Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Niviuk Arrow M

Niviuk Arrow M 


During those 30 years, and of all the harnesses I test flew, this is my first Niviuk harness!  There’s always a first time :-) 


I have here for test flying the Niviuk Arrow in size M which has 95 % the same specification as their new Hawk but with a nice elongated fairing. 

The size M goes to 178cm pilot height. 

I’m 1.81 tall, but when I sat in an M size when I was at the Coupe Icare, it felt ok. 

So I ordered two sizes. One M just arrived and one L should arrive in a month or two hopefully. 


As you will see in a close-up in the video attached, the finish details and the work done, the sewing, on this Arrow harness is indeed superb and put the NK Arrow among the top-end harnesses for a clean finish detail in the market. 

The Arrow pod can be replaced easily if damaged by mistake with side zippers.  There’s a seat plate on the harness.  Under the seat is a pocket that fits a 4 kg water ballast. On the right side, the rescue pocket is wide enough can fit a Rogallo rescue. The rescue handle and pin can be installed without any additional cord if by chance you find yourself on the take-off and needed to change or replace the rescue. Very easy to install.


In the back, there’s a big pocket for the glider bag, a place for the water camel, and a small pocket with a zipper. There are also two plastic inserts if by chance you damage the air inlets, which is difficult because they are made of a soft plastic material. But just in case,  they can be replaced quickly.

There’s a lower side hole for a pee tube pass. Two brand new black aluminum carabiners are included and with a three-step speed bar. 

The most interesting part for me personally is the cockpit!  Just because as you will see in the video, it can open from a top with a slight pull on the blue ribbon. and it opens the inner container plainly and clearly while you fly. 

The cockpit container holds three compartments. Each compartment can hold whatever you choose to put. A chocolate bar, an extra instrument, An extra battery, a hat, a lucky charm…and they all are easily accessible. On my woody valley, it opens from the top but with a zipper and is sometimes difficult to open and maintain open as it needs effort to reach the zipper with warm gloves.

On the Arrow it is a clever innovation and a delight for me!


Sitting in the Arrow M size even with 1.81 cm and 75 kg is quite suitable. But I think the L size could be probably more adequate for my height. I will try and report back. Nevertheless, I felt having the legs naturally supported without any pressure point on my body. I flew the harness in some turbulent air, and later in smooth air. In all conditions, the Arrow offered the most balanced feedback with a high comfort side. The M-size chest strap opens to 50 cm max on the M, and even in strong air, I could easily be very comfortable on an S-size glider. The ABS system controls the movements without being too restrained. I mean all the movements are available smoothly for the pilot to understand the airmass without being too chatty or too dull. That’s why I said that the Arrow gives the most balanced feedback. Less movement than the Genie light 3, slightly similar to the Delight 4 but without the ABS restraining system of the D4. 

Weight shifts are also efficient on the Arrow with a nice turning radius. (Information taken from the same glider that was used on the Genie light 3 and the Delight 4).   

Overall a perfect blend of feedback and smoothness. And that’s at 50 cm opened chest strap. Pilots can also tighten the chest strap as much as they prefer for an even more stable harness to their preference.


Conclusion: 

Let's keep it short:

The smoothness and features of a Mercedes with the look of a Ferrari. Plain and simple. Try it!! 




Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday, December 31, 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

 HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!! 


We fly for peace! We fly for freedom!  

An incredibly beautiful flight today, ending this year !!
Wishing all pilots blessed and wonderful flights!
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! 🌟 ✨ πŸŽ‰ πŸ’«






Monday, December 12, 2022

I must sell my tested gliders in order to get the new ones !!! :-)


Special Christmas deals!  

