Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Friday, October 29, 2010

NOVA MENTOR 2 S (80-100)

The test:
Laying the glider on the ground shows an excellent finish never seen before. The risers are very clean . It has the plastic wires on, it but it is not a “copy paste” thing. The plastic wires contain more rubber into them with a bigger diameter. The leading edge tells you immediately that is a NOVA glider .It doesn’t have any Mylar’s reinforcement on the vertical panels.
Lines are rather thin, unsheathed in the upper part and sheathed on the lower ones. But you feel when holding them that there is very little on the hand.
We all heard the story about the glide in calm air with an Omega 8 EN-D glider, and I was very curious to see its performance in real moving air mixed with head wind and on long transitions. We were on a “rendez vous” with that exact type of conditions today, as we stood on the take off.

My friend Moni took the OZONE Delta M, loaded at 98 all up, and I was on the NOVA Mentor 2 S @ 96 .
Launching is really easy, and I felt that the wing lift me off the ground quickly. First thermal, and first turn has already painted my face with a smile! The brake travel is short, very responsive and linear with a performance turning radius !. It reminded me of the Artic 2 S I tested a year ago. Very efficient on entering the lift at trim speed, with a smooth race feeling .I looked up many times smiling…to see if I am really on the 1-2 and not on a 2-3 glider, ☺ in terms of feel of “efficiency” !

My friend on the Delta and I climbed together on a steady 2m/s. We agreed after “switching gliders”, that they both have the same climb rate, with a better feeling underneath the Mentor 2 in terms of feeling.
The Delta moves a bit less than the Mentor 2, and has a mellower feeling to show where the thermals are.
The Mentor 2 move more in the air, but in a positive way for the good pilot to feel the thermals, and understand how to core them better. I think that this feeling under the Mentor 2 is beautiful and exquisite.

At cloud base we decided to glide into wind. The constructor of the Mentor 2 “Hannes Papesh” stated before that the Delta has more performance than the Mentor 2 in calm air.9.6vs 9.3.

We did not see that in moving air and head wind transitions.
They have both the same trim speed with a touch faster for the Mentor 2 .
After that glide and others later, I must confirm that the Mentor 2 is one hell of a glider !! First glide at trim showed no difference in glide vs the DELTA.
The Mentor 2 has no problem coping with turbulence and head wind vs the DELTA, and it will stay next to it without any problem.
Second glide at half bar and my friend who was flying the DELTA was screaming about the incredible efficiency of the Mentor 2.
We concluded that both at first and second bar could not be apart !!

A video of the whole flight is in process….I will post it as soon as it will be finished.

Big ears are stable.
As for the landing, the Mentor 2 does not like to be heavily braked at full extension, but will loose speed at mid range easily.

Conclusion:
This glider is a high end dhv 1-2 ,EN-B glider. Intended for the experienced pilots who needs the performance of the best EN-C of the moment with an EN-B rating .
Unless i need to win a competition on a national level, by flying fast and needing those few extra points, I see no point “until this moment” of flying something else than the MENTOR 2.

This glider amazed me by its performance, easiness of flight and incredible ability into wind.

My friend and I take our hats off to this manufacturer for this excellent glider out of the ordinary.

Now I am more puzzled to see what the FACTOR 2 has to offer more ?

MORE FEEDBACK :

 Today we did have also some head wind .It seems that the wind is not really stopping..But it was nicely flyable with ± 800 m gain above take off .My other friend Alan took the Delta today ,take off weight @ 101 ! all up,and i was on the Mentor 2 S @ 95 all up.Both with pod harnesses.

Climbing seems equal like i described before,and may be a touch better for the Mentor 2.The delta was heavily loaded ! Today was full of transition comparisons.Up wind,downwind...
All the transition wing tip to wing tip at trim showed no difference in glide. Even in gusty head wind !

At first bar both gliders are also equal !!
At second bar ,and that wing loading,both are also equal in glide and speed !! May be the Delta have 1 km faster.


After 1 hour we landed on the take off and we switch gliders.
Alan took the Mentor 2 @ 101 all up,and i took the Delta @ 95.

At that wing loading i found that the Delta is a "mosquito" touch better in climb ,but Alan was over weight,very fast, but able to keep up very close.

Now for the transitions !!!

With the Delta @ 95 i had to use first bar to reach Mentor 2 trim speed ! with the same glide angle.

Alan on the Mentor 2 decided to use first bar .He was loaded at max and he was very very fast!! .
Now we both decided to use second bar ,at the deck ! Result : Alan on the Mentor 2 loaded at 101 was unreachable ...and had some impressive glide angle !!
Conclusion: We do confirm that they have "absolutely" the same glide at all speeds no matter what the conditions throw at us .

After landing Alan told me that the Mentor 2 was really impressive but he thinks that it is intended for educated dhv 1-2 pilots. I totally agree with him as the glider will be a real pleasure for the experienced pilots . 


And i really meant it when i said that it is useless "for the time being"to fly higher rated gliders if you are not competing !! This green funny looking ,low aspect glider is really out of the ordinary !! try it !!

I will surely post this second day video also ,because the gliders were close all the time and the view was perfect.

Wish you all nice flights,
Ziad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKkblRBjpMQ

Video No 1     VS DELTA M  (copy/paste the link)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjL0R-JsDrg


Video No 2  Mentor 2 VS Delta (PART 2 )  "interesting !! (Copy/paste the link)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v_VJQM3HkM

With the GTO M,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKkblRBjpMQ




















9 comments:

  1. Awesome! Looking forward to your impressions...

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  2. Please hurry up with finishing the video :-)
    Very intersting stuff!

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  3. Hi,
    where you have fly this test ?
    There is a gps tracks on xcontest for mentor2 and delta fly ?

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  4. Very nice job man, congratulations, you really help us with your opinions and videos.
    So, acording your test, the Mentor 2 is incredible, the performance is equal to the best EN-C glider, and maybe slighty better if you considerate that Delta M (80-100) was overload @ 101 and Mentor 2 S (80-100) wasn't @ 96; and when you change, Delta hads to be in firt bar to cath Mentor 2 up, and also for your other video is even so close the 2-3, for that is posible that you do a comparison with O8 for looking if just in calm air both have the same performance or also in normal conditions? it will interesting!

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  5. Hi trisol,
    Thank you for your comment.In calm air the O 8 and the Mentor 2 could be equal.I made a 10 km transition on full bar vs the Venus 2 M to match my speed and we were at the same level all the time.
    In head wind and turbulent conditions ,there will be a little advantage for the O 8 and Venus 2 .They will climb the bumps much quicker and surf the moving air better,and they will have much more speed to burn. But for EN-B pilots....That's the way to go for the moment.Incredible performance...
    Cheers,
    Ziad.

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  6. Hi Frontloop,
    The tests has been made in the north region of Lebanon.The site is called Mezyara(830 m) take off. Lots of glide into the flats.
    Cheers,
    Ziad.

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  7. I'm convinced in terms of performance!
    Thanks for your description and videos.

    Could you please tell more about the collapse resistance for Mentor 2? Perhaps compared with Delta?

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  8. HI Ady,
    I think it is quite collapses resistant for an active pilot.The Delta too is similar .
    Cheers,
    Ziad.

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  9. Thanks for the info. I've got the Mentor 2 S, and so far seems to be pretty good at collapse resistance (compared with my old Sol Ellus).

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