The key to life is not accumulation. It's contribution. Hands that serve help more than the lips that pray.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

FLOW Mystic S

And here's the new 2 liner in the C class from Flow. The Mystic is their new 2-liner C glider.
Semi-light construction with Dyneema risers. The manufacturer's website was not yet online when I published this review.
Launching the Mystic in no wind is straightforward. In 20 km/h wind, it is also very easy without any hard points.
In the air, the brake authority is nice for the pilot with moderate to light pressure and also moderate to short travel. The pressure is slightly more than the Fusion, and the travel is also shorter. There’s a big difference In brake authority over the Fusion which gives the Mystic very nice and direct turning abilities. In thermals, I found that I could place that glider inside any core easily, and the Mystic gave me a pleasurable feel in handling.

Flying the Mystic:

I flew the Mystic at 93 all up.
The Mystic delivers more roll than the Fusion with the same pitch stability. In roll, it resembles the Trango X feedback. The structure moves slightly in itself. It doesn’t feel like a monobloc like the Camino 2, Codex, or Mint. More like the Trango-X in feedback. A Fusion pilot will find that a little more active control is needed on the Mystic.

I remember that Flow mentioned, the first Mystic prototypes were difficult to induce collapses for the certification bodies.
I think in order to pass the C certification for a specific 'collapse angle', Flow decided to re-tuned the Mystic in that matter. The other side of a certification class is to insert a glider inside a limited box.
The certified version has soft tips and in turbulent conditions, they tend to collapse without any consequences. They open without any course change.
Probably after some hours a pilot would get used to them by understanding their excitement by clapping Smile

Climbing and gliding:
Climbing next to my reference gliders, I think the Mystic will share the 5 top places in that matter. It has a very good climb in the weak, and in the strong. The handling helps a lot by putting the Mystic inside the most lift.
The Fusion had long brake and late reactions. The Mystic handling is highly enhanced.

Gliding next to my reference gliders showed me that the Mystic has good gliding properties.
Example: Camino 2 XS and Mystic S share the same glide at half the speed bar. My 2 liner C comparison is updated.

Ears are easily doable in the B3 lines, and they reopen fast. Wing-overs build up quickly.
Top speed is around +15 km/h over trim.

Conclusion: The Mystic is an enhancement over the Fusion regarding the gliding through a difficult airmass. This profile gets easily through and surfs forward much better. The handling also is a high enhancement and more pleasurable to fly.
The softer tips could be a bit annoying for some, others will get used to them, or there’s a possibility that they could go away after +20 hours hours… No one will know under those new 2 liners how they will change after some hours.
That’s why flying them +20 to 40 hours will fine-tune them Smile

Happy flights,

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Words of nothingness

Very sad and frustrated…
One very big slap was taken… And we wake up with wide eyes for that special brief moment in time.

The slap and the awakening:

Paragliding …What’s about that sport? What is the essence of that sport? Why do we do it?  the endless quest for an answer…

We humans always need more and more... If there’s only ONE happiness feel, what will ‘more and more searching’ would give you further?
I never liked paragliding competitions even in my youth as it contradicts what ‘free flight’ stands for, IMHO.  

My free-flight definition: 
Standing on the top of the mountain, with a good breeze coming from the valley below. The sky is clear with beautiful clouds, birds are already circling up to cloud base, and you passionately long to join them for that weightless feel of floating freely far away from your daily survival combat… 
Up there, there’s only you, living that exact precious moment of your life. You look far, letting your eyes swim in the vastness of that space. You don’t rush it as the time stopped because you are there. Your mind works differently up there, configuring your XC route. It is the time to enjoy that freedom. 
When you land, you cannot speak, as words won’t be enough to describe that 'magical place' you were in.
-That is my personal understanding of paragliding. 

