Thursday, September 28, 2023

Saturday, September 16, 2023

MacPara Illusion 2 size 24 70-90

MacPara Illusion 2 size 24  70-90 


The Illusion 2 is a lightweight low EN-B from MacPara. 

I flew the Illusion 2 with the Niviuk Arrow harness at 85 all up.

Pulling on the A risers launches the Illusion 2 smoothly even in nil wind. In the stronger breeze, it rises calmly and stays above the pilot's head. Take off with 85 all up on this size is ideal. 

The brake travel is moderate to short with a quick reaction to turn the glider but still very forgiving if pulled further. The pressure is moderate to firm allowing a good connectivity for that level.

I flew in some strong turbulent air, and I was test-flying also the Ion 7 and the Buzz Z7. I think Illusion 2 seems calmer in all the pitch movements. In strong air, the Illusion 2 stays locked above the pilot's head with little brake applied. The roll is moderate and resembles the Ion 7 and the Z7. 

For that class, all those gliders have lots of performance to offer especially when going into the airmass. The Illusion 2 as a low B is a good contender and is quite competitive in the way it enters the airmass and moves forward. As a low B, it is certainly slow to enter and to move, but still, it does the job very well. Further smaller details in the B comparison shortly. 

Turning into thermals with the Illusion 2 is especially made for that class of pilots without too much dynamics, but still agile enough to turn tight every core, without missing it. The speed travel delivers around 11 km/h and still with a good glide angle. On one flight, I was pinned by a south wind and needed to push the full speed in order to move forward. I was surprised that after 10 km of full bar, the Illusion 2 kept on its rail, and got me slowly and smoothly to the other side of the mountain. I think nowadays, all those low B’s are very competitive, and they deliver a surprisingly high amount of performance for the newcomers to the sport, or even for the pilots who just want to fly for fun stepping down from a higher-rated glider. 

 The Illusion 2 can be slowed quite well to land in tight small places. Ears are stable, get you down around 2.5 or 3m/s if pulled higher, and reopen without pilot intervention.

Conclusion: 

A light but reliable companion, for flying in big mountains. No stress, cool reactions, forgiving, and nice brake authority. Good overall performance to get the job done. I don’t know why, but after flying Illusion 2 I keep thinking of my lovely and peaceful Golden retriever…as if they share the same character…





Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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 Hi,

Please use the search engine for + 300 tested gliders. Or click "older posts"

Thank you for visiting my blog πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ™

Happy and safe flights,

Ziad 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

NIVIUK KLimber 3 P size 21




Disclaimer:

Please note again… that tests will always differ with other sizes. At first, if flown with seatless harnesses, or must I say a completely different harness. Also if the same sizes are flown at different loads, lighter loads will get the weakest climb but will be penalized in control in heavy air or pushing through a heavy airmass. Bigger sizes have more gliding performance and also better climb in weak conditions.  In my small tests, I always state the size, the total flying weight, and afterward IMHO, the optimum weight I found in that particular glider.



NIVIUK KLimber 3 P


Glider: Klimber 3 P size 21 for a certified weight range of 73-93, and NIviuk stated its optimum weight is 84-90.

Harness used: Woody Valley X-rated 6 size XL, slightly modified to fit my taste. 

Test flown at 88, and 92 all up. 


TEST:

Here is the new super light competition/hike and fly EN-D paraglider from NIVIUK. 

After my test on the Advance Omega ULS, I will give my thoughts about the two gliders in the air. 


At first, I cannot begin before I comment on the beautiful construction and details that were made on that Niviuk glider! Guys…really impressive! From the delivered light black/orange bag that holds the Klimber3 to that precise sewing of the  N10 DOMINICO TEX CO that is used both on the upper and lower surface. The profile and diagonals are made from Porcher 70000 E91.  It weighs less than 3.0 kg as announced! Here's the link for the details: [url]https://niviuk.com/en/klimber-3-p[/url]

Laying it on the ground imposes gentle handling, as it has even lighter cloth than the Omega ULS. The Overall construction with the nitinol rods, and the risers, is nothing but excellent! A really beautiful piece of equipment! 


The Klimber 3 rises smoothly and effortlessly without any wind. It is one of the easiest 7-aspect ratio gliders to inflate. 

Flying the Klimber 3 at 92 all up, in turbulent conditions gave me a complete idea about its usability. After a few hours, I think considering the 7 aspect ratio, the Klimber 3 P is an easy EN-D to handle. Of course, it needs slightly more active pilot control than the 2 liners C’s, but still easy for a D. It resembles the Omega ULS with perhaps a little more movement inside the glider. The Kimber 3 moves slightly more in itself but is still very easy to manage. 

