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

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Construction: The glider is made like all new generation gliders, with light cloth and plastic red bendable rods on the leading edge like the ones used on the new NOVA wings.
Flying the M size 90-110 at 100 all up.
Launching the glider in every condition is very natural and easy ,without any hanging back or shooting forward. As easy as it gets !
Just after take off, the glider showed a spicy but polite roll behavior.
First thermal and turning this glider is quite nice for the EN-A category.
Its agile handling surprised me!
It can be steered easily even at the mid weight, and climbs are average to good. The accelerator is smooth and can be pushed easily, but its travel is short and limited to pass the EN-A cat.
Big ears are easy and non-event.
Conclusion: I found the HONEY to be targeted for talented beginners who wants to get nice handling and feedback, with an EN-A safety ! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


NIVIUK Artic 3

One of my favorite gliders at the time was the Artic 2,which I flew for a year .I appreciated its efficiency in the air and it’s beautiful handling. I was waiting for the Artic 3 to see what the designer has been cooking. And finally it arrived!

The glider has no Mylar like on the Artic 2. Instead light panels with plastic reinforcements on the edge of the cell like all the new generation gliders.

Take off is easy, as it rises smoothly above your head.

Immediately after take off, the Artic 3 shows a high trim speed, around 40 km/h, with a certain sense of security.
After some glide tests with some modern EN-C’s I can put the Artic 3 at the “TOP” of the EN-C gliders I have tested until this day, no question about it, especially at first bar.
The Artic 3 is a fast glider at second bar with a very competitive glide! And it seems to have also the fastest top speed.

Precise, linear, short, medium to hard brake pressure, reacts on weight shift and exceptionally beautiful, is what I can describe the handling of the Artic 3.
It has the tendency to turn flat and efficient. Lowering the brakes for a quick turn, the Artic 3 responds beautifully and when released, the glider quickly leveled to stay flat.

Even loaded at max on the 25, the Artic 3 will help you make low saves without loosing that weak thermal, by its ability to search forward without excessive pitch and roll, and that quality enable the Artic 3 to float better.

Big ears are made with the B3 lines, and they look funny, and applying the bar can achieve -3.5 m/s.

Conclusion: NIVIUK made an excellent job by creating a superb, very performing and balanced glider in the EN-C category .I think I am going to keep that one…

Monday, November 14, 2011


Air Cross “U-Cross”

Unpacking the black and green glider on the take off is a scene to watch.
Magnificent work is done on the canopy with strings,ribs,cells,openings …a complicated work looking like an inside of a Swiss watch !
A true workmanship…
I thought I was going to the moon inside the NASA space shuttle ;-)
Regular lines are installed on the lower part and unsheathed on top.
Taking off with no wind would imply a steady pull with no releasing until it’s overhead, like its older brother the U-sport.
First thermal, and a medium brake pressure much like the NOVA Factor 2, which I thought i would never find a more agile glider, because it wouldn’t be usable! But I did.
The U-Cross has even more agility than the Factor 2 !!
Flying the U-Cross “efficiently” in thermals would require a refined skill in touching the brakes, as it is important to keep the powerful glider overhead for better coring!
The designer made such a superb work inside the canopy leading to a very pressurized and powerful
glider. And this will undoubtedly ensure that you won’t get a blow out easily if the glider stays over your head.
I could describe the U-Cross inside the EN-C Cat, where the OZONE Delta feels like a happy long haired cool dude with his pants lower than usual, with bent knees, hang loose mode in a “Rasta man”  way ;-)  !
The U-Cross feels more like an energetic 20 year old with big muscles, just popping out the gym, nose up, with a Red Bull drink in his hand, looking right and left in a fraction of a second and walking with his feet nearly touching the ground, just like a spring no matter if there’s no one to watch ;-) !

Going on a series of 360’s on the U-Cross has to be done surely before eating ;-)
And after some steep turns, it is ok to open your mouth in a rectangular shape and shout to your “Mamma”  :-)
The Guys who love that feeling will surely exchange their bed pillow with the U-Cross ;-)

Loaded at 95 on the S size, the climb rate in weak conditions is average.
The performance is inside the EN-C Cat much like the UP XC2 or the GIN tribe M ,or the DELTA M, with a faster trim speed.

Meeting the EN-C certification puts the U-Cross in a short speed travel that will enable it when fully deployed to increase at ±10 km/h, with a fairly good glide.
Big ears are stable, and reopen quickly.


Monday, October 17, 2011



My main harness for the past 2 years was the Impress 2+, which was very comfortable for my taste. Then came the Impress 3 M .
1.81 m and 73 kg inside the M size.

The construction of the harness and details are ‘impeccable”. It is very rare to find between harnesses such a jewel in terms of “finessing”  ;-) !
The harness impresses you to the level of handling it with respect. Swiss precision! ;-)

In the air:
In order to feel better the harness, I did make a flight in the Impress 2 + and the Sigma 8 25 @ 93,and then landed at the take off in the same conditions and switched to the Impress 3 M @ 90 all up.

Immediately after take I felt more roll movements than the Imp 2+ has. May be I am a bit skinny inside the M size.
Conditions of the day were like small 3m/s bullet thermals with 10 m “radius”. “Frequent on our sites”.
It was an exceptional day for trying to put the glider in its path using the harness.

My flying was long adapted to a seat board, and used to have a support point inside the Imp 2 when weight shifting, and that, wasn’t available in the Impress 3 as it doesn’t have one.
I think that time is needed to adapt to that feeling that I didn’t get used to it yet after 5 hours. It could be my stubborn head to adapt …

But I felt that “it rolls a bit quicker than I could weight shift to counter steer”.
Nothing out of the ordinary for that level of race harnesses, but just a bit more roll than the Impress 2 +.

