the most difficult thing to do.
Even flying the gliders in different conditions i can only give my personal opinion.
But if i don’t write exactly what i felt and seen, then why should i write tests anyways !
Here’s what i found flying the Sigma 9 25 (75-100) from 92 till 97 all up.

Opening an ADVANCE glider is always a moment of excitement. The quality of workmanship, cloth, sewing, are beyond a doubt the best you could find.
The Sigma 9 has a mild shark nose profile ,3.5 liner, all lines are unsheathed with small relatively diameters that resembles the best C gliders.
Launching the Sigma 9 felt very easy from 5 km/h wind to gusty 30 km/h .The glider rises smoothly and stay above the pilots head showing its docile behavior even on ground handling.
In the air, the Sigma9 gives immediate feeling of confidence.It gives the sensation when flying it at mid weight or near max weight of a very coherent and solid, compact glider !
First day in weak thermals at 92 all up and first turn .The brakes could be described medium to short, not that light after 30 cm, not really linear…but direct. The Sigma 9 respond calmly and turn on pilot order.
Very weak conditions are not the Sigma 9 strong point even with -8 kg from top weight. I found it difficult for the Sigma9 to breath in those small conditions (-0.5 m/s) thermals.
The next day i took the Sigma 9 to a spot in the north were the dry season gave strong conditions with sometimes +30 km/h on take off, making the day a good one for evaluating a glider.
I flew the Sigma 9 25 at 97 all up, and getting upward like a sling-shot, i still felt surprisingly a very comfortable ride under it ! The glider became even more compact on my wing load and wasn’t even wobbling or shaking…as if i am on a lower rated glider.
The structure felt very solid and coherent ! That’s the strong point of the Sigma 9.
Even in broken lift, the direct brake contributed to a clean turn.
Thermals were easily cored by the Sigma 9.

My observations were that the Sigma 9 was pitching back remarkably when entering strong cores. It doesn’t surge forward at all. In strong valley breeze, it struggle a bit to go forward.



The trim speed is visibly reduced and the only way to give it a boost is by applying the bar which is actually an efficient tool.
Some B gliders in these head wind conditions even on bar will still be stuck, but the Sigma 9 accelerator is changing the equation.
Doing some glides with another reference C glider shows an excellent glide (in calm air) for the Sigma 9 !
It is in difficult and head wind conditions that places the Sigma 9 in the middle of the C category in terms of glide angle.
Some new C gliders have the ability to cut through more and go ahead.
The Sigma 9 is not a floater rather than a fighter (for strong conditions).

Wing overs are quickly built, and 360’s are a fun way to go down.
Ears are very stable and a good and easy way to descend.

Conclusion : From all the Sigma’s that i remember, the Sigma 9 is the most solid and coherent, as the Sigma 4 was the most agile.

Pilots coming from the low B category (2 seasons) could in fact get a Sigma 9 as a first C glider. In fact i think that it is the only C i have tested that could pass for a B rather than a C…hope you know what i mean ;-)
But i leave this to the authenticity and philosophy of ADVANCE.

Friday, June 13, 2014

U-Turn Lightning S





U-Turn Lightning S
Having had some happy times flying the Blaklight S and SM size, here is the Lightning in size S ,a light version of the Blacklight for a test flight.
Of course lighter cloth…It weights around 4 kg risers included.
The risers are very thin and the line attachment point are covered with neoprene and linked with a thick Dyneema line.
Taking off with 88 all up on the S (70-90) is simple.The glider rises quickly and need just a small brake pressure to keep it overhead.The launching is fast.
Turning behavior is among the best i have flew.Like the Blacklight,the lightning is agile with very linear and crispy handling to keep the pilot in control of every movement inside the thermal. The Lightning can be steered very precisely in the core for an outstanding climb !
(The reference) in the B category until now.

