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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gin Carrera M & S

Gin Carrera 

I flew a bit the M size but will wait for the S size to get a larger idea for a more accurate  test report. 

Gin Carrera S
92 all up on the S size with a Woody Valley GTO harness, here i am flying the Carrera in a relatively weak to turbulent conditions sometimes especially on the higher layers, with 10 km/h north wind, making it interesting for discovering the ability of the flown gliders.

Having flown the M size at 98 all up, i found the S size at 92 to have a more direct handling of course ! And a bit more alive.

But the glider was completely pressurized and it wasn’t susceptible to deflation whatsoever like the lesser loaded M size i flew earlier.

Describing the handling is light on the first part with a 50 % more tension after 40 cm of travel. It is lighter than the Delta 2 SM with same loadings. And i could also confirm the same agility in thermals.

Both gliders are efficient in climb with no diving in turns.
I only could sense a slight float ability for the D2 in very weak thermals -0.2m/s …But the Carrera felt more floater in headwind glides or on its ability in searching forward for thermals !
Strangely the Atlas had that superb ability as if this technology is indeed present on those new generation Gin gliders.

If you ask me which is the most comfortable in overall conditions ?
The Delta 2 feels more compact above your head, but when the conditions get rough, sharp surges must be controlled to prevent the collapses.
On the same conditions the Carrera moves even in small conditions letting its pilot immediately presume that it is more alive. Actually i found that even in strong and bumpy conditions the Carrera doesn’t have that sharp quick reaction in turbulence like the D2. It just roll a bit more, but in a smoother way, letting its pilot feel that it is still above his head giving him that increased passive safety feeling.
Both are pitch stable, and the roll is more pronounced on the Carrera.

The movements are different from a sharp reaction like the Trango XC2, and closer to a Cayenne 4 with more ease and prompt brake control.

The glide is similar or slightly better in lift lines than a Trango XC2 or a D2 with the ability to cut through the valley breeze even better than some 2012 ‘C’ gliders …Letting the Carrera free to surf the air without too much braking is the way to go.

However the top speed is only 11 km over trim speed, even with the pulleys over-passing.
In this configuration, the Carrera seems solid and usable with the first part of the travel which is light but the second part of the travel is a bit hard.
Pulling a bit on the A’s in full accelerator mode showed that an average pull is needed to get the leading edge lowered a bit but without any sign of collapse.
Gin may have reduced the top speed for certification purposes.

Big ears with the outer A’s are easy to pull .The opening is required by the pilot.
Big ears with B3 are easy doable and practically has the same sink rate as the outer A’s but the opening is quite faster.

360’s get you down quickly .No real surges in getting out. Wing overs on the S are nice to make and could be very high.

Conclusion :
Over the years, gliders has evolved in design and technology. Marketing also has caught up.
Seeing and flying many high-end B’s, it seems logical that this leap in marketing strategy will eventually be present.
The Carrera is for me a superb glider that has everything a good intermediate pilot could wish for, except for the top speed…

The ‘psychological B rating effect’ could have a positive impact on the ‘C’ category pilots flying the Carrera.
There’s no ‘B’ available yet that has the same into wind performance or the same roll understanding…
One season on a high-end B, is needed before jumping on a Carrera.

Happy landings,

Small clarification: 
The Carrera got a B certification. What does that mean ? ...Only that it has very good reactions and behavior in a simulated collapse in calm air .
This is an excellent glider that must be respected as it is.
A pilot with enough experience and + 75 hours / year , can (extract) safely its performances.
The others with less experience will be busy keeping it controlled overhead in strong conditions and won't eventually use it's performance !

That's why there's a lesser AR glider and manufacturer guidance that can allow many pilots to go for the Atlas which in my humble opinion is one of the best well balanced B glider of the moment ! as it has enough performance to satisfy nearly all Low B and some high B pilots.

Difference in comfort the air between Carrera M, Mentor 3 S, Chili 3 S, goes in favor of the M3, then the Carrera and Chili 3 are comfortably equal in punchy air with better authority control for the Carrera to place it exactly by the brakes. (must be loaded at 98 - 100 on the M )
To compare a Carrera M to a Mentor 3 or a Chili 3 would be unfair ,because the Carrera will show it's potential in head wind glides and move forward like high aspect ratio gliders do...