The strong points of this harness are its superb comfort in the air by supporting the back and the hips + the light feel of carrying it on the take off.

The pluses:
A comfortable feeling, with nice back and hips support.
Lighter than Impress 2 by -3 kg.
A superb product with excellence in details and construction.

The minuses:
Has more roll in the thermals than the Impress 2. (I am 1.81m and 73 kg) May be a bit skinny inside the M that does explain the roll.
Doesn't have a "support point" when you weight shift (no seat board edge) like the Impress 2, but it needs time to adapt to its weight shift characteristics.
More feedback:
Flying inside the harness i thought I'd make a small modification for skinny people, to limit the "slack" roll i was feeling.
After receiving some e-mails of pilots that found a similar feeling in roll movement,here's a photo of the modification that i don't recommend to make before contacting the pros at ADVANCE to be on the safe side. But it worked fine for me.
A small strap on each side about ± 16 cm (see pic) would suffice but i did install the trims to see at what point it will erase the roll excess.
I found that just a bit of pressure would be enough. No need to pull them hard. Just a slight pressure.


And i did install the neoprene cover on the chest strap to prevent the inside hard webbing's to hurt the chest on take offs when leaning forward.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NOVA Factor 2


Launching this glider is very easy, in strong or in weak wind.
In the air the glider has very close handling as the Mentor 2 S, very nice to steer ,and i could place it easily wherever I want inside the core.
I felt that the factor 2 S has a tiny less trim speed than the Mentor 2 S. When the conditions were smooth and consistent I found that the factor 2 S at 95 has a very nice climb, a bit better than the Mentor 2 S at 95.
Flying the glider in relatively turbulent conditions, mixed with head wind and light to medium thermal activity <2m/s, I was hoping to get much better biting into wind versus the Mentor 2 S and that would enable the glider to climb headwind.

In those particular not homogenous thermals and conditions, my friend with the Mentor 2 M, loaded at 103 was able to climb away several times. It could be that I am not yet familiarized with the new wing, but it did happened many times that day.

When the thermals got stronger but “smoother” the Factor 2 will keep its path in the thermal and have a good climb.

On glides in smooth conditions I found a ± 0.3 L/D better than the Mentor S.
The glides did get better “in smooth conditions” at bar.

The factor 2 S could have a very good glide at bar, but it stays in the “top” EN-C category only.
Flying with a Mantra 4 M, in head wind glides with some thermal activity showed a better glide for the M4 which is of course, still the best in the EN-D category.

Big ears are relatively stable, sometimes one side will flap.

The Factor 2 S has a very flat polar, and landing in narrow places require a bit of training.

The pluses:
Handling (superb)
Ease of use

What I was hoping:
Better climb rate in turbulent conditions
Bigger step in efficiency in difficult conditions over the mentor 2 S, which still is a revelation…

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ADVANCE Sigma 8 25


The glider arrived to my doorsteps and in the truck for the take off. Having tried nearly all the Sigma’s, I was waiting for the 8th version.

Launching in high wind is relatively easy and I didn’t found and pitch forward. In nil wind the glider has a small 
tendency to stay a bit behind.

I flew the glider in 4 different harnesses. An impress 2,an impress 3, an ADVANCE lightness, and an Sup’air Evo XC2.

First flights on the Impress 2 at 93 showed a very gentle and comforting glider. It felt like I wasn’t on a hot EN-C glider. The pitching inside the thermals is nearly absent, and the roll movements are a superb balance between efficiency and superb comfort.
Describing the handling, it is definitely not playful as the Sigma 4,surely not dull as the Sigma 5, just a bit less than the Sigma 7,but I definitely could describe it better as the most “mature” handling a Sigma can have.I don't know if that's good or not for a Sigma.

Switching to the Lightness with 86 all up, (not adjustable chest strap at 50cm) with punchy turbulent conditions on the lee side, I was sometimes uncomfortable, and couldn’t get the glider to react to my commands promptly as I was re-adjusting myself inside the harness…I forgot how dramatically a harness can alter a glider behavior. But the soft Sigma 8 was always above my head with no collapses, waiting for me passively to re-adjust my seating.

Now flying it with the EVO XC2 at 90 all up, the Sigma 8 has the feeling of being a bit more stable than the impress2.
-Impress3... (to be continued)

Flying next to my friend Rony with his Delta L at 103 all up , showed a same glide or -0.1 (smaller size) for the Sigma 8, and with a little less trim speed of 0.5 km/h for the Sigma .

Flying in “homogenous steady >2 m/s thermals, the Sigma showed a nice climb rate similar to the Delta. But on the weaker ones <0.5 m/s the pitching back of the Sigma 8 forbid it to dig in those small thermals especially when there’s a light headwind. It feels that it is moving a bit upward but the vario wouldn’t bip. Otherwise in calm air and weak thermals it is still efficient even loaded.

Big ears are stable. Using the accelerator feels a bit harder than the Sigma 7 but has a relatively good glide.

Conclusion: The strong point of the Sigma 8 is its friendly behavior. Easier and much mellower than the 7, it could be easily a first EN-C glider for moving into the category.
The pluses:
Easy to handle
Doable big ears
Friendly user

I would have liked (Personal):
Much more biting in the weak thermals
Prompt ,more direct and funnier handling. 

UPDATE: After more hours :
It seems that after extensive flying on the Sigma 8 in different conditions,i am beginning to like it even more.
In turbulent conditions , smooth conditions, head wind glides , low saves, ....Big success in the category .
I can confirm that it's a very strong contender having a superb balance in its  "flying characteristics" as a superb package in the EN-C category.

