Tuesday, May 10, 2022

AIR DESIGN VOLT 4 S (80-92)

 


Air Design VOLT 4  S (80-92) 


After the Volt 3 with its 3-line design, and the new change in the EN-C protocols, AIR DESIGN released the first real 2-liner, C-rated glider.  The VOLT 4 used the excellent Porcher Skytex 27 classic II on top and bottom. The lines used on top: Edelrid 8000/U-070, 090, 9200-035 with middle Lines: Edelrid 8000/U-130, 190.  The Main Lines: Edelrid 8000/U-190, 230, 280, 360. 

This choice of a very different line layout with the skinnies on the brakes and on the rear B attachment points screams for performance! 


Flying different C gliders over the years made me a bit feel suspicious about a 2 line design…I thought in my pragmatic head that manufacturers will release a 2 line design for marketing purposes and in my hard-headed mind, imagined that in strong air it would be quite snaky and probably difficult to maintain a 6.5 AR with C certification… 

Hmmmmm, I was TOTALLY wrong…And still learning…





I reached the take-off on a sunny day with blue sky, but with layers of inversions. I know these typical conditions in my area, where it would be strong, and punchy until I get over all those thick layers. It was the best time for me to test fly the VOLT 4 and to see how it will behave in those nasty conditions. 

I flew the VOLT 4 S (80/ 92) at 92 all up on my X rated 6 harnesses.

Launching the VOLT 4 with  10, 15, or even 25 km/h wind is relatively very easy. No complications whatsoever. 

As the openings are small, it needs just a little time to fill in. So the rise on the glider is slightly slow in nil wind, keeping pressure on the risers but steady, as it fills with air and the take-off is very easy. Some examples: 

The VOLT 4 launches much better than the Rook3 and is similar to the Alpina 4 MS. The light Mantra 7 MS fills quicker with air but goes up faster. Overall, it is very easy to take off even in nil wind.  

In + 10 km/h, it is a non event. 


In the air, the brakes are short, and direct, with good agility. The glider calmly obeys each input given by the pilot even in turbulence resembling a very polite butler. The turning radius is efficient and could be very narrow. They are slightly linear but mostly direct. 

They are short probably like the Rush 6 brakes, but slightly harder. Shorter than the LM7 and a bit harder. Shorter than the VOLT 3, a bit harder but more direct.  Slightly shorter than the Delta 4, and a bit harder also. The Alpina 4 has lighter and longer brakes.

For my personal taste, the action on the brakes of the VOLT 4 is quite good. Probably a bit hard when pulled over 30 cm. But very satisfying to keep the authority of control on the pilot side!


The conditions were as I expected. Broken thermals at first on the lower layers, lots of turbulence, and sometimes punchy conditions.  

I was surprised by the excellent behavior of the VOLT 4 !  The pitch back isn’t noticeable!  and the small pitch forward is incredibly efficient to enter with the VOLT 4 stopping inside the thermal!  Translation: It goes forward inside the cores and slows with the feel of a stop! as it goes up! Really nice!  All that with a super solid very homogenous structure! 

My stubborn brain wasn’t still understanding how it could be possible to have such a homogenous structure with only those attachment points! And as the flight and fight continued to pierce those inversions, until finally I reached 900 m above take-off and pushed on the bar going north. 

The pressure on the foot pedal has a moderate pressure on the two steps, and I could gain some  + 17 Km/h  over the trim speed. While cruising at the half bar, the B steering is very efficient. It is the first time on a C glider I can feel the 2 liner efficiency! In turbulence, I could keep the VOLT 4 quickly above my head while on the B’s. I think this is the first real 2 liner efficiency on a C!  And it worked! 


Later that day, I flew with some friends to get an idea about the climb and gliding. After a while, I could see that in weak conditions, the VOLT 4 could float quite well, turns very flat, and is a good climber. In other stronger conditions, the climbing of the VOLT 4 is stunning! It is really a good climber if properly loaded ( Important notice further down) 

I think it has to do with its character to get inside quickly but without any excessive movements.  


Gliding was also very rewarding for me. After some gliding alongside good C’s, I can confirm that the VOLT 4 has now the edge of the best glide in the C category, especially when pushing 1\4  on the bar!  the glide is probably at that speed and is the most efficient on a C! 

If you ask me if it reaches the Mantra 7 glide angle, I would say it is close but not yet reached. But in strong air, there’s a tight competition…However, the top speed is +2 Km’h over the M7. 


Now there is a very important notice I have to mention:

Later, I flew the VOLT 4 with another lighter harness (Genie light 3) at 88 all up and I noticed something new to me.

Usually, when you fly light on a 3-liner you get better float ability. But it seems that with the VOLT 4, 6.5 AR 2 liner C, things are quite different!


