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

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.