The brake length is shorter than the Omega ULS and as agile.  The pressure on the brakes is slightly firmer than the Omega ULS, but still on the moderate side. I think that pressure is perfect. 

I can say that the authority given by the brakes in turbulent air is quite nice, enabling the pilot to place it accurately in tiny cores. I liked the Omega ULS turning abilities, but I can tell you that I also enjoyed very much the shorter and sharper brake authority on the Klimber 3 as the responses were immediate and quite satisfying. I’m really lucky to be able to test-fly those new light gliders.


If you have flown the Artik R, and understand how it flies in the airmass, how it moves, how it enters thermals, then you will immediately understand the Klimber 3 behavior which has the exact feel but with more than 25 % workload. NIVIUK gliders have their own flying characteristics. The Klimber 3 like the Artik R, just slows slightly before entering the thermal, but the climb is quite nice for the category. In weak, and strong air, it is quite satisfying even at 92 all up on that size. If flown at 88, it will still fly as well but slows slightly more before entering. 


Please remember that those super light gliders, are built with lots of optimizations to reduce weight to let you carry the little possible and let you extract the maximum of their abilities. So don’t expect them to perform like the X one for example! But they will deliver high-end performance for that special light EN-D class especially when you push the speed bar. 


The speed travel of the Klimber 3 is quite long and delivers a higher top speed than the Omega ULS. The glide at 57 km/h is quite competitive. I think I will mix and update the 2 liner C comparison and add those lights D’s inside…Just to get an idea…(soon…)


While on the speed bar, the B steering has a moderate pressure similar to the Omega ULS and is quite efficient to keep the Klimber 3 on track.  Flying at 75 % of the speed bar, the Klimber 3 profile seems taught, and the speed is quite usable. 


Lots of stored energy inside the glider to play around, as it is addictive! but it is better not to get used to throwing it around too much!  


Ears with outer B’s are efficient, stable, and reopen quickly. 


Conclusion:

The look and the streamed line are very beautiful! the handling is sharp, precise, and joyful! It is a relatively easy 2 liner EN-D for that class of pilots. If carefully chosen, the complete package harness and glider, Vario, phone, helmet, water, and chocolate…will not exceed 7.5 kg!  A blessing of perfection, if you can fit in your weight!   

If you can…exciting moments await!  Happy flights :-) 



OZONE Buzz Z7 MS


Disclaimer:

Please note again… that tests will always differ with other sizes. At first, if flown with seatless harnesses, or must I say a completely different harness. Also if the same sizes are flown at different loads, lighter loads will get the weakest climb but will be penalized in control in heavy air or pushing through a heavy airmass. Bigger sizes have more gliding performance and also better climb in weak conditions. In my small tests, I always state the size, the total flying weight, and afterward IMHO, the optimum weight I found in that particular glider.



Ozone Buzz Z7

The Buzz Z7 is the low EN-B from OZONE. It has a 5.1 aspect ratio.

Test: Ozone Buzz Z 7 size MS 75-95 flown at 92 all up.

Harness: Woody Valley X-rated 6 size XL modified to fit my taste.


Test:

The Buzz Z7 holds a robust construction for daily use. You can see the details here: https://flyozone.com/paragliders/products/gliders/buzz-z7/

Launching the Buzz Z7 even in nil wind rises smoothly, and evenly. It is an easy glider for that low B class to inflate. However, I just remembered to mention that even to this date, and after thousands of hours, I still catch every opportunity to kite any glider anywhere, as kiting your glider and playing on the ground is a very important step to evolve. If you can master your glider in some turbulent landing spot, then you will master your glider in the air. Just because what your glider does in the ground, it will do the same in the air. If you can master it accurately and refine your feel under it, you will quickly evolve.


Now back to flying that cool Buzz Z7 is our strong Cedars range as the air is cooler and thermals are generous. I was also alternating with the Nova Ion 7 which is a low B, and I will also write a review shortly. The Buzz Z7 is a cool, easy comfortable EN-B. The movements are quite balanced and the pitch and roll are automatically controlled to stay at low angles above your head despite the rough conditions. It felt sometimes like a school glider behaves.

The brake pressure is moderate on that Buzz Z7 and not tiring at all for long flights. The handling is sweet, and the Buzz Z7 is an agile glide for that low category without being dynamic. The level of overall comfort is similar to the Buzz Z6, with a slightly more joyful ride.

The new hidden feature is yet to come!

The more experienced pilots who are flying the 2 liners Photon, know very well, why that glider flies so well. It is not that the number you see in calm air that matters. But rather the efficiency of sliding through that moving airmass and behaving like climbing stairs up, while moving forward. That’s the hidden efficiency and excellence behind the creations.