πŸ’₯ Triple Seven Q-Light 3 mS 75-95.  3 hours   2800 EU 

πŸ’₯  SOL LT 2 S /  80-90 /  -5 hours.  2800 EU 

πŸ’₯  GIN Avid  75-95 Yellow. 4 hours Still as NEW !  2450 EU + shipping

πŸ’₯  Triple Seven Knight 2 MS Blue -5 hours  Still as new.  1800 EU + shipping   

πŸ’₯ OZONE Rush 6 Blue size, MS, 75-95, 25 hoursSOLD 

πŸ’₯ OZONE Swift 6 size S  2 hours,  SOLD 

πŸ’₯  NOVA Light Mentor 7 XS -4 h /   SOLD 


Email:     ziad.bassil@gmail.com

Sunday, December 4, 2022

SOL LT 2 , S size / 75-95 / EN-C

 


Disclaimer:
Related to my earlier tests: Many pilots already know very well how I do the tests, but I need to continue my explanations for some. When comparing gliders in a weak lift with the same load for both, I feel sometimes that glider X climbs slightly less than the one next to it, which is always “my reference glider” for that matter.  That does not mean that glider X doesn’t climb well, or the pilot would sink and land!  It is just that my reference glider is still a better climber or a better floater…And the pilot on glider X if he flies alone, or if he flies next to less or better-skilled friends will never notice it.
Not all gliders are created equal.    :D 
Now with the SOL LT2, it is completely another story …

SOL  LT2  EN-C (2 liner)

SOL is a very old Brazilian paragliding company. Here’s the link to see their multiple and vast catalog of products. https://www.solparagliders.com.br/ 
In 1991, they designed their first paraglider the Magic fun. Here’s a link to their history: https://www.solparagliders.com.br/linha-do-tempo

I have flown many SOL gliders in the past, Ellus, Eclipse, Torck, Synergy, Lotus one… I know the feel under a SOL glider! They have lots of features, but one thing in common is being good in weak lifts.
Despite that SOL was introduced 2 years ago, the LT1 that I didn’t unfortunately fly, and which was the first 2 liner intended for the C category public, But wasn’t possible due to EN-C rules. So SOL got a CCC certification. 
Now the C certification has changed, allowing the use of collapse lines and other features, and manufacturers are able to insert a 2-line concept into that box.  
And hoping to be able to test all those 2 liners…
In this test, I will try to give you the differences between the VOLT 4, and the LT2.

 
SOL used different materials on the LT 2 from the outside bag to the concertina bag and for sure another cloth for the glider. 
The cloth used on top and bottom is called:  WTX 40 gr/m² SI+PU / WTX 29 gr/m² SI+PU.
The lines used are VECTRAN 0,6 - 0,9 - 1,0 - 1,2 - 1,4 - 2,2  /  TECHNORA 2,1. 
Even the risers are different, as they used a more supple fabric: Polyester Venus 15 mm. 1.600 kg
Plastic rods are inserted from the leading edge to the trailing edge with a separation in the middle for folding it may be. 
The glider is slightly heavier than a normal Delta 4 with perhaps +700 grams more. 


Launching:
I flew the LT2  S size 75-95 at 94 all up, and later at 90 all up which was also ok, and still well-pressurized. But I think around 92-93 could be the optimum weight in overall conditions.
Pulling on the A’s in nil wind has a heavy pull as the fabric is slightly heavier, but the LT 2 comes up evenly, without any hard point, and inflates really well, and with 2 steps I found myself airborne.
In 15 km/h wind on take-offs, the LT2 rises moderately, and no steps are needed to take off! It's immediate. 

The LT2 brake pressure goes from moderate to slightly hard. After the 12 cm gap, 10 cm can control the LT2 in turns and showed me calm agility with linear response and nice flat turns,
with moderate pressure.  Afterward, the brakes are slightly harder but the agility is more present and can core the narrowest of thermals!  So overall, I think the LT2 has acceptable agility which is super efficient through the air.  (I will elaborate on that later in this test)  

The LT 2 pitch behavior is very smooth and super efficient in weak and strong thermals. The glider pulls you gently upward and goes through that airmass and goes forward smoothly! It is super efficient for the climb!  
Flying in very weak conditions next to my reference glider, showed me, an even more, impressive and super-efficient climb rate on the LT2!  When the thermals are even less than 0.5 m/s, the LT 2 floats like no other wing! It reminds me of the Zeno 1 ability to stay in the lift!  
That I can confirm. That glider will help a lot in light lift. The LT2 felt solid and yet climbs with a neutral pitch and the whole glider is slipping through the airmass. The feel of a 2-liner under it is very different from the 3-liner feel which doesn’t give you that one-piece solid structure getting through the airmass…That’s the best way I could describe it.  


