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

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Zoom X2C size 95

Zoom paragliders is a new brand, created in the Papesh GMBH group and designed by Alex Hollwarth, who began his journey at Skywalk and delivered in that time fine creations among the Cayenne 5 which was a really fine glider to fly. The first released glider from the manufacturer is the Zoom X2C which is a 2-liner C class glider.
I have flown the Zoom XC2 95, from 92 to 95 all up,
At first, the launching is straightforward, as the Zoom inflates easily even without any wind and no hard point. In stronger wind, it is fast in the second half of the rise, but also very responsive to your brake input to keep it swiftly overhead.

I flew the Zoom in weak, moderately winter-strong thermals, and later in some turbulent air.
The brake travel is moderate to short and with 10-15 cm, I could place the glider accurately inside the core. The Zoom X2C is a pleasurable glider to fly. Direct feel through the brakes, and direct control. The pressure on the brakes are on the moderate side, and well balanced. I could steer the glider with just 10-15 cm of brake travel efficiently.
Climbing in very weak thermals less than 0.5 m/s felt similarly efficient to the Scala 2 with the same size in that area. In a more solid thermal, the Zoom climbs well compared to the other 2 liner C’s.

In strong air, the feel under the Zoom is really compact, easy, and quite manageable for the 2 liner C category. It felt in overall comfort like the Volt 4 and Bonanza 3 which are quite accessible 2 liners.
As I already wrote, what I appreciated even in strong air, was the brake authority given to the pilot. I could play around under that glider endlessly, with complete control. The brake pressure is on the moderate side and the travel is short to moderate with a lovely combination of agility in thermals. After two turns in a wingover, you can feel the high energy stored in that glider! Lovely handling.
I think the Zoom is among the 2 liners that you enjoy flying, because of its playful and forgiving character.

The ability to core without pitching back or forward is present under the Zoom. It just enters thermals and moves forward in balance. I was able to do two long glides next to a Photon MS same size and load, and I was impressed by that glide! IN very calm air, I wasn't losing an inch in those two glides even at half the speed bar! Pretty good balanced glide for the Zoom. When gliding in moving air and lift lines, we felt that the Zoom shares the glide similarly to an Artik R, or Mint, for example.
The B steering is quite efficient in controlling the glider movements in turbulence while staying on bar, and the B pressure is on the moderate side with good accessibility.
The speed bar has a moderate pressure throughout the whole range, and full speed reached the same as the Photon with around 18 km/h over the trim speed.
Ears are stable and usable with outer B’s or outer A’s.

Please note that different sizes with different loads ‘could' have another feel. On the Zoom X2C size 95 at 92 I was happy test flying that glider!

The new Zoom X2C ticks all the boxes evenly. Nice handling, pleasurable to fly, agile to play around, excellent gliding performance, and good speed for a 2 liner.
If you want to get a high ratio of fun, comfort, and good performance, a test flight could be the right choice!

Happy testing,

Monday, January 22, 2024

NearBirds VIBE. L size

Nearbirds Airy Vibe L size

This harness is the light version of the VIBE. When flying it, it gave me a different feel from the VIBE. 

The Airy VIBE has a nice construction, and also lots of adjustments! 5 adjustments for each side to give you a complete tailor-made body shape. 
There are two open internal compartments on each side for anything you want to put from chocolate, apple, cellular, talkie walkie…etc…easily reachable. 
The materials used are similar to any high-end light harness in the market.  
There’s a ballast compartment underneath the seat, which can hold around 4 kg, but I was hoping for a velcro inside to hold the ballast ( next time hopefully) 
The pod closes sideways and it would be better to install a small ball with elastic to put in your shoelaces for entering better the pod after take-off (next time…) 
A three-step speed system is installed.  
The AiryVIBE has an inflatable back protection attached to a tube that goes up, near the cockpit to the right, to blow in, and it is very easy to inflate while in place. Once you release the security clip on the tube, you can release the air for tight packing. 