I am not telling you that the Buzz Z7 flies like the Photon! 

Of course, I am not for sure.

I am just telling you that this R&D ‘know-how’ is integrated into the Buzz Z7. That low B with its low B characteristics felt to get the most of that moving airmass when you least apply the brakes and let it fly as much as your ability can…

It is definitely slower and cooler to enter, but it still enters and moves forward quite efficiently for that low B class!

The glide in moving air is impressive as it doesn’t bump into the airmass but rather slows but digs through smoothly without losing the glide.

To feel that feature on a low B is quite impressive.

The turning radius can be very narrowed for little thermals. The Buzz Z7 doesn’t really dive in turns. It is optimized to get flat turns, and it climbs beautifully well!

The speed bar has moderate pressure and can be used all the way when needed. The glide at speed is still very good. Even though there’s no B, C connection, I found that pulling the C risers could easily keep the glider overhead while on the bar.

Ears are super easy to induce, they reopen without pilot intervention.

Landing is super easy as the glider can be slowed down quite well.


Conclusion:

By creating the Buzz Z7, I think Ozone has given that low B a multi-functional task. While being very easy to handle and confidence-inspiring, they gave it an impressive performance package for that low B category, coupled with joyful and balanced handling. So young newcomers, or even senior pilots who are looking for a stress-free glider while preserving a good efficient level of gliding and climbing performance, should definitely try out the Buzz Z7.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

ADVANCE Omega ULS 23




First here is some information from ADVANCE : 



Question: What would be the differences between the different past versions of the OMEGA? …3-4 you made in the past 2 years?


Email reply:

Valery Chapuis (ADVANCE): The new wing is called the OMEGA ULS and was certified in March. We developed it together with our X-Alps pilots because this wing is made for them first. It is the best compromise for the preferences of all these athletes.

There are differences between the OMEGA ULS and the previous OMEGA X-Alps 4 (that we didn’t launch in the market 2 years ago due to lack of production capacity - Covid). The new one is about 250 g lighter and more compact to pack. An improved interior structure and optimized Nitinol wires have contributed to this. The OMEGA ULS also has a higher top speed and a noticeably better glide over the entire polar curve. It is also easier and has smoother handling. The aspect ratio is a little bit smaller (6,8 VS 6,95). There is also one more size, so the OMEGA ULS is now available in sizes 21, 22, 23, and 24.

The gliders that our athletes used at the X-Alps are identical to the serial model in terms of construction and trim, however, lighter materials with clearly limited longevity were used in some areas and an ultra-lighter riser with more difficult handling is fitted.

All the work we have done on the profile and the structure of the OMEGA ULS will go into the new gliders. With this, we can influence the weight of a glider for example.

With my best regards. Fly well and take care.

ValΓ©ry

Team ADVANCE




ADVANCE Omega ULS     ( The white light )

Disclaimer:

Please note again… that tests will always differ with other sizes. At first, if flown with seatless harnesses, or must I say a completely different harness. Also if the same sizes are flown at different loads, lighter loads will get the weakest climb but will be penalized in control in heavy air or pushing through a heavy airmass. Bigger sizes have more gliding performance and also better climb in weak conditions.  In my small tests, I always state the size, the total flying weight, and afterward IMHO, the optimum weight I found in that particular glider.



The Omega ULS has already won the toughest X Alps 2023 race, and in that particular race flying hours were the most logged in sometimes very harsh conditions.

This time, I got the Omega ULS in size 23 which goes to 100, but ADVANCE recommends an optimum range from 88 to 98 all up. I flew the ULS at 90, 93, 94, 97 all up and I think the sweet spot is around 93-94 for practically all-around conditions. If you need to get even more efficiency in entering a strong and heavy airmass, then 97, 98 could be also more beneficial. 


Typically ADVANCE, the construction, and details are really impressive, clean, neat, and light cloth, even the risers (PES/Technora 12mm) feel very light, which sometimes, it imposes you to treat her with finesse. Here’s the link for the ADVANCE page for a clearer explanation:

https://www.advance.swiss/en/products/paragliders/omega-uls


Launching the light ULS is super easy even in no wind and without any delay. It rises smoothly and evenly, with no hard point no snaking around, just as easy as it gets with its 6.8 aspect ratio. 