Let me explain:

When I am light on the VOILT 4 it feels like my weight shifts to the rear of the glider. On the B lines… when entering the thermals, it slows more and is not as efficient to go through. But when I loaded the same VOLT 4 at the top weight (92), and even in weak thermals, the feel of my all-up weight is shifted to the front A risers! and entering the weak thermals was more pronounced! All that to say is with this new 2-liner the difference in weight is quite feelable. So I found it best to stay at max weight in all conditions in order to “ benefit” from this construction. 


When flying it at low weight, it still climbs moderately in weak air with the urge of wanting it to go through that airmass quicker.  Loading it, will spice your senses and feel better with an efficient leading edge!  

The difference if feeling when lightly loaded between the 3 liners and the 2 liners is very big to my personal feel. 


Ears are stable if pulled normally, and they are efficient. They reopen alone at 92, and even at 88 but slower and they recover by themselves. 

Doing some wingovers, showed me the hidden energy of the glider, especially at 92, and 93!  Landing is super easy with a late stall point and efficient energy. There’s a marked parachutal stall before a full stall which is easy to feel. 


Conclusion: 

Air Design has created the first 2 liners C and it is definitely NOT a detuned 3 liner! It is a fairly accessible, comfortable, and docile C glider with 2 risers!  I am really surprised by that achievement! 

The 2-liner VOLT 4 has a different feel from any 3-liner B, C, or even 3-liner D !   It is definitely not a marketing tool, it is the real deal for a 2-liner C! 

If any pilot wants to fully benefit from it, he must forget the 3 liner recommendations, and absolutely fly the VOLT 4 fully loaded at top weight!

When loaded at the top, the A’s are more loaded and the pilot will benefit more in strong air by the ability to move forward with a very efficient glide at the bar. 

The B steering is very efficient when using the bar to stop surges and stay on rails.  

A new discovery for me after all those years. I am very keen to see what the future will bring to this 2-liner C category! Some will probably push the limits of that category, and others won’t. 

The VOLT 4 is a balanced 2-liner with a C rating.

Perhaps a test flight would be very interesting to experience the differences between your old 3-liner and this one. Enjoy the future! :-)  






Tuesday, April 12, 2022

OZONE Zeno 2 MS

 

OZONE Zeno 2  MS

Introduction:
And here it is after five years.  The Zeno 1 was an eye-opener as every pilot who flew it knows. In that era, there was no competition in the 2 liner series for that special package of outstanding performance and comfortable ride. In this test, I will try to compare the Zeno 2 with the new Magus XC, Peak5, Zeolite GT, Omega X-Alps 3, Leopard, XC racer. 
 History:  I must add that in the 90’s I was still very much interested in competition gliders, and have flown a lot of them, from the early UP’s, EDEL, Airwave, MAC PARA, some hours on the fast XXX at the time, the Sector era, and many more that I can’t recall all of them. 
Those machines were difficult to manage in strong air. The main problem at the time besides the weak internal structure was the reduced authority on the brakes! I would find myself sometimes in strong air a passenger underneath and waiting for that machine to settle or to pass that heavy turbulence. They were very slow to enter the airmass comparing them to the new generation B’s of today! 
Finally, I felt that the easiest competition glider to fly for the competent pilot is the authority on the brakes and how precisely a pilot could steer it in turbulence, and how much that competition glider can stay connected to the pilot's input in the heavy stuff. IN other words, how to keep it open, and that has lots of importance IMHO to rate the easiness of a comp glider that is intended for the required level of pilots.
Nowadays, the inserted rods from the leading to the trailing edge stiffened the glider, making them very solid, but another challenge arises, to control the energy that the glider produced in strong air, or especially after collapses. 

Testing the Zeno 2:
I flew the Zeno 2 with my good old Woody X-rated 6 that I use on 90 % of the gliders I test fly. Ideal chest strap for the Zeno 2 MS to stay homogenous in turns and feel better the air is 48 cm between carabiners on the X rated 6.  
Launching:
In nil wind, a steady pull on the A’s will launch the Zeno 2 easily. It resembles the Zeno 1 inflation, but it feels more compact and balanced as it fills with air. After the first 50 % rise, the Zeno 2 accelerates a bit and it is better to ease up the pull for a smooth take-off.  Overall it is a very easy glider to inflate for a 2-liner.  It is not very far from the Mantra 7 in inflation.  The only problem with 2 liner and long rods are when the wind gets underneath the trailing edge and lifts it. 

In the air:
I flew the Zeno 2 MS from 92 to 99, and later I felt that around 94, 96 is the best option to go for overall performance management.  The older Zeno1 was best flown at 97, but I think the Zeno 2 supports better with less weight still feeling homogenous and solid.  The Zeno 2 MS at 95 has a slight pitch forward when entering thermals. The Zeno 1 after 20 hours would feel like a slight pitch back but with enough efficiency to climb like hell. The Zeno 2 now around 15 hours, seems to have a slight forward pitch and straight into the climb. It seems as talkative as the Zeno 1 if properly loaded.  The inner structure of the Zeno 2 feels very solid and homogenous than the Zeno 1 had. 

