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.....