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

Friday, December 24, 2010



Here are some questions to the designer of SKY-COUNTRY , Alexey Rakov.

1- (Dust of the universe) The Evo X 24 is a comp glider. Why did you certify it?
(Alexey Rakov) Because we felt, that it's possible after making our own tests(in Turkey in Oludeniz) and after first competitions. And we found that it is very interesting to try to certify such glider

2- (DOTU)Now it is the first 7.3 aspect ratio with certification, with even one EN-D on frontal accelerated. How did you manage that?

(AR)We didn't make anything special for this, we just wanted to make not very complex for the pilot competition glider. EvoX is built on the same design principles, as Mystic-2, and, as you know, Mystic-2 is very safe wing for it's class too. Mystic-2-26 is EN C with a/r 6.5.But we've made special risers with reduced accelerator speed for certification, because with it's own risers EvoX flies almost 70 km/h and collapses on that speed are very dynamic.

3-(DOTU) Is the Evo X recommended to fly at the top or at medium weight? What ‘s the optimum flying weight?

(AR)Medium weight is better, on the top it's sometimes difficult to climb in weak conditions. For EvoX-24 optimum is 90 kg.

4-(DOTU)Do you think that all the sizes could pass easily the certification like the 24?

(AR)I think, they could, but I'm not sure about how easy..

5- (DOTU)How many hours /year a pilot must have to fly it safely? and what sort of pilots the EVO-X is designed for ?
(AR)100-150 hours/year, 400 hours of total flight time

6- (DOTU)What are the differences that a Mystic 2 pilot would feel when he flies the EVO-X?

(AR)More movements of the wing, more info about the air, and more movements with both hands

7- (DOTU)Is the Evo X to be considered as a first comp glider?

(AR)Yes, it was designed as first competition glider, even before we decided to certify it

8- (DOTU)What about the lines? Do they need to be replaced after 100 hours? Or checked?

(AR)Main level lines have to be replaced after 100 hours, other levels after 200 hours.

9- (DOTU)It is known that gliders with aspect ratio above 7 tend to cravat after a collapse. What’s the EVO-X like?

(AR)Of course, cravats are possible, but the possibility is not so big - there are no rigid elements inside the wing.
And statistics is good

10- (DOTU)What’s your philosophy on true performance?

(AR)Philosophy - we like, to let the pilot feel safe even on competition glider. We do not want to produce a wing, that has too short brake travel, dive seriously after stall and is very easy to collapse on full speed. Even if that one will fly very good

We have now in production a new competition glider "Space" . It is 2-liner with a/r 7.7, and plastic inserts on the leading edge.


Hope that this will give a small idea. Still waiting for Santa...Hope that he won't be late .;-)

I'll try to always ask the manufacturers questions about the tested gliders in question ,that pilots usually will ask.
Awaiting the glider impatiently for a full test with video comparisons VS GTO, and I'll write my own impressions ... Merry Christmas everyone :-) .

Friday, October 29, 2010

NOVA MENTOR 2 S (80-100)

The test:
Laying the glider on the ground shows an excellent finish never seen before. The risers are very clean . It has the plastic wires on, it but it is not a “copy paste” thing. The plastic wires contain more rubber into them with a bigger diameter. The leading edge tells you immediately that is a NOVA glider .It doesn’t have any Mylar’s reinforcement on the vertical panels.
Lines are rather thin, unsheathed in the upper part and sheathed on the lower ones. But you feel when holding them that there is very little on the hand.
We all heard the story about the glide in calm air with an Omega 8 EN-D glider, and I was very curious to see its performance in real moving air mixed with head wind and on long transitions. We were on a “rendez vous” with that exact type of conditions today, as we stood on the take off.

My friend Moni took the OZONE Delta M, loaded at 98 all up, and I was on the NOVA Mentor 2 S @ 96 .
Launching is really easy, and I felt that the wing lift me off the ground quickly. First thermal, and first turn has already painted my face with a smile! The brake travel is short, very responsive and linear with a performance turning radius !. It reminded me of the Artic 2 S I tested a year ago. Very efficient on entering the lift at trim speed, with a smooth race feeling .I looked up many times smiling…to see if I am really on the 1-2 and not on a 2-3 glider, ☺ in terms of feel of “efficiency” !