In stronger air and punchier conditions, the Zeno 2 needs slightly more active pilot control than the Zeno 1.  At 40 % of bar travel, and flying in moderate turbulence it felt quite easy to keep on track and control with the B steering.  But when pressing more than 60 % till the full bar, I felt that it becomes more delicate and sensitive in turbulence. That’s why I felt a seated harness would be great to lock yourself inside.
Will talk about it later on in this test.  

The Peak 5 I tested earlier, has longer brake travel and less authority than the Zeno 2, and of course, the B steering was very light, and as I wrote it was a bit difficult to feel the glider when on bar.
The Peak 5 needs more active pilot control than the Zeno 2 in all conditions. The Zeno 2 B steering is firmer more contact and better control, and the brakes are shorter and more direct.

The Magus XC and the Leopard seem to share the same comfort as the Zeno 2. The Magus XC  pleasant handling is quite similar to the Zeno 2 with the ability to core slightly narrower than the Zeno 2 and a more linear response through the brakes for the Magus with the ability to readjust the turning radius in turbulent air.  
The Flow XC Racer authority on the brakes seems to be also more linear and direct. It felt also easier to fly. 
On some days I felt that I was able to core every bubble efficiently on the Zeno 2, and on some other days, with turbulent disorganized cores, the Zeno 2 tends to get leveled and implying brakes and weight shift to keep it at course inside the thermal was better especially at 96 on the MS. In any other 5,6 m’s homogenous thermal, the turning radius is easily kept and the climb is faster than any 3 liners, and even some 2 liners.  I was able to feel, and control the Zeno 2 movements and place it 80 % of the times where I wanted it in the air.  That’s the reason I find it a bit easier to turn than the Leopard and quite similar to the Magus XC. In stronger air, the Omega X Alps 3 is more manageable as it doesn’t jump away much overhead.

There’s very slight feedback from the brakes on the Zeno 2 which wasn’t available on the Zeno1, but not, much… The internal structure of the Zeno 2 felt more compact and more solid than the Zeno 1 span-wise. The tips however on the Zeno 2 are very slightly softer than the Zeno 1 but still very solid…In all the flying hours I had a couple of tip collapses…so nothing to mention here… 
I personally believe that’s a positive behavior for a glider that is very solid in the middle and collapse a bit on the extremities. 
When flying a very solid glider all the way, I get worried about its collapsing or when it will collapse. Better to be informed by the tips! 
 
 Finally, the Zeno 2 at trim speed and at 55 Km’h (half bar) needs maybe 30 % more active pilot control than the Mantra 7 MS. 
Doing some glides with a Mantra LM7, in moderate to calm air, same size and load as the Zeno 2, showed me on several occasions a very small edge of glide at trim speed. The full bar of the LM7 matches half bar on the Zeno 2, with a slightly superior glide in calm air also, But when conditions began to get windy and tricky, the Zeno 2 gets quickly in front and higher as it excels in lift lines with a profile that gets higher and moving forward much better.


Doing some glides with a Flow XC racer 80-95, the same load as the Z2, showed me a better glide for the Z2 at trim and at bar. The climb however is weak was on the XC racer side. In strong climbs, they both look similar. 
At half and full speed, I felt that the Zeno 2 requires a seaboard harness that locks you in place and steady, as it will require much more pilot control. The XC racer felt easier to handle.  
The leading edge shows some crisps but is still tough. I think it requires keen attention when gliding in moving air at full bar. Or should I say, it is better not to use the full speed often unless you need to go that fast! 


The B steering is efficient at half bar and can control almost 80 % of the glider movements. A bit less efficient than the Zeolite GT. It has a moderate pressure, comfortable for long glides, but the pressure tends to spread till the tips and is probably slightly delayed over the Zeolite GT, which can be promptly maintained through the B risers. 

In moderate thermals, I was enjoying steering with the B controls in a thermal and I could get the Zeno 2 to get some cores using the B risers.  
I had a tip from Luc for weak thermal climbing, and it worked!  Steering with the inside brakes on one side, but holding the B control from the outside (no brakes touching). I noticed a better float ability in weak thermals! Try it!  

What i liked most is the way that the Zeno 2 penetrates the airmass with a positive efficiency to move forward. It felt like a hungry grasshopper that inhales what’s in front of him…that’s the best way to describe it :-)  It is a fast glider at trim in that matter, and even more if you load it at 100!  But I think you will only need it when the day is very generous and strong and you are aiming to win the competition by a margin! 

So, in very weak thermals, (0.2 m/s) I felt that the Zeno 1 (reference in that matter), Leopard, and the Magus XC could be slightly floatier if all are similarly loaded! That’s why getting the Zeno 2 MS at 95 won’t alter the behavior in strong air, but will probably favor a bit the climb in very weak conditions. 
When flying my LM7 next to the Zeno 2 in a very weak lift I felt the LM7 was floatier. 
Later when a dominant north wind was facing us, and even in a light lift, the Zeno 2 could get inside and get the lift much better. 