The slight pitch back in entering the thermal of the BL has gone and replaced by a neutral pitch that slows the glider a bit in entering.Much better than the BL. It seems that the light cloth + the red plastic long inserts have done this small improvement.
The roll movement of the Lightning is the same as the one on the BL S.It is a lively glider ! It jumps in the turbulence to find it’s place ,and needs a good pilot under it.
The glide seems very good at least the same as BL but in some long lines the less pitch movements gives a better glide angle.
The speed bar can be pushed easily at full with a solid and pressurized glider. The C riser become a bit light but can be used for preventing any pitch forward in turbulence. Speed gain over trim seems over +13 km/h at 800 m ASL.
Ears are stable, nice way to descend,as there only two lines on the A’s .
Conclusion :
Light, superb performance, climbs like a devil ! Handles beautifully…Needs a "skilled approach" in turbulent conditions ! A floater !
That’s the Lightning.

 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mac Para ELAN 26

Mac Para Elan 26




Looking the the new Mac para Elan, showed a more clean and better construction than before. The sewing are very neat and the finish is excellent !

The Elan has a shark nose, with a new and simple interesting construction.

The lower lines are sheathed and the upper ones are unsheathed.

The thin risers looks very sporty, with the handles on the C risers very well placed !

Launching the Elan is straightforward and simple.

In the air :
The Elan takes it’s pilot quickly in charge for a quick take off. Once in the air i could sense an immediate feel of comfort as the Elan gives that nice confidence inspiring feel !

Flying the Elan at 97 all up on the 26 gives an average brake travel that enable it’s pilot to be in charge whatever the conditions throws at him.

The brake pressure is also medium to light and the brake response are quite good, with a description as precise, crispy, direct…Finally…A joy to steer !

I felt that once i encounter a thermal the Elan react as a spring immediately going upward without any delay !

Flying the Elan in turbulence is quite disconcerting for a C.You have to ask your friend later if the conditions were rough…or not…Because under the Elan the pilot is always a VIP on a couch.

Saying that doesn’t mean that the Elan is very dampened. It does inform it’s pilot exactly enough about the conditions of the day without being too hot to handle !
The Elan reaction and comfort in turbulence goes more on the Eden 5 side rather than on the Marvel side !
It could clearly be a pilot first C as it’s movement in turbulence are rather soft and the overall reactions are rather smooth and not stiff !

Later i gave the Elan to my friend who flew it at 100 all up just on top. And i took the Delta 2 SM at 92 all up, 3 kg below max.
Trim speed is the same for 4 km. The glide also in head wind.
The top speed is on the Delta 2 side with +1 km/h only .The glide at full speed is also the same !

Climbing together in weak thermal showed that they are also inseparable.
My friend bought another Elan immediately after landing ! His large smile was better than any comment…

Performance :
After many glides with my reference top C glider, showed that even with it’s thicker normal lower lines, the Elan finally stands equally performant ! In glide at trim, accelerated and in climb !
The plus comes in favor of the Elan for it’s much more comfort use.
I asked the designer for the purpose using the thick sheathed lower lines His explanation is a longer use with the same stable performance for the Elan without pilots fearing for 'an out of trim' situation !

An idea came to my mind...Imagine a lighter ,thin line version !!! 

Conclusion :
Yes they did it !
If you are looking for a comfortable C glider with very nice coordinated handling, and excellent overall performance on the top of the C category for the time being, then you must get an ELAN for a test flight. May be you won’t return it back ;-)


Thursday, April 24, 2014

EN-B comparison

EN-B comparison .
Inserting the Rush 4 SM ,

Most easy to fly in difficult conditions:
1-Hook 3 25
2-Sprint EVO=Eden 5= Advance E7 26
3-Rush 3 = Mentor 3 S = Kantega XC2
4-AD Rise = Blacklight=Nevada = Sky Atis 4 M= Swing Mistral 7 S = Rush 4
5-Mentor 2
6-Chili 3