I have flown next to higher-rated 2-liners, D-gliders, and also near my reference in the 3-liner C class. For example, the LT2 similarly loaded as an Alpina 4 same size and load, have one, or two km more trim speed. The LT2 showed me a faster trim speed and the Alpina 4 needed to push the speed bar 1/4 to stay at the same speed.  The glide in calm air favors slightly the LT2, but when surfing the airmass on a glide and getting the lift lines, my friend and I were convinced that the LT2 is a 2-liner from a different class. 
The glide efficiency in those XC and racing conditions favors the LT2! On the first speed bar, the LT2 showed us an even a much better glide angle! This is the reference now for the first 2 liners and all the C class 3 liners by a little margin. I think it comes now super close to the Mantra 7 in overall efficiency …

Stepping on the second speed bar (moderate foot pressure) with pulleys overlapping, and with a very taught leading edge, I saw for the first time on a C, +18 km/h over trim, which gave me 58-59 km/h km/h on my GPS in calm air!  At that speed, the LT2 loses a bit of its glide angle.  I think at 50-53 km/h, the glide angle stays superb. 
In moderate turbulent air and while being 50 % on the speed bar, the B controls can efficiently control the pitch with moderate to slightly hard pressure on the wooden handles.  

The LT2 doesn’t have a high roll movement, probably slightly more than the VOLT 4, but in strong air, the LT2 needs more pilot control as the overall movements are a bit more present than the ones on the VOLT4 and even a bit more than the Trango X-Race.  It has a character of its own. Solid, firm, and fairly comfortable, but requires respect for the C category pilot. It is not a toy, like my reference and excellent Alpina 4 for example. If I want to position it accurately,  in terms of pilot control, the LT2 sits between the 3-liners C class and the 3-liners D class. 

Ears with outer A’s are stable, but you need to pull hard as the tips hold some pressure. They fold nicely, and they reopen only on pilot intervention. 360s are quite nice and loose easily altitude without being too centrifugal. Landing the LT2 requires a little of ‘finesse’ in a very small spot as it really floats!  But you can slow it smoothly and accurately with the brakes.






Conclusion: 
In my humble opinion, I think SOL created their best C glider to date! Not only that, the LT2 until now has an ‘edge’ on all certified C-class gliders out there. There will be a new crop of 2 liners coming in, and I really hope to see what they will offer. 
For now, I received the SOL LT2, and it is a real 2 liner C glider with a solid structure, impressive climb rate, good agility, incredible top speed, fairly comfortable for the keen C pilot, and for sure holds the crown for the best gliding C machine until today 10 December 2022, as I’m writing the review.  
Pilots have different tastes and requirements, and I hope you get yourselves a demo LT2 in order to see if that creation meets your skills, and expectations, or wins your heart! 
Happy and safe landings everyone :-)  


PS: I’ll try to offer you the maximum feedback on my renewed and updated C comparison for the 3 liners and including all new C 2 liners. 





Wednesday, November 30, 2022

NOVA Mentor 7 Light - XS / 75-95

 



NOVA Mentor 7 Light  XS (75-95) 

Disclaimer:
As many of you know me very well, I always follow the new upcoming gliders and new releases, and in  April 2021, I heard about the Mentor 7 and rushed quickly to order one.  In this lapse of one and a half years, I received many emails asking me about that glider, but I wasn’t able to receive it…while all the magazines, Cross Country, FlyBubble, (Tests and videos on their well-respected websites), and lots of other pilots around the world got one or at least flew a demo one, of the Mentor 7 Light!  So despite my many emails, and discussions with NOVA, The Mentor 7 light didn’t arrive until today. 
I was indeed unlucky ;-) …


The tests:
Mentor 7 Light size XS flown at 92 all up. 
Again, many of you might have seen the Mentor 7 light, the construction and details are really nice with a hybrid configuration, meaning that there are a few attachment points on the C risers reducing drag, and probably NOVA was aiming for more performance, and also getting more interest for pilots who are looking to get the latest design closing the gap to a 2 liner feel…

The take-off is really easy with a moderate pull without any hard points in weak windy take-offs. In stronger wind, the Mentor 7 seems also very smooth to launch. 