My friend on the Delta and I climbed together on a steady 2m/s. We agreed after “switching gliders”, that they both have the same climb rate, with a better feeling underneath the Mentor 2 in terms of feeling.
The Delta moves a bit less than the Mentor 2, and has a mellower feeling to show where the thermals are.
The Mentor 2 move more in the air, but in a positive way for the good pilot to feel the thermals, and understand how to core them better. I think that this feeling under the Mentor 2 is beautiful and exquisite.

At cloud base we decided to glide into wind. The constructor of the Mentor 2 “Hannes Papesh” stated before that the Delta has more performance than the Mentor 2 in calm air.9.6vs 9.3.

We did not see that in moving air and head wind transitions.
They have both the same trim speed with a touch faster for the Mentor 2 .
After that glide and others later, I must confirm that the Mentor 2 is one hell of a glider !! First glide at trim showed no difference in glide vs the DELTA.
The Mentor 2 has no problem coping with turbulence and head wind vs the DELTA, and it will stay next to it without any problem.
Second glide at half bar and my friend who was flying the DELTA was screaming about the incredible efficiency of the Mentor 2.
We concluded that both at first and second bar could not be apart !!

A video of the whole flight is in process….I will post it as soon as it will be finished.

Big ears are stable.
As for the landing, the Mentor 2 does not like to be heavily braked at full extension, but will loose speed at mid range easily.

This glider is a high end dhv 1-2 ,EN-B glider. Intended for the experienced pilots who needs the performance of the best EN-C of the moment with an EN-B rating .
Unless i need to win a competition on a national level, by flying fast and needing those few extra points, I see no point “until this moment” of flying something else than the MENTOR 2.

This glider amazed me by its performance, easiness of flight and incredible ability into wind.

My friend and I take our hats off to this manufacturer for this excellent glider out of the ordinary.

Now I am more puzzled to see what the FACTOR 2 has to offer more ?


 Today we did have also some head wind .It seems that the wind is not really stopping..But it was nicely flyable with ± 800 m gain above take off .My other friend Alan took the Delta today ,take off weight @ 101 ! all up,and i was on the Mentor 2 S @ 95 all up.Both with pod harnesses.

Climbing seems equal like i described before,and may be a touch better for the Mentor 2.The delta was heavily loaded ! Today was full of transition comparisons.Up wind,downwind...
All the transition wing tip to wing tip at trim showed no difference in glide. Even in gusty head wind !

At first bar both gliders are also equal !!
At second bar ,and that wing loading,both are also equal in glide and speed !! May be the Delta have 1 km faster.

After 1 hour we landed on the take off and we switch gliders.
Alan took the Mentor 2 @ 101 all up,and i took the Delta @ 95.

At that wing loading i found that the Delta is a "mosquito" touch better in climb ,but Alan was over weight,very fast, but able to keep up very close.

Now for the transitions !!!

With the Delta @ 95 i had to use first bar to reach Mentor 2 trim speed ! with the same glide angle.

Alan on the Mentor 2 decided to use first bar .He was loaded at max and he was very very fast!! .
Now we both decided to use second bar ,at the deck ! Result : Alan on the Mentor 2 loaded at 101 was unreachable ...and had some impressive glide angle !!
Conclusion: We do confirm that they have "absolutely" the same glide at all speeds no matter what the conditions throw at us .

After landing Alan told me that the Mentor 2 was really impressive but he thinks that it is intended for educated dhv 1-2 pilots. I totally agree with him as the glider will be a real pleasure for the experienced pilots . 

And i really meant it when i said that it is useless "for the time being"to fly higher rated gliders if you are not competing !! This green funny looking ,low aspect glider is really out of the ordinary !! try it !!

I will surely post this second day video also ,because the gliders were close all the time and the view was perfect.