The Carrera is intended for experienced pilots who needs the psychological safety of a B with the superb performance of a C glider.

Ozone Geo 4

The Geo 4 is the light version of the Buzz Z4. I found it very similar in flight which is superb !! despite the lighter cloth.
Handling , brake pressure , comfort, pleasure in thermals, light speed bar ....really superb combination of light and efficient low end B. 
A must to try !
See Buzz Z4 for a full review if needed.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ozone Alpina 2 SM

OZONE Alpina 2 SM

Launching :
I don’t think it could get easier than that !! The lighter cloth helps positively with the glider lift. The Delta 2 was easy, the Alpina 2 is even easier !

In the air :
I flew the D2 SM often to confirm that the feeling under the Alpina 2 SM is ‘different’
How different ?
On the SM size i could feel that the Delta 2 liked to cut through thermals and it felt like a more compact solid glider going slightly positive searching the thermals, where on the Alpina 2 is more like a softer glider with neutral reactions when entering a thermal with a pitch zero response…

In fact the Alpina 2 moves a bit on its extremities a little more than a Delta 2 which moves more as a whole. Despite having slightly more roll movements in the air than the Delta 2, it has a softer reaction to turbulence.

The handling with similar loadings is a bit or should i say slightly less sharp than a delta 2 .It is very reactive to brake input but with a small dive in turns. So another approach a bit different than a D2 in turning is required by braking a bit the other side.
However the climbs are still brilliant…

Gliding on the Alpina 2 gives it’s passenger a pillow feel…Where the Delta would feel more rigid, the Alpina 2 looks like a soft cotton ball. ( I am being picky because they practically are the same gliders with different cloth) And there’s a difference !

Two years ago when i tested the Delta 1 and the Alpina 1, the sharper one was the Alpina 1.
Now the sharper feel comes more from the Delta 2, rather than the Alpina 2.

Gliding power is there ! It floats nicely in the air.

Big ears are stable, but slightly less than a D2 and open also slightly faster.

Slow speed characteristics are also found exactly on the Alpina 2.

Conclusion :
Similar performance and lighter. As i am a handling freak, may be i am toward the sharper feel and efficient handling of the Delta 2, but the Alpina 2 delivers the same amount of superb performance with a lighter package. 

Update: After some flights,i realized that the Alpina 2 has a slight better climb rate than the Delta 2 SM with same loadings.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

OZONE Mantra 6 SM

Ozone Mantra M6 SM 80-95

After a long stormy weather and low temperatures, the sun finally appeared on Sunday ! It was a bliss for all the paragliding pilots as they all rushed to the take off.

Conditions were very generous with 7 m/s thermals and some moderate turbulence enabling us to get easily some 900 m gain over take off. The north wind was present to limit our XC escape on the Harissa spot.

Taking off with the OZONE Mantra 6 SM at 93.5 kg all up.

My friends were on :

Rony flying his IP6 23 today at 101 all up, and Mony on his new Carrera M size at 103 all up.

Taking off on our very small area is quite nice with the M6 .Nothing particular for a 6.9 AR glider ! Just waiting for a straight wind direction, a gentle steady pull and hop, i am in the air.

Differences in the air between an LM5 SM and a Mantra 6 :

The differences in comfort goes rapidly for the M6 with a solid structure that feels like a more compact and homogenous wing. Much coherent than the LM5.
It confirmed today my first impressions, that it goes toward the M4 in terms of comfort and accessibility.

The brake authority is also much enhanced on the M6 ! It turns quicker than an LM5 without any hard point inside the core and with a lighter brake pressure similar to the Delta 2 .

The handling and brake authority is a two step higher than the M4 !

On a Delta 2 SM at 92 all up which has a much better handling than a Delta 2 M at 102 all up ,i found that the Mantra 6 has a similar feel with just slightly less authority control than a Delta 2 SM.

Saying that i found excellence in the M6 handling with its 6.9 aspect ratio ! And i don’t remember finding from the D’s i have tested that amazing package of compact feel and handling !

Climb rate in weak conditions :

At my loadings i found that the M6 could be similar to a Mantra 4 in efficiency with a slightly wider turning radius, as the M6 has always the tendency to move forward without the ability to make a stationary turn like a Mantra 4 could have done.But i think it is quite ok.