That day, I shared the flight with my friends on their Swift 6 gliders. One  Swift 6 size S (65-85) flew at 84 all up, and another Swift 6  sizes MS (75-95) flew at 93 all up. I was at the same load as the pilot on the Swift 6 MS size, and it was a superb way to experience all the movements, and see the real-time efficiency of the glider in the test. 

I flew that glider in relatively strong and turbulent conditions to later weaker and smoother conditions.

I must say….The Mentor 7 Light felt like flying a tandem in the positive side of the meaning. I never felt that dampened behavior on a high B wing, and probably very close to some low B gliders in terms of ‘air information’ and roll and pitch movements. The Swift 6 feels as I test flew it is an easy and smooth glider for the high B category. The M7 light has probably twice the comfort of the S6 !! especially in moving air.  It's even more comfortable than the Swing Nyos 2 RS !!  Is it too much?  Each pilot will decide! 
There are pilots who will adore that feel, and some could reach for a more spicy feel like the Maestro 2, Rush 6, for example. Lots of different tastes for all the pilots to choose from. 
But I have to say! With this 2.5-line configuration, I think NOVA has really worked hard on the internal structure of the Mentor 7 light in order to achieve that solid and compact feel. 
After the comfortable and smooth Air Design Volt 4 as a 2-liner C glider, here’s the Mentor 7  with its 2.5 line configuration, with high comfort for a high B glider.  

The Mentor 7 light XS at 93 has a faster trim speed than a brand new Swift 6 size MS at 93 also by +1 km/h. 
The brake travel is short with moderate, to slightly hard pressure. The Swift 6, Maestro 2, and Mentor 6 are slightly lighter. And again, some pilots would appreciate that solid feel in their hands.  The agility is quite ok on the M7. Probably a bit less agile than the Mentor 6 XS tops at 90, but still quite good, close enough to the Swift 6 agility in thermals. In some small thermals, I was able to core very tightly without missing the core. 
If you want it more agile, try to pull the B3 at half pull inside a thermal, and you will experience a super agile B glider! :-) It's funny to try! 

My tests are not only about performance, so I will try to describe the feeling under it as much as I can and that could help you decide if you also cannot get one.

In strong cores the Mentor 7 has a nearly absent pitch behavior, the roll also is very dampened. It slides efficiently through the airmass calmly and the climbing ability is surely present but slow. 
I mean it climbs ok but needs time to reach the cloud base as the other gliders in the air.  In weak thermals, this insane stability erases the small information about that tiny lift, so it is very difficult to feel that tiny lift, and also the climb is there but needs time to get to higher altitudes. 
Some gliders could be described as having a good float ability in the rising airmass. The Mentor 7 size XS, that I flew has a moderate float ability if flown at 90 all up. 

The turning behavior inside any thermal allows the Mentor 7 to stay on rails. It never gets thrown outside the thermal, and with its brake authority, I could place it immediately whenever I wanted inside a core.

Gliding with my friend on his Swift 6,  ( I think your eyes are more open now? … :-)    Hmmm…Ok, So in gliding in the same airmass my friend pushed a bit on the bar to stay close to my trim speed on the Mentor 7 Light. The glide is close enough and I will update my B comparison as soon as possible for the little details if needed…
Trying again and again in many types of conditions, showed me that the Mentor 7 light has a very good glide efficiency that is close to the best ones in that category.

Pulling half the speed system showed me a glide improvement on the Mentor 7 light which is really interesting and will place it at the top of that category. At the full bar, the Mentor 7 Light is a fast high B with probably 2 km/h more speed than the Swift 6 with the same load. I think maybe I got a 16 km/h over the already fast trim speed.

Ears while pulling the B3 are really cool! They are very efficient! I could get down nicely on this configuration. Moderate 360s don’t deliver high G’s, and less than many B’s. 