Climb rate in weak conditions .NO head wind (<0.2m/s)
1-Chili 3
2-Blacklight=Eden 5= Kantega Xc2 S
3-Nevada=Sprint EVO=Rush 4
4-Mentor 2 =Rush 3 if equally loaded =Mentor 3 S= Advance E7 26 = Swing M7 S
5-AD Rise = 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
2-Blacklight S @ 90
3-Mentor 3 S@ 97
5-Rush 4 @ 93
6-Blacklight SM @ 100 = Sky Atis 4 @ 93= UP Kantega XC2 S@ 90= Swing M7 S@ 90
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
2-Nevada = U-Turn Blacklight
3-Mentor 2 S (Still Efficient) = Mentor 3 S ( it is very dampened)
4-Rush 4 SM
5-Rush 3 M (have to be loaded) =Hook 3 = Eden 5 = Sky Atis 4= Advance E 7 26= UP Kantega XC2 S
6-AD Rise = Swing M7 S
7-Sprint Evo 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- Chili 3 S @98
2- Mentor 3 S ( very close to Chili 3) at similar loadings
3- Mentor 2= Nevada = UP kantega Xc2 S = Rush 4
4- Hook 3 = Sky Atis 4 M =Advance E7 26
5- Eden 5 = Swing M7 S

‘Glide in turbulence’ and head wind (Equally loaded)
This was done after many flights (now I am more convinced)
1- Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S
2- Rush 4
3- Mentor 2= Blacklight (must be loaded at top) = Hook 3 = Nevada (must be loaded at top)= Eden 5 = UP Kantega XC2 S (must be loaded)
4- Rush 3 = AD Rise (Should be 90% loaded to achieve good results)= Advance E 7 26 = Sky Atis 4 M= Swing M7 S
5- Sprint evo

Overall efficiency in racing upwind:
1-Mentor 3 S = Chili 3 S
2-Rush 4
3-Nevada 26 (must be loaded at 100 ) = Hook 3
4-Mentor 2 S= Blacklight SM (loaded)
5-Rush 3 M= AD Rise =Eden 5 = UP kantega XC2 S= Swing M7 S = Sky Atis 4 M
6-Sprint Evo = Advance E 7 26 (Must be loaded)

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' ! )
Advance E7 26 (@93 all up) * 3.9
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
UP Kantega Xc2 S (@ 90 all up)*5.0
AD Rise (@ 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
Swing M7 S (@90all up) *6.0
Rush 4 SM (@93 all up) *6.0
Blacklight S ( @ 90 all up) *6.5
Mentor 2 S (@ 95 all up) *6.5
Chili 3 S (@ 98all up) *7.0

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 .

Conclusion:
The Evo , the BL,Mentor 3,Hook 3 ,the UP KXC2 and the Eden 5 has a very nice handling, the Rush 3 has a soft feeling underneath it like the Rise . Pilots looking for performance and handling in a mild way will love those five. The Rush 3 M has to be loaded to cut through head wind exactly as the Rise . The Evo has a big profile that doesn’t penetrate the strong head wind like the 2 others.
Each new glider that came brought with him an improvement. The BL, and the Nevada tighten the gap which the Mentor 2 was having, and even with a better climb rate !
The Mentor 3 has this slight advantage in long glides and more comfortable than its predecessor, The hook 3 is very comfortable to fly with a superb glide for the targeted group of pilots.
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.
Cheers,
Ziad.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SKY Argos



SKY Argos !!!!
The new light C glider from SKY arrived .The Argos !
Laying the glider on the ground show a superb finish construction to the last detail…
Thin risers are equipped with ‘FOUR’ lines A,B,C,D !
No plastic rods anywhere !
No shark nose, air scoop…whatsoever…
Normal lines on the lower part !
Unsheathed lines on the higher part ... "finally"

A clean and ‘normal’ paraglider…very difficult to see in those days…
So…what should we expect from such a design…
Flying the Argos ML 85-100 at 96 all up.
Launching : Just a small pull and the glider rises without any hard point .In strong wind a little brake is needed to stop the glider from overshooting.Normal for a C.
In the air : First contact with a rough and turbulent thermal, and the glider has that very little pitch back in entering it.
In smoother conditions the pitch back is not felt.