For my height of 1.81 and 75 kg, this L size fits me like a perfect glove!  Once fine-tuned there was no pressure point on any part while sitting.
The AiryVIBE offers high back comfort in supporting the body despite that the sitting area is not covered with smooth foam. This direct feel to the harness delivers excellent air movements with super precise and highly appreciated feedback. And it is comfortable! 
The ABS system delivers good comfort while keeping an excellent weight shift ability that when I flew that glider, my Zeolite 2 felt even more agile! 
That ABS feel doesn’t give you an excess of roll movements. I think the roll is similar to the Niviuk Arrow, which is a balanced roll. Comparing it to the Genie Light 3, the roll movements are slightly less but the weight shift authority is similar!
The back fairing inflates very well, without a single flutter in the air.  The aerodynamic shape is really good. Following a newly rigged Zeno 2/Forza 2,  the same size as my Zeolite 2 GT /AiryVIBE, both on bar for 6 km, in very smooth air, didn’t practically show any glide differences. So harness aerodynamics are working great! 
I have here the AiryVIBE with two rescue options. One in front easy to reach and another on my right side. When you pull the side rescue, the compartment opens very large like 4 times the usual area, and immediately and effortlessly the rescue goes out. 
I was impressed by the speed system's ability.  
Zeolite 2 GT on Forza 2 has moderate foot pressure. 
Zeolite 2 GT on NK Arrow has moderate to light and smooth foot pressure.
Zeolite 2 GT on AiryVIBE, has a ‘light' and super smooth foot pressure. 
When using the speed bar on the AiryVIBE, it is easy with roll stability like on the NK Arrow. 


IMHO, I think that the AiryVIBE is one of the sweetest harnesses to fly. After flying it, I enjoyed my Zeolite 2 GT turns even better!  
I always need three harnesses for my glider tests from very light ones to heavy ones. 
The AiryVIBE with an option for two rescues, and a moderately light weight near 5 kg, will be a keeper for my flights. 

Sometimes as you know, I get poetic...    :-) 

An instrument to dance inside the core? 
Sexy look, comfortable, and sweet?  
 Without getting a total bore!   
 Get into the AiryVIBE seat!  :-)   

Friday, December 29, 2023

Niviuk Ikuma 3 size 24/ range 75-95

Niviuk Ikuma 3  size 24/ range 75-95

I have already flown the first and second versions of the Ikuma. Here’s the flight test of the Ikuma 3 in size 24 (75-95), flown from 88 to 94 all up.
 The Ikuma 3 is built with a mix of Dominico cloth, with Liros and Edlerid lines. 
The visual construction and little details are impeccable on that glider. There’s something apart from the building quality and small details. 
At 4.5 kg the Ikuma 3 is a semi-light glider. 

Launching the Ikuma 3 even in no wind conditions, rises smoothly and evenly. The Ikuma 3 rises effortlessly in more windy take-offs and stays above the pilot's head with a little brake.

I flew the Ikuma 3 with my Arrow L size. First rising air, I weight-shifted a little, and I pulled  10 cm of brake travel, and the Ikuma 3 quickly got me that perfect turning radius! 
I was already smiling from the first turn! Sometimes, when I test fly a new glider, I worry a bit that it may not satisfy my picky demanding, and handling criteria…But this time that beautiful feel and maneuverability under that Ikuma 3 saved the day!   
With moderate brake pressure and a nice linear feel throughout the brake range, the Ikuma 3 will surely deliver a large smile on pilots' faces. 
The Ikuma 3 even at 88 all up, can core thermals very narrow staying in the core very easily. The combination of the Arrow/Ikuma 3 while weightshifting and brake pulling is nothing but excellent!   In a more strong thermals, and flying it at 93 all up, the handling is even better! and coring is even more satisfying! A piece of pure pleasure while thermal flying. 

I flew it 92 all up in some very weak air, the Ikuma 3 has outstanding potential in weak lift! It hovers and stays in that weak lift, waiting for it to become stronger. It is very difficult to bomb out flying the Ikuma 3 unless you have been unlucky, and there’s nothing left to turn! I think after a while it could have the efficiency of the Swift 6 in that area…I will update my B comparison later after more hours of comparison. But it surely can float! 
The Ikuma 3 doesn’t dive in turns in normal braking. And unless you lower your hands the turns are flat inside the core. But once you dig that brake down properly, you will have a playful glider to fly in the air! A real high B toy! Wingovers are super high like loops if you want from the second turn!  
The main thing I personally like about a glider is when the R&D team manages to give the pilot supreme authority on the brakes if he decides to turn it flat or immediately go into play mode. That exceptional feature is easily managed under the Ikuma 3. 
Yes…It seems that I like that feel under it ;-). So no more writing about the handling… :-)

The pitch is neutral and hands up all the way the Ikuma 3 enters the airmass slowly but efficiently. It clings to the thermal and climbs effortlessly. It feels like it guides you into the thermal. It doesn’t reject the rising airmass but seems to slide and cling to it slowly. All you need to do is let it fly, keeping the minimum of brake pressure. It floats nicely into the rising air mass. 