The brief awakening: 
Are we not creative enough to produce a different format of competition?  
What’s the purpose of being fast on such a slow (engine-less) device? Are we not missing the essence of flying?
Why not complete the largest possible triangle on that specific day smoothly? No rush…Just brain strategy.
Why not compete on a more predictable glider?  Example: Olympics formats!
Why in the certification bodies, (DHV,para-test…etc…) do the tests only in calm air? and only load tests for some? I thought humans were highly valuable beings! 
Why there’s not ONE expert-certified pilot that flies the B,C,D, CCC gliders in real thermic air and rate it on a (safety/recovery) scale 1 to 10.  And a scale of 5 could be enough for the new formats comps.
Didn’t the responsible wake up yet? Even the Formula 1 car race now in a 6-cylinder engine! with lots of safety measures..and only 12 drivers are allowed to drive them. Hello ???

Sports competition is created to push the human limit and materials for 'different purposes’…. At least not for the human peace of mind and internal happiness for sure!  
We arrived at the peak of our paragliding performance achievement. Now it is the time to invest more in our safety. More work on gliders' internal structures is crucially needed.  
I hope that a creative mind will finally take a leap of faith into another competition format. 

A simple recipe for happy flying: If you are stressed after you land. You have a clear answer. Listen to it carefully. It could be the conditions you flew in or the glider you chose to fly. 
If you are smiling, then you achieved your OWN goal without any format! 
Happy and safe landings my fellow friends,

Thursday, June 13, 2024

ADVANCE Theta ULS 25 (The Lotus)

ADVANCE Theta ULS 25  (The Lotus) 

The Theta is an ADVANCE Mid B glider with a light construction. The size 25 goes from 78-99 and the recommended weight by ADVANCE is from 82 -95.

I flew the Theta 25 ULS at 90 and 95 all up, in multiple conditions, from smooth to very turbulent and strong air, sometimes flying on a lee side with washing machine turbulence.

Here are my impressions :


Skytex 27 and 32 are used on the Theta. A very neat construction and is well-built.  Unsheathed color-coded Pro Dry lines are used on the Theta. ( 60% more water-repellent than previous-generation lines)

Here are the details:

At first sight, and from the look, I had a strange feeling that there could be something different…


The Theta is very easy to launch even in no wind or a slight backwind. No hard point, or anything to report. Just a super easy glider to inflate. In 30 km/h wind, the Theta inflates fast and evenly without any other complicated behavior. Overall, an easy-to-launch glider.

Brake pressure and feel:

At 95 and even at 90 all up, the brake pressure is on the moderate to light side for the first 25 cm. Lower than 25 cm it is on the moderate side. To stall the Theta requires a long pull under the seat with more than 2 seconds, then a stable stall is initiated before the full stall. So, it felt super safe without any sudden or quick stalls. The Theta informs well the pilot every centimeter of the brakes about the things that could happen. A forgiving glider in that matter. 

The feedback comes from the glider but also a slight feel is transmitted through the brakes. 

Handling and brake feel are my favorite points when testing gliders. 

After 10 cm of gap, the first 15-20 cm are necessary to steer the glider. Those 15-20 cm reacts very linearly in every centimeter while having smooth and moderate pressure. The Theta reacts impeccably, promptly, and especially ’smoothly' to the pilot's command, enabling him to put the Theta wherever, whenever he wishes in thermals regarding the current turbulence!  

In conventional weak or strong thermals, the Theta can be turned very narrow even in the tiniest core. The authority on the brakes is very high giving the pilot full control to adjust the radius of the turn as he pleases. The Theta obeys the order promptly without any delay. A super sweet glider to fly! 

Comfort ( roll and pitch):

I flew the Theta ULS one strong turbulent day in our Cedars range at mid-day. The north face of the range is known to be turbulent but that day the wind was also coming from the North, so flying there in the lee side is like being in a hellish washing machine. After soaring that ridge for 5 km, usually, the arm muscles get tired regardless of any B glider crazy dance moves. 

I was extremely happy to be on the Theta ULS that day.  All the crazy moves were logically there, but there was always a ‘moment’ before each crazy move. That precious ‘moment' offers the pilot the needed extra comfort and more time to keep controlling the glider without being tired.  