Argos brakes has a moderate to light feel, and little more pressure than the Atis 4.
The Argos smoothly follow with a moderate to agile behavior.
In narrower cores the Argos needs slightly wider circle than the Atis 4, as the glider keeps surfing the air.
The Argos has a more pronounced roll response than the Atis 4. In strong thermals the pitch stability is very good without any shooting forward.
Sometime it slightly pitches back with a quick return and efficient cutting through.

The Argos feels like it is always surfing the air and the authority on the brakes doesn't quickly slow the glider inside the core, for very tight turning, so in weak conditions the pilot must be keen to prevent it from slipping out of the thermal.
Overall it is a good climber !

Now the part that impressed me the most with the Argos classical construction is the glide angle !
After many glides in difficult head wind conditions, i can confirm that the Argos with its 4 lines, no rods, no shark-nose ...stand surprisingly very close to the best ones in it’s category !
With the Argos, any C pilot would make the same flight as the more complicated or lesser lines full unsheathed new C machines.
The performance is there.

The Argos is not a dampened C glider as it require good skill for a C pilot, nor a very lively one, but exactly in the middle of it’s category in terms of comfort and until that moment among the top three in terms of glide performance.
Ears are stable and re-open by themselves.
The speed system has a moderate to light pressure in the first part and a bit harder on the second part.

Conclusion :
Some things in life makes you wonder…
Once again, the SKY designer has proven by taking a unique path, far from the trend and fashion of today's often followed concepts, that, simple and genius creations can be reached !

Saturday, April 5, 2014

OZONE Rush 4 SM



Ozone Rush 4 SM
And finally, the long awaited glider came to my house this morning.
Being a Rush 4 SM ,i rushed to the take off to get a taste of its features.

Laying it on the ground and as an SM with 25 sqm, it looks a bit smaller than the Delta 2 SM which has also 25 sqm.

Today i flew at 92.4 kg all up on the SM size (75-95)

Launching : Reverse launching at 15 km/h wind on a relatively 30 degrees slope, the Rush 4 doesn't overpass it's pilots, and needs a steady but gentle pull all the way.

In the air : Once airborne and having flown the Delta 2 SM for the last days at 92.5 also, i can confirm a quick 'feel' of a more smaller but 'compact' glider.

The air today was turbulent and there was some 15 km/h North/west head wind with very poor visibility. I have flown many years into those conditions to understand better glider reactions.

The Rush 4 is not a tamed glider in the high-end B category like its predeccessor the Rush 3 nor it is a wild one.

It has a 'balanced' but dynamic feel and moves as a whole reminding me the Mentor 2 with ‘slightly less’ overall feedback but with a moderate spicy feel that some experienced B or C pilots downgrading will find this EN-B a cherry on the cake.

The authority on the brakes reminded me also of the Mentor 2 that i liked very much at the time. The Rush 4 has a relatively short and direct handling with a precise and linear travel. The turning radius at my loadings can be very narrow, so the pilot can core the thermals instantly without any delay.

Entering some rough thermals, the Rush 4 doesn't surge forward, but pitches 'very slightly' backward and immediately regain balance overhead.

360’s are easy to enter and they are a very efficient descent method when settled in, as the loss of altitude is very quick.
The exit is relatively energetic but still in the B certification.

Ears are made with the outer A's .They are stable with a -3m/s descent rate. If the pilot takes more lines for bigger ears, they will flap.
The opening of normal ears are very quick and sometimes with a bang ! They are very pressurized !