For the past 4 months, I have been test-flying many 2-liners C’s and D’s with a couple of new high B’s. When switching from a 2 liner to any high B, the feel of less speed and dynamic movements are strikingly more obvious. The high B’s are created to give you performance but with slower speeds and reactions when going XC. 
The Ikuma 3 as a high B falls in that category. It is a soft XC glider with top-end gliding performance to match the best ones in that high B category. I will surely update my B comparison later on for the little details. But It is already confirmed to have a very nice gliding power.  
If you want to go XC efficiently on any glider, you should load that glider at the top end. Many will still ask me why…It is because the faster you enter the airmass the more efficiently you move forward. 
And going XC is to move forward ;-) 

Some manufacturers have their own political decisions to certify gliders +5 kg from the recommended flying weight. It doesn't mean that the extended weight range is optimal for XC. Sometimes when conditions are really strong, they are okay, but after a bit…they will struggle in the weak. We don’t want to land... So a balanced glider for XC is when flying it at the recommended weight range stated by the manufacturer.

The Maestro 2 could be ideal at 75 % of the flying range, and also the same goes for the Mentor 7 as recommended. They are both superb high B’s.  
If you want a fast XC mode flying the Ikuma 3 size 24 (75-95) in strong Alpine air!  Go for 94-95 all up.  
In normal flying, the Ikuma 3-24 will stay very maneuverable and dynamic in turns at mid-weight, but the same-size Swift 6 will be a bit boaty at mid-weight. 
The excellent Swift 6 MS (75-95), is better to be loaded right on top at 95 in XC mode. 

The Ikuma 3 felt slightly easier to fly than the Ikuma 2. It felt a bit softer. The speed bar pressure is moderate even at full travel. The speed gain over the trim speed is around 13 km/h taken at 800m/ ASL.   
When pushing on the speed bar, the C riser steering with moderate pressure and easy handling, is efficient in keeping the cool Ikuma 3 on track. 
Big ears with outer A’s are super efficient like a few other B’s. 
With a speed bar and big ears, -5 m/s could easily be reached! They open without any intervention, or perhaps a very slight pressure on the brakes if they are very big. 
The Ikuma 3 seems very friendly and lets you make really big ears. Of course, like any other glider don’t pull too much to let the left and right tip touch! You could induce a stall under any glider.  

Even after many testing years, some gliders even in the high B category, still give me those happy flying vibes! 
The Ikuma 3 is one of them.  A very comfortable high B with pleasurable handling and top-end performance for the category. 
It is very clear, that flying the Ikuma 3 will firstly touch the sensitive handling pilots by delivering a high amount of pleasure feel. All that with very good brake authority. 
Pilots have different feel, and different requirements, but I can assure you test flying the Ikuma 3 won’t keep you indifferent!  

Happy flights.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mac Para Verve 23

Mac Para Verve 23 

This year I attended the Coupe Icare with my family and did some interviews with manufacturers as best as I could. Mac Para had a glider for me that I returned with me to test fly. 
The Verve is Mac Para new 2 liner EN-C glider. 
The Verve has semi-light cloth and the size 23 weighs around 4.00 kg for a weight range of 84-97. 
The shape in the air looks cool. The Verve has winglets on both sides. 

Launching the Verve 23 at 94 all up is very straightforward, without any hard points. It is easy to launch and the take-off is quick. 
In the air, the brake pressure is on the moderate/light side.  
As I’m a picky person concerning brake authority and agility...
The Verve has slightly longer brake travel than the Elan 3, with a bit less sharp control. All the feedback comes from the risers, not the brakes. The roll and overall movements are present without being disturbing. Just like on the Scala 2.
Saying that the brake authority on the Verve is quite present with a moderate and acceptable agility in thermals. The sharp brake reactions and dynamics found on the Elan 3 are much tamer on the Verve. Perhaps for many pilots, it's a plus, as it would feel more easy to use! but for my personal picky taste, I felt that the Elan 3 brake pressure and overall, felt a bit more connected to my own way of flying.  
My friend on the Verve who is used to his Boom 12 size M said that the brake authority was fine for him and the Verve agility was quite ok for his own preference.  