The Theta ULS delivers smooth educated feedback. The movements are not too tamed like on the Mentor 7. It felt as comfortable in turbulence, with very slight useful feedback. The pitch is absent but it feels that it goes smoothly into the airmass. Lovely to feel under the Theta ULS. Overall comfort is very high and gives the pilot a high passive safety feel.  My new B comparison (spider chart) will be updated for the details.   


I flew next to my friends on the upper-class gliders ( Photon EN-C and Klimber 3p EN-D ) for 2 hours in climb and gliding mode. 

I never felt that the Theta ULS was one second behind in the climb. On the contrary, I felt that the Theta ULS floats very well, and climbs efficiently next to the higher-rated gliders. When hitting thermals, the Theta ULS doesn’t pitch back at all, neither stops. It surprised me by its wonderful ability as a mid-B to get through very smoothly into that thermal like the upper-class gliders. Of course, it is slightly slower to enter but still efficient to climb. 


I did again some gliding with my friends. Afterward, we were all certain that this Theta ULS 25 at 95 all up, glides like any top high B glider out there at trim and at half the speed bar. We were really surprised by its capacity to float in a moving air mass. I am sure that the Theta ULS has the best characteristics to glide efficiently. 

The speed over trim is around 12-13 km/h still with a competitive glide angle.

Ears on the Theta with outer A’s are stable and efficient with a 3 m/s sink rate at 2500 ASL and with the speed bar, they increase a bit more. They reopen slowly without pilot intervention.

Wingovers are playful and could be very high, as when the Theta is banked it restores lots of energy. 


The Theta ULS 25 at 95 could be slowed quite low for a precision top landing. On a tricky slope landing, when you encounter a strong breeze, releasing the brakes enables the Theta ULS to move efficiently forward and up, without bumping into the airmass, but surprisingly when you apply +40 cm of the brakes, it stops in the air, and it seems or it felt, that the polar changes!  It is strange…Usually, flat polar gliders get through the airmass and it is difficult to slow them. 

The Theta gets through efficiently, but you can reduce the forward speed for a vertical precise landing in windy places. 

The Theta ULS could be packed very small for traveling and discovering new flying areas. 


I had a wonderful time test-flying the Theta ULS. The feeling I was getting after landing is of pure joy.  

I think ADVANCE has made a unique product creating the Theta ULS. That profile feels like a winner. ADVANCE felt it, and I think the use of the thin lines was intended to boost performance, I can humbly say that if an Omega ULS the same size stays within the Theta ULS speed at half bar they ‘could’ possibly play in the same playground.  

For that impressive complete package of light, agile, smooth feel, super easy and enjoyable to fly, with impressive performance for the B class, the Theta ULS could be IMHO, among the best low/mid-EN-B gliders I have ever test flown. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

My tested gliders for sale... New ones are coming. :-)

N E W PRICES ..  updated 12/6/2024 

🛑 AirDEsign Hero 2 S 80-92  / 10 hours/ mint condition 2900 EU  ----------------------------------------

🛑  OZONE   FORZA 2 L size  pod M -3 hours,... like NEW .  Two seats are included. The old version and the new version still NEW.  1590 EU  🚨-  For 1.80 m pilots and above. --------------------------------------------

🛑  UP Kangri-X. S 85-100. -2 hours lime/Orange    2850 EU   NEW !!---------------------------------------------

🛑   UP Kibo-X.  XS. 70-90.  2 hours AS NEW ! 2750 EU! 

🛑.  Flow Mullet  18.  10 hours/ still NEW!  2300 EU

Saturday, June 1, 2024

GIN Camino 2 size S- 85-100 ( A ‘different' Bonanza 3 !! )

GIN Camino 2  size S- 85-100  ( A ‘different' Bonanza 3 !! ) 

After reviewing the Bonanza 3 here’s the test flight of the Camino 2 in the same size. I flew the Camino 2 with the Impress 4 harness at 97 all up. 
Launching the Camino 2 is easy for a light 2-liner C glider. 
Details: In nil wind, the Camino 2 needs a slight but steady pull to lift it up, as there’s pressure on the A’s, slightly more than similar light gliders. But still quite simple to launch. 
In +10 km/h wind, it goes evenly with that exact same pressure. In + 30 km/h wind nothing changes, the same pressure and a steady pull with no overshooting or fast surges.  The Camino 2 S kept the same launching characteristics which I think is a plus. 