Pushing the speed system in rough air surprised me for its very solid behavior ! I really wanted to see if the leading edge would soften a bit being pulley to pulley. But it didn't ! The Rush 4 SM at my loadings was very solid and coherent .The foot pressure is similar to the Delta 2 one which is relatively medium to light.
Measuring the top speed at 1000 asl /temp 25 C/ humidity 80% gave me a 13 km increase over trim !OZONE RUSH 4 SM

Performance UPDATE :

Launching : Like any high-end B i found that the take off is very easy…and sometimes in nil wind a little steady push on the A’s is welcomed.

In the air : Flying the Rush 4 in different conditions from weak to strong with some glides made in head wind conditions, showed me a average comfort behavior for the high-end B category. There are some low aspect B’s that require more pilot input and some require less. So the Rush 4 is in the middle of the category in terms of comfort.
The handling is the strongest point of the Rush 4.It has a relatively short, direct and precise brake control that a pilot could place it exactly where he wants inside the core. On top of that the Rush 4 informs its pilot about those movements needed to locate a thermal letting him aware where the thermal is. Some high end B’s are too dampened in pitch that sometimes you loose a weak thermal by missing it. That’s not the case with the Rush 4.

Climb rate : Flying the SM at 93 all up showed me that it has similar climb rate to a similar loaded Mentor 3 S even in all thermal conditions …form weak to strong…to head wind thermal-ling…They are very similar in climb. (My M3 reference friend flies with me for the last 20 years)

Glide : We did in fact make some interesting into wind glide …
With similar loadings for both.

At trim speed the Mentor 3 S has ±1 km/h forward speed .To reach the same speed as the M3 i had to push the bar slightly. The glides are impressively the same at that configuration.

After many attempts of glide measurements :
The glides were made in moving air (Video soon) in 15 km/h head wind and on 5 km run.
I was on the Rush 4 SM at 93 all up, pulley to pulley to reach the M 3 S speed which has still 3 cm more pushing travel.
After some kms, we both agreed that the M3 is still one of the best contenders to beat in glide in the high-end B category by a little insignificant margin…As the Blacklight and Chili 3 are the best in climb !

The M3 pushed the full bar and had + 3km/h more top end speed.

What’s special about the Rush 4 ?

The thing is that the Rush 4 combine many features in one glider :
Superb handling, top end glide in the high end B cat, very good climb,
Overall very pleasurable to fly,
And that in « one » comfortable complete package.

Not to forget the solidity and the use of full bar is a fine achievement !
I was able to push the full lengths in some turbulent air and the glider was indeed « Rock solid » !

Conclusion :
For the last year and a half i never sold the Delta 2 SM.For me it was the best glider in the C category and i kept it as reference for comparing and above all for my flying pleasure !

With the Rush 4, Ozone has created close enough the same feeling under a glider that the Delta 2 had, but with a more compact and more solid glider to fly safely in strong conditions.I felt that +92 on the SM (75-95) is a good weight for overall (rough and soft ) conditions to combine good climb and glide.

My findings are personal and i recommend that you get a test flight on this nice machine to evaluated yourself !
Comparing ‘only’ very small performance gain is useless if the glider doesn’t give you the joy to fly…
I am sure that the Rush 4 will give a smile to many faces as it has many qualities to get any high-end B pilot the best XC’s he dreams about with the safety and pleasure he gets flying it.


More videos soon !!

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

NOVA ION 3 S (80-100)

NOVA Ion 3 S (80-100)

Having flown the Ion 1 and Ion 2 here is the Ion 3 test flight.

Nova has already proven with the Ion 2 its ability to make some long XC flying with a large passive safety. They claim that the Ion 3 is targeted to the same group of pilots wanting more performance without the stress of a high aspect ratio glider.

The glider just arrived and I am already on the take off.

Construction:
On the Ion 3 unsheathed lines are found at the top and normal on the bottom main lines. I could see a clean 3 line construction without any splits on the C .

