Thursday, December 24, 2009

ADVANCE SIGMA 7 26 (70-95)

I was testing the SIGMA 7 26 loaded at 95 kg all up the last summer. Here is what I found.

One cannot deny the excellent finish and details.
When you open the glider bag you find yourself looking at an ASTON MARTIN car.
Very neat and classy details.

The risers are thin and look like a piece of art. RATE 9.8/10

Launching is a child job and getting airborne is easy and quick. RATE 9.8/10

In the thermals the SIGMA 7 is a pleasure to fly .Very crisp and moderate pressure, with outstanding precision puts the glider in a mosquito path !
RATE 9.5/10

Flying the SIGMA 7 26 at 95 kg loaded at top , in moderate to weak thermals, was
pure joy and happiness with comfort. RATE 9.5/10

When landing, the glider forward speed could be reduced to none, even heavily loaded, and enabled me to land in narrow places without any funny behavior. RATE 9.8/10 !

In transitions the SIGMA 7 could match any EN-C glider without any trouble. The glide is close to 9.3

the trim speed is around 39km/h much like the ARTIC 2 or exactly! and the glide also is same.

But what i really like about the SIGMA 7 is the accelerator!!The bar is really light, but when you activate it, you find yourself sitting in the TGV.

Very fast and on "RAILS" Wahooooo!!with the impressive feeling of total security and superb "efficient" glide at first bar !RATE for bar efficiency 9.7/10

Pressing the bar is like you have in the kitchen a delicious piece of chocolate cake, whenever you enter you should taste it ;-)

Having said that, it also differs from other newly gliders is that when pressing the bar ,the roll feeling stops.

Now for the very strong summer thermals in our 3000m spot. Well the glider behaved very well in the strong stuff (+9 m/s) ,but it does really need quick and precise imput to stop the surges as the glider needs very active flying in the "houla houla" stuff !! You surely cannot sleep below any glider but this one needs attention!.

Conclusion: The SIGMA 7 is a superb EN-C glider with great "usable" performance. It needs an educated active pilot to fly safely far away.

SOL TORCK (80-98) KG

After flying the TORCK for a while at 96 all up , here what I found.

The SOL TORCK is made from Gelvenor, which make the glider as little heavy. The front part of the wing is made from light gelvenor, so you can feel quickly the difference in weight between the front and the heavy back of the glider.

The lines are made of Kevlar lines unsheathed on the top, and main treated vectran lines.

Launching the glider in nil wind would need much energy, to get the glider overhead. In moderate wind it is a pleasure to launch, and in strong wind it is an advantage to have that characteristic.

Once in the air the glider inspire confidence .Comfortable ride is on the menu, only if you have your total weight near upper limit. Then you will enjoy a very smooth and really cool ride .The glider has the tendency to eliminate parasite movement of the air without being too dampened.

First thermal and brake applied opened my eyes to a new dimension of turning behavior! The glider is exquisite! It cores the thermals with such easiness and coring power like no other. This glider is built to thermal. Very easy to stay in the core and what a pleasure….!

At trim speed the TORCK is not that fast, less than the VENUS 2 by 1.5~2 km/h .It could reach 38.5 km/h. The glide at that angle is really good (In calm air) .When using first bar, I could nearly match the glide of the VENUS 2.It is really close.
In head wind glides and turbulent condition, the VENUS 2 is unreachable and it cuts better and goes much further.

I felt when hitting a thermal that the glider would stop or even get behind a little bit than move forward. That fraction of sec is the one that let the TORCK little behind. But this is something a pilot can adjust by pulling the accelerator all the time. And pushing the accelerator is fun. The glider keeps on rail and very controllable in this situation.

In the weak stuff without any turbulence or headwind, the TORCK is a thermal beast. You cannot miss any thermal. It is very efficient and climb really well.
Spirals and wingovers and fun and easy to make.

The glider can be slowed down to an accurate landing.

Conclusion: The TORCK dhv 2-3 gets a very clean dhv, as you would thought it is near a dhv 2 glider .The induce asymmetric collapses and frontals are benign and very easy to handle.

Excellent job on performance and great "teddy bear" glider if you are on the upper limit.

Monday, December 21, 2009



This is an Ukrainian manufacturer. My first SKY COUNTRY glider ! The size 26(90-110) got the EN –C certification !!!

I have heard also that Alain Zoller ,the manager and tester of PARATESTS EN certification, has purchased a MYSTIC 2 for his flying pleasure, I had the curiosity to get one to test fly…

Opening the glider showed a very well finished work. Very neat. The lines are a combination of Vectran lines and Dyneema. The cloth is made from Porcher.

Kiting the glider felt pretty easy for this 6.5 flat aspect ratio glider. It gives you already a nice feel.

Once in the air the glider inspire confidence, dampened enough trough the bumps, it give you a smooth ride. If you have flown a TRANGO 3, you will have that exact feeling of comfort with of course a much better climb and glide..

The handling however puzzled me…It was very agile when coring the thermals. I never would expect a 6.5 AR to turn that way. Even better than the VENUS 2 .I liked it very much.

When the thermals get stronger, the agility is increased! Very good !
RATE for agility: 9/10 !

The pressure of the brakes is medium .It feels like the Venus 2 Small. The brake travel is similar to the ARTIC 2.

Precision of the brakes at 97 kg all up is ok. I was hoping for better. RATE for precision: 8/10
Glide in calm air is very good .Not better than VENUS 2, but very close. Maybe 9.5

This glider is very efficient in weak climb.

Conclusion: The MYSTIC 2 is intended for EN-D pilots .But it got a C on the size 26!.I believe that it is a very docile wing to fly. So If you are not looking for the most performant glider in the EN-D class ,but a very close one with the pleasure and comfort in the air +a very good climber when the conditions weakened. That 's the glider to test fly.