Each time i fly this glider ,i understand more the R&D behind it.

Another video will be posted shortly.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


After test flying the EVO Sprint ,the TRIBE came and I flew it in different conditions ,to get an idea about what’s behind that concept.
It is a simple 4 liner, just like the Sprint Evo.
Launching the glider doesn’t require any special technique.
After some time spent on the DELTA, UP XC2, Sprint Evo and the Mentor 2, I was quite relaxed flying the TRIBE. It resembles the XC2 and the DELTA in comfort, and accessibility, but the Tribe is a bit more maneuverable only inside tight cores. It feels like you can stop the glider inside the thermal and turn on a dime.
Where the DELTA has a longer brake response, the XC2 and the TRIBE is a bit shorter to feel.
It is not a super agile glider, but ok, a bit less than the Mentor 2.You can turn the glider very flat, and can bank it easily when lowering the brakes.
The brake travel is a bit longer than the Mentor 2, which is more direct to input, but when the TRIBE settle in a turn the radius is even shorter then the Mentor 2.

Flying the Mentor 2 and the Tribe in the same conditions reveals a much more relaxed ride under the TRIBE, which is an EN-C.
When entering the thermals the TRIBE pitches back a bit, before entering, much like the DELTA.
Big ears are stable with a bit span moving but usable easily at full bar.

The glide is similar to the UP XC2, and the glider is slower at trim than a Mentor 2 at the same loadings.
Using the accelerator is smooth and at first bar the glider gain some 4 km and have a good glide. At second bar the glide deteriorate a bit comparing to Mentor 2.

The TRIBE has an efficient climb rate, and it is nice to be able to core those small thermals in slow motion.

Accurate landings are a delight as you can slow the glider for small landing areas.

Conclusion: GIN made an easy glider in the EN-C category. With its brilliant climb rate and superb handling, those looking for those characteristics will cherish it.
EN-B pilots looking to upgrade will find in the TRIBE a soft comfortable ride especially if they were on a hot EN-B .

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

M4-O8-Peak2-Venus3-GtoM&S-AD-Pure-Mantra S/M -Venus2

1- Omega 8 25@94 = Poison 3 S @ 94 =Mantra 4 ML /MS (Very easy even in no wind)
2- GTO M & GTO Small
3- AD-Pure -Venus 2 M& S
4- Peak 2

A- Climb with a head wind (>15 km/h)
1- Mantra 4 ML @ 103 – AD-PURE M/S @ 93
2- Mantra M/S @ 93 - GTO M @ 103,
3- PEAK 2 24 @ 60 % of the load range
4- Omega 8 25 =POISON 3 S @ 95 = VENUS 3 M @ 104
5-. Venus 2 M @ 103

B- Climb > 2m/s without head wind
1-Mantra 4 ML @ 100
2- AD-PURE M/S @ 93 = Mantra 4 M/S @ 93
3- GTO M @103
4- PEAK 2 24 & POISON 3 S
5-Venus 2 M =Omega 8 25
6- Venus 3 M

C- Climb in weak thermals (< 0.3m/s)
1-Mantra 4 ML @ 98 (lightly loaded)
2- GTO M @ 103 = Peak 2 24 @ 90 lightly loaded = Venus 2 M @104 (loaded) =
3- POISON 3 S (close difference)
4- Mantra 4 ML @ 103 (loaded) ! = Mantra 4 M/S @ 93 (loaded) AD-Pure M/S @ 93
5- Venus 3 M @ 103
6- Omega 8 25 @ 94

Glide at trim:
1- Mantra 4 ML @ 100
2- AD-Pure M/S @ 93
3- Mantra 4 M/S @ 93
4- GTO M
5- Peak 2 (very close to GTO M)
6- Poison 3 S @ 94 =Omega 8 25 @ 94
7- Venus 3 M @ 103

Glide at first bar:
1-Mantra 4 ML @100 = AD-Pure M/S @ 93
2-Mantra 4 M/S @ 93
3- GTO M @103
4-Peak 2 24 @102
5-Poison 3 S @ 94=Omega 8 25 @ 94 (very close)
6-Venus 3 M @ 103

Handling in still air:
1-Omega 8 25 (A delight!)
2-Poison 3 S (A bit slow but linear)
3-Peak 2 24 (crispy and linear)=Venus 3 M
4-Mantra 4 MS @ 93
5-Mantra 4 ML @ 100 (Turns with a little delay)
6-AD-Pure M/S @ 93 (precise)
7- GTO M @ 103 (Turns with a little more delay)

They could be very close with a big difference between the O8 and the GTO M.

Handling and maneuverability in average conditions "with thermals":

1- Omega 8 25 @ 94 =Mantra 4 ML@ 100=Mantra 4 M/S @ 93
2-AD-Pure M/S @ 93
3-Mantra R-10.3 S @ 98
4-EVO-X 24/ Peak 2 24/Poison 3/ Venus 3 M

Now the most important is the “handling in rough air”, and I mean is that some gliders when encountering multiple cores and punchy turbulent thermals, will react to their own, because their inside pressure is more stronger than the controls and the brake inputs the pilot are inducing. The pilot below will be a passenger for a while till the glider settles in. The more time it will take, the worse sensations you will passively feel. And that’s not good.

Some in those same conditions will be more reactive to the brake inputs, the pilot underneath is inducing and could place them wherever he wants despite the rough conditions. And that’s good efficient handling.
It is always much better being the pilot underneath a wing rather being a passenger even though for a short period.