In a much more stronger thermal the M 6 behave like a loaded spring, going up quickly with excellence.

Now if i want to compare it’s performance with the competition, i must look for a 2014 new D glider that is meant for the regular D flying pilots.

We all know that there isn’t any new regular D glider for the moment, so i have to compare it with an IP6 23 which is probably not fair….but that was the only glider available here that my friend flies and that glider as many pilots know, is an excellent two liner that has won many comps and XC competitions and it was targeted for the high-end D pilots doing XC or competitions.

Here we are now flying side by side again today.

The trim speed with our earlier mentioned loadings is in favor of the IP6, but after many km the glide is almost identical.

On half bar around 52 km/h which was set with identical speed for both was also very very close or should i say the same for 3 km…

The differences were seen at the second bar, that was also set to match the speed of both, and which the M6 now looses a bit against the IP 6.

I was on full bar pulley to pulley with a speed close to 60 km/h and noticed a better float-ability for the IP 6.

My friend on the IP 6 was still short of 2 cm pull on his IP6 to reach more max speed.

The presure at the second bar is noticeably higher than the Delta 2.

In some racing with the pulley’s stuck i encountered some sharp thermals and i was surprised that they don’t trouble much the glider structure that remained strong and solid with even the cells looking a bit deformed.

Flying the Mantra 6, i tried some glides with the Carrera M, just for information.

The climb and glide of the Mantra 6 are clear to the eye much better. Of course the Carrera is an excellent glider in its category, but it was just for our own information.

Tomorrow we will try hopefully the Alpina 2 SM with the Carerra.

Big ears on the M6 are stable and pushing the bar, a pilot can reach
- 3 m/s.

Wing overs are a delight and show the immense pressure in the profile.
360’s strangely don’t have a strong centrifugal force, for a D of course, and can drop easily down.

Conclusion :
The gain in performance coupled with ease of use for a 2014 D glider is outstanding !
OZONE again has managed to create a balanced D glider with exceptional performances.
Of course, in very strong conditions those new D gliders needs lots of attention and control.
The Mantra 6 with its relatively comfortable and homogenous feel, for a D category glider, is indeed a superb Mantra 4 replacement !
Many D pilots will feel immediately at home ! And some flying a high-end C will be welcomed aboard this magnificent machine !

Surely it is not a marketing hype. This is a fine achievement !

Another video soon.....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thoughts of nothingness ! ;-)

Considering that free flying or paragliding as one of the purest form of freedom, i could not but write the following:

Money makes the world go round.
In the world paragliding community, and over the years, we all encounter some incredible conscienceless pilots that will eventually lead the in-experienced new comers to very bad experiences, to say the least …Intended or not.

Selling their top performer old para gliders or dysfunctional free flight articles to new pilots without even caring to properly explain the limits of their usability, as if those poor souls don’t have any meanings in their in-satiate minds!

Knowing that our areal sport is to be taken with care, and understanding, I always wondered how is it possible to ignite their conscience space?

Not to mention the ferocity brand ‘flag holders’ that engages the wildest fights for their heart and mind obsession, letting us wonder sometimes if they could be 'brand' blood related …

Couldn’t still imagine how irresponsible some pilots would act, sharing the sky without any guilt.

Up there in the sky, pilots are gravity free equals…
Each one individually can have his best or worst moments.

I thought of sharing humbly those little insights:

-All brands are equally and safely comparable if EN certified.
-Don’t get lost…It’s a big business and lots of marketing…To me it looks like a woman’s make up.
-Some can turn quicker or just feel slightly more comfortable. Some having a slight edge in climb or +3 to 4 km speed (In a same Category) But that’s just it. It all depends on the pilots taste.
-For a pilot flying (less than 80 hours/year) .It is definitely NOT the higher rated glider that will make him go further…It is ‘only’ his skills when used correctly.
A low airtime-flying pilot could find a slight advantage in weak conditions under a high-end glider but will be totally handicapped in strong conditions.
The same low airtime-flying pilot will work slightly harder on his trusty B glider in weak conditions (Improving his skills) But will find himself totally confident in strong conditions enabling him to go further!
-For non-competition pilots flying (less than 100 hours/year)
Nowadays high-end B gliders have enough performances to reach some impressive XC records. Humility toward nature is deliverance…!

