Friday, October 23, 2015

NOVA Mentor 4 XS light



NOVA Mentor 4 LIGHT XS

The light version of the Mentor 4 was released in September 2015 and the XS size going up to 90 kg was my choice for this test.

I could never imagine that by a simple though, this M4 light could launch ! It is so easy to inflate in no wind and the glider could hover above my head waiting patiently for me to fly.

The light cloth of the M4 light gave the glider an immense easiness to launch in marginal conditions. Launching the M4 light in 20 km/h wind is very quick but very well stabilized over my head with an efficient brake control.

Having flown the original M4 normal version in size S, i thought i have to let the glider climb at trim speed as the original M4 was efficient in that mode. Surprisingly and after some time on it, it doesn’t have a similar approach, and the M4 light has the best climb like any other glider i already tested, with a little pull on the brakes ! Don’t ask me why….I really don’t have the answers…But the M4 light XS has a more pronounced neutral pitch than the Mentor 4 S, which normally the smaller sizes should normally be more aggressive in pitch.

The climb rate of this Mentor 4 XS light in my humble opinion and after some comparisons with other gliders , has a ‘much’ better climb rate than the M4 ! I think this is an impressive glider that will surely put it’s pilot effortlessly on top of gaggles !

Talking only about the very good climb rate without a good maneuverability will let any glider out of interest. The Mentor 4 XS light has a ‘short, precise, linear, moderate feel through the brakes, and good agility ! My kind of gliders !  I could put the Mentor 4 XS immediately wherever i wanted despite rough conditions inside any thermal ! Pretty good handling indeed !

Lets glide…
Doing some glides on this Mentor 4 XS light with one of the ‘best” C’s of the moment, yes C’s…showed that the M4 light is an annoying little glider for any high aspect ratio glider thinking he could easily slip far away. The Mentor 4 XS light will be there saying a little ‘coucou’ every now and then  ;-)
I can confirm a very competitive glide ratio at trim and especially at full bar, like it’s bigger sister the Mentor 4 S i still have over here. To say the least…


The Mentor 4 XS light, i will surely say that in active windy and bumpy glides, a slight edge is shown only for the higher aspect ratio gliders in the category above !
The Mentor 4 XS light needs a good B pilot under it in turbulent conditions, and it’s slightly more alive than the M4 S and could resembles the Ozone Swift 4 for the same level of pilot control.

Ears are stable and efficient with bar.They reopen smoothly on pilot action. The speed bar has a moderate to light pressure with 14 km/h gain over trim speed at 1000 ASL.

Ok, ok …You should be bored now…Good launch, very good climb and handling , very good glide … and you want to ask me if it’s also ‘one’ of the best ‘B’ gliders of the moment ?
Simply: yes.

Explanation: Test flying until now, 190 different glider, didn’t teach me only about their behavior, but something much more important IMHO.
To get the lightest, simplest, smallest, ‘relatively’ easiest, and with a moderate aspect ratio, cross country machine with enormous potential plus a ‘smiley’ stamp on the pilots face is indeed a blessing !

For me paragliding is a wonderful and magical sport and each glider regardless of it’s category that delivers the biggest amount of comfort/efficiency/safety is the future everyone will eventually grow old looking for.
Conclusion: The Mentor 4 XS reminded of my beloved, Mentor 2 S with it’s shorter brake response and it’s agility. The M4 XS light has more feel into it than the normal M4 S.
This glider likes to be flown at top weight to give you it’s best.
And for the majority of pilots looking into this segment of gliders, The M4 Light flown at it’s best is a very interesting XC companion, with top overall performance a ‘B’ pilot will ever need.








20 comments:

  1. Thank you for you great post. Finally I've found an Informative blog. You've designed your blog very nice.

    kimera

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Ziad
    I'm interested in two paragliders Nova Mentor 4s light or Rook 2.
    What do you think? As you mention Mentor 4 light outperform Mentor 4.
    And which can be handled easier.

    Thank you

    Best regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martin,the light version performance is similar to the original one. I felt that the climb and brake feel are slightly better. They both have similar handling feel. Cheers

      Delete
  3. Thank you for your quick replay.
    For me it is a tough decision.
    You have very nice and useful blog indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Ziad,

    Many thanks for your gr8 work!
    I'm about to upgrade my Mentor and have been reading your tests with interests. The normal Mentor 4 you tested in size S and the light in XS. Do you think this has an influence of the difference "optimal" way to control the glider in weak thermals? And at what weight did you fly the light XS?

    Happy Landings
    VO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I flew the M4 XS light from 85 to 89 all up
      It's still efficient in the weak. It's a bit different than the normal version and climb without too much effort. Cheers

      Delete
  5. Hi,
    I would like to ask you which size for the M4 light you would prefer at 82kg all up? xxs or xs ?
    Thank you
    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Martin,
    I felt that the XS was flying better from 85 all up.and 90 in strong conditions was great . Cheers ziad

    ReplyDelete
  7. hei,
    thanks a lot for all your reviews.
    i understand that the swift4 and the mentor4 light are both wings at top of their class.
    can you see some differences in them?
    did you use the 'speedbrake riser', if yes, how would you rate them?
    when would you recommend mentor light and when would recommend swift?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ziad, I have the same question as Markus here. I'm a small pilot 72-73 all in. I'm.
      torn between the Swift or the M4. I also like the Rise 2. I was under an Artik 3,21 for couple years but want something safer and less talkative. What would you recommend?
      Thanks Mags

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      Sorry for the late reply. ..
      The M4 is slightly faster with better glide angle.Both are nice wings to fly.it depends also on your weight.the M4 S goes to 100 so flying it from 95 to 100 is great.the swift sm goes to 95 so flying it from 90 to 95 will be suitable.cheers

      Delete
    3. I forgot to mention that both are similar in comfort and they are more manageable than the artik 3 in turbulent air.

      Delete
  8. Hi Ziad, I spent 1.5 years under the Ozone Buzz Z4. I feel like it is lacking some speed and agility but it did have passive safety. Do you think the Mentor 4 light is a little less or more demanding than the regular Mentor 4. Would it be a good and likely, last jump up ? Many thanks Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      It's seems you flew the Z4 with little loading. 70 % on its weight range would have given good agility.
      The M4 light is slightly more demanding than the normal version. If you have more than 80 hours in different conditions last 1.5 year, you could try flying the M4
      Cheers,
      Ziad

      Delete
  9. Would you choose the mentor 4 light over the iota? I cant decide which glider to buy between these two, id appreciate your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I liked the M4 light over the original...I think I'll go for the LM4...but it's a matter of taste...
      Cheers
      Ziad

      Delete
  10. Hi Ziad, you flight on light XS and flull S, I would like ask you, if the differences between this gliders can be caused also by SIZE. The main question is, can I expect similar features from XS full like from XS light? If yes, in which areas they can be same or different. Thanks for your answer..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi,
    I just want to thank you for all the amazing work you do! I have a question... I've seen that you have updated the review of the M4 saying that hits climb rate is not that bad, but it's still worse than M4 light? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I think they have the same climb rate.
      Cheers, Ziad

      Delete