Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NOVA Mentor 5 S



NOVA Mentor 5

After test flying all the Mentor series from the first one till the 4th in S size, here’s the 5th edition in S size ready for a test flight at 95 all up. 

I need to clarify a small but important fact, which most of you already know.
 NOVA Mentor series were super efficient over the years, and with the Mentor 4 overall performance dominating the B category, and also competing with some of the higher classes, Nova has raised the bar very high. Being a reference in any category puts lots of pressure on any manufacturer, as doing better could be doable, but surely more difficult to achieve. 

Launching the Mentor 5 is easier than the 4. It inflates rapidly and shows a smooth take off behavior.

I wasn’t a fan of the elastic brake authority of the Mentor 3, and some pilots described the brake feel under the Mentor 4 as senseless in a way. 
The handling and the way to turn the Mentor 5 is now enhanced a bit over the 3rd and 4th version.  

The brake travel has an average pressure and travel. Slightly less than the Mentor 4 in pressure feel, with more agility in turns.
I could quickly confirm a better agility for the Mentor 5 in turns. But lets talk about precision feel in the brakes.
Perhaps some minority pilots including myself (the picky ones  ;-)  ) would have wanted that edge in brake feel. A more subtle feel, a character.  

For example: I like my gliders to have a swift, precise, ‘linear feel’ thought the pull of each centimeter on the brakes. And if the brakes transmit the movements of the glider, then this would be the cherry on the cake!  A glider that feels an extension to your arm. 

If I can give a grade for the Mentor 3 precision feel I would put: 4/10 .The Mentor 4= 5/10 .The precision feel under the Mentor 5, is 6/10, which leaves the precision feel under the amazing Mentor 2 S at 8.0 /10 regardless of its high brake pressure.
I could give a loaded Phantom 7.0 /10 
Bear in mind that the Mentor 5 S is more agile in inducing turns than the Mentor 4 and the Phantom S.

Climbing in very weak conditions is the Mentor 5 strong point. Every bubble encountered is converted smoothly and comfortably into heights. The nose isn’t as aggressive in biting forward as the Mentor 4 one. It’s smoother and more comfortable to fly in overall turbulence. The Mentor 5 goes more toward the Mentor 3 comfortable feel rather than the Mentor 4 one. 
The Mentor 5 seems to absorb the bumps and thermals.   

Doing some glide comparison at trim with the Mentor 4 showed a slight edge in moving air for the Mentor 5 at trim speed, and slightly on the top speed. 
Gliding with a Chili 4 XS (Max 95) showed a similar glide for the Mentor 5 S (max 100) and i couldn’t give the edge to either one ! Both in climb and glide. 
Surprisingly, the Mentor 5 gave me that extra comfort feel which wasn’t available before on the Mentor 4 !   
The Mentor 5 pilot will have an edge in climbing over the pilot on the Mentor 4 if they both have the same skills and luck…

The top speed is similar to the Mentor 4 with a better float-ability in glides for the Mentor 5.
If anyone will fly the Mentor 5, he will experience a cool B glider, pleasurable easy handling, overall performance straight on top of the shelf, and very good comfort in turbulence for the high B category. 
I would have appreciated to this excellent overall performance, that linear, precise, brake feel i was writing above, with more received information through the brakes. The Mentor 2 in S size was excellent in that matter! But harder on the brakes. 

What’s the difference between the 4th and the 5th? (Best +++)
+       Glide efficiency
+++  Climb rate
+++  Ease of use
++     Handling 
++   Overall feel and comfort 

Ears are stable, efficient and reopen quickly on the S at 97 all up. Induced asymmetric are super easy to control. Holding the A riser down , i could easily turn the M5 to the other side by applying 15 cm of brake. Induced frontals recover very quickly. Wing overs need implication to built up, but quite homogenous. 

Conclusion: The Mentor 5 is another NOVA success in the top B performers. I can resume it as a top gliding performance in a cool manner, Excellent climb rate, comfortable to fly, agile handling… That’s the Mentor 5 .


