GIN Bonanza 2 S (75-95)
I received the Bonanza 2 S at noon and called Elie to meet me at the take off with an Alpina 3 SM (75-95)
We flew the gliders at 93.2 all up exactly for both ! Elie on the Forza, took some ballast to match my all weight on my X-rated 6.
This test concerns ‘only’ the Bonanza 2 size S with that loading. Other loadings as i will mention later, or other sizes that i didn’t try could have other feedback or feel. Example: ( many pilots reported different behavior and brake feel on a Sigma 10 size 27 than the Sigma 25 i have tested which i consider to have a very good agility when flown at 97 all up)
On take off with a slight 10 km/h breeze, the Bonanza inflates moderately and stabilises gently above my head. Take off was immediate !
First thermal, and first turn showed me a good agility to place the Bonanza 2 exactly between the Artik 5 and the Alpina 3 in terms of agile turning behavior. The brake pressure however are lighter than the Artik 5 and slightly smoother. It’s like having a hydraulic steering wheel in a 4X4 car ! The brakes and feel are exquisite. They are slightly long perhaps, but after the 10 cm from the pulleys the fan reacts. They are trimmed quite precise. I use a half wrap on my brakes so for this style, they are ‘perfect’ ! A real pleasure to fly that glider ! Every centimeter reacted to my command with a linear nice response. Coring some small thermals will be very swift if the pilot releases completely the other side and pulling the inner brake inside the core, could lead to a cork screw turn !
In turbulent air and choppy thermals, i needed to control the other side, but overall the Bonanza 2 S have a nice agile handling for a 6.4 AR C glider.
I flew also at 96 all up on the S and could confirm that the climb in weak is still very efficient. The leading edge does cope better with a turbulent airmass, cutting through better. The handling at that load also is exquisite ! After so many C’s the handling and the way to steer and control the Bonanza 2 S with it’s aspect ratio of 6.44 could be described as ‘power steering’ at it’s best :-) Very smooth !
Flying the Bonanza 2 S at mid weight could be ok..but in order to feel every bits of air and turn it sharply…then flying it at top weight is ‘best’ !!
The feel of movements under the Bonanza 2 is really similar to the one of the Artik 5 ! The structure is even more homogenous in turbulent stuff. It feels more balanced as it works itself quite comfortably in turbulent air. The Bonanza 2 compensate with a high degree of comfort ! In my humble opinion , i think it’s easier to fly than the already easy ‘Artik 5 ! when conditions are hazardous and choppy.
In rough thermals, it jumps quite fast toward the core, but still very manageable for a C.
Even though having an aspect ratio of 6.44 that doesn’t really show…It’s like flying a 6 AR C glider !
So comparing a 6.4 AR Cayenne 5 XS(75-95 kg) to a 6.44 AR Bonanza 2 S (75-95 kg ) is unreal…The bonanza 2 has a much higher ratio of comfort in turbulent air, and needs much less pilot capability to keep the glider overhead. It ressembles the Delta 3 MS in those terms with the extra spices for a better feel, an educated pilot would love !
Climbing next to an Alpina 3 MS gave me quite a large idea about the Bonanza2 climbing properties. The Bonanza 2 S climbs as well as the Artik 5 24 at the same load. Flying close to the sea level, the weather sometimes feels heavy with a present sea breeze with sometimes bullet thermals that won’t last for a half turn. In those difficult conditions, i could say that the best load for the Bonanza 2 S is +95 all up, very similar to the Artik 5 size 24 that needs to be flown at 95…96…All that load was needed on the Bonanza 2 and the Artik 5 in order to minimize the pitch back delays when encountering those thermals. When loaded, the feel of less pitch with a lading edge that slices better into the airmass.
Overall i felt that the Bonanza 2 S even loaded at 95 would be quite efficient in weak thermals among the best C’s of the moment.
Gliding for 2 hours, next to an Alpina 3 MS with same load showed me a faster trim speed for the Bonanza 2 S of about +1 km/h km/h ! The glide was very close if the Alpina 3 MS was to accelerate to match the B2 trim speed. At full bar ,the Bonanza 2 have also 2 km/h more speed than the Alpina 3 MS. Overall the Bonanza 2 S have a very nice glide angle among the top C’s.
If you are keen to know the 0.1…0.2 plus or minus LD…you can check my C comparison already updated !
But for any pilot in the ‘C’ Category, the Bonanza 2 will deliver very good gliding properties.
Big ears are stable, quite efficient, usable with bar, and reopen slowly sometimes without pilot assist. Sometimes one ear need a small dab on the brakes. But super efficient and stable.
The pressure on the bar is moderate. It has much less pressure on the second bar than the Artik 5. the overall pressure is slightly more than the one on the Alpina 3, or the Sigma 10 but quite comfortable to use.
The leading edge in a full bar, with pulleys overlapping, still have some centimeters to spare. At that speed pulling the A’s 2 cm doesn’t collapse the wing immediately. There’s some reserve…Pulling some asymmetric collapses are really easy, and holding them is a child’s play. like on a B glider ! counter steering inside the harness is sufficient to keep it horizontal while holding the A riser !
The opening is fast.
The ‘C’ category holds many gliders, but if you are looking for a complete and balanced one, there are only a few to look at …The Bonanza 2 S is surely one of them !
A homogenous, well balanced, easy to fly, confidence inspiring glider, with smooth, good handling and top overall performance. Any pilot looking for the C category will find a successful overall package to fly XC with enough efficiency and pleasure.
This is only my opinion. Make your own !