Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Air Design VOLT SM


Air Design  VOLT
After flying the PURE and the RISE ,I was waiting for AD new C glider. And here it is The SM size 80-95 .
I flew the glider at 94 all up, as the VOLT has to be flown at top weight to be able to control it in all conditions. At 90 all up in strong conditions it kept telling me that she likes to be heavily loaded. I understood.

I flew the glider in different conditions from turbulent to weak. I can say that the VOLT is fairly comfortable for a regular ‘C’ glider. It is more comfortable than the C 4, and a bit less comfortable than the Delta.

When entering a thermal it slows a bit, doesn’t pitch back much. Sometimes when loosing the thermal it pitches a bit forward.

The VOLT has an overall average to good climb rate in the C category, much like the C 4 and the Delta.

I could describe the overall handling as average. The SM size flown at 94 showed a calm turn, and I could not say it is an agile glider .It needs a bit more time to be placed easily and quickly inside those small cores. Once it is inside it can core easily .It is definitely more agile than the PURE and easier to handle.

The trim speed at 94 all up is a bit less than 40 km/h. Accelerated at max,it is around 55 km/h.

Gliding next to a Passion SM loaded at 102 ‘in calm air’, showed similar glide ratio at trim.
At first bar the VOLT may have a slight advantage. At second bar the speed and glide are very close!

As everyone knows many manufacturers are putting some high aspect gliders in the ‘C’ category High aspect ratio gliders will eventually climb better and has a better floatability into wind transitions.

Gliding in moving head wind conditions I prefer to compare the VOLT to similar aspect ratio ‘C’ gliders like the Artik 3 25 and the Cayenne 4 S. The VOLT showed exactly similar glide as the Artik 3 at trim and a bit better than the C4 at second bar .

Big ears could be made with the outer ‘A’s or the outer ‘B’s. Descent rates are around -2.5 m/s with the speed bar.

Wing over’s could be largely built as the energy of the glider is clearly present.

I wished it had a more aggressive bite and thermal entry rather than being slowed a bit. And also a more direct handling as I am a handling freak ;-)  .

But with its superb glide angle and overall behavior if loaded at top, the VOLT will lead many happy pilots to long XC flights as it sits well in the ‘C’ category.
Pilots coming to the ‘C’ category will need a very small time to adapt.
In that time of ‘C’s being targeted as ‘D’s and ‘D’s being certified as ‘C’s….The VOLT is a classic ‘C’ glider with the performance of today’s pilots requirements.