Testing new paragliding gear

Testing new paragliding gear

Monday, June 13, 2016

UP Kibo SM


After test flying the Summit XC3 and the Trango XC3, here’s the Kibo test flight in SM size .

The Kibo has a 5.7 aspect ratio and has a B rating. UP created the Kibo for B pilots in mind and should be easier to fly than the Summit XC3.

Launching the Kibo is super easy and smooth . No shooting forward or hanging back. Just a steady climb to rest above the pilots head.

I flew the Kibo SM (75-95) at 93 all up as i felt it is a good load on this size. The trim speed isn’t very high, just near 38 km/h as average for the B category.

I flew this glider in different conditions from weak ones to some turbulent air in our Cedars Mountain range. I could quickly confirm a very comfortable glider. The Kibo is a compact smooth easy to fly B machine.
No matter what you throw on the Kibo, the B pilot underneath is very well taken care after !! Or should i say the pilot under the Kibo feels like a VIP on tour !

The handling on the Kibo is exquisite ! The glider reacts to a moderate brake travel and pressure feel, coupled with a very nice coordinated turn and precise inputs !
I can describe it as a “politely” agile glider  :-)  ! 

Doing some performance comparisons with the recent B+ beasts puts the Kibo overall performance in the first half of the B category in glide and climb.

The speed is around 10 km over trim at my loads taken at 700 ASL with a relatively moderate pressure, and a stable glider with usable speed.

Big ears are very easy to induce, very stable, efficient, and fast on opening.

Induced frontal collapses and even some big asymmetric collapses are a non event and it felt strangely like on an A glider …The reopening are very fast and smooth.
I didn't feel like I’m on a 5.7 aspect ratio glider at all !
It seems that UP has done a marvelous job with the internal structure of the Kibo ! I wished this structure was implemented on the 7:0 aspect ratio Trango XC3 which gave me some “Kung Fu” hours in turbulence. So the gap in comfort between the Kibo and the Trango XC3 is like a 4 category cooler !  :-)

Conclusion: This glider gives its pilot an impressive comfort zone! Coupled with a very good handling ! Pilots upgrading on the Kibo from any lower category will find a very friendly B machine. The overall performance are within the B category, and will surely deliver a good pilot, some nice XC flying days.