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Saturday, May 26, 2012

UP Trango XC 2 S/M

UP Trango XC 2 S/M 80-95
Swept wings,6.8 A/R glider, thin risers, unsheathed lines everywhere, aggressive look, nylon rods on the edge and more in the back, beautiful design .That’s the Trango XC 2 S/M EN-C ,lying on the take off and ready to be airborne.
I flew the glider with the Genie Lite harness size M, with a total weight of 90 kg all up.

Pulling the inside A’s ,and the glider rises quickly without any delay. In strong breeze, it is better to stop it a bit at 75 % of the rise.
The conditions of the day were first turbulent and punchy with very small cores with an easterly wind above take off. All you need to get an uncomfortable flight, and to understand better the glider I am testing.

In the air:
I cannot say that the XC 2 is a dampened glider like the ‘C’s I was testing before. Immediately after take off the XC 2 showed a more “performance” behavior in the air, as I may say that reminded me of the old ‘D’s.
I remembered reading at the UP website that the glider is intended for D pilots not wanting to go to that class at the moment but with a ‘C’ rating for safety.
That’s exactly what the XC2 feel like in the air.
Flying the Trango XC 2,feels like a samurai solders slicing and fighting with his Katana!
Going forward “very efficiently” in an XC flight, the Trango XC 2 is the key to success. No thermal will make the XC 2 reluctant to enter it.
Going forward is the name and XC is the game  J !!
The Trango XC 2 feels very pressurized, and it feels like a solid, complete wing above your head .Its coherent and moves as a whole .It needs precise input to dissipate its energy and put it on track.

In the thermals:
The strongest point and very noticeable of the Trango XC 2 is its brilliant climb rate!  And that is a direct statement after flying nearly all the new ‘C’s even with some high aspect ratio ones…
Encountering a sudden lift or a small bubble, punchy thermals, the Trango XC 2 is the queen!  it will climb like a spring!
Immediately visible to the eye, and there’s a difference.
In very weak “smooth” stuff <0.3 m/s the glider must be lightly loaded at mid or a bit less to be as efficient.

Surprisingly, the Trango XC 2 with its 6.8 AR is very agile. In “homogenous” thermals it’s a delight to turn! Very narrow and efficient. Just a dab on the inside break releasing completely the outside, the wing feels like a speed glider going up !!   ;-)
In a more turbulent “non-homogenous” core, it needs a more precise input to control the energy of the glider and re-put it on its path. But it is much easier that some ‘D’s.
I can describe the brake travel as short, precise with average pressure.

Gliding with the best ‘C’s of the moment, the Trango XC 2 is well placed on the top. Gliding in calm air the difference is negligible, but when gliding on a ridge with lifts and going into wind, the Trango XC2 may have the upper hand.
The speed bar is relatively light and pulling it at the max, the glider remains very stable with speed near 56 km/h at 2500 ASL and loaded at max but with an impressive glide angle!
(Video soon)

Big ears are stable and easily doable. Coupled with the accelerator the descent rates are around 4 m/s.

A new generation of UP gliders is born!
Frantisek Pavlousek designs and glider behavior is strongly implemented in the Trango XC 2! Like the Venus 2 was, efficient and dynamic.
The Trango XC 2, with its superb climb and fast reactions will be a performant tool in the competitions.
It has indeed a ‘C’ rating but it’s not for everyone!
It needs a good pilot to fly it, but I can assure you that the feeling under it is a pure joy to the educated pilot wishing to fly a high end ‘C’.
You can drive your Ferrari or your Bmw ! Everyone has a choice.

The Trango XC 2 is now the glider to beat in the ‘C’ category in terms of “climb and efficiency”.
UPDATE:The XC2 SM size with a total weight of 90 all up has a low full speed of 53 km/h at sea level .If you are loaded at max and you fly at + 2000 m altitude then it is a bit better....


Friday, May 18, 2012


U-Turn Passion
After receiving so many e-mails about the 6.85 AR Passion, and especially that some were praising its calm reaction in turbulence, I was very curious to get one.
Did contact U-turn and purchased the SM size.
And here it is after a long wait…
I have flown in the earlier days many designs made by the U-turn designer Ernst Strobl, when he was designing for UP and later with Airea.
They were indeed very special !

The Passion has a very clean, neat and sophisticated construction to the smallest detail. The SM size is very light even having rods on the leading edge.
All the lines are unsheathed.
In nil wind, the wing comes up smoothly all the way. In strong wind it needs to let go a bit at 75 % of the rise and control it with the brakes as the take off is immediate at 100 on the SM  ;-)

In the air:
We had some funny turbulent and windy days with some being a bit annoying!
It was good opportunities to test fly the gliders, in order to understand their potential. The SKW C4, the GRT A 4, the NK A3 normal lines and the Passion were on the menu. I think I have been lucky by those gliders, which were tamed a bit beside the race version of the A3.
But I never thought that the Passion would be that comfortable in those conditions. For that I flew in the same air, the Cayenne 4 and then landed and took the Passion. To my surprise, the Passion showed a very comfortable glider with an aspect ratio of 6.85!
I think this achievement is incredible!
The Passion moves in a polite manner, without strange movements or surges.
It is definitely not a detuned ‘D’ glider. It sits well in the ‘C’ category.

In the thermals:
Encountering homogenous thermals I found the glider to be agile, especially if you assist the turn with weight shift. The pressures on the brakes were medium to light.
In disorganized thermals the Passion still turn smoothly without strange movements .In those particular conditions it needs a refine piloting to place it without delay wherever you want. Have to respect its high aspect ratio a bit  ;-)  

Now the strongest point of the Passion is its climb rate ! It is a ‘spring’ ;-) You will find yourself quickly on top of the gaggle in a relaxed manner.
Big ears are easy to induce. They are stable and reopen by a dab on the brakes.

After many glides with similar gliders in the ‘C’ category, the Passion sits with the top contenders, with the ability to float slightly in head wind glides. The pressure on the bar is light and at first bar I couldn’t notice any change of the sink rate ! It is definitely a very good racing contender in the sport segment.

In the last three months I had to test fly four very nice ‘C’ gliders.
I never believed that the 6.85 AR Passion would be as comfortable to fly as the others. But it does…
U-Turn has made a glider accessible for the pilot competing in the sport class, or the keen pilot flying it XC.
The package glide, climb, handling, accessibility is superb !
Now the future is clearer for me, and challenging for the contenders of the same category as the race for the ‘C’ category replacing the old ‘D’ has began.

But to make a smooth glider with a high aspect ratio that behave like the Passion is an achievement by itself !
Congratulation U-turn !