Flying the Verve 23 at 96 in the very weak and broken lift needs a high concentration to stay in that lift, as the Verve didn’t feel like a floater in those tiny, weak thermals.  
When thermals and conditions are very homogenous, above 1 m/s, the Verve climbs well, and the difference between the other 2 liner C’s are negligible. 

In more disorganized thermals, the Verve needs slightly more time to get itself in a 'ready to climb' mode.  I flew the Verve for hours, then gave it to my friend, and I took a Photon MS, the same size at 94 all up.  This way alternating gliders, each one of us will feel and see much better the differences. 
In moderate turbulence and a bit weak multi-core thermals, the Photon could be turned narrower into the core, gaining quick heights, but my skilled friend is not far away on the Verve and catching up once the thermals get cleaner.  Just a bit more time to get hooked on that light lift. 
The Overall movements under the Verve are quite similar to the Elan 3 and not more demanding. My 2 liner C comparison is updated for more details if needed. 

The strong point of that Verve is the glide at trim and at full bar compared to the Photon in calm air or in smooth transitions! 
 I think the Verve is a competitive glider in gliding mode and could match the Photon at the trim and at the full bar!  The full speed is also similar on both gliders I have over here!    
Ears are doable with outer B’s. The B riser steering has moderate pressure and it is quite efficient to control the Verve when speeding on the bar! 

The Verve felt like an easier Elan 3, with better performances. I’ve heard that the certification got a high number of B’s…which could cheer up some pilots, especially those coming to that category of 2-liners after their full season on a 3-liner C.  So Macpara enthusiasts looking for a racing glider got their Christmas present! Happy flights! 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

NOVA Codex S 80-100 / 105

NOVA Codex S size 80-100/105 

After the amazing, very comfortable, performant Mentor 7, NOVA designed a 2 liner C glider with a moderate aspect ratio of 6.1. 
It is a true 2 liner with nitinol rods and as usual a very clean construction. 

Launching the Codex S t 96 all up requires a gentle pull without any hard points. The glider settles above your head easily and the take off is immediate. 

First turn inside a thermal and my memory goes back to the Mentor 7 test! It is as if I am flying the Mentor 7! The pressure on the brakes is very slightly harder, the length is the same as the agility. The overall comfort is surprisingly 'very close' to the regular Mentor 7 S size! 

The Codex feels like a big glider as the Mentor 7 S does feel to me, when flying them at 96..97.   The agility of the Codex is present but with smooth turns rather than dynamic ones. The overall flying experience even in strong and turbulent air requires less fast inputs than when you fly the Artik-R/Trango-X. The Codex is much tamer in overall movement. I think the difference in feel for a pilot flying the Mentor 7 is not really very far! Of course, the Codex is a C-class glider with 2 lines for the targeted group of pilots.  In difficult and heavy conditions, when low under an inversion, for example, the reaction in entering the airmass is slower and smoother than the other 2 liners. 

Climbing in weak thermals is very good under that glider if flown at 96 all up! Having compared it to the best ones in climb, the Codex is a nice floater much like the Mentor 7 S size at 96.  The pitch-back is slightly present but with a climbing mode. There’s no pitch forward in moderate conditions. In stronger thermals, the Codex stays more above the pilot's head than all the other 2 liners. It doesn’t require a lot of pilot control for a 2 liner C-class glider. Perhaps slightly calmer than the Bonanza 3! 

Doing some glides in calm air at trim and also using the speed bar, showed me an impressive glide angle for the 2-line C category putting it near the best ones!  
When facing a sea breeze or a valley breeze, the Codex slows a bit, as the glider profile and capacity to dig through is a bit restrained and needs more time to enter the heavy airmass. A high loading could be more beneficial. 
The high-aspect Photon will have the upper hand in those conditions, but for sure it needs also 50 % more active pilot control in strong air!   Everything has its price. But if you are flying high up in the mountains, with smooth transitions there aren't any differences in glide. It is only in tricky conditions, that the high aspect 2 liner will dig through the airmass faster.