Digging my ‘hard nose’ inside the NOVA ‘Air scoop’ cells of the Ion 3 to check the construction, Wink I can see that you could expect a quality beyond questioning on the ION 3. The workmanship on this glider and on recent NOVA gliders is really remarkable.

Launching the Ion3 is straightforward and at 95 all up I was immediately airborne even with a light breeze.

In the air:
First thermal and first contact in the air on board the ION 3 S size loaded at 95,showed a very quick brake response.
After the first 10 cm slack from the pulleys, the glider can be turned on the second 10 cm travel and it doesn't need more !
It is weird for me to experience that on a low B glider.

I have tried to dig the brake 40 cm lower just to make sure it doesn’t spin…. But it does seem to be a forgiving B glider.

The pressure on the 10 cm travel needed to steer the glider is average, just like on the Ion 2, but pulling +10 cm more showed a hard brake pressure.

In thermals the glider is easy to place inside the core with just those 10-12 cm .

Roll response is present on the Ion 3 slightly more than on the Ion 2. But the pilot feels its passive safety, as it doesn’t have some high angle surges. Just moving above the pilot’s head…

In entering the thermals, the Ion 1 would pitch back a little, the Ion 2 would have a slightly more neutral pitch, but the Ion 3 has a slight forward pitch, as it seems to reach for the thermals. A nice feature for discovering the higher rated gliders.

The Ion 3 seems to have its entire load on the A’s and B’s. At trim speed, the C lines are nearly loose. It is another concept from the Ion 2.

The speed travel is long for the category and I was able to get +12 km/h over trim speed.
The pressure is similar to the Ion 2, which has a relatively average pressure.

Big ears are stable and reopen on their own.

The performance seems nice for this low-end B.
I have to make more flights along new low-end B’s to be more sure.
But it seems that at second bar the glide doesn’t deteriorate like on the Ion 2 ! It feels more faster with a more interesting horizontal glide !


More feedback,

Today i was hoping to get a long glide with the Buzz Z4 with same loadings, but the conditions weren’t so ideal for comparing. But after some hours in the air, here is what i found more :

Climbing :
Flying the Ion 3 S today with ballast at 96 all up.
First it was a bit windy and in those conditions when on a thermal and facing the wind, the Ion 3 as a low B glider behaves like the class above in surfing upward the air with each turn.It means that the leading edge would convert the lift to a nice climb.This characteristic was not really found before on the low B gliders i have tested.

Going in some turbulent conditions the Ion 3 moves above the pilots head but won’t go far, and after a while the pilot will get a solid confidence !

At the end of the day, i dropped the 3 kg ballast to get to 93 all up.The brake pressure felt a little less tiring and the glider was surely a better floater, that could easily be compared to the class above ! in terms of climbing efficiency.

The Ion 3 doesn’t require a heavy approach. If the pilot will let it fly, without too much brake input, it will ‘surf’ the air in a very efficient glide for its low B category ! I think it is designed for XC flights in mind.

The glide test is coming soon, but it seems that the Ion 3 has some impressive glide angle for its category, especially into wind transitions and at bar !
Just to tease you a bit Wink
Soon…


AND more interesting feedback !!!

I was very excited to do the Mentor 3 Ion 3 glide for the past month ! As i knew there was something special here …But couldn’t write anything before, being sure.
Now after many glides at trim and accelerated in headwind and difficult conditions, I can confirm that the glide at trim and at 45 km/h are identical !!

-In climbing ability the Mentor 3 still has a light edge.
-The overall handling and maneuverability is also on the M3 side..
-The total comfort and smoothness in flight is on the Ion 3 side.

IMHO, ‘Any’ low en-B pilot looking for some top performance in the (High and low B) category would miss NOT to try that Ion 3 just to feel what i talking about !
And i wonder how it could be done .... and why there are still some 'very' high aspect ratio gliders other than for top high speed gliding …