 New feel: In the air, I was immediately stunned by the very high calmness of that glider. While the air is turbulent with gliders around trying to keep their gliders overhead, it seems that the Camino 2 is flying in another (Gin planet)! 
The structure feels very taught and homogenous, with a high comfort feel, without being spongy or dull at all! For a 2-liner light C, this is actually unreachable yet in terms of feel and comfort. It resembles the Bonanza 3 ‘only’ in that matter.
I flew the Camino 2 S quite often at 95 to 98 all up, and delayed a lot the test, just to be sure what I was about to write because I thought it would sound weird…

Unlike the Bonanza 3 feel and efficiency, I am now 100 % convinced that the Camino 2 despite having the same numbers on paper, feels very different from the Bonanza 3 in its flying capabilities.  I really don’t know the answer to that! 
The Camino 2 S at 97 cuts through the air exactly like a fast train on rails. No structure movements, but still efficient going forward. Flying next to other C’s like the Artik-R, and Photons, I felt that I was in the same league, with that slight extra float-ability in some disorganized thermals. 
In turbulence and strong thermals, there is enough time to control the Camino 2 S. The reactions of the glider felt slightly less dynamic than the Volt5/Photon/Artik-R/Trango-X… The Camino 2 S is as comfortable as the Bonanza 3 with extras!
Saying that, the brake travel is on the moderate to slightly hard side in turbulent air where you need that extra pull to keep it overhead. 
With a moderate turn but quite acceptable agility to my personal taste, the Camino 2 seems to be the most efficient one to grab and hold the thermals.  The brakes deliver a high authority to place the Camino 2 inside thermals. 

The climb rate is incredibly good! One day, I flew next to my usual friends on Photons, Artik-R, Mystic, and Milo on a Boom 12 M, and the Camino 2 was climbing very well keeping up easily with the 2-liner C class. 

Next to a Boomerang 12 M, and in strong thermals, the Camino 2 has a neutral pitch with a positive attitude in embracing the thermals. It gets quickly inside the core and delivers a high authority on the brakes to steer it precisely inside the strong part of the lift.  Of course, once the thermals are sharper the Boom 12 has a clear advantage, but inside the 2-liner C category, and for the same size, the Camino 2 S is a very good climber.  

I did long glides in moving air and later in calm air next to the gliders I mentioned. I felt that at 97 the Camino 2 has a 1 km/h faster trim speed than a Photon MS at 95, or an Artik-R 26( 90-105) at 105.  The glide is among the top five C’s. 
The float ability however is among the best ones. 

The max speed is similar to the Photon MS. I did update my C comparison. Ears need a slight application to get them, but a stable way to get down. 

Conclusion: I am waiting for the Camino 2 XS size 70-90 to share my findings later. 
As for the Camino 2 S, I felt the optimum weight is around 96…97 kg. Perhaps in strong air and competitions, 100 could be your ticket to a podium!  It may not be the most dynamic, and perhaps slightly hard on the brakes, but that overall compact structure is delivering higher grades in most parts. 
High comfort, good glide angle, very good climb rate, good speed, handles smoothly, doesn’t lose much when hitting sinking air.  
Any good high B pilot wishing to step into that category or any C or D pilot searching for an interesting 2-liner C must test fly the Camino 2.    

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

AD Hero 2 S

After test-flying the EN-C VOLT 5 from AD, here is the review of the new 2024/25 Hero 2 in the 2-liner EN-D category.

The Hero 2 is a light hike and fly, XC, and competition wing from Airdesign. The construction is very light with around 3.5 kg for the glider. 

