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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

AIRCROSS USPORT FR 24.5 (90-105)

USPORT 24.5 FR (90-105)

On the ground the Usp FR looks impressive. Besides having a flat aspect ratio of 6.8 and 5.0 projected, it is a true 3 liner. It has those reinforced plastic inserts on every cell RFE, and all lines are unsheathed with risers having 3cm negative and 5 cm positive trimmers.
It really does look impressive!!!

The Usp is rather a heavy glider. It weights around 7.5 kg on the M size. Its weight is around the leading edge .You can feel it by lifting the cells.

I flew it at 98 kg all up with an Impress harness.

Surprisingly, the glider launched very easy and evenly, finding me quickly airborne.

Having flown many high performance gliders, this one is unique.
Pitch movement were nearly absent or should I say soft. The glider cuts and climbs smoothly into the thermals. Roll movement were like all EN-D gliders .May be like the VENUS 2 .
At trim speed the Usp flies around 40 km/h .

I felt somehow, that this glider has a different character .
In the thermals the glider imposes that unique and strong character into the pilot. It does not like to be pinched much ;-) (By the brakes) .

It likes to be left flying,weight shifting with the harness with a little touch on the brakes from time to time.
It does have some movements in the air but it is a glider who will solve all the turbulence and move forward and up, as quickly as possible .

If the pilot will try to brake the glider or enforce his flying style, then the Usp with its strong energy retention will be like a wild horse by forward or back movements .It is simply trying to fly …

Depending on the thermals strengths, I felt that on weak cores I let completely the outside brake and using only the inside brake ,the glider turns on a dime. Very agile glider, with a climb rate to match the best EN-D gliders.

The brakes are soft to medium more like the Aspen 3 feeling .I would loved to have them more direct and precise.

In turbulent conditions, and different thermal cores, it is difficult to place the glider precisely with the soft brakes. It felt like flying the PEAK 25 (loaded)but with a shorter brake travel and faster response from the glider in settling inside the thermal.
To turn efficiently the glider must settle inside the thermals before I could turn it .
In strong "well built" thermals ,it is a pleasure to turn and climb. You feel having a knife and cutting your way .

Stepping on the bar is very easy with the most soft accelerator I have tried .Even mellower than the Aspen 3. The efficiency on bar is the strongest point of the Usp.
It is the most performing racer machine I have test (till 01-2010), especially in head wind glides and when using the bar!!!

In our earlier tests, I found when flying the VENUS 2 RX beside the USPORT, that the more we have head wind + strong cores and strong conditions; the USPORT was moving forward better and climbing like a loaded spring.

I felt that flying the USPORT at 98 was very efficient in the weak.
If loaded at +103, the glider will loose that efficiency especially when the conditions are tricky and very small.

However I think that in the strong conditions I would much more be efficient in gliding into wind and racing at +103 all up.

Activating the trimmers negatively reduces the glider speed and is good when you are loaded at 103+. Flying at 98 I did not feel the need to use them in negative position because the glider was climbing easily the weakest thermals .

Big ears are instable, but reopen fast .The tension on the ears lines is like a well tensioned string .You can play a song…Pommmm…pommmm… ;-)
The whole span looks well tensioned ,very stiff and like concrete.

Conclusion: High performances are on the menu . I wished the handling would be more linear and precise. I felt this glider is not intended for flying in a small restricted spot .It needs open spaces and long glides . This is for sure an XC machine with top end performances for the experienced regularly flying pilot.