Handling in rough air:
1-Omega 8 25 @ 94
2-Poison 3 S @ 94= AD-Pure M/S @ 95
3-Peak 2 24 @ 98 =Mantra 4 ML @100 =Venus 3 M= Mantra M/S @ 95
4-GTO M @ 103
5-GTO S @ 94

Comfort: (movements under the glider in turbulent conditions)

1- Poison 3 @ 96 (Unbelievable for an EN-D !! )
2- AD-Pure M/S @ 93 (very close to Poison 3)
3-Mantra M/S @ 93= mantra 4 ML @ 103
4- Peak 2-24 9/10 (very dampened, very close)
5- GTO M & Omega 8 25 @ 94 8.8/10
6- Venus 2 M 8.5 /10
7- Venus 2 Small 8/10
8-Venus 3 M
9- GTO Small 4/10

Easiness in flight: (In average conditions, where the pilot would be able to understand better the glider movements)

1-Poison 3= Mantra 4 ML= Mantra 4 M/S @ 95
2- Peak 2 24=AD-Pure M/S @ 95
4-Omega 8 25
5-EVO-X 24
6-Venus 3 M
7-Mantra R-10.3

Stable ears in turbulent conditions !

1-Omega 8 25 = Skywalk Poison 3 =Mantra 4 ML =Mantra 4 M/S @ 95 (Stable)
2- EVO-X 24 (Stable)=Venus 3 M Stable
3-GTO M (a little unstable)
4-Peak 2 24 (Not stable)
5-AD-Pure @ 95 (Not stable)
6- Mantra R-10.3 (Not stable)

Landing and maneuver approaches to top land.

1-Poison 3=Mantra 4 ML= AD-Pure M/S @ 93
2-Omega 8 25 = Venus 2 M & S=Mantra 4 M/S 2 93
3-Peak 2= Venus 3 M
4- GTO M
5- GTO S

Inserting the AD PURE M/S and the OZONE M4 M/S hasn’t been easy. Every day flying and exchanging those glider in the same conditions, was the only way to feel the difference. Then came the performance flights. My friend Moni flew an ADVANCE lightness with the PURE to be able to fly at 93 all up, and I flew the M4 with the impress 2 harness at 93 all up. This way with the same sizes and the same loadings, conclusions were seen much better.

Those comparison flights were made in turbulent and moving conditions that enabled us to see how the gliders cope with the current conditions.
I have to say that at the same loadings the Pure is a half km faster at trim than the M4 .

In average conditions the M4 felt like more of a floater,comparing to the PURE at the same loadings, but still the differences were negligible because it couldn't separate the gliders apart the whole flights even when the conditions got weakened.

My own feeling when flying side by side and when there’s some head wind and strong punchy thermals, I saw the Pure get that spring upward climbs edge. Like I described it before, it climbs quickly and settles above your head and feels like time has stopped, waiting for the pilot to act.
The M4 needs a bit more time to settle above the pilot head, but still climbs brilliantly and has a comfortable feeling.

That characteristic of the PURE is shown in glides at trim, and especially when we flew both of them at first bar. The M 4 M/S hold the bar better and feels softer, but the Pure when settled have an amazing headwind glide.
They both could be equal in those glides, but my friend on the PURE was always ahead cutting through …For a race to goal, the Pure is a very competitive glider, and we both agree that it’s a very serious competitor.

Some pictures at :


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

AD Gliders PURE S/M

AD Gliders PURE :

Introduction: AD gliders is a new brand created by designer and world champion Stephan Stieglair with Martin Gostner ,after moving from UP, to create their own dreams and designs.

I have flew almost all Stieglair designs ,from the old series of Kantega’s ,Summit’s,Trango’s,Targa’s…The feeling under those creations are unique, as it is difficult to miss it.

Today the PURE S/M arrived and I am already airborne at 94 all up with an impress 2 +…

Launching: Pulling the A’s the glider rises slowly at first 75 % then a dab on the brake is needed to stop it above my head.

In the air: I was immediately at home under this wing, as the dampened feeling of the UP Trango 3 was there. It seems that the designer succeeded also to insert his famous "shock absorbents" inside this 6.8 aspect ratio wing ! …
Turbulence is sensed but with comfort, giving the pilot enough time to cope with the conditions. Brakes are precise, as I could immediately and under some turbulence put the glider where I want .It is not the most agile EN-D wing, but the brakes and the overall feeling of comfort allowed me to handle it much better, as it doesn’t need too much time to settle above my head in turbulent thermals.

It seems that when pulling a bit on the brakes in turbulent conditions, the glider behave like the time has stopped for a while and stands still for a second, allowing the pilot more time to think how to react under it…
The turns are flat, even with weight shift and brakes. The brake pressure is medium and it reminds me of the Trango 3 .
Inside the thermals the wing really turns toward the core !,and the agility is more pronounced enabling me to turn very tight..I liked that feeling a lot.

Big ears are unstable in turbulence, especially when the accelerator is pulled. I didn’t find them usable for even a good sink rate. Even the 360’s has to be pulled with some G’s to achieve -10 m/s .

Climb rate: At my wing loading the climbs in moderate thermals are still very good .Time is needed to evaluated more versus the competition, which I will but later ,in order to be sure after some more flights with it. But it seemed very good so far among the best.

The trim speed is high and I think around 40 km/h .As for the gliding performance I sensed that it has very good ability in head wind .I will post some videos soon with some recent EN-D wings…

Some pics:

Have to mention also the excellent construction and workmanship ,with nice small details,like the adjustable soft edges brakes.
Nylon rods are inserted in the leading edge ,without the use of Mylars stiffeners,just on the last 8 cells on the sides.
It all you would expect from a super clean and modern EN-D glider .


