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

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 .  :-)