Wish you all nice flights,

Video No 1     VS DELTA M  (copy/paste the link)

Video No 2  Mentor 2 VS Delta (PART 2 )  "interesting !! (Copy/paste the link)

With the GTO M,

Thursday, September 2, 2010


 The NIVIUK PEAK 1 was a revelation in 2007,by its climb capacity and its glide at speed was unbeatable at the time.But i didn't like its handling,and it was slow at trim.It was lacking of character and felt that the glider passed the EN-D tests being too "tied up"...

But having flown the ARTIC 2 ,and liked it a lot !!! i knew that  the designer OLIVIER NEF is full of surprises...So i waited a long time for the birth of the PEAK 2.

Quality: It is very fruitful and great that a company listens to the pilots !! 
The attachment points are now impeccable.With the smallest details,the glider is made.
A usb comes with the glider but i hoped to see the Peak 2 on it...:-( 

The A's are attached to the B's and have a 10 cm slack ! Have to be delicate in launching.

 In the air:

Today we flew in a site that is not supposed to be flown by north wind because it will be turbulent and not pleasant.
But we did go up anyway and it was windy from the north ! as predicted.
My friend flew his Venus 2 M @ 102 and  and i was on the Peak 2 24 @ 95 all up.
In the air it was super turbulent,as my friend describe it later and not pleasant at all.As he knows very well his Venus 2 he gave me later a 9/10 grade of turbulent conditions.
What about me on the Peak 2 ?
It was my third flight on the Peak 2 and i felt also that the conditions were sometimes intolerable.
But the Peak 2 never felt very bad.It was sometimes keeping me busy, but still "manageable" . (For an EN-D pilot ) !
Overall ,the glider is smooth and comfortable in the air.
Coring those thermals was easy and "smooth" ! Crisp brakes maybe because of the plastic inserts on the trailing edge !!

                         Climb rate in strong conditions:
The Peak 2 @ 92 has a good climb rate. Loaded at 100 it suffers a bit vs the GTO loaded at 102 kg.
But in a homogeneous thermal, it climbs nearly the same. 

                         Glide :

The glide at trim is also very good but pushing the soft accelerator gives an impressive glide  !!It has the same glide as the omega 8 but it is faster .

                        Climb rate in weak conditions:

The glider does not like to be heavily loaded and in very weak conditions it is best to fly it at 92. Above that weight and at 98 and above it will suffer in the very weak stuff.It is very different than the Peak 1 ,which was very efficient in those conditions.

Now the only point i have to get used to,is the Big ears...Yes it is unstable even accelerated.And  5/10 times a line get tangled. I always had to pull the stabilo line hard to loose it. Sometimes if i let each one at a time slowly the line could not be tangled...!

I have tried one ear with a more pull on one side .It is in this configuration a little less unstable.Now the second one also ...did not work without being a little unstable.The harness when pulling big ears becomes very roll responsive to a certain degree.
It could be a plus for weight shifting ! But the ears will take a little time to get used to pull them in a proper way.

If i let the ears fast the glider opens with a "boom" too much energy.May be this is why the line got tangled.When i let it slowly it will open much better.

The Peak 2 looks more accessible than the Peak 1 with very nice and smooth handling .The good thing is that you will not feel like you are flying a de-tuned comp glider with too much restrains to pass the EN-D tests ...It is a completely different glider than its successor !! ...Trim speed around 40-41 km/h .Touch the bar ,and prepare yourself for "light speed mode "   ;-)

This glider is a "floater" when lightly loaded ,and a great head wind distance swallower if loaded at 98 and beyond !

Peak 2 VS Omega 8

Another video from the same flight ,taken from different cam,


Friday, August 13, 2010


As usual unfolding an ADVANCE glider has been for me a revelation.May be because they are more expensive than others ;-) ,but for sure the quality and the neat details are a step above the competition still.

OMEGA 8 +Impress 2 harness.Total weight 93 kg

That 's one strong point of the Omega 8.It launches perfectly,showing a very good behavior when kiting the glider.Even in low wind the glider rises perfectly without any strange movements.