Conclusion:
NOVA delivered a different Mentor.  It has a completely different feel, a different design, and a different approach! NOVA aficionados will give their own judgment after a test flight…
I only Wished it had more lift ability and a more nimble feel, but that’s me and my picky bad habits ;-), but for strong alpine conditions, the Mentor 7 Light will let you concentrate on the task, on the scenery, on your favorite snack, chocolate bar, while gliding through that abundant lift.
The combination of accessibility/performance ratio is really high on the Mentor 7 Light. 

UPDATE:
Today was a good day to try and fly the Mentor 7 Light, XS at 86 all up.
I changed my harness under the Mentor 7 XS to the Genie light 3 size M which gives slightly more roll and nicer weight shifting. My overall weight was 86.
I have flown on a generous day with some turbulence that my friends informed me later on landing… I thought it was really calm under the M7.

Flying the Mentor 7 light XS at 86 all up, gives even more comfort and still with a very coherent and taught feel. In turbulence, the glider stays well connected. I have flown many gliders, and I think this is not an evolution in feel, but a revolution since this high B glider is calmer than some EN-A gliders. Pilots coming from the low B category will immediately feel at home under the Mentor 7 Light which is targetted as an intermediate glider for pilots who already have flown lower-rated gliders, and like to move a high-performance glider.

In weak conditions, less than 0.5 m’s, the overall movements in pitch and roll are super dampened that I needed to concentrate more on the vario sound to core efficiently as the overall movements are nearly absent in those small conditions.
And of course, being at the middleweight does favor slightly the climbing ability and in a moderate 1m/s thermal, the Mentor 7 light flown at mid-weight will climb close enough to many high B’s. My comparison is updated for the little details.

   





Friday, November 25, 2022

SUPAIR Delight 4 Sport Size M.


I already reviewed the Delight 2 and 3. Here’s the fourth version with …finally a nicer aerodynamic look with a fairing.

When I flew the old Delight3 and as I always fiddle with my equipment after the test has been made, I made lots of adjustments, like inserting a foam from the upper part to reach the lower back and that made more support to my lower back with a comfortable sitting position and also rewired the line settings of the pod to reach a nearly no pressure on the tight and natural leg support while maintaining a correct pod alignment into the airflow. But the Delight 3 was targeted as a first pod harness with a good stability of its ABS system and also of its reclined position. 

The Delight 4 has a seat board. 

Now here’s the Delight 4 in the same M size I can confirm that they didn’t change the recommended size for the pilots. So the old D3 M size and the Delight 4 M size are targeted to the same pilot size.

The weight of Delight 4 is around 4 kg and similar to the D3 weight. The ABS system is exactly the same, but ….! to my surprise, SUPAIR has made the exact modifications I did on the Delight 3 to have much less pressure on the thighs and more comfort on the lower back, and nearly natural leg support in the pod, but also made lots of other things much more interesting that we will talk about.

At first, there’s a left attachment point to prevent slipping through the harness if by mistake the pilot didn’t buckle properly.  This buckle SUPAIR said that it holds around 120 kg. 

There’s a relief hole on each side of the pod. The instrument holder is now attached with a buckle that keeps it above the chest strap, if it contains heavy materials, and will prevent it to flip blocking your view. Now it will stay fit in place.

The zip that opens the instrument holder is in front which helps much more reaching into it. The zipper of the instrument holder of the Genie light 3 is on the back and I found it best to have it on the front side for accessibility.

The openings of the air inlets that inflates the fairing are smaller and softer than the ones on my X-rated 6. Those inlets have some plastic inserts that keep them in shape. On my X-rated 6, they broke a lot of times, and I couldn’t change them easily without a sewing machine… But on the Delight 4, they can be changed easily and the insert is made from a softer plastic material.

The harness has lots of adjustments comparing it to the D3, and they added a more efficient one for the hip position and comfort. The pod straps have 3 adjustments on each side to make a more refined tuning.

Of course, there’s also a place for the camelback with a pocket to insert it in the back. The main back storage seems really large. Larger a bit than the Genie 3 light, and larger than the Woody Valley GTO. 

The back protection as you will see on their website is made from two parts in order to open the two parts for more compact packing. 

With my 1.81m and 72 kg, I felt completely ok on the Delight 4, which is my size. 

As I always mention, it is a super difficult job to describe or define comfort (for the back, hip…etc) for a certain harness, just because many pilots with the same height and weight have different leg or shoulder measurements. 