-Don’t buy any used wing unless you know the exact history or it’s control sheet!
-All reserve must be checked every 6 months, if you want them to open as quickly as you did invest.
-Repack your reserve with a professional! Latest testing of the rescue opening in a French magazine showed a 6/10 of the reserves don’t actually open!
-Have to practice safe descent techniques in order to use them when needed.
-Always kite your glider in a safe 15-25km/h wind ‘with a helmet’ (Even if you have +3000 h)
What you will experience when kiting on the ground and correcting it, will be a relatively similar experience of control in the air.

-Always fly with a helmet!
-Always connect your accelerator bar!
-Watch your rescue pin if sealed before each take off !
-Control your leg straps before take off (Today pilots use their mobiles on take offs several times before airborne … ! )
-A certified back protection is a must! (Believe me!)
-Always fly in your limits (Not that of your pro friends)
And try to make the ‘wisest' decision rather than the boldest one.
Remembering the old saying: Better to be on the ground hoping to fly, rather than being on the air hoping to land.

After all ...No flying ? ...Bad weather... You can watch some videos on : 
Or read some reviews:  :-) 
or  :-) 
Fly safe !
Warriors of the light !  ;-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

NEO The String !


Monday, September 23, 2013

Saint Hilaire (Coupe Icare ) FRANCE 2014

Some news ...

I have made lots of video interviews with the manufacturers, so you can hear your answers directly from them.
Here is some small infos before the videos are finished....Much more details...

-Triton 2,it needs more time to work on it. Not yet any date...
-Mentor 3 Light will be available to the market in Sept /October...
-Nova don't have at the moment a Factor 2 replacement. Some other options could be better as may be a 'C' triton 2...
-Nova will may be try to make a tandem based on the M3.
-Advance is focusing on the new Sigma 9 at the moment and should be released soon with a similar feeling in the air of the S8,with much better performances.
-Omega 9 still needs some work, and won't be released soon until they are satisfied with the protos.
-BGD are thinking of a high speed high end B glider...New category ( See video soon with Bruce explanation)
-BGD also have released their tandem the dual.
-Ozone M6 will be a 3 liner. OZONE say 'the perfect 3 liner' intended for M4 pilots with D certification. Handling and performances never seen yet on a certified D glider.
-Rush 4 is also on its way with a shark nose . It replaces the Rush 3 as a high end B ,but still with a comfortable use.(much more infos on the videos...)
-Ozone Geo 4 as a light wing and the Alpina 2 will be available in early 2014.
-Ozone harnesses .The Ozium as a light harness and the Exocet as a full on competition harness with two rescues. They say it is very comfortable !
-Triple Seven Queen is now released in M size .The S size is still in process. The Queen like to be flown at 75 % of the weight range for everyday use, and in competitions where the pilot needs the speed ,it is better to be on top weight.
-Triple Seven Pawn EN-A glider will be soon on the market, with some impressive performance for a starting glider with shark nose technology.
-UP Makalu Light EN-B , is also introduced and the Ascent 3 as a school glide.
UP is working on a C glider but still too to tell for any release dates.. Depending on the findings as they could aim for a comfortable C with maybe more perfs than the TXC2...But it is too early...
-Sky (Alexander Paux)30 years of designing wings !! Alexander is sure that if he found for example that a 4 liner glider is having more performance than a 3 liner ,he will immediately put it on the market regardless of the 'trend' going on around him. He simply explained that few supported lines implies sometimes thicker profiles....Meaning less forward moving. In the Atis 4 he could make a thinner ,well supported profile that cut through better. 

-Artik 4 is still under work,with a shark nose and will emerge in spring 2014.
-Icepeak 7 will have two versions .One a replacement for IP6 with better overall usability, and one with higher aspect ratio as a full on race comp wing !
-A Takoo 3 is also emerging soon
-Two paramotor gliders ,the Cougar 2 and the Doberman.

-Aspen 5 is under serious construction,and will be ready hopefully in spring 2014.
-Avax XC4 is not yet on the menu...More time is needed at the moment.