Turning &Handling :
For an aspect of 6.8 the OMEGA 8 has a moderate brake pressure,and a very good turning behavior ,if helped by the pilot in keeping the forward speed and leaning in the harness.It can really turn very tight .Much better turning than the GTO M. More homogeneous ,linear and precise. Exquisite !!Even in strong cores the ability to turn becomes even better! very nice glider to handle! A bliss in this category !

Feeling in the air: 
Comparing the feeling in the air between GTO M and OMEGA 8 25, goes in favor of the OMEGA 8.
It is easy and predictable with comfort to the pilot below !

The stall point of the GTO M is early on the hips and the glider became unstable.The stall point on the Omega 8 is more lower and accept without any nasty surprises the low speed approaches or the sudden changes in directions.Both are dampened and both climb fast with pitch stability,but i felt that the OMEGA 8 is more balanced and has more friendly user ability + the precise brakes won my heart.
 Big ears: 
The OMEGA 8 25 can do big ears (finally) and are 80 % stable .The weight shift on the harness become more responsive .

Very light,like butter,very efficient and the glider is on rails.

CLIMB RATE(in weak thermals):
Loaded at 93 all up,the OMEGA 8 25 suffers a little in very (very) weak conditions (0.2m/s) thermals,vs the GTO M loaded at 100 kg and a VENUS 2 M loaded at 102 kg.The OMEGA 8 25 is a little lazy in climbing in those weak thermals.

CLIMB RATE (in strong thermals):
The OMEGA 8 climbs very beautifully,like a spring.It has to do with the aspect ratio of those gliders USPORT, GTO, OMEGA 8,that they climb quickly upward.But i have noticed that the OMEGA 8 is a competition glider with excellent glide rather than a floater with excellent climb .The GTO M is more of a floater than the OMEGA 8 25.

At trim speed ,the Omega 8 is similar to the Peak ,GTO M. At first bar,it has very good glide with a stable profile and very easy and manageable speed bar.May be the GTO M has the edge but i think they are very close with a difference of ± 0.1 in glide at 46 km/h .

Thursday, July 29, 2010


MYTH or REALTY ...!!     

To be direct ...If you want a glider that can be the best in all conditions get a comp glider like the R-10 or similar...If you want the best "labeled" glider get the best EN-D glider from a 2 years cycle.

I am convinced that most manufacturers are really competitive and have an excellent R&D team. That's why every year there will be a breach in designing gliders.Everyone will not forget the 1995 Xenon,the 2007 Mentor from NOVA (Papesh), the 2006 Peak from NIVIUK (Nef) ,the first boomerangs from GIN, the 1996 Xmx from AIRWAVE (Goldsmith) and now the 2010 R-10 from OZONE  and many more ....

There is no miracles but a glider sometimes could only be the best in its own category for the time being ! .

If you have looked at the work done on the R-10 then you will notice a resemblance with the DELTA .Plastic inserts on the leading edge,the lines are a mixture of both sheathed and unsheathed lines that are very well balanced to meet the EN-C criteria .The brake lines are really thin .A little bigger than the brakes on the R-10.The cloth on the leading edge of the R-10 is much thinner than the one on the DELTA.The risers are very beautiful and the glider looks having a top quality finish.I wish that the attachment points on the canopy would be more aerodynamic like on the GIN or ADVANCE gliders..but that is only a small detail...
Total weight of 94 with an impress harness,the glider launches very easy,and i am airborne in a weak but turbulent conditions.
First turn reminded me of the agility of the ASPEN 3 ,which is a very nice handling glider with a precise turn.  As for the brake travel it is longer than the ARTIC 2 Small but with better agility (only when inside the thermal) because you can even core the inside of the thermal much tighter with your hands being a little lower to squeeze that extra turn....Exquisite  !!!  :-)

In headwind gliding the ASPEN 3 was fast but had this fraction of a sec to climb when hitting this thermal.The ARTIC 2 Small was very effective immediately in climbing without any delays or any pitch back and the glider would better climb at hands up (fast).
The DELTA M seem to have a very little pitch back in the weak bubbles,but would climb efficiently after the brakes are applied .If the thermals are strong it climbs fast,like a spring .It is also much dampened than the ASPEN 3 or even the ARTIC 2...Amazing...It moves with the risers without being busy and the glider seem to be very gentle and above your head,even that the conditions would left me probably busier on another EN-C.