UPDATE : I flew the Mentor 5 XS at 88. More dynamic, nicer handling, but still this little spongy feel on the brakes... it's ok...but i like gliders that have a crispy, linear , nimble brake response. The M5 XS just turns when you pull and its agile. Most pilots just want that...
The climb rate is still very good..the glide also. It feels like as small energetic kid going round and around his parents ;-)  
The XS is fast and the top speed is usable and easy.
Induced asymmetrics are slightly more dynamic than the M5 S size especially the frontals, but they are fine for a B pilot.
Cheers,
Ziad











28 comments:

  1. Hi and thanks for your review. I am thinking of upgrading from my epsilon 7 to the mentor 5. I feel like the epsilon 7 has the connected feedback you mention through the brakes. Is the mentor 5 perhaps going to feel dull in feel or less connected perhaps? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Not at all...the E7 if compared to the M5 is a dull glider...the M5 has more agility and feel.
      I was referring to the M series...
      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Hey Ziad! You say the glide seems to be the same as the Chili 4? What about the speed at trim? How do these two top performance b gliders compare over all? What are the pluses and minuses of these two gliders? Do you think that these two gliders will out perform the explorer, what other Bs are contenders for "Hottest low aspect B"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the M5, C4 and the explorer have similar overall performance.There's no significant difference for pluses and minuses.i think you are flying the Chili4 now...you have the top for now.
      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Hello Ziad,many thanks for all videos and comments it is very important for PG community.Please can you compare M5 with Iota? Which will be more effitient and faster in real XC flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M5 :-)
      By a small margin...especially the climb rate.
      The top speed is the same the glide is slightly on the M5 side
      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Hello, Ziad,
    1.Could M5 will be the first glider after finishing basic course at paragliding school?
    2. How sensitive is M5 for weight shifts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I don't think so.
      It's better to go for entry level ones.
      Because the informations you will get from the M5 couldn't be understood for a new comers or even used.
      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Hello Ziad!
    Please help, which one would you choose: Mentor 5 L at 118 kg or Rook 2 ML at 114 kg (with light harness)?
    Thanks,
    Ba’zs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Mentor 5 L could be ok...
      Rook 2 ML at 115max.
      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Hello Ziad!
    Really useful information, great overview!
    In performance You prefer M5 if compared with IOTA. How about security?
    If I choose M5, which size You would recommend for me? My weight is 80 kg. Harness + reserve + clothes + other staff without wing ~14 kg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.its better to fly the M5 at 70 % of its weight range.i think will little ballast you can fly the M at 105.cheers

      Delete
    2. Thank You!
      Have a nice day!

      Delete
  7. Hi Ziad!

    If I want to be comfortable with flying, mentor 5 or chili 4 is a good choice?

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Ziad! Are you going to test the Comet 3 in the near future?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately..no...sorry
      Cheers
      Ziad

      Delete
  9. Hi Ziad, thanks for your review. What do you think about flying M5 S at 97kg?
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Ziad, I'm currently flying a sprint x-alps S skimming the 90kg with all the equipment and I want to change to a B +, at the moment I've tried summit XC4 and in weak thermal it is very good and not too nervous but in turbulence it goes away from the Hands a little, I have in mind gin explorer that the weight range will anger me well, I have discarded the iota because I stay far below the range and I have read that it is not going well, my question is if the mentor 5 would fly well over the 88 -90kg? And that me you recommend that it works well in that range ?, thank you very much for your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I understand..
      Your best option is an XS Mentor 5 . I'm getting one this week.and I'll update my test for this size soon.
      Cheers

      Delete
  11. Really useful information, great overview!In performance You prefer M5 if compared with IOTA

    Gclub
    บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have checked every day for your updates and thank you very much for your update about Mentor 5 XS.
    I'm writing you to kindly ask you if you can update the B comparison table including XS size as well.
    Additionally I need your advice about size of glider. Next week I'm waiting to receive my glider Mentor 5 XS size but I'm not sure if it could be a proper size for me because I'm approximately 88 kg all up. Please give me your advice based on your experience if me to keep this size or to sell it and to buy new one S size. Please advice me what is the optimal weight of the pilot for XS size. I'm planing to use the glider mainly for XC flights.

    Cheers, Ignat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ighat,
      Thank you.
      The XS goes well from 85 till 88. A nice wing for your weight.
      Cheers
      Ziad

      Delete

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