Pushing the speed bar has moderate pressure on the first part but is heavy on the second part. The top speed is around 13...stable speed, or 15 km/h over trim.  On my Codex riser, the speed system seems a bit long, pushing the last 2 cm will push the B riser also, which makes an unstable roll. Perhaps the next delivered Codex gliders will have the right risers that will deliver a stable roll throughout the whole speed bar. 
Ears with outer B’s are a good way to lose altitude. 

Conclusion: The Codex can surely be your first 2 liner C or even your first C-class glider after any high B! The passive safety under the Codex will allow the new pilots to progress gradually without getting thrown away in turbulence. So cool to fly for newcomers! 
When flying the Codex, I was thinking that 30 years ago, it was difficult to keep an ACPUL 10 A / 2 B  glider with a glide of 5 overhead in heavy turbulence! 
For a pilot who hasn’t flown for a very long time flying the NOVA Codex will be quite a miracle for him! :-)
Lucky newcomers! :-) 


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Ozone Forza 2 M size


Harness comparison ( Update)
Test flying harnesses are the most difficult and sometimes highly inaccurate, as each individual even with the same height and weight shares a completely different anatomy. This test is to get a 50 % idea of what to expect, and it is more important to test-fly a harness than it is to test-fly a paraglider. Testing harnesses consist of sitting in a harness for more than 20 minutes if you can, adjusting it, and feeling if there are any hard points on your body. Then a flight could give you a higher idea of the roll feedback you wish to receive and cope with.
As harnesses are a very personal choice for each individual for roll, and especially for body comfort, this pre-test before buying is very important as it will surely maximize your future flights and acheive your expected potential with no stress on your sitting position or leg support concentrating on the task ahead. Any pilot can cope with any of the above harnesses in roll. It is only a matter of training and getting used to it.
Please consider that a moderately stable harness that combines stability and a pleasurable roll feel, is very different for each individual from a 15 to an 85-year-old pilot. Finding your own “balance" will also reduce energy consumption while keeping the lovely flying spices! Wink
Happy and safe flights.

Most comfortable seated harness. As 1 being most comfortable “ONLY for the seating position”.

1-Impress 4 / Impress 3 /Lightness 2/3
2-Forza 2 / Arrow / Nearbird Vibe
3-Genie Race 2 / Exoceat/ Genie race 4/ Genie light 3 / Delight 4 /Submarine
4-X-Rated 6 / Genie Race 3 / Genie lite 2 / Gin X-Alps/ Woody Valley GTO 2
5- Woody Valley GTO 1

Most comfortable in roll (In roll stability ). As 1 being most comfortable.

1-Ozone Exoceat/ Delight 4/ Delight 3/ Arrow/ Forza 2
2-Genie Light 1 / WV GTO 1 / Forza 1 / Gin X-Alps / Nearbirds Vibe X-Rated 6 XL / Genie Race 3 /Genie race 4
3-Impress 2 + / Genie lite 2/ Ozium 2/ Lightness 3 /Genie light 3
4-Genie Race 2 / Ozium 1/
5-Impress 3/ Lightness 2

Harnesses that deliver a naturally supported leg in the pod.

—— Exocet / Forza 1/ Impress 3 / Lightness 1/2/3 /Nearbirds Vibe/ Arrow M & L / Forza 2/ Delight 4 /Submarine

Conclusion: Manufacturers are trying to deliver more easy-to-fly and stable harnesses for the majority with better leg support and a two-rescue option.
The Nearbirds Vibe is a complete harness that fulfills those criteria while being comfortable. As a semi-light harness, I prefer the NK Arrow for its versatility, ease of use, and beautiful shape. I will be receiving an Airy Vibe to test fly…
I am also waiting for the Forza 2 L size to get a much better idea and feel, to decide if I am going to keep it as an X-rated 6 replacement harness or not… as I need to fly a slightly heavy harness for my tests (+,-) 7 kg.


Friday, October 13, 2023

PHI Scala 2 19 - 75-100

PHI Scala 2  19 -  75-100 

The Scala 2 from PHI is a 2-liner, certified EN-C with a 6.8 Aspect ratio, normal cloth, and full rods all the way.
The manufacturing process is very neat.  
The lines are unsheathed and quite reduced to deliver less drag. 