The handling and the brake are shorter to react than the Zeno 1, similar to the Omega X alps3 and the Leopard but without being as linear.  From the two liners i tested, the Magus XC and the Flow XC racer can make an even narrower radius with a linear response. 
The Zeno 2 handling enables it to narrow the turning radius more than the Zeno 1 can (In homogenous cores) 


Ears can be made with the outer A’s, they flap a bit but ok. They are more efficient and calmer with outer B’s as they reopen quickly. The descent rate with the outer B’s is better than the Zeno 1 with more than -2.2 m/s and bar if you have long arms.  
Wing overs are spectacular with the Zeno 2. You can feel the energy after the second turn, and on the third, you will find yourself above the glider facing the earth! 

Conclusion: The Zeno2 is different from the Zeno 1. Handling has been improved, as it is shorter and more responsive, and forgiving. The stall point is hard to get. It is just underneath the hips. It gives slight information before it stalls. It can be slowed on a narrow top landing with keen attention. 
More trim and top speed, more homogenous feel, better glide at bar, better into airmass efficiency. I wish that the climb in weak thermals stayed the same but flying it 5 kg less than the top weight will solve it slightly.   
The Zeno 2 is an efficient XC and comp machine with a high degree of accessibility for the top performance 2 liner pilots and could be a logical evolution for experienced 3liner D pilots who want to upgrade.  







Friday, March 11, 2022

DRIFT Hawk S 70-92

DRIFT Hawk S 70-92


Drift is a new paragliding company. https://driftgliders.com/  

If you want to know about the designers and team, please follow that link: https://driftgliders.com/about  



Hawk is their high EN-B. 

The construction details are very well made. Skytex 32 and 28 were used on the Hawk with Liros and Edelrid lines with very few lines and width. With a shark nose (beak) the glider looks like it was designed for performance. The weight of the Hawk is a bit less than 4 kg and could be narrowly packed. 


In this test, I will compare it with some B’s, and mainly with a Base 2 Slight.

Launching the Hawk S from 89 to 92 all up is very straightforward without any hardpoints to delays. It resembles the Base 2  light launching behavior which is really easy with its lightweight and very simple to inflate even in nil wind.


I flew the Hawk (S size) from 89 to 92 in weak and strong thermals and could do some XC in our current winter condition. 


The brake pressure on the S size at my all-up weight is on the moderate light side. Not as long light as the Swift 5, and not as short as the Rush 6 for example. It could be a bit similar to the Base 2 light in brake length and feel. The Hawk can be steered on a narrow core. So I think 35 cm is needed to crank it in a small core, after the 8 cm brake gap. Overall, I can say that the Hawk is a glider with good agility and could promptly be steered into the lift. The Base 2 S size simply loaded could have a slightly narrower radius in turns. But still, the Hawk has very good agility.


In weak thermal conditions, the Hawk seems to be quite efficient, perhaps like the Mentor 6 efficiency if both are loaded the same. In strong cores, it climbs also very well. 

In strong and turbulent air, the Hawk S is an informative B glider. It moves a bit more in roll and slight yaw than the Rush 6 in strong turbulent air.  The feedback comes from the risers, and some pilots would find it quite interesting rather than boring. 

I’ll update my B comparison table https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/ziad.bassil/viz/BGlidersPerformance/Dashboard_Comparision for the little details if needed. 


Gliding through the calm morning or evening air, I can say that the Hawk has an outstanding glide angle similar to good B’s. Doing some glides in moving air when low against a valley breeze, the Hawk in S size slows a bit and needs slightly a bit more time to enter the airmass. So I think loading it at 93 could be a good option to move forward a bit better.  It will still retain a good glide like the Base 2, Mentor 6, Rush 5.  The C steering is quite efficient in controlling pitch movements. I think it is one of the nicest C steerings on the B’s. Moderate pressure, linear pressure on the C handles to receive and give good control.  


Pushing the bar on the S size gave me around 10 km's over trim with a good and competitive glide angle at that speed. The pressure on the bar is moderate. 

So overall the gliding in most conditions is very good and could be also very similar to the Base 2 light S I have over here. 


Big ears are very stable and efficient. They reopen very quickly. 

Conclusion: Today’s high B category is loaded with lots of impressive gliders. With the Hawk, DRIFT has created a relatively high B glider with good overall performance that fits well in the top 10 of very well-made gliders.

 It needs active pilot control in strong air, as I’m test flying the S size. The More L would differ.  The handling is sweet, as you can turn it inside any core. 

I’m sure that a test flight would be more than anything is written. So getting a demo is always the best way to see if it fits your requirements. 




Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Triple Seven Knight 2 size MS



Triple Seven Knight 2 size MS

I still remember quite well the Knight 1 when I test flew it. Triple Seven is delivering now its second version. In this test, I will describe the differences found in both versions in every aspect and will insert some B gliders for comparisons.