Take-off is super easy even in little wind. The Hero 2 rises smoothly and evenly and I think it is as easy to inflate as the Omega ULS or the Zeolite 2 GT. 

In the air, at 89 all up, with my Impress 4 harness, the brake travel is short with moderate and smooth pressure, and a linear feel. Between the light 2-liner D’s I think it resembles the Klimber brake travel, with slightly less pressure. 

I could describe the brake feel as short, very direct, linear, and smooth. A delight to fly! I had a really nice time flying the Hero 2 for the amount of handling pleasure it delivers. Tight turns need around 10-15 cm with very good agility. 

The whole structure is very homogenous, and the glider moves smoothly as a whole without parasital movements! The Hero 2 is an easy 2-liner D glider to fly. It resembles the Omega ULS in comfort. A very sweet glider to fly in strong air for the D class. 

The Hero 2 doesn’t have a positive nor a back pitch when entering thermals at 89 all up. It just slows a little before entry but still goes slowly forward. The brakes can place it accurately inside any small core, and that delivers a nice climb rate. The feel on the EN-C Volt 5 is a slighter pitch forward upon entry. The Hero 2 has another feel.  

Doing some glides next to my reference gliders showed me a glide similar to the Klimber 3, Omega ULS.  The speed bar has a moderate pressure that gets you around 19 km/h over trim, and it is very usable with a solid glider overhead. The B steering is quite efficient in controlling the pitch while on the bar with also moderate pressure.  

Ears are doable with outer B’s. Easy and efficient. Wingovers have a lot of energy and fun to make. Landing is a non-event with low stall speed. 


Test flying that nice machine is a must for any pilot aiming for a light easy EN-D with nice handling and a pleasurable overall feel.



Thursday, May 2, 2024

GIN Genie Race 5

Genie race 5 size M

Once released, I received many emails to test fly the Race 5, and I tried to purchase one, but GIN replied that they have lots of orders at the moment… ;-)... 

So I waited for a friend to lend me his harness, and Milo was so kind to offer it for a short flight. 
I already test-flew the NK Drifter 2 which is a hybrid harness(Not inflatable) and also the Submarine which is similar to the Genie Race 5 with an inflatable envelope.
At first sight, the Genie Race 5 has an impeccable finish! It is a very clean harness for the sight! The workmanship on the Genie Race 5 is the top you can find today. The materials used on the outside envelope are sturdy and more tear-resistant than the Submarine.  Again, all the lille sewings and finishing details are excellent!
The front-used zippers are large and seem indestructible for normal and daily use. 
I liked the cockpit placement! It is quite clear in front of the pilot's face and looks like a conventional pod harness, not inserted inside the harness…So that feature is really nice! There are also two side pockets on the chest just between the cockpit and the pilot's face! Easily reachable in the air. 
Legs are naturally supported, and no matter if you pull the side straps for a relatively normal (lying/upright) position, (like on conventional pod harnesses) The back fairing still is streamlined to the air, and also the center of gravity is perfect with a streamlined harness all the way. 
Under the cockpit inside the cocoon, there’s also a ballast pocket for 10-12 L, that sits independently from your body. More details on the GIN website:

Two rescue systems on each side. 
A fairly large back pocket inside the cocoon for the bags and water. 
There’s also a small place under the seat for ballast. The 9 cm Koroyd protection is installed. Once in the air, when fully inflated, I reached with my hand to the lower part of the cocoon, to feel the protection, and there was still 3-4 cm 
of air to feel the protection. Maybe GIN could have installed a larger one easily with the same cocoon shape, but GIN is quite convinced about that protection. 

Sitting inside the Genie Race 5 was immediately comfortable. It is not a complicated harness to adjust. There are two leg adjustments from each side. One back adjustment, and one seat height adjustment. So easy to get yourself in a good sitting position.
The sitting comfort for my height of 1.81 and 74 kg is the best I could find from the other mentioned competition harnesses. The seat width fits me perfectly like a glove. No pressure on the sides. Just perfect. 
The back support is very comfortable without any hard points for the hour I flew.  

