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Sunday, December 16, 2012

NOVA Ion 2 XS LIGHT 70-90

NOVA Ion 2 Light XS 70-90

Two years ago, I test flew the Ion 1, a low end B glider which was in fact a very tamed glider intended for talented beginner pilots.

I heard that the light version of the new Ion 2 has something special, and I was keen to test fly it to discover that special glider…

The Ion 2 XS light has arrived, and after some long rainy days, I finally flew it for a 3-day free flight…

With the Genie Lite equipped with a light rescue and the 4.5 kg Ion 2 Light, a light breakfast ? and 88 all up .

Launching that glider is super easy...

In the air the Ion 2 XS light has a more ‘spicy’ feeling than the old ion 1. It is not as dampened as the Ion 1 was. The first contact with a thermal is felt by a little pitch back from the glider.

The brakes have a medium pressure like the M2 Small and are also surprisingly very direct ! This glider can be turned with precision and on the spot inside the thermal ! That’s a new characteristic never seen before on a low B glider !
An educated pilot will surely appreciate that superb handling feature !

The climb rate of the Ion 2 XS loaded at top is still good ! Of course it has to be steered gently and carefully to let the glider flat. Other wise the actual wing load of 88 under the XS will let this agile glider dive….But I like that turn feeling !

The biggest surprise is yet to come with the ION 2 (Light) glide angle !

At trim speed and in ‘calm air’ I can confirm that the Ion 2 light has a very close glide angle as the Mentor 2 S ! Unbelievable. But true.

At 40 % of the travel bar which has medium to light pressure, the Ion 2 XS retain its impressive glide angle for a low EN-B . At full travel the speed increases nicely but the glide deteriorates quickly compared to a mentor 2 S. But that’s more than enough for that type of gliders!

In head wind glides the high end EN-B Mentor 2 S has of course much better racing ability upwind.

Having only 2 A lines, the ears on this glider are big, stable and have a nice descent rate.

Conclusion: A talented low EN-B pilot who searches for a light wing will fall in love with the Ion 2 light for its excellent handling, superb performance, enough speed and overall safety margin in the low end EN-B category!