The Knight 2 is a mid-B glider as stated by Triple Seven as they consider that their Pawn EN-A glider could fit as a first glider after training. 

The construction on the Knight looks very neat. The same construction is seen on Rook 3. Triple Seven used the same line width, lengths, and configuration as on the Rook3. If both gliders are on the ground, there will be very few differences to see between the two. 

The leading edge openings are also practically the same. Very narrow small openings.  The risers have a C to the B steering system. Here’s the link for more pictures> https://777gliders.com/gliders/knight-2/

Have to mention this important notice in all my tests>

Today’s gliders with ‘no’ exception for any low, mid-high B or especially C or D will eventually change their trim after some 20-30 hours. When they do, they usually get a bit slower sometimes they bump a bit more into the airmass. Some pilots won’t notice at all, and the glider will still fly nicely. Some more delicate pilots will feel it more. So, if you want your glider to fly as it was before, or at least close enough, you must re-trim it!  Usually, it is very simple as some knots must be released, and asking your dealer/ importer will gladly tune it for you. That’s the case for any paraglider in the market today.  

Launching the brand new Knight 2 MS at 93 all up is a bit slow to launch. This is due to the small openings that need a steady and slow pull to fill the cells with air.  It inflates slightly better than the Rook 3, but still not as fast as an Ion 6 or a Buzz Z 6 for example. But that’s fine, the difference is just a few steps more. 

Flying the Knight 2 at 93 all up with my X-rated 6, showed me a calm glider in overall movements compared to the first version. The pitch is nearly absent and the Knight 2 moves forward in a very calm way. The biggest difference over the Knight1 is the Knight 2 doesn’t slow down before thermal entry. It just slips through without bumping into the airmass when properly loaded. 

 I think this is one big step for the Knight2 as it seems to get through the airmass without difficulty. But of course, it is slower to enter than a Rook 3 for example, but at least it keeps moving forward with very good efficiency for the low, mid category.  

The brakes are very reactive with only 12-14 cm to turn the glider in moderate thermals while having a medium pressure.  That’s quite nice for that category. The Knight 2 MS at 93 is an agile glider with a very high rate of pleasure when steering it. Sometimes I could turn it very tightly on its tips in a narrow core. It is so easy and relaxing to fly versus the Knight 1 which was a bit more handful in comparison.  The overall movements are coming from the risers, not the brakes. 

The trim speed is similar to any low, or mid B glider. 

Those gliders in that category are mainly created to deliver maximum fun, plus good performance.  

On one promising day, in our winter period while I was reluctant to test fly it was just because I thought I’ll miss my usual XC route…The Knight 2 was in my van next to my other gliders and decided to take it in order to finish this test. 

Once airborne, I was next to some pilots flying 2022 high Bs and C’s. It was still weak but I sensed that the Knight2 was effortlessly climbing! That glider could float really well. As it is slightly slower in overall movements and speed than a Rook 3 for example, the Knight 2 just sits in a thermal and embraces it. The climbing in the weak is really good! I found myself effortlessly detached from the group, with 700m above take-off!  

Transition with the first bar seems sorely efficient. The Knight stayed on the rail with a very good glide angle. Later I realized that with 2-3 cm on the bar, the glide is not far enough from the Rook 3. But for sure, the Rook 3 in moving air will compensate much better its efficient glide through the air. It is just an idea that on Knight 2 I was still reaching my usual points quite easily! 

After 3 hours I was able to go where I usually want to reach, a bit slower, much mellower, a huge time for smiling, looking around, and taking pictures. 

When you are used to flying different classes, the feel is obvious! On Knight 2 the time is slower to pass as if smoking a certain weed ;-)  Hellllooowww I’m still here….

If you are used to a low or mid-B glider the Knight 2 is a superb glider to try. 

The first step on the speed bar has a moderate foot pressure, the second step to reach the max speed is a bit hard to pull. Flying the Knight 2 with the C steering system is efficient at the first bar as it can control the movements quite nicely. At the second bar, I think it is best not to pull too much on the C steering as it can deteriorate the glider shape. 

Ears have moderate stability. Sometimes they seem stable if small, if a bit bigger they intend to flap.  Full speed over trim is around 11 km/h. 



Conclusion: Looking at the Knight 2, lines, cell width, etc…I think Triple Seven is obsessed with performance :-)  On Knight 2 they managed to combine very good performance, accessibility, excellent agility, with a high degree of pleasurable flying. 

 The overall comfort in roll and pitch is slightly similar to an Ion 5 XS for example. The take-off characteristics in nil wind of the Knight 2 could be better! The ears flap a bit. The C steering is more efficient on the first bar.  I will update the B comparison next week hopefully. 

The Knight2 has a nice ability to cut through the airmass for a mid-B and move forward.  Today’s low or mid-B’s offers a high package of comfort and very good performance and they will surely get you very far in your XC. If you seek that exact package, then the Knight 2 is a good contender with those options. The optimum weight load is around 90% of the weight range. Finally, this is only just a small idea. Every pilot has his own taste and requirements. The best option for each is a test flight.  



