Nova Ion 5
I flew both sizes, the XS size (70-90) at 84 all up, and the S size (80-100) at 91 all up.
Launching the Ion 5 is nil wind is very easy without any hard point or delay. In moderate breeze, it’s even easier without surge.
The Ion 5 turns on every centimeter i pulled on the brakes. It can be steered with only 10 cm of travel, yet the long brake when pulling 50 cm are very forgiving.
The difference between the Ion 4 XS and the Ion 5 XS with same load is that the Ion 5 is much more agile and more precise, letting the pilot at first enjoy every thermal with the ability to core it very narrow.
The feedback coming from the glider is more pronounced on the Ion 5 over the Ion 4, but in a more subtle and positive way. Some pilots commented that the Ion 4 is a bit too stiff and has a heavy feel sometimes.
The Ion 5 is more informative about small thermal movements, and nicer to fly overall , but still being a comfortable low B glider.
The pressure on the brakes on the XS and S are moderate to slightly hard if pulled more than 40 cm, but i don’t think that much brake will be uses ,as just a little pull will initiate a turn.
When flying in lift, i had the feeling that the Ion 5 embraces the thermal and the information by the brakes felt like a 3D picture on that particular thermal. I think many of you will feel that.
Kind of pulling you gently into the thermal and grabbing it.
I flew the XS (70-90) at 85 and the S size (80-100) at 92, and i think, this Ion 5 could easily be flown at mid weight range, and i didn’t feel the need to load it, but if i did, it will preserve the same feel.
The trim speed is similar to the Ion 4, but it seems that the Ion 5 has more float-ability into wind. Its seems to cut through much better with that searching for a thermal feature, which i really appreciate on a low B !
That feature gave a better glide in moving conditions.
In the older…older …days, it was a blessing to find even on a DHV 3 certified glider (competition class) that can surf efficiently through the airmass…
Nowadays, the new generation of pilots flying low B gliders like the Ion 5 will find an easy way to push forward and go easy on long XC’s…
Big ears are stable, easy to induce, and reopen without pilot input. The Ion 5 could be flown at low speeds, with hands on the hips and can accurately top land on narrow places.
After flying the Phantom, and Sector, it seems that NOVA is doing a little more work on the handling, which was needed i think at least from my part. The Ion 5 brake response, precise input, and overall handling on a low B is a cool step ahead, entering the golden circle of the nicest handling gliders.
The climb rate in weak and strong is similar to the Ion 4 one. The Ion 5 feels is like an enhanced Ion4 in handling, glide, and overall feel.
A pilot upgrading from the Ion 4 will enjoy the Ion 5 evolution upgrade especially in terms feel of thermals, swift handling and gliding performance in cross country flights.
This is only my opinion. Make your own !