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




Sunday, December 19, 2021

BGD Base 2 Light size S 65-85

BGD Base 2 Light size S 65-85

I already flew the normal version of the Base 2 in two sizes M and S, and the review has been written on my blog. Here is the light version in size S flown at 84 all up.

The visual difference is the light risers with also a C steering capability, and thinner webbings. as seen in the picture attached.

Launching the Base 2 light S is really nice. The base 2 light launches even if you don’t touch the A risers! I mean it's really easy and very straightforward even in no wind conditions! 

Launching the Rook3, R-Light, was difficult, also the Rush 6 seems nicer than the R5 but still, the Base 2 and especially the Base 2 light is very straightforward even in a very small take-off area.


In the air at 82 to 84 all up, the Base 2 light gives a softer feel than the Rush 6 in size MS. It feels more comfortable to fly than the R-Light S and the Rook 3 and for sure more than the Rush 6. 

The overall movement in pitch and roll are smoother and more forgiving for a newcomer to the high B. Much like the normal version, the light seems to have the same overall feel, with probably a slight mellower feel if I’m going to compare the Base 2 normal S and the Base 2 Light S. 

The brake travel of the lighter version seems quite shorter than the normal S size with only 10 cm to steer the glider in a thermal! That’s quite good for a high B.  But it seems that I found the brakes too short to my taste in the factory settings. So I top landed, readjusted the brakes two times…to find that releasing 12 cm of travel gave me a slack of ± 6 cm before the brakes has direct contact on the trailing edge. 


The Base2 Light S can be steered very tightly into the core with a linear response through the brakes and a short response. The pressure is similar to the Base 2 S which is lighter than the Chili 5 of course, or even the Rush 6. Probably similar to the Swift 5 S but with shorter and more precise brake control. 


Off again, I flew next to other high B gliders to understand better the overall efficiency. The glide angle resembles the Base 2 with probably a slightly slower glider to enter the airmass than the normal S, but still puts the Base 2 light on par in performance with the normal version.  The top speed with pulleys overlapping gave me an 11 km/h increase in speed. (Video later on)

The Base 2 S climbs well in thermals. It slows slightly upon entry but climbs well.  Hands up when entering will allow the glider to breathe better.  The B comparison is updated for pilots looking for more details.  

Big ears are stable and reopen quickly. Landing in a tight spot is easy as the glider can be slowed down quite well. 


Conclusion:  The Base 2 Light S is a pleasure to fly with its very nice handling and authority on the brakes for a high B. The overall performance in climb and glide are among the good ones in that category. 

I think if you privilege fun, ease of use, with also plenty of cool performance, and especially a relatively comfortable glider to fly for the high B category, then the answer is simply the Base 2 Light.  


Friday, September 17, 2021

Swing Arcus RS, 75-95

Swing  Arcus 2 RS,  75-95 


The Arcus is Swing's low EN-B glider, with the RAST system.

I flew the Arcus 2 RS at 93 all up in our strong Cedars area last month. 

The construction and details are really neat on that Arcus 2. Nitinol wires were used to keep the profile stable with little weight. 

The take-off at 93 is very straightforward and very easy, even in nil wind. In strong windy take-off, the easiness of the Arcus 2 makes the launching a child's play.

In the air, the brake travel is short to react and firm, but pulling more is still very forgiving, but no need as it turns quite well in all kinds of conditions. I can say that 15-20 cm is only needed to steer the glider in most conditions. The agility is nice on that low B with good precision in turns for the class.  

The pitch behavior is very calm, and the roll is even calmer! The information about the air is felt with a lot of passive movements and a very compact feel ! Not any weird movements whatsoever! 

 I flew the Buzz Z6 and the Ion 6, and I can say that the Arcus 2 seems and feels easier and calmer than both. 

Whatever harsh conditions you threw at it, the Arcus 2 RS welcomes it with a meditating monk attitude! That’s really awesome for beginner pilots wanting to get a calm glider, no questions asked…


The overall glide and climb of the Arcus 2 is nice for the low B category and nowadays can get you far in good XC days. 

Ears are stable and reopen without pilots' intervention.  


Conclusion:  The Arcus 2 RS offers a relaxed flight, a high passive safety, with enough performance for the low B category. Flying it will give the pilot ample time to look around, feel the magic of flying without worrying about what’s the air is doing.  I think it's a good glider to fly in strong alpine conditions, where you want a higher degree of comfort to keep your body battery full for a longer flight. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

SKYWALK CHili 5 XS 75-95

Skywalk Chili 5 size XS 75-95

After the excellent Chili 4, Skywalk released the Chili 5 for 2021-2022 and perhaps a little more.