The handling and the brake travel + the overall feeling of the glider when entering the thermals reminds me strongly of the GOLDEN 3. It has the same feeling and handling. But a little more roll .

As for the performance of the glider ,it seems when pressing the first bar ,the glider is more solid and the performance is superb.

NOW for the real condition flying:

Launching at 2600 m in a strong wind with gusts up to 35 km/h .A little window and up in the sky.At 2900 m a layer of strong headwind put my GPS at 0-2 km/h with a kind of waves hammering the leading edge.With no option ever to go downwind due to higher peaks and higher wind  Have to get lower to be able to continue my flight. Big ears and 75% of bar and my GPS read 5-6-9 km/h forward speed,with the wind gusts still ,like a hammer puts the glider in all directions .After that i can surely confirm that the glider is very docile with little and forgiving pitch forward and the leading edge is very strong and may be i should not be in the air  ;-)  .

Later i joined my friend Moni on his Venus 2 M and Alain on the GTO M and FADY with his Summit 3 visiting us from RSA.
Cruising on the ridge with thermo-dynamic lift ,the advantage in glide was to the GTO then to the Venus 2 and the Delta a little behind.
I can say here that in those conditions (the best way a glider can cruise and gaining height without loosing the forward speed) i will place
1-GTO M     2-VENUS2        3-DELTA      4-ARTIC 2 , ASPEN 3 & SIGMA 7 

At trim speed and in calm transitions over flatland the DELTA and the VENUS 2 are equal.But encountering a little head wind the VENUS 2 has the edge.Flying at first bar the DELTA is also amazing with a glide very competitive with the VENUS 2 only in regular smooth conditions .
1-GTO  M   2-VENUS 2    3-DELTA M     4-ASPEN 3 26     5-SIGMA 7 26& ARTIC 2 small

Glide ratio: DELTA M :9.6
                  ASPEN 3 26: 9.4
                  ARTIC 2 Small: 9.3

In climbing its the best that a glider should have the biting and the little pitch into the thermal with a direct and precise input to help the pilot core better.The Venus 2 has the best feeling .But the GTO M is very efficient 
1-GTO     2-Venus 2   3-ARTIC 2 Small & SIGMA 7 26    4-DELTA  M& ASPEN3 26

Why? because the ARTIC 2 has a quick jump into the thermal and only with a "slight" brake on one side it just keep its full trim speed , going up and turning into the core without any delays "even"on a difficult thermal mixed with head wind.Where the DELTA needs a little more brake on both sides to climb best ,which looses the trim speed like the ASPEN 3 ...YES i am meticulous  ;-)  ....

The way i can put the glider (EN-C evaluation only) whenever i want regardless of the conditions:
1-ARTIC 2 Small      2-SIGMA 7 26    3-DELTA M & ASPEN 3 26

Conclusion: A very good ,well behaved glider by OZONE with performance in real conditions to reach the top end of the EN-C category. Overall the DELTA could easily be the most "performant and accessible" glider in its category . The EN-C .

It is not a myth but a reality.


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Evaluating a new glider sometimes is difficult and that 's the case with the Boom GTO.
For this test i would like if i may ,to divide pilots in two categories.
(A)The performance oriented.
(B)The artists.

Plastic inserts on the leading edge,three liner ,thin three risers ,low sheathed lines and upper unsheathed(Not really thin).Laying the glider on the ground feels simple and very neat.