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mantra 4 MS @ 93 all up

I have an MS available now @ 93 all up ,and it seems that it resembles the ML @ 102 .It has the same feeling in the air .It is a bit floaty and efficient in weak thermals as the glider always continue to bite in the thermal (nice feeling) .The handling is the same as the ML. I was hoping for more dynamic response,but it felt exactly as the ML ,may be just a very slight increase in brake pressure and same reactions to maneuvers.
The ears are quite usable ,because you could loose some heights,and if the accelerator (also soft and smooth) is induced ,the rate efficiency is improved,with also stable ears.

360's are easy to start and i found a stable spiral and efficient descent rate without being too much centrifuged.

In "some" + 4m/s turbulent thermals,i found that it needed just a bit to settle ,just before i could steer it wherever i want inside the core.Some gliders would accept even when i lean on the harness to began to change their course .May be also the M4 would be better with a more roll responsive harness,as i have swamped the Impress2 with another old lower attachment points,and found that the handling improved a lot. (have to try)

I did shortened the brake lengths of the ML and the MS by (- 2 to 3 cm) and it was better in a coordinated turn.

The stall point is reachable "far" in the brake lengths, just below the hips, but could be heard in finesse just before it goes into a spin.

Have to be from 90 to 95 all up to benefit and extract its performance and feeling.

Landing is easy as you can slow it down a bit ,just like the O 8 25 ,may be +1 km/h in stall speed,but could be landed in a narrow place after a bit of training.

Overall i liked the MS, (personal taste) preferred a more sharp and direct brake response,but its glide ratio , easiness ,and comfort in flight ,largely filled the EN-D pilot requirements menu :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mentor 2 S & Sprint Evo S, & Rush 3 M

Mentor 2 S & Sprint Evo S, & Rush 3 M

Most easy to fly:
1-Sprint EVO
2-Rush 3
3-Mentor 2

Climb rate in weak conditions .NO head wind (<0.2m/s)

1-Sprint EVO
2-Mentor 2 =Rush 3 if equally loaded

Climb rate in weak conditions with 15 km/h head wind and thermals (<0.2m/s)

1-Mentor 2 S (Efficiency showed)
2-Rush 3 M (have to be loaded)
3-Sprint Evo S ....

Climb rate in strong conditions:( With strong valley breeze)

The Rush 3 (loaded) and the Mentor 2 S have a good climb ,but i sensed an efficient forward thermal bite for the Mentor 2 as it can fit itself inside the core better .The Sprint evo will struggle a bit in strong valley breeze.

Climb in strong thermal (No drift) .. I wish all thermals are like that Wink

All are equal in climb with the tendency of the Sprint Evo to stay inside the stronger part of the thermal,and could have the edge in those particular conditions.

Glide in calm air :
1-All very close

Glide in turbulence and head wind (Equally loaded)
This was done after many flights (now I am more convinced)
1- Mentor 2
2- Rush 3 (Should be 90% loaded to achieve good results)
3- Sprint evo

Overall efficiency in racing upwind:

1- Mentor 2 S
2- Rush 3 M
3- Sprint Evo

Glide at second bar in turbulence and head wind:

The Rush 3 and Mentor 2 are equal if there 's a little head wind ,with a stable profile for the Rush 3 at bar. The Mentor 2 seems more efficient when the head wind is blowing.It can cut through with ease.


I have spent 3 whole days taking off and landing and swapping gliders, to determine what glider is the most suitable for all conditions. It is the best way to find what glider can get through those same conditions better.
The 3 are excellent gliders, The Evo has a very nice handling, the Rush 3 has a soft feeling underneath it. Pilots looking for performance and handling in a mild way will love those two. The Rush 3 M has to be loaded to cut through head wind. The Evo has a big profile that doesn’t penetrate the strong head wind like the 2 others.
The Mentor 2 S still has the most sharp and precise handling, with “usable” performance in all conditions, no matter if you have a head wind, strong thermals, the Mentor 2 S @ 95 will cut through nicely and powerfully. It does have more roll response than the two others, and feels exactly like a high end EN-B glider, but for a good EN-C or D pilot, it is the cherry on the cake. Efficiency at its best in the EN-B cat.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


My ever first school glider 20 year ago was a UP Flash. I still remember the red cloth with multicolor design on the edge, that feeling and that smell of the tissue with this arrow logo going UP in the sky. Uli Weismeyer legend pilot ,Richard Gallon were on UP gliders at the time and the brand was very strong in the competition scene with their Katana ‘s and later on with the Gambit, escape with Oli Russell, Steiglar ,Brinkeby...

I flew quite all the UP range, from Stellar, Vision, vison classic, Soul. All the Summit range ,nearly all the Kantega range,and trango’s and targa’s and all the tandems…

The firm feeling under an UP is very familiar to my mind.
Now here’s the Summit XC2 ,and I’m just waiting to pull on the A risers.
Ballasted up to 100 ±102 on the M size with an Impress 2 harness, the launching is natural and easy, the glider comes up as a whole piece.
At first the factory settings on the brakes was long, I landed and shortened them a bit.

From the moment I was airborne, a sensation of confidence inspiring is clearly showed. I was impressed by the easiness in flight of the XC2. Very tamed with neat behavior, well-tensioned and balanced glider. Just the necessary feedback to show the thermal direction.

First turn showed a medium brake pressure, with fair agility, but doesn’t dive in turns.
Opening the chest strap a bit will make this glider very nimble and more agile. Turns are flat and the climb is its strong point. This glider is a killer in weak conditions. It can core every bubble without loosing the center of the thermal.
In strong conditions, the glider remains as a whole, and climb without any strange movements or oscillations. It is difficult to miss any thermal with this glider, unless you have some convincing excuse ;-) .

