Ozone Delta 3 ML
Ozone has finally released their Delta 3 certifying it as a C glider without collapse line. The glider stays as the older version with 6 aspect ratio, with all unsheathed lines .
Launching the ML at 100 all up, showed a very easy inflation without any hang back or surge.
I’ll try to show in the following test the difference between the Delta 2 ML and the new Delta 3 ML with some reference C gliders. In June I’ll receive the MS and will hopefully comment on it.
In the air, the Delta 3 ML feels more comfortable to fly than the D2 ML . The structure feels very taught and compact overhead. The handling and the way to turn the glider is also improved on the Delta 3 ML but there a little bit of less feedback through the risers. The brake travel could be described as a bit medium to hard in pressure and moderate to short in reaction.
The pilot has a nice authority on the brakes with fair precision and good agility. The pressure is slightly heavier and slightly less linear if i want to compare it to the Rush 4 for example.
The Delta 3 ML was tested for four consecutive days, in turbulent choppy conditions and sometimes ‘spaghetti’ style conditions. I flew also next to the Delta 3 ML with a Cayenne 5 XS (80-95) and a Trango X-Race MS (80-100) in order to place and see the Delta 3 potential in terms of comfort, efficiency, and overall performance.
In turbulent conditions, the Delta 3 ML showed me a high degree of comfort in turbulent air. I think this glider is built to give maximum comfort for the C category pilots. I can place it easily near the Sigma 8,9 and the Elan 1 in terms of comfort feel. In strong thermals the Delta 3 needs control as a moderate C glider.
The sharp surges and movements that were in the Delta 2 are now gone, and replaced with a ‘smooth’ glider that pulls into thermals in a soft way even in strong ones. Usually some reference C gliders has some pitch movements before entering rough thermals. The profile used on the Delta 3 is one of the most efficient one for its ability to ‘slide’ into the airmass quite efficiently. And that’s the strongest point on the Delta 3.
Climb rate in very weak ‘smooth’ thermals was the Delta 1 strong point. i still remember the leading edge biting through those tiny lifts especially on the MS size.
The Delta 3 leading edge is tamer on those super weak thermals (+0.2 m/s) With little information through to feel that surge. I can say that an LM6 or a Delta 2 similarly loaded could be slightly floatier in those tiny thermals.
The Delta 3 will hover a bit in the same position waiting for that (+0.4 m/s) to hook in and climb rapidly.
Now, in difficult and turbulent conditions climbs on the Delta 3 are clearly seen as the D3 goes upward on every bubble ! The ability to cut through rough air and climb efficiently is as i described above clearly showed on the Delta 3. The leading edge doesn’t pitch back at all, and it doesn’t have a neutral pitch either.
It has a very slight smooth pull into thermals, even in rough ones with an excellent comfort underneath and a very efficient climb.
Glide in calm air and in moving air :
Doing some glides ‘in calm air’ with the Delta 3 ML loaded at 105 next to a Mentor 5 S, Cayenne XS, Trango X-race gave me the following result.
The Delta 3 ML has a very slight edge or the same glide angle at trim as the Cayenne 5 XS. (I don’t have a Cayenne M available).
The Cayenne 5 XS loaded at 94 at 800 ASL, is now at full speed. Next to it the Delta 3 ML at 105 has a better glide angle probably (±0.3 ) in L/D at the same speed.
The Delta 3 ML has more 4 cm pull to reach its top speed which showed me afterward a 16 km/h over trim. The pressure is similar to the Delta 2 and the top speed is fully usable. In turbulent air its easy to control the glider by the C risers. It’s not a Zeno in that matter, and the leading edge at full bar isn’t also as solid as the Zeno one. Back off 3 cm of travel, and surf turbulent air in a super cool mode !
Glide in moving conditions, showed me many times the Delta 3 ML ability to surfs the air efficiently and move upward. I’m totally convinced that the Delta 3 will be a strong tool to race on ridges going on long XC days. For example gliding next with a Mentor 5 showed a similar glide angle on the same line staying super close. But when the conditions are moving with lifts, the Delta 3 began to surf upward even though i was very close behind on the same line. Of course , the M5 is a B, but i’m just trying to show when those differences occurs.
The Trango X-race is much more demanding fly, and also has slightly more overall glide and climb performance. The advantage the Delta 3 has is the ability to turn quickly into strong small bubbles that the Trango X-race would need slightly more time to settle in before going on a turn. Surges are converted quicker into climb on the D3.
I just wished that the delta 3 had that subtle and linear handling found on the Trango -X-race, but the Delta 3 just turn on command.
The difference between the Delta 2 M and the Delta 2 MS in handling was noticeable. So i’m waiting for the Delta 3 MS size to see what it will feel like.
Ears are stable ,but don’t open by themselves.They need a good pilot input to re-open them.
Induced asymmetric collapses are a child play ! Holding the A riser i could easily fly to the other side just by pulling 5 cm of brakes or even turning my head …When the glider is half closed, the sink doesn’t increase much…
In keeping the aspect ratio of 6.0, It was clear enough that Ozone wanted to offer a comfortable, easy to use, efficient XC glider. The new profile used on the Delta 3 works well in turbulent conditions.
The overall gliding performance is slightly increased over the Alpina 2 but more when using the bar. The quality of efficient flying is well improved, letting the pilot concentrate on the scenery, task, and their XC routes.