Friday, January 14, 2022

C category gliders for 2022...

Hi,
I see many pilots are interested in the C category future designs, so I did ask the designers, and manufacturers their opinion:
Here it is:
Ziad:
What is your opinion about the new C certification? Any investments in a 2 liner C?
Will it be there two versions of C gliders one 3 liners and one 2 liners?
Is it achievable today with 6 ar, and still being homogeneous in strong air?
Best regards,
Ziad
BGD ( Bruce Goldsmith)
Hi Ziad,
At BGD our next C glider will be the Lynx2 and we are working on this right now.
It is a 2.5 liner, 3 in the middle and 2 in the tip.
We are very excited about this glider and impressed with the performance.
For EN C two-liners it is our philosophy to wait and see how the market develops.
Bruce
PHI (Hannes Papesh)
Hi Ziad!
As you know, DHV and SHV were against the introduction of folding lines for C wings.
The argument of SHV was IMHO very good.
Folding lines are making it much harder to train collapses in SIVs.
So this is without a question a higher demand, as training is a main part of safety.
This higher demand is asking for a higher classification C -> D.
So we will wait and see, how it develops.
Which test center will test according to the new rules (until now no one is accredited for them) etc.
If it seems necessary to us to present a low aspect 2 liner and put it into C class we will be prepared.
It would have been possible since years to present low ar 2 liners in D, but nearly nobody did.
-the rest is marketing...
Regards!
Hannes
FLOW ( Felipe Resende)
Hi Ziad,
Hope you had a great start to the new year.
That's a good question. We are already working on some prototypes since late 2020. I can say the feeling of the glider is great, It super nice to have a compact 2 liner and be able to push super hard the limits of speed in turbulent air and be in total control. In total connection with the glider, as if the glider is almost an extension of our own body. When flying at accelerated flight, one can catch pretty much anything, any collapses with the rear riser steering making the experience pure and the pilot is only really working to read the conditions and stay in the air, rather than trying to keep the glider open.
I believe this is the biggest benefit of a 2-liner EN C. For the aggressive pilots who like to fly on the limit using 100% of the glider potential, like gliding at full bar and not backing off in rough air, the 2 liners are definitely the glider for those pilots.
But the weekend warrior pilot who likes to have long XC flights but does not have the need to push more than 50-60% speed bar, the hybrid 2-3 liners like the Fusion are the perfect glider for those group of pilots, which corresponds probably to 60-80% of the EN-C pilots. They can fly them as 2 liners but they are not a 2-liner.
The 2-liner is an amazing technology, side collapses are uneventful and they reopen with a bang in a split second. In real life, it is very rare to have collapses. My only concern about certifying the 2-liner as an EN C is the full-frontal collapse required for certification. As its always a tricky recovery for 2 liners and if you can't use the brakes to help the reinflation it's even trickier.
In my personal view, this maneuver alone is the biggest challenge designers will have to overcome to certify a 2-liner as an EN C, as the certification doesn't allow brakes to be used to help the reinflation after the collapse, and the glider has to reinflate on its own before 4 seconds. It is especially difficult at full bar. All other maneuvers are fine, considering we can use collapse lines.
Another point to consider is the performance, there isn't much performance difference between EN C 2-liners and EN-C hybrid 2-3 liners. Even though one can fly the hybrid glider with rear riser steering, it is still not the same feel and experience. The 2 liners are the ultimate and in my opinion the best concept. As if a 2 liner glider is a no-compromises approach.
I hope one-day certification will change slightly to adapt and cater to the new technology as the current standards really put a hand brake in development.
At the moment, one of the fascinating aspects of the hybrid 2-3 line technology is to use for the EN B class. It's amazing how much performance gains we can get on an EN B when using the Hybrid technology. On our comparative tests flying the Freedom2, It shows almost the same performance as the Fusion.
These are my 2 cents and I thank you for the opportunity to share some of my views on the topic.
Cheers,
Felipe Rezende
OZONE (Luc Armant)
Hi Ziad,
C certification with collapse lines would be interesting progress in the certification norm. Actually, it’s not allowed by the EN text.
This can open the field of possibility by including 2 liners and including different sorts of structures of 3 liners.
I don’t think it would lead to a more demanding glider, for a given aspect ratio.
2liner structure is still unknown with an aspect ratio as small as 6. It would certainly need some adaptation from a known 2 liner structure in order to keep a good chord cohesion.
We are working on a higher level ENC or low-level END depending on what we can get. Our goal is to make a model that would complete our range with something in between the Delta4 and the Zeno2.
Cheers,
Luc
TRIPLE SEVEN (Aljaz Valic)
Hi dear Ziad,
Of course, we love to see innovations happening. But the question remains if these are going the right way. We're also sitting on a development of such a wing, but this does not mean we are bound to release it. Many things need to align with the product to satisfy our delicate taste, so we will see where it takes us.
Best regards
Aljaz Valic
DRIFT PARAGLIDERS (Stanislav Klikar)
Hi Ziad,
I am very excited about upcoming EN-C gliders and have prepared two prototypes - one hybrid 2/3liner and the second one pure 2liner. We will be testing both of them through the season and will see the benefits and disadvantages. I believe it is possible to build a low AR two-liner with sufficient reinforcements. Performance-wise it will be a step forward to decrease line consumption significantly. The difference of glide between three liner EN-C gliders is too small compare to high EN-B wings. So we will wait for a change of rules of folding lines to be able to build a modern glider in that category.
Best regards,
Standa