The main front strap is fixed and slightly narrower than the Submarine in width. The roll movements are quite dampened and the information is excellent, without getting too chatty. I think flying high aspect ratio gliders under the Genie Race 5 will give a balanced feel between good maneuverability and high stability. 

Getting inside the harness and out is easy with a nice zipper system. 

Conclusion:  This small test is just a small idea, as I didn’t fly it much. 
But, I think, even daily XC pilots could easily fly the Genie Race 5 for its easily understandable setup. 
Clean, beautiful looking, and very well made, the Genie Race 5 has the most complete package for comfort and streamlined competition performance if you need it. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Air Design Rise 5 S ---- (Ram-TRX) ---- :-)

The Rise 5 is an AirDesign high EN-B glider for 2024/26.

Airdesign inserted new winglets on the Rise 5. 
I flew the Rise 5 S (72-92) from 87 to 92 all up. It flies great at 88!  
Launching the Rise 5 is a non-issue at all. It has easy inflation, rises smoothly, and waits for the pilot overhead in a moderate breeze. 
In the air with an Advance Impress 4 and later on an NK Arrow. 
The brake travel is short direct and precise as, after the 10 cm gap, only +10 cm is needed in most conditions to immediately steer the glider into cores. The pressure is moderate to slightly firm after 15 cm of travel. The Rise 5 is an agile glider in turns that lets you core the tiniest of thermals, with a good degree of pleasure feel.  

Flying the Rise 5, I noticed an uncommon feature for the B category. I was writing the test 6 days ago but stopped and preferred to fly it even more, to be sure of what about I’m going to write afterward. 
As I was saying...There’s something very special underneath that glider that differs from 90% of the competitors. let me explain:

The Rise 5 has a slightly faster trim speed of +2 km/h than a brand-new Rush 6 for example with the same loadings for both. Inside thermals, the Rise 5 clings into thermals sliding through very efficiently with an incredibly efficient climb rate! Carves the air like on rails with efficiency, which is noticeable! 
In turbulence, in smooth, or strong climbs, the Rise 5 climbs very well for a high B glider. 

Some high B gliders will pitch slightly or slow a bit before entering thermals. The Rise 5 quality of entering the lift is excellent and resembles the upper C or D class gliders! It moves efficiently through the lift and never gets pinned facing the lift. Even if you fly it at 88 all up and not at the max (92), it will still be fast at trim and great at surfing the airmass! 
Even when pulling on the brakes to steer it, the Rise 5 still wants to reach that thermal and carve it efficiently like the C or D class gliders!  The turning radius could be made tight and the Rise 5 stays glued to the updraft in a somehow perfect coring characteristics. It resembles the Maestro 2 thermal characteristics, which I liked very much, but with more than 50 % overall comfort!  
 I am talking here about the quality of entering the rising air mass which is excellent under the Rise 5. That specific way of climbing (with benefits) is very interesting.  
All that with very high comfort for the B class, as the Rise 5 resembles the Mentor 7 in comfort and agility, with more brake connectivity and a linear feel on the brakes for the Rise 5.

Saying that I found out that even in the harshest of conditions, the Rise 5 is a gentle teddy bear to fly! So smooth and relaxing, I was thinking that some A-class gliders could have more movements… So how did Air Design manage to give the Rise 5 a slightly higher trim speed with that outstanding climb rate and comfort?  

Flying it at 88 is excellent in all conditions. The Rise 5 keeps its structure homogeneity in turbulence. Now at 90 for the strong days could also be a good option. 

Now the gliding part:
We did lots of glides with a new Rush 6 MS at 92 all up in the company of a Kangri X S at 96 all up, and a Davinci Funky 2 S at 95 all up.  We did practically 2 days of glide and testing. 
The Rush 6 had to push slightly the speed travel to reach my trim speed on the Rise 5 at 88-89 all up. Doing those glides together and repeatedly showed us a clear idea about its potential. 
Gliding in lift lines and turbulent air under the Rise 5 gives its pilot that plus, in float-ability with efficient climb and surfing. The Rise 5 seems to show its glide in moving air rather than in calm air. 