Let's talk about the harness sizes first : 

So for me personally I felt that the Delight 4 in M size has the same measurements as the ADVANCE Impress 4 M, Supair Delight 3 M, Ozone Forza M, GIN Genie race 4 M, 

The Genie light 3 M felt very slightly smaller but I’m also just ok with it. 

About back comfort and body pressure,

The Delight 4 has much better comfort for the body than the Delight 3. On the Genie 3 light, the legs are slightly more supported, and I think the ABS system on the Delight 4 cannot give you less pressure on the thighs and be efficient in roll movements. On the Impress 4 which is the most relaxing to sit in, the roll control for the little movements and feedback is not as precise as on the Delight 4 or Genie light 3 for example.  For the 4 to 5 kg category harnesses, the Delight 4 is more comfortable to sit in than the WV GTO, M size for example.

Roll feedback and comfort in the air:  From 1 as max roll and less comfort to 4 as max comfort and less roll.

1- Lightness 2, Impress 3 

2-WV GTO, Forza, Genie 3 light, X-rated 6, Lightness 3  

3- Impress 4, Genie race 4, 

4- Delight 3, Delight 4  


The Delight 4 has an ABS system that blocks higher roll movements. Some pilots would prefer it, others would prefer a much more roll-inducing harness like the Genie 3 light, or even more like the Lightness 2, etc… Each pilot has his own preferences. 

I felt that pilots could add a small ball with an elastic band attached to the inside of the front pod foot holder, and that ball could be inserted on the shoe laces, in order to make it simple to enter the pod after take off.


Conclusion: Light, robust, practical, easy to pack good harness for traveling, good comfortable harness in strong air, looks nice in the air…and is nicely comfortable for the sitting position. That’s the Delight 4.

And surely, a test flight could be the best way for each individual to see if it fits his requirements. 


https://supair.com/en/produit/sellette-supair-delight4-sport/


OZONE Swift 6 size MS flown at 93 and size S flown at 85 all up.



I already reviewed the amazing Rush 6 in MS and S size. Here’s the review of the Swift 6 in both S and MS sizes.
The takeoff of the Swift 6 in both sizes is easier to inflate than the Rush 6 as all lighter materials behave in that area.
The take-off was immediate on the MS at 93 all up, while the S size heavily loaded needed just two more steps.
Overall launching and easiness of steering on the ground go to the Swift 6.

I have flown the size MS at 93 all up on my X-rated 6 I think I should replace it soon…Waiting for both new releases, the NK Arrow and Ozone Forza 2…Let's see…
So back to the Swift 6, I can immediately confirm a much mellower feel under it than the Rush 6 which was a bit spicier when completely new. The brand new Swift 6 MS size is for sure more comfortable than the R6 with the same load. I felt that the overall movements are smoother in roll and the pitch is nearly absent. After 2 hours of flying it in moderate air, I felt a high degree of comfort as that glider was really relaxing to fly.
One day, my friend who was flying a Boomerang 12 size M less than 5 kg from the top, ( yes, a Boom 12…CCC ! and I’m not comparing it to the B class Smile …But it was just next to me…what to do? Smile )