Kortel harnesses:
-Kuik 2 with Pod is ready (Picture available very soon) No seat board but Denis Cortella said that there's a new connecting device that removes the shaking of a seat less harness with lesser roll movements...

High end EN-D Diva (Pic soon) is under work...Very good looking glider. Today it was flown on a small funny glide comp by 'TYR' Bruce's smaller son ! and placed 2nd overall ! It showed indeed a super glide in calm air ( Fun Comp)

-One class A glider replacing the bodyguard.
-One low B glider as the Infinity 4.
-a new C glider with shark nose is under study and development, but very early for now.
-Two new acro wings.

-The light EN-D ,Boom X-Alps(The same Aaron used for the X-Alps) is ready for delivery with D certification.
-The Carrera in size M is ready for delivery. The S is still under work from GIN himself.
-The Rage ,is a freestyle and acro glider. 

More videos being uploaded now....

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Dear all,
The new Website  :   has been launched.
It contains all the details and its easy to find your wing.
The information are still in process of getting uploaded.
Check it out.
The Blog will still be working in parallel.
Hope you like it   :-) 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

SKY Atis 4

Sky Atis 4
Two months ago, i received seven B gliders to test fly, among those was the Atis 4.Unpacking the glider i was surprised to see four normal risers and sheathed lines from top to bottom.No plastic rods whatsoever…It was a really classic design..So i left  the Atis 4 until i finished all of those complicated high tech B design thinking that a simple design like the Atis 4 couldn’t really keep up to those new breeds….I was totally wrong !

The story :
Jumping from B wing to B wing, with some having very few lines and only seven per side was my main preoccupation those last months. Then came the day where i took the Atis 4 for a test flight.
Unfolding the glider on the take off, my eyebrows were lifted and i was confused by SKY decision to make a high end B glider with four risers and sheathed lines everywhere.
There were no plastic rods either on the glider.Pure simple, old fashion look….I told my friend (Blacklight M rider) on the take off, that he must stay near me all the time to assess the performance of this machine, as i was curious and puzzled.

After some adjustment on the brake lengths as they were a bit long to my taste, i took off in a breeze.The Atis 4 is relatively a light glider and this is shown positively on its light take off.

In the air :
Today we flew in our Cedars spot, west take off the at 2400 m .
It was quite solid thermal conditions, a bit turbulent as the east wind was coming from the top at 2600 m making it uncomfortable sometimes.

The Atis 4 is not a dampened glider in the B category. It is a bit alive in the air.Nothing much for the high end B pilot. A new comer for the high-end B category will need some time to adapt.

Handling and maneuverability :
Thermalling the Atis 4 took me back in time, where some artist designers used to let us believe that they could integrate their souls in a glider .
The Atis 4 turns could be described as ,precise,linear ,middle soft pressure,and on its tip…

Flying the Atis 4 26 at 94.5, just on top, next to a Blacklight M loaded also at top, for two hours, i can confirm that the trim speed for both gliders are the same.

Doing some 5 km glides wing tip to wing tip, showed the same glide at trim and same glide at full bar !…

Knowing that the Blacklight has one of the best climb rate, i could see that the climb rate of both gliders was nothing but brilliant !We could never be apart inside any thermal for the whole time of testing.May be the BL has the edge only in very weak thermals.

Conclusion :
The Atis 4 did really surprised me for the performances it delivers. The SKY designer did an excellent work creating a superb B glider with nothing but simple and elegant design, proving that with normal risers and line configuration excellence can be reached.Hats off !!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

New website

I was working on a new website that will enable any pilot to get all the data very quickly.
Every glider is linked with videos and pictures and a new interesting very informative option   ;-)
Release period is very imminent. August 2013....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Ozone Light Mantra 5 SM.

To review a glider that has won the X-Alps with three places at the top, is an embarrassing task, but this review will enable pilots all over the world to understand better what they would have to expect.

Today flying the Light Mantra 5 SM, with a X-Rated 6 harness to be at 92 all up.

The LM5 has 3.5 kg with normal risers, as it is built with very light cloth all over except the 25 cm on the leading edge that extend to the extremities, where presumably the pressure is at its max, it has a much more heavier cloths.