Big ears are easy to make, stable, efficient, and quite usable in all conditions. Wingovers are quite surprisingly high, and the Rise 5 showed me a playful character for such a smooth glider.  
Speed over trim is around 13 km/h. The first bar has a moderate pressure and slightly more on the second bar. 
The C steering while in turbulence is very efficient, and easy to use, with moderate pressure to keep the Rise 5 on track while on the speed bar.  

Fast trim speed, smooth flying characteristics, homogenous structure, very efficient digging through the airmass for a high B, agile and playful, while keeping the pilot ‘super' relaxed.  
The Rise 5 in one word:  Ram TRX  :-)  

Thursday, April 18, 2024

DaVinci Funky 2 S

Davinci Funky 2

The Funky 2 is Davinci high performance EN-B. It is constructed with a 3-line concept and unsheathed lines everywhere. The Funky 2 has lots of features with a special leading-edge look, including the smart Nose Plus. I’ll let you see all the Funky 2 specs here: 

Launching the Funky2 even without wind is straightforward without any hard points. A smooth take-off with no wind. In strong windy takeoff, the Funky 2 with the right input felt very smooth and gentle.
Turning the Funky 2 is a real pleasure! The turning radius can be made very tight coring the tiniest of thermals. 
For a high-B, the Funky 2 brake travel can be described as short to moderate in length and pressure, with a nice linear feel through the turn. 
A kind of hydraulic smooth turn I can say!  Very satisfying and pleasurable to fly.  
On one day, at the soaring site, the wind blew around 30…32 km/h, and after flying the Mullet 18 a bit, I tried to play with the Funky 2 at mid-weight with a seated harness, launching from the beach exactly at 0 sea level, just to see how it will cope with such winds. 
To my surprise I could easily lift off from the beach getting higher, with efficient forward flying for a B glider, touch the sand, and go high again, playing for more than an hour was satisfying and rewarding with that nice authority on the brakes.  I had a blast under the Funky 2 playful character. 
Now in XC mode.
I flew the Funky 2 in different aerology and took my time test flying it. I can confirm the easy and forgiving behavior of that Funky 2. It felt much easier to fly than the Kangri-X I am also currently test-flying
It is more comfortable to fly than the Rush 6 /also.  Maybe it is slightly more alive than the Mentor 7 with a ‘gentleman’ feedback :-)! 
The Funky 2 is a smooth glider to fly and lets you concentrate on your flying instead of looking at the glider.  
Climb rate: 
Inside the High B category, I found the Funky 2 to have quite a very good and competitive climb rate in all conditions. In weak air, the Funky 2 is quite competitive as it can be slowed inside any weak lift and could easily stay in that lift with a positive vario.  The Funky 2 can easily grab thermals without losing the climb and can compete efficiently with good High B climbers.
In punchy and stronger cores, the Funky 2 like most B-class gliders slows slightly before entry, then it goes in, quite nicely and efficiently inside the core. Flying The S at 95 would make it even better in those strong conditions, without losing its float ability in weak air.  
The overall movements in roll are quite in the middle of the B class. The pitch is nearly absent, for the high B category as the Funky 2 can be described as a comfortable glider to fly.
The R&D added a light touch of smooth spices giving the pilot a nice turn and pleasurable handling.  
Gliding with the Funky 2 in moderate boiling air seems to give the pilot a nice glide through that moving airmass.  We flew against a brand new Rush 6 size MS loaded at 92 all up. I think, despite having a 3 line concept, the glide is amazingly good for the Funky 2. We tried four glides, in a headwind, backwind, and tricky air, and the result was very good placing it among the 5 best gliding high B machines. I also added a new B chart (spider type) for the picky pilots :-). 
The C riser system has a moderate and smooth feel and lets you control the pitch or the glider movements while on bar. Similar to other good 2.5 or 3-line high B gliders.  The speed over trim is +13 km/h over trim taken at 800 ASL. 
Ears with outside A’s are stable, very easy to induce, and efficient for descent. 
The DaVinci Funky 2 surprised me with its complete and highly usable package of performance and pleasurable handling. A must to try near the max weight, to give you that taste of surfing the air. 