GIN GLIDERS ( Gin Seok Song)

Hello Ziad,

As the market understand better for 2 liner system and also we learned it is safe enough.

It is time to certify the 2 liner C wing.

I do not see any negative point for the 2 liner wing.


We have been working on 2 liner C class wing for 2 years too.

I do not see why 2 lines are less safe than 3 liners.


Anyway, in the beginning, there will be 2 types C class, 3 liners, and 2 liners but 2 liners will be the one later.


Gin Seok Song



AIR DESIGN ( Stephan Steiglair)

Hi Ziad,


What is your opinion about the new C certification?

I guess everybody agrees that 2-line gliders are great to fly but are these wings really needed in EN-C? there are some questions coming up. is the pilot level able to handle such gliders? flying is easy but how to control deformations? actually, we will find out once the first gliders are entering this market.

sorry for answering questions with making new questions - but honestly, I don't know either. my job is to make such wings also easy to handle for this new class and make them suited to the pilots level.


Will AirDesign invest in a 2 liner C? Or would it be a 2.5 line C?

we are continuously investigating and developing in any direction. if the new EN is coming we are prepared for this. more info will follow then.


Or are there two versions of C gliders one 3 liners and one 2 liners for security and easiness of flight in the future?

probably both versions will run side by side for some time, but 2-liners will take over by time - that's my prediction on the market.


Best Regards

Stephan Stieglair




UP Paragliders ( Frantisek Pavlousek)

Hello Ziad,

Thank you, everything is going well. I hope the same for you.

I will try to answer your questions:


1. What is your opinion about the new C certification?


In my opinion, progress is good. (Anyway nobody can stop it...) - It brings some bad things every time but in general, they are more benefits compared to bad points. There are some points I would like to mention (to explain):

- It would be good if the categories are changed like A, AB, B, BC or A, A+, A++, B, B+, etc. as this would follow the real market situation (the question is if this would ever become a reality)

- There are no low C and high C wings at the moment as nobody cares about C gliders with low performance but this will change probably with two-liners in the C category - because the collapses made with folding lines do not show = test the real collapse behavior of the certified wing. So there is a big probability that some C-certified two-liners will be much less safe than the actual C category wings.



2. Will UP invest in a 2 liner C? Or would it be a 2.5 line C?


The UP team works on some new ideas for the C category but let’s say "this information is kind of confidential".


3. Or are there two versions of C gliders one 3 liners and one 2 liners for security and easiness of light in the future?


I have answered already (above): In my opinion, it will become to be more interesting to certify two wings in the C category. It is up to people like you are - those with a strong impact on the market if they teach people to understand that the C letter is only a letter but the real glider behavior is something different. I expect with folding lines allowed to the C category the market will create (sooner or later) terms like "low C / high C" or maybe "folding lines certified C / true C".


I hope this is what you have been asking for, let me know if any other questions...

Thank you, I appreciate that you have asked for my opinion,


Best regards,

Franta


MAC PARA ( Peter Recek)

Hello Ziad,

Thanks. I hope you are doing well too.


New ENC?

It seems that a good manufacturer will have to have this as a prestigious product.

We are working on a new EN C. It is a 2.5 liner overall wingspan. 

First prototype flies well and "collapse" lines make the performing of asymmetric easier and closer to reality.


Anyway, the question arises and it is a doubt about its simplicity. Suitable for hike & fly (X-Alps) or more durable for a longer lifetime?

Therefore we made Elan 3 in light version and will compare it with the new EN C. Fully rod-reinforced airfoils are expensive and time-consuming in production.


We will see. When the fashion and marketing influence speak the clear language any reasonable objection will be suppressed. 


 

Looking forward

Regards


Peter

PROFLY and designer for many brands (Michael Nesler)

HI Ziad!

What is your opinion about the new C certification? Will you invest in a 2 liner C? Or would it be a 2.5 line C? 

I already fly a real 2 Liner for C-Class. The problem I see is that we can pass the homogenization but most actual C-pilots are not ready for this kind of wings.

I would prefer an extra homologation class, like C/D or similar.

In the end, personally, I feel the actual performance and fun are more than enough for most pilots. Only competition pilots and persons with a low self-wort need this kind of wings really.

The biggest advantage of this story is that the manufacturers have something new to sell again.