The glider launches easily in no wind. In high wind also it felt that it stays above your head without pitching.Kiting the glider on the ground gave me a strange feeling of a glider that is relatively easy to stay above my head ,as if the hand break is still on.
Two steps and i am flying at 94 all up on the S size.Harness impress 2 .Distance between risers 48cm.
First moderate thermal ,i felt quickly relaxed .The glider does give a quick reassuring feeling.
First day the thermals were weak and broken.First turn,the response was ok but not that quick.I missed the biting of the Boom Sport.
Lets turn:
Brakes are relatively short,and the response is nice if the thermals are well established.If they are broken ,and you are lifted in the thermal,the GTO needs a little time to settle ,than you can induce a turn ,like the Usp and the Peak 1.
Not the case with the Venus 2 which you can adjust your turn instantly ,even with weight shift or with the brakes  on a narrow core.

Flying the GTO is like someone is holding the trailing edge behind you.No pitching whatsoever.It just climb.The glider is always above your head and the feel that you are sliding underneath.

If you liked the  Peak 1,you surely will like the GTO because it has the same feeling in the air + a shorter brake travel and a better turn than the Peak 1.(A) cat pilots
If you liked the Venus 2 or the Boom Sport ,then you are in the (B) cat pilots .

Climb rates in the weak thermals are good but not like the Peak 1.

Trim speed looks fast around 40 km/h.First bar is very good and very efficient. It tells you quickly GIN words: It is competition ready glider.

This glider like the Usp like to be flown at first bar to express itself with great into wind performances.

In a question on the Forum about the difference bettween Usp and GTO,i wrote:
The GTO is overall more dampened than the Usp FR.The Usp FR has more energy inside the canopy.You can feel it.
The handling (the way you could induce a turn)of the GTO is easier in all conditions. UPDATE (Not in strong thermal entry,needs time to settle).
The turning power of the Usp FR is better.Meaning=More maneuverable only in (well built ) thermals.But the GTO have linear and moderate precise brake pressure UPDATE (Only if the thermal is smooth)
But less than the precise POSITIVE BITING Boom Sport .
Not the case of the Usp FR ( needs more time to settle).

The GTO is trimmed like a race horse on a tight leach.(Like the Peak 1).The Usp FR is trimmed like a race horse with a more loose leach Wink .
But both are stable on bar.
UPDATE (Sorry for 1st impressions)
The ears of the GTO don't open when you release your hands and are NOT stable (flapping),without oscillations,but easier to maintain then Usp  .
The Usp opens with power,difficult to maintain and are unstable.

Today i flew the glider in strong thermals ,mixed with turbulent wind.In entering the turbulent thermal ,the glider needs more time to settle inside before doing anything....I found myself controlling the glider and waiting for the glider to behave and then i could place it into a turn.
 Knowing that the glider is smooth and comforting,when meeting those thermals,the glider woke up and was suddenly very alive and busy...
Surely all the gliders in those conditions would be alive...  but the GTO was keeping me busy.
Of course in turbulence i understand and accept to be busy and with the GTO out of the sleeping mode quickly :-) but was hoping for a more efficient and linear brake response in that turbulent flying mode !

Climb rate in those conditions is spectacular ,like the Usp i felt like standing on a spring ,The glider jumps upward quickly.That's for "S" size.


Launching the glider is easy.I am 102 all up with ballast on the M size.The take off is quick.I felt that it lift me much better than the S at 94.
My friend and i flew Venuses 2 often ,and the Venus 2 M was my friend glider for the past year.He was always telling me that the general feeling in the air of the GTO is like his Venus 2 M,which i disagree because i flew the S size and it was really different.
Now flying the M size at 102,feels really like another glider.It was like my friend said .It resembles the Venus 2 M in comfort and accessibility.
The initiating turn of the Venus 2 M ,is more direct at first but inside the thermal the GTO  M is really nice to handle.The Ears of the M size don't flap ,maybe a little accelerated,but not a problem.
The GTO M size at 102 has different feeling from the S size at 94.
The S size does jump quickly upward in the strong thermal,where the M size does climb a little smoother.The M size does not feel that it hang back a bit.It is neutral.Climb glide and turn.As easy as it gets for an EN-D pilot.