Launching the Scala 2 with my x-rated 6 harness at 93 all up needs a steady pull, as the glider feels a bit heavy on pull. But still inflates evenly and I didn’t notice a surge, just a bit slow to rise.
In the air, the brake travel is short with moderate to hard pressure after 15 cm of travel. After flying nearly all the latest 2 liners, I felt that the Scala 2 felt a bit heavier to steer in the air at 93 all up. The Scala 2 as an EN-C glider, has to moderate and acceptable agility, and is easy to induce a turn in moderate conditions.
The Scala 2 feels very compact and in turbulence, it doesn’t require a lot of pilot control, like the Photon. It moves as a whole block. It is a comfortable glider to fly for the aspect ratio, but also, you can feel that you are flying a higher-rated glider, by its ability to search the air. 
Climbing in weak thermals less than (-1 m/s), isn’t the Scala 2 strong point. It needs a bit of time to rise up. When thermals go more than +1.0 m/s The Scala 2 has no problem climbing with the best C’s.  
We felt that the Scala 2 is a glider that enters quite efficiently the airmass going forward, rather than a floater that gains altitude but stays slightly behind. 

Gliding with the Scala 2 19, at 93 all up, next to a Photon MS at 93 at trim and top speed is almost identical. 
The Scala 2 has an impressive glide angle and probably a slightly faster trim speed (0.25 km/h) than the C’s I tested. 
The top speed is also the same as the Photon MS loaded at 93. If you load the Scala 2 near the top…it surely be faster.  

I gave the Scala 2 also to my friend and we did almost an 4 hour flight tip to tip, and we noticed that the Scala 2 kept close all the way in glides with the photon, but sometimes needed a bit more time to reach the Photon in the climb. My friend’s usual glider is an XC Racer 2 and later he told me that he felt that the information for thermal searching sent by the Scala 2 is very close to his glider but with more comfort.  He was happy flying it.   

The speed bar has a moderate pressure and steering with the B risers is quite efficient in moderate turbulence with a calm glider to control. 

I like that riser setup! 
Wingovers are quite impressive and deliver nice stored energy. 
Ears with outer B’s are large and quite efficient.

The 2-liner C category, holds now many new releases, and the Scala 2 adds to the category the flavor of flying a high aspect ratio glider but with a comfortable package. I missed that exceptional nimble feel of the beautiful Maestro 2 and the pleasurable handling of the sweet Allegro! 
With Its 6.77 aspect ratio, the S
cala 2 is created to glide, and the promise is reel. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Ozone Zeolite 2 GT. MS 

Disclaimer and reminder: 
With respect, there are many types of pilots:  Some search for the smallest detail, others just grab any glider and fly, and others even the thirsty ones, just like to debate on a simple glass of water…  
My testing passion is totally free to share, and I’m still having a lot of fun flying newcomers. Hope it lasts…

As I am writing this test, the ultra lighter version of the Zeolite 2 GT is now available with around 750 grs !!   less on each glider. 'The Zeolite 2’ . 

As I already flew the Zeolite1 GT  MS, Zeno2 MS , Photon MS, Klimber 3, and Omega ULS, I will try to write the differences in feel of flying the Zeolite 2 GT.  
Ozone uses a new cloth on the Zeolite 2 GT which is on the top Surface Dominico 20D / 10D and on the Bottom Surface Dominico 10D. It gives a slippery feel and it is quite light. Not as light as the one used on the Klimber 3. The weight of the Zeolite 2 GT  is around 3.75 kg. 

Launching the Zeolite 2 GT is straightforward and easy without any hard points. I flew the Zeolite 2 GT with two harnesses WV X rated 6 and the NK Arrow. The first 5 hours on the X rated 6 at 94 all up, and the next 6 hours on the NK Arrow at 90 all up. 
Later, and after a few more hours, I felt that it flies nicely near 91…92  all up in overall conditions and doesn’t need to overload it. In both configurations it climbs really well. The leading edge even at 88 all up seems quite solid. The overall structure moves slightly in itself, more compact feel than on the Klimber 3, and feels more compact. I described the first Zeolite to dance the Samba…I think the second version is much tamer, and close in comfort to the Photon which feels slightly calmer. The Zeolite 2 GT has probably a bit more and sharper overall movements in strong air. To place it correctly for you, the Zeolite 2 GT sits in comfort between the Omega ULS and the Klimber 3. 