One of my favorite gliders at the time in the B category was the Chili 4. It had a wonderful brake authority, climbs beautifully, and has one of the best glide angles for the category, and is still very competitive. Some pilots reported that the extra movements in the air were too much for them, and some appreciated each moment. Always a matter of taste.

Let's begin with the construction which shows very clean work. Skywalk uses a mix of TX-Light and Dominico 30 DMF. The jet flaps are of course still present on the Chili 5, 3D shaping, shark nose, and all the new features of a modern B class paraglider. The risers have a C steering speed control that allows the pilot to stay on the bar while limiting the pitch movements. 

So, what’s the Chili 5 have to offer? Let's see…

Launching the Chili 5 XS at 93 all up with my good old X -rated 6 harness is very direct, easy and inflates without any hard point or even any shooting forward. It launches easier than the Rush 6 and is similar to the Base 2 which is excellent. The light materials offer a straight forward uncomplicated launch. The take-off is immediate and smooth.

I flew the Chili 5 in multiple conditions, from our strong higher Cedars sites to the lower humid sites with 35 degrees hot and turbulent summer weather! 

In the air, I immediately felt like I’m sitting on a comfortable couch despite what’s going around me. In the same weather, the Chili 4 would have been like a go-kart. The pitch movements are nearly absent but when encountering a strong bullet, the Chili 5 pitches slightly back, but…with a positive vario and it slides through the rising air mass.  There’s some bad pitch back that doesn’t really get inside the thermals, and a good pitch back. The Chili 5 has very good behavior in thermals.

That’s a rare feeling for me, and I find it really interesting in a very positive way. To explain that feeling, in most turbulent air some B gliders surges forward, some pitches back losing the climb, and require pilot management with the brakes that could delay a bit the climbing efficiency, but I rarely see a glider that climbs and still climb well, with a very reassuring little pitch back that is quickly gone when inside a thermal. That pitch back doesn’t need anything to do for the pilot underneath. The Chili 5 just climbs effortlessly without too much control from the pilot. Interesting point. 

To add to my comments on that climb, and while I was testing it with the best B’s of the moment, like the Base 2 and the new Rush 6 and with the same loadings, I can confirm that the Chili 5 is one of the best climbing machines!  To explain why it climbs so well, I must say again, that no touching of the brakes is needed while hitting a thermal or just a slight bit, and that enables the Chili 5 to float in a rising air mass. On those testing days, my friends on the new high B gliders were stunned by the efficiency of the Chili 5! 

The Rush 6 is different in entering the airmass and jumps forward into it. The comfort under the Chili 5 is IMHO, 30% less than the workout on the R6 in strong turbulent air and it is even just slightly more comfortable than the Base2!  It is really compact and homogenous! 

The brake travel and pressure of the Chili 5 is slightly more firm than the Chili 4 on the first 15 cm after the 10 cm of a gap. The agility and authority on the brakes are really nice also. Not as dynamic in turns as the Chili 4, but really good and efficient. I could turn the Chili 5 in a very narrow thermal. The Chili 5 doesn’t dive in turns, and if you want to make a wing over you need to build it. 

In these testing hours, I was completely satisfied with the handling. And that’s an important issue for my personal preference.

After pulling 15-17 cm which I don’t think any pilot will use then much unless there are heavy conditions, the Chili 5 brake pressure became a bit hard. It could be a relief for some pilots to feel secure when things go wild, just because they could hang on to something…

Gliding….

That part is interesting…Flying many new gliders, I’m still amazed at the new ones! I lately test flew the Rush 6, and it was also available to compare it with the Chili 5. I also brought the excellent Base 2 M which has a very good glide angle. Test flying against the Base 2 at the same weight showed me that the Chili 5 has what it takes to be awesome! The top speed is 3 km/h faster than the already fast Base 2 M. I did some glides also with the Rush 6, and I can say that the glide is very close and competitive. For that matter, I’ll update my B comparison for the little details if needed. 

C steering while on the bar is efficient, moderates pressure, and keeps the glider overhead. 

Ears are stable and reopen slowly without pilot intervention if loaded at the top. 

Conclusion: Skywalk has built a very comfortable high-performance B glider. The Chili 5 doesn’t require a lot of active control while delivering excellent overall performance for the B category. I can confirm that I can put it with some mid-Bs in terms of comfort and accessibility.

The Package of the climb, glide performance, and huge comfort are very wide in the high B category. The top speed is really good and a bit hard to push at the second bar. Other than that… Fly the Chili 5 near the top weight for efficiency, and you will experience an excellent XC machine that saves you a lot of energy, keeping you gliding toward the sunset.  



 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Rush 6 MS 75-95

Rush 6 MS 75-95

And here it is…The new Ozone Rush 6 EN-B for 2022-23.  

