Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Friday, May 18, 2012


U-Turn Passion
After receiving so many e-mails about the 6.85 AR Passion, and especially that some were praising its calm reaction in turbulence, I was very curious to get one.
Did contact U-turn and purchased the SM size.
And here it is after a long wait…
I have flown in the earlier days many designs made by the U-turn designer Ernst Strobl, when he was designing for UP and later with Airea.
They were indeed very special !

The Passion has a very clean, neat and sophisticated construction to the smallest detail. The SM size is very light even having rods on the leading edge.
All the lines are unsheathed.
In nil wind, the wing comes up smoothly all the way. In strong wind it needs to let go a bit at 75 % of the rise and control it with the brakes as the take off is immediate at 100 on the SM  ;-)

In the air:
We had some funny turbulent and windy days with some being a bit annoying!
It was good opportunities to test fly the gliders, in order to understand their potential. The SKW C4, the GRT A 4, the NK A3 normal lines and the Passion were on the menu. I think I have been lucky by those gliders, which were tamed a bit beside the race version of the A3.
But I never thought that the Passion would be that comfortable in those conditions. For that I flew in the same air, the Cayenne 4 and then landed and took the Passion. To my surprise, the Passion showed a very comfortable glider with an aspect ratio of 6.85!
I think this achievement is incredible!
The Passion moves in a polite manner, without strange movements or surges.
It is definitely not a detuned ‘D’ glider. It sits well in the ‘C’ category.

In the thermals:
Encountering homogenous thermals I found the glider to be agile, especially if you assist the turn with weight shift. The pressures on the brakes were medium to light.
In disorganized thermals the Passion still turn smoothly without strange movements .In those particular conditions it needs a refine piloting to place it without delay wherever you want. Have to respect its high aspect ratio a bit  ;-)  

Now the strongest point of the Passion is its climb rate ! It is a ‘spring’ ;-) You will find yourself quickly on top of the gaggle in a relaxed manner.
Big ears are easy to induce. They are stable and reopen by a dab on the brakes.

After many glides with similar gliders in the ‘C’ category, the Passion sits with the top contenders, with the ability to float slightly in head wind glides. The pressure on the bar is light and at first bar I couldn’t notice any change of the sink rate ! It is definitely a very good racing contender in the sport segment.

In the last three months I had to test fly four very nice ‘C’ gliders.
I never believed that the 6.85 AR Passion would be as comfortable to fly as the others. But it does…
U-Turn has made a glider accessible for the pilot competing in the sport class, or the keen pilot flying it XC.
The package glide, climb, handling, accessibility is superb !
Now the future is clearer for me, and challenging for the contenders of the same category as the race for the ‘C’ category replacing the old ‘D’ has began.

But to make a smooth glider with a high aspect ratio that behave like the Passion is an achievement by itself !
Congratulation U-turn !