Friday, July 6, 2012

U-Turn Blacklight SM

U-Turn Blacklight
In 2010 a successful manufacturer made an impressive EN-B wing that can out glide some higher rated gliders.
Since then, many manufacturers worked hardly on something to beat it…
Last month, I had a U-Turn Passion EN-C to test fly it. I was very impressed by the total package this glider offers, especially its capacity to absorb turbulence for its 6.85 ar to keep its passenger quite comfortable. I was eager to find out what U-Turn will bring to the market in the B segment especially that they claim for the new Blacklight a glide of 10 !

The test:
Like the Passion the Blacklight SM is quite light with its ± 4.5 kg! Plastic inserts at the leading edge and inside the glider are (a la mode) these days ;-) as with all the gliders. Each thin riser hold 7 lines + the brake line.

Launching is easy for the category wherever in light or in strong breeze.

In the air:
The first impression after the first turn is that the Blacklight has one of the best handling a B glider could have!
Describing the handling of the Blacklight is like eating my favorite ice cream with caramel, vanilla and chunks of delicious brownies. The excellent taste will let you sometimes tighten your eyebrows ;-) and that’s exactly how you will feel inside a thermal with the Blacklight .
Flying against the best B’s of the moment, the Blacklight showed an excellent climb especially in weak thermals even loaded at max!
Being targeted for the high end B pilot, the Blacklight is fairly comfortable in the air. It surely moves in turbulence but it is easily manageable inside the hot B category.

On long glides (more than 10 km) in relatively smooth conditions against a Mentor 2 S, the Blacklight showed similar glide may be 0.1 L/D better than M2 and same at full speed with may be less than 1 km top end speed for the BL .
The advantage of the Blacklight is when racing in lift lines by its ability to float better and climb easier as some higher rated gliders do.

The accelerator is smooth and light. Big ears are stable and reopen with a touch on the brakes.

With the Blacklight U-Turn has made a new serious challenger in the B category. It has marvelous handling, brilliant climb rate that will manage low saves easily, very good performances coupled with a fairly comfortable glider in the ‘hot B’ segment making the Blacklight a sure success.

Blacklight S size on video !  Even more beautiful ....!



  1. Thanks for the update Ziad. As it relates to handling and "nervousness" which is a "tamer" glider? The Mentor 2 or the Blacklight?

    1. The BL is just a bit tamer than the M2.But still a hot B...Have to try ....

  2. Do you think that the glide of 10 is reached or is it pure marketing ? How is the glide in strong headwind against a Mentor 2 or other B "perf"
    Can we say that it is a B with C perfs or is it only a "hot" B ?
    Thanks for the answer.

  3. If you try the BL in Zero conditions with a stream harness ,maybe you will get a 10 figure.U-Turn are a serious manufacturer.But that's not the point as you will fly the BL in a more lively air that will enable you to get high and to go on XC flights.Even all your high glides will be made in relatively moving air.The 10 figure won't count in those conditions.
    The BL will assure you some impressive climbs when you are very low that a Mentor 2 will not .

  4. And also its a B with high EN-B performance .

  5. I really want to see a comparison between Gradient Nevada and U-Turn Blacklight. I want to start the new season with a high-end EN-B in March.

    Will you please compare them when you get Nevada to review?

  6. Could you please compare the handling of the BL against the EN-C gliders? Does it have only a good handling for the EN-B class or overall.

    1. It has a good handling for an EN-B glider .Mild and progressive.
      In the C class it is better to have that same handling with a shorter and a more sharper brake travel.

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  8. Hi,

    I intend to buy the Blacklight for casual flying and a bit of freestyle flying. But first of all I need to make the most of the (sometimes) weak conditions in the places I usually fly and be able to gain some altitude (this is the reason I won't buy a proper freestyle wing).

    Do you think it would be best to get the XS version which I will load 5 kg over the max weight limit? I think this would be ideal for the handling, but not sure about the climbing abilities of the wing.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sorin,
      I think 2-3 kg won't make any difference.Try to be close to to 90 as possible.
      I think also there's a new version of the BL which is called Blacklight freestyle.

    2. Hey, thanks for your reply!

      Yes, a BL Freestyle will be released, identical to the serial one but stronger materials in a couple of places :)

      The XS's upper weight limit is 80, and I'm close to 85 in flight. I think this would suit me better than flying the S with 90 kg upper limit and me 5 kilos under it :)

  9. I think your testing is great and appreciate the views you have and videos, It give a basic idea of wing from the same person at the same place ,keep up the good work.
    Im waiting to see ho the Skywalk Chili preforms as i just bought one because of their quality and build. Thanks Again :).

  10. Hi. the highest category i have ever tried is LTF 2 ( Windtech tecno, i really feel comfortable with it, no problems at all on handling, take off or landing )do you think i could fly this paraglider with no problem, im new student with about 13 flights and i have very good progression since i started flying... that´s what my instructor told me. so based on it, would i be ok flying this U TURN BLACKLIGHT?