In the air, the brake length has a 15 cm gap after the pulleys and they need around 20 to 30 cm to steer the glider in all conditions. They have a moderate length, but …as agile as you could dream for a 6.8 AR glider! I could place the Omega ULS in rough air whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted ! and that is a blessing to those gliders. The brake length is around 5 cm longer than the Artik R size 23 at 94, and 10 cm shorter than the Photon MS at 94, (but much more reactive to brake inputs!) In the ULS case, I try to fly with a half wrap all the time except when I’m on the speed bar of course, and that gave me a superb authority on the brakes. The pressure however is on the moderate/light side. Slightly lighter and smoother than the Artik R, Photon, Bonanza 3, and Trango X, and also slightly lighter than the Omega 3 in size 22 flown at 85 all up. 

So, we have a light to moderate when we pull past 40 cm with amazing agility letting the pilot enjoy every thermal! 



Inside a thermal core, the ULS has the ability to narrow the turning radius, as some low aspect high B’s!  

The Omega ULS enters gently moderate thermal stays in the core easily without any useless and excessive movements. 

A really nice glider to thermal with.  


I flew in different areas from rough conditions in our high mountains to some other spots with +35 C, warm air with turbulence, and #$@^#& conditions! ;-) 


And also, in some quite nice conditions, with good thermals, nice cloud bases, and even after hours under the Omega ULS, you just wish it never ends!  


In strong conditions, the Omega ULS moves as a completely whole structure. The feel of a light but very well-taught and balanced structure overhead gives the pilot a high passive safety feel. In strong punchy cores, the ULS has of course some dynamic movements for that class, especially if you are flying it above 3000m where the air is thinner and logically more dynamic. But the brake authority can stop any surge promptly and adjust all the movements of the glider. In my flying hours under it, I never sensed any awkward feel or strange movement underneath. The roll is well-balanced and quite comfortable for that class. The pitch behavior is quite tamed but surely in strong air the pilot has a high authority to catch any dynamic surges with the brakes. 



In terms of pilot demands, I can say the Omega ULS needs slightly more active control than the EN-C’s like Artik R, Trango X, Photon..etc, and of course less workout than the Xc Racer 2. So it seems to be in that middle for accessibility. Could be similar to fly than the Light Mantra 7 but with a more coherent structure.



The Omega ULS has a sensitive weight approach. For example, if you fly it at its sweet spot around 93-94 all up, the climbing abilities in weak air are very good.  As well as in stronger cores, the handling and agility will keep you rocketing upward. 


Now for the gliding part, I made some glides with the latest high-end EN-D’s like Zeno 2 MS, XC racer 2 (95 max), and also with some new EN-C’s like the Photon MS. 

After some glides (in calm air), I can clearly say that I was really impressed by that glider! The glide at trim and especially at full bar which gave me around 15 km’h over trim on that version, is nothing but excellent! If the D gliders match the full speed of the Omega ULS, then it's a draw! YES … The Omega ULS glide matches the 7 AR EN-Ds! … And that you can try! 


Now for the professional approach, if you are flying an OMEGA ULS and you are pinned in a low strong valley breeze, and next to you there’s a high-end EN-D like the Zeno 2, XC racer 2 for example, then they will logically prevail by moving faster into that heavy airmass and digging and slipping through more efficiently just because the high aspect EN-D’s are built with long rods complex structures and built without weight compromises and aimed for racing.

But that Omega ULS with refined and engineered construction designed for XC hike and fly, will never be far as it glides extremely well! 



Pushing on the speed bar and if correctly tuned with some harnesses, one step, can close both pulleys. 

I personally tuned it to have two steps and push half the speed, the Omega ULS movements in turbulent air seem calmer. At the second step with pulleys overlapping, the Omega ULS is very taught, with no airfoil fluttering at all! it feels very solid, and surprisingly, with little time under it, the Omega ULS will give you that passive feel to keep the speed bar on if you need it sometimes.

The B steering with moderate pressure is very efficient and will keep the glider on its path through turbulence. The pressure on the B’s is quite moderate and controls the glider's movements accurately.


Ears are stable with outer A’s, they reopen slowly with a little help. 


Conclusion:

The Omega ULS, is a light, agile, well-balanced 6.8 aspect ratio EN-D with a high-performance package.

I can only imagine that after test-flying it, many pilots aiming for that class will eventually get hooked and will fly the Omega ULS for years to come. 

 

Friday, July 14, 2023

SUPAIR Step X size 80-100



Disclaimer:

Please note again… that tests will always differ with other sizes. At first, if flown with seatless harnesses, or must I say a completely different harness. Also if the same sizes are flown at different loads, lighter loads will get the weakest climb but will be penalized in control in heavy air or pushing through a heavy airmass. Bigger sizes have more gliding performance and also better climb in weak conditions.  In my small tests, I always state the size, the total flying weight, and afterward IMHO, the optimum weight I found in that particular glider.