Launching this Piece of art needs just a single breeze.It inflates smoothly and rapidly above your head.In gusts, the glider must be controlled by the brakes to avoid rapid take over.

In the air :

Usually in summer the site in Harissa offers sometimes heavy turbulence as it is very humid and always under the inversion.

Flying the gliders there will immediately reveal their character.

Today was no exception.I flew the LM5 in those ‘spaguetti’ conditions with my two other friends on their Delta 2’s as they reported later some disgusting movements of their gliders.

What did i feel under the LM5 ?

Having flown the Peak 3 and the Delta 2 often in those conditions,i can easily comment on the behavior of the LM5 .

 I will try to be more accurate in my description.

The steering controls are short precise (shorter than D2) and the movements of the glider is directly felt mainly by the brakes.

Flying the LM5 SM at 92 in homogeneous but strong conditions,i could place the glider with the brakes very efficiently as the LM5 tendency is to make flat circles .

The LM5 have a relatively dampened pitch movement, back or forth.

Where the P3 would pitch back the LM5 reacts more or less as the D2 and stayed more above the pilots head.

Flying in turbulent shaky air, the LM5 moves much more than a D2 but stays above the pilots head, as if it is locked and it feels like every time it surges into a strong core the LM5 stiffened and feel like a solid whole block, that sometimes it is difficult to steer it immediately into the core, like you can on a D2 because of that strong taught ‘lock feeling’.

Inside those small turbulent cores, i found that it is best to have that funny ± 5 cm pull and release brake pressure from each side that works like a charm to keep the LM5 circulating on its track ! Have to get used to it !

It surely requires much more pilot control than a D2 but less than some new D’s…

The LM5 handling is purely focused on flat turns, but that doesn’t mean it is not fun enough to fly.It just don’t dive in turns, which is a highly appreciated character on a D !

Performance :

Flying next to my friends on their Delta 2 for all the flying hours, gave me a complete idea of its performances.

The LM5 SM @ 92 was gliding next to a Delta 2 M at 102 for several hours, and i felt that the LM5 has the edge in head wind conditions were it surfs the air slightly better at trim speed. At first bar the LM5 began to show its potential, and at the second the Delta 2 is completely out of the game.

Climbing ability :

I can also confirm that the climbing power and the ability to stay inside a thermal is on the LM5 side where i sensed it floats slightly better at my loadings.

The max speed of the LM5 and Delta 2 are identical.

The ears flap a bit, can get you a ± 2.5m/s but they do not destabilize the glider stability and no oscillations as the open part stays totally calm.

Conclusion :

In the D category, the LM5 is a relatively comfortable and solid glider. It surely requires a much higher piloting level than the Delta 2. That glider in the hands of those well trained D pilots will be a wonderfully ‘light’ but solid XC machine.

I am waiting for that M6 as probably many of you are…

Just wishing it to be more maneuverable, much faster and of course ….more gliding poweeeeer… ;-)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ADVANCE Epsilon 7

Advance Epsilon 7 26

Like always, ADVANCE products have a nice unwrapping pleasure.

The quality of construction and finishing touches are present.

I still remember the E 6 when I tested it years ago, and I was keen to find out the new E7 as ADVANCE has changed its designer, and I was curious for that new product.



Very easy, just straight without any delays. really simple.

In the air:

Taking off with the E7 26 at 93 all up just next to the top weight.

The E 7 inspires confidence immediately after take off. It has a very taut feeling like a very solid piece of concrete.

Saying that, it has still some filtered light roll movements telling its VIP passenger to sit back, relax, have a pillow ;-), and enjoy the ride.

I flew that glider in some difficult and turbulent conditions to conclude that the confidence inspiring feeling is very strong!

Describing the E7 character in the air is like flying inside a Boeing 777 in those front VIP seats!

Turning ability in thermals is very nice as the brakes are relatively short, precise and I found the E 7 to be a pleasure to steer for a demanding pilot as I am… J

It is not a dull glider at all when it comes to steering the E7! It is a relatively satisfying experience even for experienced pilots.

Pitch movements are nearly absent .The roll movements are present but with a very limited angle.

The climb rate is very good for the category even loaded and I think that the handling and stability of the E7 will allow its pilot to place it among the top B’s in the gaggle.