I gave the XC 2 to my friend Moni, and when he landed he told me that the XC2 is “much more” mellower and easier to fly than the Mentor 2 EN-B glider. I agree.

Big ears are easy to hold, stable and reopen by themselves. The glide ratio of the XC2 is well enough among the EN-C category.

The accelerator has medium pressure, much like the Trango 3, and the speed really increases by more than 5 km at first bar! Very usable and efficient.

Actually the overall feeling under it reminded me strongly of the UP range designs I have flown before…

Conclusion: This glider is aimed for all EN-B pilots who want to step into the EN-C category, but still having a large amount of safety and I think it could be also much easier to fly than some!!
EN-D pilots stepping down will find in the XC2 a quiet sanctuary to fly long xc’s wondering if they are on a sofa or in the air. :-)






After flying the Mantra 4 and the Delta before I realized that OZONE has found a very comfortable profile with excellent performance. Now after the NOVA Mentor 2 has raised the bar for the new EN-B’s, I was intrigued to see what the Rush 3 would be like.
Standing on take-off with 96 all up weight on the M (85-105) size. Launching is easy and the glider lifted me quickly into the air.
The brakes travel is the same as on the Delta (Typical OZONE) Long brakes, soft very easy to steer with an average to good turn radius.

No matter what the conditions will throw at you, nothing will bother the calm attitude of the Rush 3.
I could describe it as “being on rails (stable) with rubber wheels (Soft) ”.

The same day I flew the Mentor 2 and the Sprint Evo, then again the Rush 3.The most dampened glider was the “Zen” Rush 3.
I am now more than convinced that OZONE has found something really special in those stable profiles.

The climb rate of the Rush 3 is really good at my weight load. Very close to the Mentor 2 .All you need to do is lower the brakes into the thermal…. No complications and corrections!
If the Rush 3 is loaded near the top, then the Mentor 2 with same loadings has the edge on climb, and this is because of the more lively profile of the Mentor 2.

Big ears are easy to make and are stable. The accelerator is also smooth and light. A real delight to use!

The moment of performance into wind and turbulence has come. Later, I gave the Rush 3 to my friend @ 102 all up, and I flew the Mentor 2 S @ 94 all up.

After many glides at trim and at first bar, we are both convinced that in calm air they could be “equal”…BUT, in head wind and turbulent conditions, a slight advantage was on the RUSH 3 !!!.

Let me explain: The Mentor 2 is an excellent glider but moves more in the air, and that’s a good thing for the educated pilot. The Rush 3 is more stable, so when on long glides into the thermals, wind, turbulence…the profile of the Rush 3 is keeping the wing on rails. It didn’t loose the glides.
The Mentor 2 move more and, those movements which are small but do react to the profile (roll and pitch) and make it loose a bit in long (air moving) glides. Actually in down wind glides they are practically the same.

Conclusion: Among the new EN-B’s, I have tested, the Rush 3 stand alone in comfort in flight and its performance and easiness in the air is extraordinary.
After 3 hours of xc flight in turbulent air, I landed on take off to take another glider and my mind was still fixed on the Rush 3.
If you want an EN_B glider, but stressed by work, daily duties and tired but willing to go flying without the extra stress, then the Rush 3 “is” the choice.

First video:


After the success of the Ozone R-10 series, a big majority of pilots were waiting impatiently for the birth of the M 4. Knowing also that OZONE has a very efficient marketing team, the M4 was keeping almost every interested pilot wondering what the M 4 would be like.
After I tested the Delta, l knew it was on top of its class, but I lately realized that it was the easiest one to handle, and has that comfortable feeling that could be mellower than some new EN-B’s.
I was impatiently waiting for the M4, to see if that feeling of comfort is still on the OZONE menu. And it came….
Plastic inserts on the leading edge, much like the Delta construction, which look a very simple and nice finish.
Heavy rain and high winds kept the Mantra 4 in a bag for a week.
Some kiting in strong wind and soaring gave me an idea of a very homogenous and balanced glider.

Today was promised to be good so I am standing on take off ballasted up to 100 kg on the ML size, with my usual flying friends.
Conditions of the day were a bit windy and turbulent at the beginning and smooth at the end with nice thermals up to 5m/s and high ceilings.

Take off is easy, and needs a bit of brakes to stop the smooth forward surge.

The brakes are a bit long and the feedback is felt by the brakes and sometimes by the harness in a “smooth” way.
Inside the thermals the glider have very different behavior. With the Impress 2 at ± 50 cm open chest, I could find that:

-In the strong “smooth” ones, the glider enters them quickly and climb like a devil, but “peacefully” .The turns in those conditions are very nice and you feel like the glider is leaning toward the thermal .A touch of brake is needed at the opposite side and the glider can turn on a dime. I felt that is better not to break much the other side, so when I let it fly, I felt that it cores best, unlike the Delta that needs a bit of brakes to climb best.
- In the strong but turbulent thermals, the glider needs to settle a bit before I could turn it. It is not that precise to my wing loading. But in this configuration the glider is the most comfortable glider in the EN-D category I did test to this day. It is like you are driving a “Limousine” and it shows to my eyes a real genius behind those very performing and comfortable gliders.
-In moderate broken thermals, I felt that the glider is waiting for me to react .It is like watching over me and not going anywhere. It remains inside the bubble waiting to be smoothly steered into it. And this is very efficient because it won’t go away and dive beyond the thermal.
-In weak thermals, at my weight it could be very efficient also. But I am satisfied and more of that will come soon…

NOW are you all waiting for the performance comparisons? ;-)
We did many glides into wind with the Boom GTO M loaded at 105 (Video in process soooon !) and F I N A L Y, I found a better gliding ability for the Mantra 4 that is visible to the eye!!
I felt that it was the first time I am flying a glider who felt ridiculously easy to fly for an EN-D, but has a comfortable advantage in performance.