There would be much more important things to do, for example harmonizing harness-paraglider combinations or more efficient rescue systems.

Best regards

Michael



SUPAIR ( Pierre-Yves)

Hi Ziad,

At the moment, we have no plan for a 2 liner (or a hybrid 2.5 line) design in the ENC category at SUPAIR.

Anyway, I asked myself "what is the main goal of such evolution ?" According to me, it's mainly about performance at high speed. I don't think turning an EN C glider into 2 or 2.5 lines will help to handle, flying in thermals, compactability, or behavior compared to the same design in 3 rows of lines).

If you buy a 2 liner EN C, you have to accept that your glider will be (compare to a 3 liner ENC) :

- More complex to build, so more expensive 

- More sensitive to trim adjustment ( trim adjustment must be done more regularly)

- More demanding on the ground

- More demanding when losing the flight (regular SIV training is advised)

- More complex to perform SIV maneuvers (you will need an extra folding line to perform some maneuvers)

- More demanding when packing (take care not to bend the rods, it can affect performance and behavior) 

- Less compact and heavier (more rods)

But of course, the market is driving the choices of designers! If people prefer to fly a top-level 2 liner  ENC than a 2 liner END, it's where we will go! But you should really consider the loss and benefits and ask yourself if it's what you need.

Have a nice day!

PY


Here's ADVANCE answer: Valery Chapuis and Team
Dear Ziad,
The opinion of our development team members on this subject is very homogeneous.
Now C gliders certified with a folding line are accepted.
Removing lines help to increase the performance and the speed, especially with high aspect ratio wings, and makes the lines control before take-off easier for all wings. A narrow chord at the wing tip helps to reduce the number of lines.
The rear-risers control gives also more performance than the use of the brakes because there is less deformation in the profile.
As long as "honest" C-gliders are developed as two-liners, we see an added value in this possibility and a logical next step in the development of paragliders in general. However, if this leads to more certifiable "hot boxes" (dangerous gliders) in the future, we will probably not follow this trend.
Should this technology come on lower aspect ratio wings? Not sure if the recreational pilots need and can handle the extra performance and use safely the rear-risers control.
Right now we mainly work on B wings - our IOTA DLS will be launched this spring - and on tandem wings, we have anyway not yet a plan for a new C wing because our SIGMA 11 is less than 1 year old and there is a high demand for it. Nevertheless, we will open our eyes and analyze exactly what our competitors make out of the new possibility. When we ourselves will start with a C-two liner project is still open.
Fly well and take care.
ValΓ©ry + Team



 

SWING (Alessio Casolla)

Hi Ziad,
we are very excited about the introduction of folding lines for C-wings, even though we can understand the arguments of those, who are skeptical about the whole thing.

But we are talking about an already established technology in the EN-D segment that is mastered by lots of pilots. To exclude adjustments of the standards generally only out of concern about wrong purchasing decisions of the pilots would mean slowing down the development progress and depriving the right pilots of new opportunities.

For years we have had a similar problem with our RAST technology that we had to adopt standards that were not designed for it.

Now we are excited about the expanded possibilities to find out what the combination of 2-liner technology and RAST has to offer for the pilot.


What is your opinion about the new C certification? Any investments in a 2 liner C?


We think it is a good step forward for all those who want to use innovative technologies and solutions of the most modern gliders also in lower category paragliders. Of course, we must always take into account the type of pilot who will use these new wings. Our only concern is the simulation of flight problems by the pilots. We are talking about a category of wings that pilots who fly less assiduously and who are still gaining experience, who will have to understand the use of folding lines, also approach.

Will it be there two versions of C gliders one 3 liners and one 2 liners?

This will ultimately be decided by the market. But, especially in the transition phase, it would be desirable if we could offer two different wings in this category. The 2-liner handling is different from the handling of a 3-line concept and we can imagine that not all pilots who are looking for a C-wing want to have it like this.

Is it achievable today with 6 AR, and still being homogeneous in strong air?

Yes, especially with the use of RAST we have the possibility to make the canopy more compact and easier to control. For example, in the Sphera RS project, we initially found ourselves having to reduce the reinforcements and the internal structure as we had too much rigidity and compactness. So we think that there won´t be any problems even working on smaller AR.

I would be very happy to know your answer about future C's, and D's…


We are very close to the end of the Sphera RS project, which will be our first 2-line D wing with RAST for 2022 and we are planning a 2-liner C wing for the beginning of 2023. We think that it would have been possible to get the Sphera RS into the C category, even though it is a high-end D design, but the new C certification came too late for this. However, the test results of the maneuvers are very promising even so.

…also about any 2.5 line design that could involve the B class.

Undoubtedly with the knowledge and experience gained in the development of the Sphera RS, we could work on the lower category wing with a significant reduction in the lines. As always, these are decisions of the market, and for sure we´ll have to take into account the type of pilot who will feel attracted by such designs. But as pilots we are curious to know what is possible, so we will give it an experimental try at least…

Alessio