In my mind, I was thinking that to beat the Rush 5 would be a super difficult job for Ozone. My test conclusion of the Rush 5 was the best EN-B ever made, and it was clear to all the pilots in the world after the two years cycles.

Will Rush 6 beat the Rush 5 in all qualities? … let's see…

The take-off at 93 all up with my X-rated 6 harness seems much better than the Rush 5 which was a bit slow to inflate. The Rush 6 with those small leading-edge openings, inflates much better in little air. Lighter materials enable the gliders to launch better, like the Explorer 2 for example And I think the future Swift 6 will have an even more enhanced launching as the Explorer2. But for a normal B glider, no more complaints about the launching characteristics. Checked!

In the air, the Rush 6 is a bit faster at trim than the Rush 5 and for sure at the second bar which we will talk about later on.

The brake travel at my weight has similar pressure to the Rook 3 but longer a bit for the same turning abilities and same agility in turns. 

Before I continue describing the turn abilities, I have to mention that the overall feel under the Rush 6 is very different from 90 % of the B category gliders. Let me explain:

The Rush 5, Rook3, Mentor 6, Chili4, are still excellent B gliders, but the feel under them is exactly like a moderate aspect ratio B glider with limited abilities for the leading edge to cut through a difficult airmass. And that ability was only reserved for the class above. 

The Rush 6 is different. A different behavior and movements under it. The pilot level is a little step more than the Rush 5, but still in the high B category. 

The leading edge is so tensed that I needed to pull hard in order to collapse it. The reopening is immediate and slightly more dynamic. 

In strong and turbulent air, no small collapses whatsoever. Very taught leading edge. The Rush 6 is a different glider from the older series. 

 But please don’t understand me wrong. The Rush 6 is a relatively comfortable glider in the B category.  I just needed to place it accurately versus the Rush 5.  For example: Easier to fly and much tamer movements than the Carrera Plus. Probably similar to the Maestro 21. So all is good there. To finalize, the Rush 6 is slightly easier to fly than the Delta 4 when conditions are rough. The information is slightly more tamed. 


All that hybrid construction with the C steering like the Delta and Alpina series, and the taught leading-edge, leads to having a leading edge that is cutting through the airmass exactly like a C glider!  The efficiency in moving forward is like the class above. Or should I say to be very accurate, in the “middle-top” of the C class category? 

Now that’s a bold statement…I know. But I as you already know, I won’t write useless marketing talk, anything unless I’m sure about it. And yes, I’m sure. 

The C steering is very easy and comfortable to use in turbulence while on bar. 

Now the question that you might ask is: What about the Delta 4? Does the Rush 6 have the same overall performance as the Delta 4? My answer is simple.

As long as you push the bar on the Rush 6, the difference in glide against the wind and in a moving airmass in XC conditions are very…very…little to say the least. Even at full bar on the Rush 6, the efficiency is outstanding!

The very strange thing is that the glide at trim of the Rush6 seems slightly less than the top C gliders, but as soon as you push the bar, the glide improves a lot on the Rush 6…which is weird…While having the C glider pushing also on bar of course and both match the same speed. 

But I have tried and tried many glides with the same results even at top speed comparing with a very good C glider of the same size and at the same loadings.


Climbing in weak conditions at 93 all up, showed me also a very efficient machine that could float in those tiny thermals despite the stiff and solid structure of a B glider. On a higher-rated glider, flying in weak conditions will give you more feedback as the C, or D gliders inform the pilot in a more subtle and direct way of the air movements. But the mellow Rush 6 was quite efficient in weak. Despite being very good in weak, I think that the Rush 5 would float a tiny better in 0.2 m/s conditions. Encountering a bit of valley breeze, the R6 will have the upper-hand


Some would ask: Is it as nimble with short brake travel as the Chili4 of the same size, R-Light S ?  No, it doesn’t have that short, very linear response, as the mentioned gliders deliver a little more feedback from their brakes, but still, the R6 has more than enough for the B category, with very good agility, and a very good brake authority to place it among the good ones in the handling category.  

Does it turn better than the Rush 5? 

Yes, “with more positive power into the turn” is the best description for it. It goes forward without stopping while turning. (Of course for a B glider) 


The feedback comes from the risers, not the brakes. The turning abilities to core any turbulent thermal with a narrow radius are very possible if the inside brake is pulled to a certain degree. Overall, a very good handling and brake authority. 


 A pilot upgrading from the Buzz Z5 or Z6 needs at least two full seasons in strong air to fully understand the Rush 6 excellent potential. Coming from a Mojo is not recommended…I think.


Big ears are stable and reopen with pilot control as the tips tend to stick a bit. A little break pump would be great.


Conclusion:  If you are that good high B pilot that searches to get an XC record on a B while pushing often on the bar, then you have reached your destination.  