SUPAIR Step X  size M flown from 93 to 97 all up. 


The Step X is the new 2023 high EN-B from Supair. I will let you visit their website for the construction details and materials. https://supair.com/en/produit/aile-parapente-supair-en-b-step-cross/


The Step X has an aspect ratio of 5.65 made with Dominico, has 3 rows of lines, and the overall weight of the M size is around 4.3 kg with very nice construction details! 

It is a relatively light EN-B and launches easily without any wind without any hard point. A straightforward glider to launch. In the stronger breeze, I didn’t find any nervousness or dynamic surges, but a smooth and easy-to-launch glider.


I flew the Step X at 97 all up in one turbulent very strong day, in our Cedars range (Explained down below) 


Comfort and accessibility.

I found that the Step-X managed well all the harsh conditions without any tip fluttering, and still delivered a very prompt brake authority for the pilot to stay in control. Alternating flights and test flying the Mentor 7, I think that the Step-X is also a highly comfortable glider for that category! I was really surprised by the educated feedback and balanced movements of the Step-X in overall conditions. The Step X has slightly more feel than the Mentor 7 while remaining very comfortable to fly.  To place it even further, I think it resembles the Swift 6 accessibility for the same size. 


Handling and agility:

The brake length on the Step X is slightly longer than the Mentor 7 and slightly less than the Swift 6, which place it in the sweet spot. You need just around 15 to 20 cm to steer the glider after the first 10 cm gap. 

The Step X is quite an agile glider and coring tight thermals are easily doable. The pressure is on the moderate side with its effective brake range to control the surges in active air, and flying it for hours is not tiring for the arms. 

While the Maestro 2 could deliver more dynamic handling, the Step X is close in agility while being more user-friendly for the new high B pilot in that class, and calmer in thermals while coring every bit of lift.


Climb rate:

I flew next to higher-rated 2-liner C class gliders in thermals, and the climb rate in weak thermals was very good on Step X around 95 all up. It floats well! For real, this glider climbs very well comparing it with the B class.

It is for sure slower to enter the airmass as the 2 liners but for a high B with 3 lines, it climbs extremely well! 


Gliding through the moving airmass and comparing it to other high B’s the Step X showed me also that it matches the best ones out there! Usually, when a glider has fewer lines like 2.5 ..etc..they should glide more, but flying the Step X near, I didn’t notice any disadvantages… What can I say…when a new creation seems really good and competitive!  I was impressed! 

I will update my B comparison for the little details in climb and glide, but I confirm that the Step X has a very efficient glide through the airmass for the high B category. 


The speed bar has a moderate pressure, and the C steering has acceptable efficiency while on the bar for the 3 liners glider. Perhaps the Maestro 2 and the Rush 6, have swifter C controls, but nevertheless, the Step C controls are manageable and easy to use to control the overall movements. 


The top speed is around 12 km/h over trim. 


Ears are stable and reopen without pilot intervention. 


Conclusion: 

The Step X can be flown easily at 93 all up but it would be slow to enter the airmass. I found out at 95 to be nice overall, and to be even more efficient and more compact with good penetration fly it at 97,98. 

When a product is nice, readers are expecting the testers to find the negative points, when they are difficult to find… My B comparison will shortly be updated. 

Easily placed among the high B’s in terms of good overall performance, the Step X is an enjoyable glider to fly while being well-balanced and quite comfortable during long XCs. The passive safety seems quite high for that category delivering a solid and light-to-carry companion for your adventures. Supair never stopped to amaze me… It would be quite an interesting high B to test fly! 




Cedars range: 

 Cedars range divides the country in half horizontally from north to South. The peaks are facing east and west. They reside above the very hot Bekaa Valley, situated inland of the country. If the thermal breeze is from the west, you will get nice conditions, but if it comes from the east, which it always does afternoon, then the challenge arises especially at noon, and preferable to fly only hang gliders as the very strong breeze literally limit your forward speed with sudden powerful thermals, and since taking off from the east side, a mix of strong valley east breeze and southwesterly wind coming from the sea side toward inland makes the word turbulence a bit undermined …   

When I fly gliders there, I often feel many times I’m just a puppet underneath even on the easiest glider!  Not a good feeling as sometimes, the workloads are extreme and need lots of endurance over the time spent and quite tiring.  At 11 am +6 m/s thermals are common, with a high cloud base over 4500 m, but since there’s a commercial flight line passing over from 4000 m and up, so controlling your height is also very crucial!  

Flying 2 hours from sunset to dark is the best experience a pilot would have. Smooth lift everywhere with a high cloud base.