Mac Para Elan 2 size 26 (85-102)
The Elan 2 is Mac Para new 2017 C glider. The leading edge has a shark nose, lower lines are sheathed, and the upper galleries are unsheathed. Again it seems that with the Eden 6 , Mac Para glider construction is being enhanced and quite neat. The leading edge looks very taught and its shape looks very clean.
Launching the Elan 2 is easy for a C pilot. When pulling the A’s there’s no hanging back and no surging forward.
I flew the Elan 2 26 at 99 all up with an X-rated 6 harness. The brake travel can be described as moderate to precise in the first part. 15 to 20 cm can steer the glider easily. Inducing turns inside thermals shows a fair agility for the Elan 2 ,and could be similar to the Elan 1 26 i test flew 2,5 years ago.
I also flew the Elan 2 24 at 89 all up with a Forza harness. The 24 can be steered with only 10 cm having a moderate pressure. The handling and the way to turn the 24 is really nice. Much better than the 26 with quicker brake authority as usually seen on smaller gliders. At +15 cm and beyond, of brake travel, the Elan 2 has a slightly harder brake travel and its only used to control pitch movements.
This new construction showed me a super strong leading edge. The feeling underneath is quite tamed. The leading edge felt like a solid structure above my head. I tried many times to pull the A’s on the 26, in order to induce frontals, and it was indeed a difficult task ! They need a super hard pull to get the leading edge into a collapse.
In very weak conditions, with thermals less than 0.3 m/s this tamed feeling, erases the feel of hooking those tiny lifts. Exactly like the Delta 3 ML feeling.
In stronger thermals, the Elan 2 26 hooks nicely, a neutral pitch in smooth thermals and a slight pitch back in turbulent ones. In overall thermal flying, the Elan 2 26 seems an easy and tamed C glider. A pilot on the Elan 1, won’t need any upgrade in pilot level, if he goes to the Elan 2 26. I also think that a good pilot on an Eden 6 ,will fly the Elan 2 26 easily. That’s the first strong point of the Elan 2 26.
The Elan 2 24 is more dynamic. I think i can place it in the middle of the C category ,not for its comfort which is still superb! but for its dynamic handling and energy retention.
The way to steer the 24 can be described as precise, nimble and agile. I also felt something strange…Yet i was on top weight of the 24, i felt weak thermals better than being 98 on the 26. The leading edge breathes slightly better and floats well.
Yet again on the 24 at 88 all up, i felt that sometimes in tricky conditions, i had some difficulty in sliding through the airmass with a pitch back at times that slows the ability to surf upward.
Both gliders have some vibration through the risers in turbulent conditions. Felt more on the 24.
I still think that the Elan 2 26 and 24 are indeed very comfortable gliders, probably slightly more piloting needed than the Elan 1, with lots of performance for the middle C category with only 6.2 aspect ratio.
Now the second strong point of the Elan 2 26 and 24 is the trim and top speed !
Flying the Elan 2 26 next to a Cayenne 5 XS which is already known for its fast trim, (similarly loaded ) showed me an impressive +2 km/h trim speed for the Elan 2 26 over the C5 ! !
Many glide attempts in calm air, showed me that the trim speed is faster + 2 km/h and the top speed is also faster by + 2 to 3 km/h similarly loaded !
The Elan 2 is trimmed fast ! That’s why in those small weak thermals -0.3 m/s a pilot needs lots of concentration to feel and hook them.
The glide angle ‘in calm air’ could be ‘super’ close to the best C gliders available today. It’s in turbulent conditions and facing a valley breeze, that sometimes i felt that the leading edge is reluctant to surf efficiently the airmass in order to move forward. Nevertheless, it remains among the top 5, (C rated) gliders in glide efficiency. I’ll update my C comparison soon for little more details .
Induced asymmetric on the 26 are easy to maintain with a direct flight and reopen quickly. Big ears are stable at trim speed. With lots of bar, they slightly shake. They do not reopen by themselves. A dab on the brakes needed to reopen them quickly.
Induced asymmetric on the 24 are slightly more dynamic but easy to maintain a straight direction. Big ears are stable, both at trim and accelerated. They do not open by themselves and need pilot input.
The speed bar has a moderate pressure and the leading edge is still solid at bar.
The glide angle at full bar is also very competitive to place the Elan 2 26 and 24 among the 3 top gliders of the moderate aspect ratio 2017, C category.
pushing the bar is usable with a very solid leading edge at least at 85 % of the travel.
*The pluses : + Comfort on the 24 and 26 , + speed on the 24 and 26 , + handling on the 24.
*The average plus: Handling on the 26 (probably needs more weight to reach 102)
*What i would wished for: More leading edge efficiency in cutting through the airmass.
Conclusion: The Elan 2 26 could be one of the most easy to fly C glider. Easier and more tamed than the Delta 3 ML. It’s better to fly it at the top weight in order to diminish as best as possible the pitch back in entry. The climb rate in weak is ok which is close to the Delta 3 ML i have tested earlier. The trim speed is very good for ridge flying, and the top speed for fast transitions.
The size 26 could be a nice C glider for B pilots going into that category for the first time.