If pilots want to use the R6 only at trim, then they will miss its real potential. 

The Rush 6 is a higher step-in feel and in performance for the B category. It feels like the R6 is pushing into the airmass like very rare high B gliders, but with a high-performance package.

A Rush 5 pilot needs a few hours to dial in and to understand the new concept. Afterward unleash the beast! :-)




Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mac Para Elan 3 24

MacPara Elan 3  24. (75-95)

The new C for 2021 from MacPara has arrived. Having flown both earlier versions, I was excited to test fly their latest release. 

Shark nose, The Elan 3 is manufactured using the excellent lightweight materials from Porcher Sport. Skytex 38, Skytex 32 and Skytex 27.  

The lines are made from Edelrid, Aramid Kevlar for the upper lines, PPSL lines for the lower lines.

The construction and details are superb. The risers have a connection between the B and the C for efficient C steering. 


Launching the Elan 3 at 93 all up is smooth and easy. The Elan 3 rises effortlessly without any hard point even in nil wind. If the Delta 4 is sometimes slow to launch, the Elan 3 like the Allegro is easier to inflate. 


Flying with my X-rated 6 at 93,94 all up, the Elan 3 seems fast at trim. Similar to a Bonanza 2 in trim speed and 1-2 km/h faster at top speed. 


I flew the Elan 3 in different conditions, from a strong day in the Cedars spot at 3000 ASL to the lower spots with warm air and inversions at 800 ASL. In all conditions, the Elan 3 felt homogenous without any parasital movements whatsoever. The Elan 3 is very different from the Elan 1 and the Elan 2 in terms of overall feel. While being comfortable to fly for a C, and a very successful DHV rating, with one C, the Elan 3 DNA flies and feels different. The feel under it is like a super easy and comfortable baby Magus. 


The pitch when entering thermals is incredibly efficient without any pitch back at all. A slight pitch forward that pulls you efficiently into the core. The Elan 3 needs a slightly more active pilot control than the Elan 2, Delta 4, but still easy to manage for a C, while giving the pilot an educated but comfortable feedback of the class above without the demanding piloting control a D glider gives.

To explain more, I could say that for pilots who find that flying a Delta 4 or Elan 2 is too dampened in overall feel, the Elan 3 will offer the little extra spice that an educated pilot will cherish for the same comfort, or possibly a 10% more pilot control. 

In turbulent and strong air, the structure felt very solid and very homogenous.

The brake pressure is on the moderate side. I could control the Elan 3 in a moderate 15 - 25 cm of brakes after the first 10 cm of a gap.  It resembles the Alpina 4 brake length with slightly more pressure. 

The agility of the Elan 3 is very slightly less than the Elan 2, but I was very satisfied with its efficiency. 

The Elan 3 has precise brake travel, and I could say that it has more direct control than a Supair Savage, with slightly more agile. Not as agile as an Alpina 4 for example that could core the thermals really tight, but the Elan 3 is not that far, with a much more performance-oriented turning ability.  

Flying the Elan 3, I was able to core every thermal without missing any. The turns are flat without a dive. 


Flying the Elan 3 in moving air showed me the bigger difference, as the Elan 3 has the ability to surf efficiently the moving air mass, and to convert every moving air into the lift. That’s why I wrote above that the feel under it is very different. The Elan 3 was surfing the lift lines and moving forward and upward like the class above! 


Doing some glides in calm air showed me the Elan 3 shares the best glide for today's C, at trim, and at full bar. It is in moving air that the Elan 3 will be more efficient through the airmass. 


Climbing in weak and strong conditions seems also efficient. The Elan 3 has an amazing ability to convert any movement to lift, and that’s exactly its strong point. Even in sudden and strong cores, I could turn precisely the Elan 3 into the stronger core.

  

Ears are stable, reopen faster with little help. Induced asymmetries kept the Elan 3 on the path and very easy to recover.








Conclusion:

That kind of feel and handling suits my personal flying style a lot. It reminded me of the Trango X-race handling, but slightly mellower in turns and of course tamer in turbulence.

Mac Para has lifted the Elan series to a new dimension and feel. If you have never flown a Mac Para, now is the time to taste that special feel under the Elan 3 !  It is so different from the too dampened older series, but still quite comfortable with that specially added spice.  The difference between the old and the new one is that the Elan 3 will cut through the airmass more efficiently and resembles the upper ratings in that matter! 

The C steering is a bit hard to pull but efficient to keep the Elan 3 overhead in turbulence.

The Elan 3 movements and overall comfort in turbulence target exactly the C category pilots. I think a pilot downgrading from a higher-rated glider won’t lose that special feel under the D gliders while getting the passive safety of the C category. 

A good B pilot with two full seasons in strong conditions will find the Elan 3 as one of the best logical evolution for the solid C category.