VENUS 2 (70-95) --VENUS 2 RX (70-95)

AXIS VENUS 2 (70-95) @ 95 all up
AXIS VENUS 2 RX (70-95) @ 95 all up

Launching the glider is moderate but easy when there is a gentle breeze. In strong wind the glider come up fast and it should be stopped before it goes far.

In the air the normal version and RX version feels very well loaded. The glider is very well pressurized. You can feel its power, but without the aggressive surges .The RX version has a more sharp feeling due to the thin lines. The normal version felt softer.
Both are excellent in finding lift as the VENUS 2 has an outstanding and easy way to find lift and climb effortlessly, without any struggle from the wing regardless of the turbulent conditions .Even in smooth air the VENUS 2 climb like no other wing in its category. Very close to the PEAK.

RATE for climbing strong conditions: 9/10. RATE for climb in very weak conditions. 9.5/10.

If I would like to rate this glider for comfort in the air, I would give the VENUS 2 Small normal version 8/10, and the RX version 7/10.

The handling and brake pressure of the VENUS 2 certified version is perfect .Not hard like the TRANGO 3 ,and not soft like the ASPEN 3 .It feels more like the ARTIC 2 in terms of brake pressure. As for the RX version it is a little hard than the normal version, but with a direct feel and a shorter brake travel, and a much better precision.
RATE for the normal version for precise turns: 8.5/10 and for the RX version 9.5/10

The glide performance of the two versions looks similar with a slight advantage for the RX version at 45 km/h and more.

After testing some latest EN-D gliders till(07-2009), the VENUS 2 could have the edge in glide and especially "efficiency" in racing. Glide in calm air looks close to 9.6

To describe the VENUS 2 in one word: "EFFICIENCY" in all conditions! at its best.

Easy controllable glider with outstanding performances .

The trim speed is around 40 km/h .The glider cuts through the air like a knife and converts very easy the small bubbles and thermals into lift, without back and forward oscillations.

It is very difficult to miss a thermal flying this excellent machine.

I keep wondering why this wing is not so popular…It should be purchased like no other…

Conclusion: Could be the most efficient and performing glider in 2009.

NIVIUK ARTIC 2 (75-95)

ARTIC 2 (75-95)
Test at 95 kg all up, with an Impress 2 + Pod harness.
Launching this glider is amazingly easy in all kind of wind. It inspire confidence even before takeoff.
After flying this glider for 50 hours, here is what I have to say.
In thermals the wing is very precise .The brakes are not long just perfect. You can place the glider whenever you want and the precision is great. The agility is just perfect for this cat. RATE for agility: 9/10---Rate for precision of the brakes: 9.3/10.

The climbing ability is very good .The glider quickly converts any lift to a wonderful climb. Even in the choppiest of lifts. Head wind, no wind, weak lift, strong lift, the glider is a wonderful piece of flying machine….RATE for climbing ability in weak conditions: 9/10. RATE for climbing ability in turbulent conditions +head wind: 8.8/10.

The glide in calm air is very close to 9.3

Security: Asymmetric felt very soft, with no change of direction if you only counter steer with the harness. Frontals reopen fast. Overall a very nice and safe glider in the LTF-2 cat. RATE for comfort: 8.8/10

I used the speed bar at the fullest in turbulent conditions and the wing just kept its path at a very good glide.

In turbulent conditions the glider moves a lot ,but not over a high angle ,so you feel that it moves but just keeps above your head all the time.

Overall RATE:9.5/10

Conclusion: Since 1991 this glider is the best I have ever flown in the LTF-2 cat. Cannot say more than that!!!


ASPEN 3 M 80-100
I flew the Aspen 3 in rather medium conditions at 96 kg all up, with the impress2 + pod harness.
The construction and the finish of the glider looks very good and neat .RATE: 8/10.
From the moment I launched, the glider felt very fast on trim. Measurements after that showed a 40 km/h at trim speed.
First thermal and I tried to turn and feel the brakes .They look rather long and not that precise after flying the Artic 2 S. But the glider turns very nicely and very agile, so you can core every thermal really tight, with the feeling that you are turning faster than any thermal core!!! I liked that feeling, but I wished for a more precise turn through the brakes like on the Artic 2 Small. Rate for handling precision: 7/10---RATE for agility: 9.8/10

It climbs fairly moderate. I felt that when catching a thermal the glider needs a fraction on a second for converting that to lift. Rate for climb ability: 7/10
The Glide at trim is excellent…May be the best there is to this moment in the LTF-2 cat. RATE for glide in calm air: 9.5/10
Glides through head wind and turbulence showed that the glider keeps its glide at med to high level of performance. RATE for racing upwind: 7.5/10
Flying with speed bar gives a very good glide and speed for this Cat. RATE for racing upwind +accelerator: 8/10
As for security: I could not test the glider properly with asymmetric etc…I didn't have time.
But when flying I never felt any odd behavior. On the contrary, the glider inspired confidence. RATE for feeling comfortable inside the LTF-2 cat: 7.5/10.

What I did not like is the low speed characteristics: If I want to land the glider in a very small place, and I would try for that to dig the brakes in a low position, little lower than the hips, the glider in subjected to spin, because it has the tendency to always fly forward .So it became unstable and rather technical to land in a very small place due to the spin tendency ONLY if your brakes are very low, (Lower than your hips)
Conclusion: The Aspen 3 (80-100) at 96 all up is a serious weapon for braking records and moving forward fast for an LTF-2 cat.OVERALL RATE : 8.5/10

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trying new gliders...

It has been a dream and still is ,to always try new gliders.It gives me new wings every time i take off.The feeling in the air is exceptional...