The climb rate in very weak conditions could favor the M size.But the climb in strong cores could favor the S size.It jumps quickly upward like a spring.

As for the glide in head wind conditions the new era of EN-D gliders has arrived.The GTO out climb,out glide at trim and accelerated the Venus 2 .
It is more efficient for long transitions.

And to summarize my review,we did a glide in head wind between the GTO M and the R10.3  S just for fun. 
Result: :-))  ....Not comparable at all ...  The R10.3 is really from another dimension.  ;-) 


  More pics:


Thursday, May 6, 2010



I always wait impatiently for a new NIVIUK product.The designer OLIVIER NEF,is full of surprises. In 2006 the PEAK 1 was a revelation among gliders of its level.Still is. The NIVIUK ARTIC  2 is also one of the best EN_C gliders available for the package of security/performance/efficiency it delivers.
I was waiting to see how the HOOK 2 will be and what will be the philosophy of NIVIUK in releasing such a glider in the fierce competition of the EN-B category.

Laying the glider on the ground feels small for the 80-100 all up size.The plastic inserts on the leading edge are present like on the ARTIC 2.
All the lines are sheathed.Even the top ones.

Launching the glider is very easy  ...
First thermal ,first turn...The HOOK 2 has the tension and the precision of the ARTIC 2 !! In terms of precision it could be the most precise one of the category.

The turning inside the thermal is on a dime !! very narrow cornering without any delays...I really liked it.
If i encounter head wind during a thermal ,the HOOK 2 does not bump into it.It simply enters without loosing it.Pitch movements are absent.
In turbulent conditions,the HOOK 2 is like a little Buddha .It is serene and very stable and always above your head ,no matter what's the conditions throw at you. It could be also the most accessible in its category.
Stepping on the accelerator is smooth and the glider is fast .

A small video .  :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

OZONE MANTRA R-10.3 (90-100)

When the BBHPP came first into the worlds, every pilot was dreaming of flying something like that. It was a clever move for the OZONE team to introduce to the market the R-10 series based on the BBHPP. Some pilots wanted this glider to win comps, and some for the taste of flying one of the best performance glider available in 2010 with the latest technologies and optimum drag reduction.

The Mantra R-10 came with a different glider box. One that is rectangular, for the plastic inserts to fit inside without being torn.Opening the glider and spreading it on the ground is a show to watch. Beside being very thin and long, the beautiful finish of the glider and risers to the last detail, is exceptional.

The cells having plastic inserts up to 60 cm from the leading edge is neat having a tiny shape and racy look.

The upper brake lines are not made from dental floss category, they are history, now the new technology is mosquito legs,sewed together....I think ;-)

Risers have two trims from each side, the upper one works only in accelerated mode, race to goal (fast, stable, less glide angle), the lower one have a positive ( for increasing trim speed and acts like the accelerator with excellent glide) and negative position ( for weak thermal conditions).

My first comp glider was in 96 with the airwave xmx and each time i flew a comp glider i feel that i am not only in another class of gliders but in another dimension. The R-10 is no exception at all. In the contrary, seeing the glider on the ground is like having the genie of the lamp appearing by your side and taking you to a world cup circuit and giving you Micheal schumacher's F1 race car, without the keys...He says you only need to push this button...And i did.

Launching the glider is easy for that category, maybe because of well shaped leading edge.
Looking up to see the glider before launch, i thought i had my fish eye sunglasses... But they did not invent that yet... It is soooo thin...Running a few steps in the hill i wondered how this piece of Victoria's secret latest model string will lift me up...but it did gracefully :-)

Starting in weak conditions, at 99 all up, the pitch movement is nearly absent. Strangely I heard the vario with a small....Bipbipbip...another bip bip. It is nice to have a glider that biiips without thermals!!! ;-)

Turning in those conditions is nice. I found that the brakes are light and the OZONE touch is there. It has a little long and progressive input. It works on 15 cm, but the stall point is far just a little below the hips. ( depends on the harness)

In turbulent conditions I felt that the glider is comfortable for a competition glider of that caliber,but require more input and finesse to control than any EN-D glider i have tested.