The trim speed of the M4 ML loaded at 100 kg is faster than the GTO M loaded at 105 !

The M 4 is a glider that floats better into wind .The accelerator is smooth and efficient at first and second bar, pulley to pulley fully usable!
Big ears are stable and easy to induce. They reopen by themselves.
I have landed and felt like I was awake after a yoga class. “Serene”

More tests will be soon made with lots of videos. But I can confirm that OZONE has done a sublime job with the M4.

Conclusion: OZONE has done it! Comfortable, top performer, easy to manage, well-balanced glider!
My only wish is that the brake travel could be made shorter, more precise like the R10 to be able to core every mosquito thermal promptly. But i am very happy to have flown and tasted this beautiful powerful and yet humble glider.


Waiting to get the MS size for a test flight soon.



Monday, April 4, 2011

GIN Sprint EVO S (80-100)

After leaving EDEL in 1997,Gin founded his own factory GINGLIDERS and with the success of the Boomerang 1, he has made lots of head turning toward the brand. Hans Bollinger world champion at the time (Ex-ADVANCE ) has left to join GINGLIDERS.
Some years back, we could see 9 boomerangs on the top 10 .
Over the years, too many futuristic designs have emerged, from some legend designers who are pilots and passionate for the sport and one of those is Gin himself.

Unpacking the Sprint Evo, will surely lift your eyebrows. For an EN-B glider, it has plastic inserts on the leading edge and also on the trailing edge !
Big cells are clearly seen. It has four risers, and has five attachment points a,b,c,d,e
on the canopy !.
Knowing that all other designers has gone to the three-line concept, I was curious to see what this glider would be like in performance versus the best EN-B of the moment.

The test:
Launching couldn’t be easier. Hands in the pocket style ;-)

Quickly airborne, and first turn………My smile has even passed the ear to ear comment!
What a turn! With a moderate to light pressure, crispy, prompt, linear response, it is the most beautiful feeling of turn in the EN-B category I have flown for a long time.
The glider cores incredibly the thermals like working with a screwdriver.
For my personal taste, the handling is the most important quality in a glider, and the Sprint EVO fulfilled my expectations for superb handling.

To add to this feeling an excellent climb rate is putting the EVO on top of the stack!
The climb rate is more than efficient and I have still to believe it….I think it has the edge for the EN-B category I have just tested. May be because a good pilot can place it in a surgical way whenever, wherever he wants, with the ability to brake and slow the glider in the air.

The Sprint moves in roll a bit less than the Mentor 2 and a bit more than the Rush 3.
The accelerator is soft and when pushing it, the glider is more taught stable and fast.

The performances seem very interesting especially on bar !, but I need more time to evaluate it, and videos will come soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Evaluating a glider

It is really a hard time for me when evaluating a new glider and having a live conscious make the job even harder.

I fully understand that in a glider development there is lots of pressure, money to be spent on R&D, worker, expenses, prototypes, tests before certification, the certification and its cost, the construction, the sales & marketing…. All that is with the passion involved to create a new glider better than the old one, with the ingredients to make a safe, but competitive design in today’s hard fight for existence.

The company investments are huge, and any flaws will lead sometimes to disaster consequences.

Today's trend is to bring a certified glider more friendly user,even thought the aspect ratio is sometimes increased, with the ability to use frequently the first bar.
Raw efficiency is for open class paragliders.The certified ones (EN-D's)of the same year, will always be two steps behind in performance because of safety issues.

When a new glider appears on the market, many pilots start to dream, for what it will bring them to glide endlessly or float effortlessly, and safely into the atmosphere.

Before I begin any test I always think for whom the glider has been designed for. Just a reminder that the majority of pilots are very demanding, we like to be the higher ones, or the fastest and therefore if any glider is a lesser climber, or have a less glide lead us to make wrong conclusions. I think that every glider could have flaws and virtues .The best doesn't exist in life, but in our heads.
We strive for performance but forget who we are. Some would prefer handling to performance, or security over speed, or even speed over certification.

That’s why our taste and our abilities to fly a certain glider will differ a lot.

In those past years of flying and testing, I sense glider “efficiency” in the air. This glide efficiency cannot be measured in moving air, but the
difference is clearly seen to the eye, and that’s why I make the videos.

Happy landings,


Thursday, March 3, 2011

AXIS VENUS 3 M (85-110)


Laying the glider on the ground looks like having a high AR. The leading edge is without Mylar reinforcements. It has small nylon rods to keep the nose in shape. Lines are very few, and the risers are now better looking and thinner than the Venus 2 ones.
The glider is far away from the pilot (longer lines than Venus 2).

Launching the glider is a non-event. The trim speed is high for that glider. A little higher than the Peak 2.
Brake pressure is medium and the glider beautifully turns toward the core easily. When you are inside the thermal the glider “spins” positively inside the core! Its handling is better than the Venus 2 M at 104 or even at 100 all up.
I flew the glider at 100 all up also and it retains the same characteristics being fast at trim ,but with small ears flapping sometimes and a good climb rate in the weak.
Big ears are stable but won’t reopen easily by themselves. May be more load on the glider is needed.
May be i am mistaken,but after some long glides in calm air,and later in real air, I didn’t find a leap in the "glide angle" than the Peak 2 or the GTO M at trim or even accelerated, but will surely be the fastest one at both.
In strong conditions and in a race to goal mode,it will surely arrive among the first gliders .
In Weak conditions ,below 0.5 m/s and at 104 all up it needs a little time to climb. Meeting strong cores the glider jumps quickly into them and could match the other EN-D gliders.
It communicates in the air a bit more than the Venus 2 ,Peak 2 or the GTO M.
The Venus 3 doesn't have the tendency to go quickly on a stall if you lower the brakes and doesn't have also a spin tendency if a turn is induced quickly.The stabilo flutters a bit in active air.