Inducing some frontals and asymmetric collapses,

does in fact show a very gentle and calm behavior of the E7 .


The trim speed of the E7 at 93 seems near 38.5 km/h less than some high end B’s .At full bar which is light and very easy to reach showed me a max speed near the 50’s. Applying first and second bar doesn’t seems to deteriorate the E7 glide angle, which surprised me!

In calm air the E7 could be easily competitive with the high end B cat.

It is in head wind and difficult conditions or low in a valley breeze that the E7 will struggle a bit. It needs more time to cut through.

Ears are stable and reopen quickly.

Pushing the accelerator in turbulence showed me a strong leading edge and a very solid structure.


If you are a pilot moving into the B category, here you will find a welcoming glider that will enable you to have immense pleasure quite safely.

The E7 can take you comfortably in strong days very high above peaks. This glider is made to make you smile. I only hoped for a higher trim speed…

On my interview with Mr Chapuis, in Saint Hilaire, and after asking him what will happen after the designers has been replaced, he replied:

There is no glider with a designer name there is an ADVANCE glider.

It is very true. They have changed the designer but their team made by top pilots is very strong and consolidated, that the Epsilon 7 inherited the knowhow and the character of a solid ADVANCE team.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Niviuk Peak 3 23

Niviuk Peak 3
Being in Saint Hilaire festival in 2012 I passed by the NIVIUK stand. There was a Peak 3 picture on the wall and after asking when it will be released there was no answer …

Mysterious hidden design for the moment.

I moved on, thinking it must worth the wait, as NIVIUK seems developing a nice D glider.

And months pass…In June 2013, I received two Peak 3 23 and from that day I flew both of them (to be sure of my writings) in multiple conditions, from weak to rough and nasty conditions enabling me to be as precise and detailed as possible. I took my time, as I was a bit far from the spreading hype, and just to be sure of what I am going to publish.

Here is what I found flying the size 23 at different loadings from 90 to 95 all up:


In nil wind the Peak 3 needs a steady pull. It is a bit slow to reach overhead .In strong wind it launches perfectly without any tendency to shoot forward.

Handling and maneuverability:

Once in the air I was very pleased by the brake authority of the Peak 3. I think it is one of its strong points. I could quickly place the glider anywhere in the thermal. If the conditions get rough, turbulent, below an inversion, the Peak 3 at my loads won’t really react as promptly as it reacts in homogenous conditions.

It just needs to settle for a sec.

In strong cores and homogenous conditions and when the glider is already inside the core the Peak 3 has a very nice handling among the best in that category.

 In those well-built conditions, the turning ability inside the thermal for a D is superb!

Flying in turbulence:

The Peak 3 as a 2.5 liner with D certification is somehow comfortable in the air, but when heavy turbulence is encountered the glider shakes as a whole, but I felt it has a very solid structure.

I never lost control of the glider in any of the conditions I flew in, just some hovering moments.

This structure seems successful.

The Peak 3 moves generally in 'strong air' more than a Peak 2, and only a ‘little’ less than the IP6 and its authority on the brake will enable the pilot to keep it better overhead.

In entering some thermals the Peak 3 has a slight pitch back before entering, loosing a bit of it’s positive biting energy and making it a bit more demanding...

Roll movements are generally smooth for that kind of D glider.

Piloting with the B’s:

In long glides with some moderate turbulence the B handles helps a lot as they guide the pilot to keep efficiently the Peak 3 overhead.
In heavy turbulence, they need a higher level of piloting that needs acclimatization coupled with foot control on the bar. (If applied)

Climb rate:
Flying in very weak thermals (± 0.3 m/s) on my lowest loadings, I found the Peak 3 to hover a bit .It just waits for that little stronger thermal (+1.5m/s) to climb faster.

The Peak 3 is not a floater like the Peak 1.

It resembles the Peak 2 in weak climbs.

Flying the Peak 3 in stronger thermals showed that it has spring reactions to stronger cores where it does in fact climb quickly better than its predecessor if equally loaded.

Glide performance:

I did several long glides (15 km) tip to tip with the Peak 3 against some top 2013 ‘C’ gliders.

(Only available for now…)

Some in back wind and calm conditions and some in head wind and turbulent conditions. I only found that the Peak 3 has the edge in head wind conditions were it surfs the air slightly better.