It surges positively into the thermal,moves and requires a precise input to control it. The brakes are very efficient and could stop the surges promptly like a cutting machine.
To fly this glider in all conditions needs a little adaptation to the movements and brake travel.

It climbs quickly like a feather, effortlessly.In a well built thermal, it cores perfectly with a lot of energy.

Big ears are unstable, wing overs are nice and very powerful, 360's needs a little persistence to enter.

Trim speed is around 42km/h, first bar is impressive with 53 km/h!!! Glide at that speed is pure hallucinations!!!
As i said i was driving Micheal Schumacher F1 race car!!!

Conclusion: I am very happy to have tasted this exceptional feeling in the air of an aircraft of another dimension.I asked myself how will Micheal feel when he drives his usual sport car? Doesn't he feels the rush for his F1? How could he survive without the RACE adrenaline?
How will I cope again with the EN-D gliders?  but suddenly i woke up....
I am not Micheal Schumaker.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NOVA ION (90-110) LOW LTF 1-2

I had the opportunity to fly the ION Large 90-110,for an hour

Friday, March 12, 2010


After some flights in thermal conditions, loaded at 95 kg all up ,with an impress harness, here is what I found.

Construction and quality are very good ,to the last detail in simplicity and GRADIENT style .It inspire confidence just by looking. Regular risers and lines , excluding the thin lines on top.

Launching the glider is easy, in all conditions. Nothing special on that.

In the air, at my wing loading I found the brakes long as the Aspen 3,but the wing is agile in smooth conditions. When it is turbulent and bumpy, I need to insist keeping the brakes in a low position in order to turn the glider faster.

Hitting a thermal the glider pitch back a little, after it settles inside, it cores perfectly till cloud base.

The GOLDEN 3 is a little talkative glider for an EN-B glider without excess. It moves but stays overhead showing the thermal direction.

The brake pressure is a little heavier than the Aspen 3,but it remains in the light cat.

The accelerator is efficient and the wing remains very stiff fully accelerated. Induced collapses are soft in recovery.

Wing overs are nice and could be high, and coordinated.

The feeling in the air is like a typical GRADIENT glider.


Today was perfect for testing the performance vs the ORYX. My friend Moni took the GOLDEN 3 with a total weight of 100 kg and flying a pod samurai harness.
Myself flying the ORYX with an impress 2 + harness and an all up weight 93 kg.

Gliding in a little shaky air but without any headwind ,shows that the glides are nearly the same with a slight advantage in speed to the ORYX loaded only at 93 !!.

In the weak thermals ,and even loaded at 100 kg ,the GOLDEN 3 is really great.I think it has the edge in climb in the weak stuff. We were practically together all the way up,and I could feel that the climbing of the GOLDEN 3 is catching up… Then Moni missed a small thermal by going further left to the ridge ,and I waited up a little (see video)

When he got up again we settle on a small glide headwind ,heading north. Here the ORYX shines…No comment how it is really good in headwind glides !!!

Knowing that , we did return to land on take off and Moni got the ORYX to try at 98.5 all up (Weight of ORYX is 4.5! ) and I took the Artic 2 Small (EN-C) loaded at 95 all up for a test glide also.

Launching and going up, surely the advantage of quick climb is for the Artic 2(EN-C) .This glider is a reference between (EN-C) gliders. Now the good part is the 2 km headwind glide with the ORYX .

We were both surprised as you will be, seeing the video! They were both equal in this glide...(NO more Comment,see the video)with an advantage for the ORYX in trim speed. But when I pressed the bar headwind with the Artic 2 ,the difference is of course in favor of the EN-C glider.

Finally our conclusion is:

Our thoughts were that we really were amazed to see such performance gain in the EN-B cat + the ease to fly them without the stress of a high performance glider. It was such a joy…We felt that the GOLDEN 3 has an outstanding climb rate and a very easy feeling in the air.

A glide in still air is not important because the gliders fly always in active air.Just for fun.

Video in weak thermals.