The brake pressure on the Zeolite 2 GT is moderate, similar to the Klimber 3 or the Zeno 2 in pressure. The brake travel is short and largely different from the Photon which is a bit long. After the 10 cm gap, if the pulley lines are horizontal, I could steer the Zeolite 2 GT in 10-15 cm brake travel. So it is short and precise. Probably the Zeolite 1 GT was a bit more precise and a bit sharper to turn, slightly more agile, like the Klimber 3 that is also similar to the Zeolite 1 GT turning abilities, but still, I can describe the Zeolite 2 GT as a fairly agile 2 liner glider, and I could place it even in some bumpy air in any core, insisting a bit on the turn.  
  The smallest details if needed will be updated in the C comparison table. 
After the first 5 hours, and doing a few 360’s and wingovers to let the glider settle in, I sensed that the brake line gap after the pulley is now only 5 cm. So I have lengthen the brake lines by an additional +5 cm, and continued my days flying it.  I have now the normal +10 cm gap after the brakes which allowed me to push the speed bar all the way without having a pressure on the brakes lines, like I had before I lengthen the brake travel. 

Zeolite 2 GT… A sweet glider to fly? 
Flying the Zeolite 2 GT gave me a more direct and connected response than the Photon which needed to be steered for efficiency and fast turning, at +40 cm of the brake travel sometimes to get that narrow turn. Now with the Zeolite 2 GT, all you need is just 15 cm to turn it into thermals. If you pull a slightly +5 cm more, you get a nice tight turn into a thermal that under a Zeno 2 you cannot achieve the same tight turning radius in very narrow and especially weak cores.  

I flew the Zeolite 2 GT next to my friends on the OXA ULS 23, XC racer 2 S, Zeno 2 MS , Photon MS, Klimber 3. 
Any of those gliders can get you to the place you are aiming at. But here's what we found

Climbing in weak to moderate thermals, the Zeolite 2 GT at 92 all up, showed us a really competitive glider! It floats nicely while moving forward. A really nice glider to get the most of the lift! We definitely had an edge on that glider. When the conditions get stronger, with a more agitated air mass and stronger breeze, then the upper 2 liner D’s like the Zeno 2, XC racer 2 will have the edge in cutting faster and moving forward into the rising air mass, which is logical, with their heavy full rods structures. But I just wanted to be precise about that. 
The Zeolite 2 GT has a long speed travel. The first part has a moderate pressure, and the second part is slightly heavier with a very fast top speed matching the Klimber 3. In both harnesses, and just before 2 cm from touching the pulleys, I felt that the Zeolite 2 GT rolled a bit and I needed to stay well centered in my harness. The top speed is around +18 km/h over trim.  
When my friends and I fly together in 'testing mode', they are certainly the most noble friends you want to have, just because we all stick next to each other in XC mode following tip to tip in every situation that the weather throws at us. That way we all can see clearly who has the advantage in those conditions, and it all be repeated for three days sometimes. ( My tests wouldn’t be available without their help. They are a blessing to fly with)  Sharing thoughts after each flight is the best way to get a clear idea. 

Gliding with the mentioned gliders, in XC conditions, showed us that when it is a "moderate to smooth" glide, the Zeolite 2 GT has the upperhand along with the Zeno 2. 
When gliding through tougher air, the Zeno 2 and XC racer 2 have the edge over the light ones, and showed us that they are from a different category of “F-22 Raptor” but the Zeolite 2 GT comes next with impressive efficiency. Holding the speed bar at 60 % in turbulence is as easy as on the Omega ULS, and corrections can be swiftly made while on the bar. The pressure on the B handles is quite moderate, linear feel, and very efficient, like on the Photon. In this matter, trusting the glider's ability by flying it more and more on the bar increases your performance at high speed. 

Ears are stable with outerA’s they are a bit hard to pull, but ok. They reinflate with pilot help. Ears are easy with outer B’s, and around -2.5m/s  with speed bar is achieved. They reopen quickly.  Wing overs show the high energy stored in that 2 liner ! They build quickly. 

If you have skipped to the conclusion...
All you need to know is: 
The Zeolite 2 GT holds the most complete package of handling/performance for a 2 liner pilot looking for a light glider.
For hiking and fly, or even local competitions. The Zeolite 2 GT will deliver.
Most of all, for a pilot coming to the D category, after two seasons on a 2 liner C, or a competition pilot stepping back, I think it would be a really nice performance paraglider to help you get the most of each day while keeping the pleasure of flying. 

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.


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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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

NIVIUK KLimber 3 P size 21


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. 


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][/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. 


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 :-)