The glide at first bar is acceptable for the category but at second bar unfortunately I didn’t feel it was…

The speed:
At trim speed the Peak 3 loaded at 93 has a trim speed of +39 km/h, which was similar to a Delta 2 ML at 102 all up.

 I flew the Peak 3 23 with an X-rated 6 harness.

At 93 all up, I pushed the bar pulley to pulley many times, I could only see an increase of 17 km/h max over trim speed…I have tried and tried again but that’s the only result that I have found.

The bar pressure is medium to soft and the glider leading edge show some wrinkles at full bar but the Peak 3 23 is still solid!

Using the bar in turbulence:

After some flights, I acclimatized myself to the Peak 3,and tried for several occasions to apply bar in some very turbulent and unstable air.

On the last day of testing I was on the lee side with some very turbulent air. And I shouldn’t be there… It was just some spicy idea to explore the Peak 3 possibilities.
First I sat well on the harness as it was shaking and snaking all the way, but applying first bar does in fact make the glider slightly more stable but the energy is even more present and feel able…

I mean the tips will warn you at first, informing you before any possibility of bigger collapses that may occur, with a fast dynamic flip-flop!

Overall it is a bit demanding in those conditions, but I was sure that if I was flying a lower rated glider I would also experience some heavy shakes…


Actually pulling the B external lines .It stalls the outside B lines. To do that, I accelerate a bit first, hold the external B lines high and pull them down.

The glider slows down ‘noticeably’ at first with the glider going slightly back a little, and then dives forward to show a sink rate of 4 m/s for 2 seconds, finally it stabilizes at -2m/s.

 Pushing the bar will only add -1m/s. They are a bit hard to hold for a time and the opening is very energetic and quick, shaking the whole structure so I found it is better to release them slowly with the bar out.

360’s are a fast descent method. The Peak 3 will keep a stable spiral at least for my settings.

Wing over’s are a delight and very dynamic, much like the feeling of an acro glider. I never had a D glider that can build massive wing over’s very quickly and very high with the pressure still very strong inside the canopy.

Feeling under a 2.5 liner:

Many will ask, why do 2 or 2.5 liners need another understanding approach?

IMHO, 2 or 2.5 liners react differently in the air than 3 liners at least for the current ones.

They have less attachment points and I presume that they must retain a high pressure inside to keep the structure solid. That’s why they must be flown like a Jockey does on a racehorse. Just giving him the exact pressure on the reins in order to be fast and still controllable without pulling too much and slowing down.

IP6 overview and differences:

The IP6 had also lots of energy, allowing it to dig in thermal very quickly.
Applying brakes in strong surges didn’t really affect its pitch behavior much, as it is already inside the core and climbing, or even with the weak ones…with endless float ability…

Gliding between thermals, IP6 pro pilots trusted the solid glider and use B handles to be most efficient in lift lines…


With the Peak 3 targeted for a larger number of D pilots, the pitch movements has been slightly ‘restrained’ and it does in fact pitch back a little…especially in sudden surges before entering the thermals.

But NIVIUK has released for the pilots a 2.5 liner in the ‘D’ category with nice handling characteristics coupled with lots of energy, solid structure, and good brake authority.
Its also a very beautiful looking taught glider in the air.

I would have preferred a more floating ability as its bigger brother the IP6 and a little neutral or slight positive pitch behavior that maybe could have led to some close performance in real air…

I found that the Peak 3 is very different in flying
feeling and less in efficiency, but many pilots will like to fly a lower aspect ratio with more fun handling with the Peak 3.

I loved the Hook 2,3 for their comfortable performances, the Artik 2, 3 for their handling /perf ratio, the Peak 1 for its excellent climb, the peak 2 for its comfortable speed…The IP 6 for that outstanding package!

 As for the Peak 3,and after taking my time with it, i cannot say that i was totally impressed...may be i was expecting a lot more but this is a with total honesty my humble ‘personal’ opinion, and I think the best way is to forget the hype if good or bad and get one for a test flight hopefully in multiple conditions.

You will love it or you don’t. You, the pilot, only can decide!

Please remember that my tests are 'personal' comments and they are just an idea.