Thursday, April 4, 2024

AirDesign Volt 5 S


I’m not the only one who is noticing, I think...! Something is interesting at AIR-DESIGN. 

A cooler approach toward the pilots with their marketing ads and cool videos, funny and unique. They seem to cook magical recipes on their private planet.
All this shows highly creative teamwork. 
For example: They released the first certified 2 liner C category (Volt4) in Feb -2022 
They now released three new gliders B-C-D at the same time!!!  including the  Rise 4 EN-B (1st B glider with the new fashionable winglets)  and the 2nd generation of a 2-liner C glider the Volt 5! And last is the Hero 2 as a 2-liner D class. 
Indeed on a different planet! :-) 

This test is about the Volt 5.
which is built with light Dominico double-coated 25 g/m2 fabric. The S size weighs around 3.75 kg. 
I flew the Volt 5 (80-92) from 87 to 92 all up. I think 90 is ideal in all conditions. 
Take-off is straightforward, no shooting forward. Very easy to launch. 

Flying the Volt 5 S with NK Arrow harness and later on the Advance Impress4 harness. 
From 90 to 92 all up, the Volt 5 has a neutral pitch when entering thermals. The reactions are smooth for a 2 liner C glider. The roll movements are also very well-balanced. Probably slightly more roll than the Volt 4 but still super comfy to fly.  The roll movements are less than the Photon, and the Trango X.  My C comparison is updated. The feel of structure homogeneity under it is between an Artik-R and Bonanza 3. 
The first turn in thermals showed me a very nice coordinated handling!  In strong turbulent air, it moves a bit more in itself (structure) like the Artik-R/Trango-X.  
The brake pressure is on the moderate to slightly firm side (more pressure than Photon) but with short travel to give you a lovely direct and linear reaction, that can quickly initiate a turn.  
Coring thermals is a pleasure under the VOLT 5 as I could readjust the turning radius efficiently inside a core to get the best out of a lift with the possibility of tight narrow turns. Lovely handling! 

When flying the Volt 5 at 87 in strong windy conditions, the handling remains nice, with direct handling, but a bit slower to react, and also the reactivity to turn the glider in those strong conditions. 
Later, I found out that at 90 all up, it would be a sharp tool for nice XC days yet very efficient even in the weakest thermals.

In very weak air, the Volt 5 has the ability to catch those tiny thermals, and with its direct handling, it would help a lot to stay in the core waiting for another thermal.
In this respect, the Volt 5 joins the best 2-liner C’s for the climb rate efficiency.

The speed bar pressure is on the moderate side. Not too light nor too heavy. While holding the speed bar, the B handles are efficient in keeping the glider on track. Top speed over trim is around +15-16 km/h

Doing some glides next to a loaded Photon MS sometimes in a headwind and in lift lines, showed us that the Volt 5 is a fierce competitor! 
In those glides, the Volt 5 showed an efficient profile while surfing the airmass. Next to the Photon, at trim speed and even at half the speed bar, it copes quite similarly to the Photon with the lift areas without losing the glide.  
We were surprised by its gliding efficiency.  The B steering has moderate pressure and it is efficient in keeping the Volt 5 angle in accelerated mode. 

Wingovers need slightly more application to build higher inversions. I think it seems to soften the turns which is a good sign of self-balance after collapse, I think…

AirDesign surprised me with the Volt 5! A truly competitive EN-C in climb and glide, while being comfortable, and smooth to fly. The handling and turning abilities deliver a pleasurable feel. 
An interesting 2-liner EN-C for test flying if you are looking inside that category.