The Boom 12 was next to me in the early thermals of that day, and we were tip-to-tip trying to find the better weak lift to climb.
Staying very close together, I was really surprised about the Swift 6 ability to float in weak air! I was able to keep a little height in the 15 mn we were stuck in a tiny thermal. So the Swift 6 seems very floaty.
Once we reached the cloud base, my friend took off on a glide going north, with a very slight headwind of 5 km/h, and he also pushed the first bar!
Oops….stuck on the Swift 6 with my stubborn head, I thought lets follow Wink … That’s me when I’m very optimistic Smile
But in order to keep the same distance I needed to push the speed bar to make the pulleys overlap, and with this configuration behind him by 20 m, I was at the same speed as my friend Boom… After a small 3 km glide, I arrived 10 m less !!!! at the same point in the mountains.
Later when the weather and windy conditions needed an efficient glider to get through the airmass faster, he disappeared in front! Not a match at all when going upwind and surfing the air. It was time to wake up!
Afterward flying with some high-end B’s, the Swift 6 showed me a similar glide to the Rush 6 and a really competitive one if comparing it to the C-class gliders.
The S size was flown with the new Delight 4 sport harness from Supair, which will be reviewed shortly this week. The Swift 6 S at 85 all up felt a bit different from the MS size as all the smaller sizes do.
It was a bit more alive for sure, but the climb and glide were equally efficient to the Rush 6 of the same size. The turning ability of the Swift 6 size S at 85 can be described as quite direct, agile, and could core thermals with a narrow core. The Swift 6 size MS was a bit more subtle and smoother in turns! I liked the MS size better at 93 for the smoothness and tight coring ability. The brake travel was slightly longer on the MS but really nice and quite agile also, and I was able to core every narrow thermal like a dream. The difference between the turning behavior of the R6/S6 is that the S6 felt a bit smoother and needed less input in the same air. The Maestro 2 size (75-95) felt more intuitive and more direct with a sharper feel through the brakes if flown at the same load or even at 90 all up. It is a matter of taste…

The difference between the Swift 5 and the Swift 6 S and MS if flown at the same load is that the pilot will feel more connected through the brakes under the S6 with a much sharper and shorter brake distance. The agility is similar but the brake authority is more present under the S6. I also felt that while you needed to fly the Swift 5 at max load or slightly 2 kg overloaded to get the best efficiency, the Swift 6 can be flown 2 kg less than the top for maximum efficiency, and that goes also for the S6 S which I felt that it could be better at 83 all up.

Ears are stable with outer A’s, and they reopen without pilot intervention. Landing is a non-event and the Swift 6 could be slowed down in a tiny spot landing. Some of our X-large landing spots go from 5 meters X 10 Meters! Smile It could be tricky to land a Zeno 2 for example in moving air, but the Swift 6 can be slowed down accurately.

Conclusion:
A light, agile smooth high B glider that has all the necessary tools to make your hike and fly, or XC experience at the max! The performance package is on top of the B category, and the ease of use is outstanding for the delivered performance. Now it's up to you to see if it fits your personal requirements! Happy flights,
Ziad




Tuesday, October 25, 2022

BGD Epic 2 65-85



Reminder:

The B category is a very wide and the most purchased category. In this one category, you can find gliders with a real aspect ratio from 4.8 to 6.3  ! which gives a huge gap in usability and performance.

BGD Epic 2  65-85

The Epic 2 is BGD's new low B glider for 2022-23 with a real aspect ratio of 5.2  and 3.8 projected.

I flew the Epic 1 and will share in this review the differences between those two, and will insert some low B wings to compare.

Launching the Epic 2 size S (65-85) at 84 all up in no wind needs a slight pull, no hard point, no surge forward, just an easy glider to inflate. In windier take-offs, the inflation is calm as if the Epic 2 is waiting for you to be ready. 

In the air, the Epic 2 has a relatively long brake travel, with a moderate linear feel for a low B. The brake travel is aimed to be forgiving.  It also turns well in thermals with an agility a bit similar to the Epic 1. 

The roll movements are very smooth and stable, and the pitch behavior felt also quite tamed. It enters thermals quickly, and the climb is straightforward. In turbulent air, I felt that the tips are softer than the center. They lose some pressure without any consequences, and a long pull on the brake refills them.

One day, I had on my side a friend which is a very good pilot on his brand new Rush 6 size S with the same load. 

The Rush 6 is a high B that I honestly consider, among the top high Bs in terms of overall efficiency.  But, I thought …why not share this flight and see how the low aspect ratio Epic 2 will hold on…

Flying together in weak thermals, I was amazed by the capability of the Epic 2 to float quite well! I think I had a tiny advantage in very weak stuff…But that doesn’t really matter, only that I can now confirm that the Epic 2 is a great climber in weak thermals. 

In some strong cores, and when I completely ease up on the brakes to let it fly through the rising airmass, I think we both have the same climb also. But for sure the ability for the high B,  R6 to dig through the airmass faster is logical and it shows when thermals are above 3 m’s. 