Landing the glider is easy .
The pluses:Speed at trim and accelerated,handling ,Climb in the strong.
The minuses:Glide and climb in the weak if loaded ,vs the best in the EN-D cat .

Conclusion: Before i begin any test i always think what's the glider has been designed for.Just a reminder that we pilots are very demanding,we like to be the higher ones or the fastest and therefore if any glider is a lesser climber or have a less glide lead us to make wrong conclusions.I think that every glider could have flaws and virtues .The best doesn't exist in life but in our heads.
We strive for performance but forget who we are .Some would prefer handling over performance or security over speed or even speed over certification.
Over the years my preferred glider and still is "the Venus 2". "Efficient and cool".

The Venus 3 is very different. Faster ,has better handling ,climbs better in the strong ,climbs less in the weak, glide is close ,easy to use for an aspect of nearly 7,needs a little more actions from the pilot than its predecessor.
It is better to get a demo flight and decide if it meets your requirements .

Videos :

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Last week I had the privilege to drive the NEW Porsche 911 turbo !! Amazing experience. Speechless in front of perfection.
Opening the SKYWALK POISON 3 reminded me of that feeling standing with my eyes opened, starring at the super light aluminum cloth, the jet flaps, a new system on the lower brake lines! The risers with separate lines…All this with a quality that is truly beautiful.
It is true that’s my first SKYWALK glider for a test, and maybe I am always a bit sensitive in front of a new glider ,but the impeccable details and finish are first class.

The white attachment points are thicker and robust than most gliders and have a perfect line loop.But because the glider is still new ,without any pressure yet to stay in shape ,they need a little adjustment as you will see on the pics .

Now it is time to fly the glider ! Hopefully soon.....

Some pics at:

Launching is very easy even in nil wind.In strong wind a little brake is needed to stop the surge.Overall very easy.
In the air the Poison 3 doesn't feel like an EN-D glider. Very dampened and comfortable when flown in the weight range.My friend who flies a GTO M @ 104 commented that the glider was keeping him busier than his GTO M.When he tried the Omega 8 he commented the same thing.
I did find it homogenous to my taste.
Big ears are stable .Turns are smooth and precise but not fast.The handling of the Peak 2 is similar or a "bit" better .Accelerator is a bit hard but the wing in this mode is very stable .
As for the climb: The climb of the POISON 3 @ 80 % of the wing loading is very good. To define the climb :
A-Climb with a head wind
B-Climb without head wind
C-Climb in weak thermals
D-Climb in strong cores

Answers:(Pls watch the loadings !)
A- 1- The GTO M is better even loaded, 2- then the PEAK 2 24@ 60 % of the load range 3- then the POISON 3 S, 4- then the Venus 2 M @ 103 and last 4-the VENUS 3 M @ 104 .

B- 1- GTO M - 2- PEAK 2 24 & POISON 3 S 3-Venus 2 M 4- Venus 3 M

C- 1-GTO M 2- Venus 2 M =Poison 3 S 3- Peak 2 24 4-Venus 3 M

D- 1-GTO M = Peak 2 24 2- POISON 3 S = Venus 3 M 3- Venus 2 M

GLIDE at trim:
1- GTO M
2- Peak 2
3- Poison 3 S
4- Venus 3 M

Glide at first bar:

2-Peak 2
3-Poison 3
4-Venus 3

The Poison 3 has a long brake travel before stall,but is affected from the first 10 cm.In head wind thermals,releasing the brakes completely will let the glider enter better the lifting mass.That's a trap of not climbing if you don't let the glider fly.The GTO M and the Peak 2 will enter faster even if your have a little brake.

Conclusion: SKYWALK has made a glider with all the features to make it easy to fly.Its performances are with the top ones,but not on the very top.It has a good climb rate and the overall feeling is great.It has a low speed,and can be landed in tight places. It feels like an Omega 8 with a little lesser handling,but i found the climb rate to be a little better.


Some questions ,answered by SKYWALK.
Dustoftheuniverse:What will a Poison 2 pilot feel when upgrading to the Poison 3 in terms of: safety-agility?

SKYWALK:The main difference is that the POISON3 has a higher pitch damping, above all when flying accelerated. This means that there is less roll and the flying is more calm.
Additionally, the POISON3 is more stable, thanks to the new risers, also especially when flying accelerated, which means that the wing is less likely to collapse.
Still, you must remember that the POISON3 is classified as an EN-D wing, while the POISON2 is classified as an EN-C wing, so you need to react 100% correctly when flying extreme maneuvers.

DOTU:The Poison 3 has unsheathed lines. Do they have to be changed, checked? , If so when?

SKYWALK: POISON3 must be checked, after 150 flights or 2 years.

DOTU:What should the optimum weight be, to fly efficiently the Poison 3? 75 % - 90 % of the weight range?

SKYWALK: All skywalk gliders must be flown on the end of the weight range XS: around 90, S around 100, M around 110, L around XL.

DOTU:I noticed that the lower brake lines are sewed with a thinner one. Is it for reducing the drag?

SKYWALK:The brake lines over the riser are sewed with an extra line to give a better feeling regarding the pressure, when the pilots make turns…

DOTU:Can you please describe the efficiency behind putting each line separate on a riser?

SKYWALK:This makes the glider more stable when flown with speed and this makes it easier for the pilot to fly faster, mainly in difficult conditions.