The slow turning behavior of the Epic 2 in strong cores requires a bit more time to place it inside the core than an Ion 6 for example, but its quite ok, and I consider it fairly agile.   

The overall efficiency in thermals and getting through inside them is clearly much better than the old Epic 1 !!! 

The trim speed of the Epic 2 similarly loaded as the brand new R6 with the same size and load showed me a faster trim speed for the Epic 2 by 1 km/h! 

The Epic 2 is fast at trim speed for a low B glider!

At the full bar, I got 9 km over trim, with locked pulleys. 

The glide at trim on the Epic 2 seems also very good! Of course not like the Base 2 and the Rush 6, but still an interesting glide, and after some comparisons, I can surely put the Epic 2  near the best ones in that (low B category). It glides really well!

ears are stable, and efficient with -4m/s  when using the speed bar. Induce asymmetries are very soft and very easy to recover.

Conclusion: BGD released a very easy low B that can be a logical move after school but with a high-performance package for that category. Going far on an XC day while flying the Epic 2 will be an easy task for weekend warriors! Try it to see if it fits your piloting taste and requirements :-) 

Cheers,

Ziad

Friday, September 30, 2022

GIN Avid 75-95

GIN Avid,  75-95 

I already flew the Explorer 2  https://ziadbassil.blogspot.com/2021/07/gin-explorer-2-size-s-75-95.html

Now GIN released the AVID which is a more robust version of the Explorer 2 and the use of new cloth. GIn quote: The Myungjin MJ40MF and MJ32MF fabrics are intended to withstand harsher, more abrasive environments.


Flying the Avid in different conditions and most variable ones ! from 90 to 95 all up with my grated 6 harnesses as usual… That way I can describe the feeling of that glider versus any other glider I flew for the past 6 years easily having still the same harness! 


I think flying it at 95 all up, is the way to go on the Avid.


Launching the Avid is super easy without any delay. very straightforward and easy to take off in all conditions. 


Once airborne I could feel the very high degree of comfort underneath the Avid that I also flew in some nasty places and in dry mountains. Despite the aspect ratio, Avid is tamer than many B’s with a lower aspect ratio. It delivers smooth feedback without being too demanding to fly. Probably a little more than the Chili5….and possibly less or similar to the Maestro 2 or Rush 6. Overall an easy B to fly.


It feels exactly like the Explorer in terms of pilot demand. 


The turning ability is quite good. With 15 -20 cm and moderate pressure on the brakes, I could turn the Avid inside any core! Very efficient and again (Smooth) turning behavior. 


What surprised me is the climb in weak to marginal conditions. This Avid really climbs well! It shares the same climbing properties as the Explorer 2 which is excellent! 


It is indeed a floater like no other Gin the B segment. It is difficult to land first while flying the Avid unless you make a mistake! 


In good conditions, you quickly find yourself at a cloud base! The Avid climb well! confirmed! 




Gliding will take a bit more explaining:

Doing some glides in calm air, without any wind, or sea breeze the Avid has a nice glide angle similar to the Explorer 2. which is also very very good! 

What surprised me is when doing some glides in windy, difficult conditions, while I’m at 95 all up, I didn’t feel I was efficient that much in going forward as I should be… I felt a bit pinned. Pushing the on the bar didn’t really improve my digging forward through that tricky airmass also. I just felt like sliding a bit.   I did many glides in different areas when low in some valley breeze and the result was as felt before. I think flying it a bit overloaded could be better… But I don’t know…


While pushing the speed bar, the C controls are really nice, they can stop and control the surges while being efficient and having a moderate feel. Quite nice! 

Ears are stable, they reopen sometimes without pilot intervention.


Full speed gave me 11 km/h over trim.
















Conclusion:

The Avid is a calm, smooth B, not really demanding to fly, and could be good for upgrading after two seasons on a low B glider. I was hoping for an efficient cutting through the airmass high B glider.


However, this high aspect ratio B is very different from the Carrera series. It is much more forgiving. I flew that glider in strong air and it gave me a comfortable feel. The handling is very nice, as it turns as the pilot wishes with very good brake authority. And of course, the climb in weak air will crown you “Skygod’ of the day ;-) 

In the end, a test flight is worth a thousand words. and words.