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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SKY Argos

SKY Argos !!!!
The new light C glider from SKY arrived .The Argos !
Laying the glider on the ground show a superb finish construction to the last detail…
Thin risers are equipped with ‘FOUR’ lines A,B,C,D !
No plastic rods anywhere !
No shark nose, air scoop…whatsoever…
Normal lines on the lower part !
Unsheathed lines on the higher part ... "finally"

A clean and ‘normal’ paraglider…very difficult to see in those days…
So…what should we expect from such a design…
Flying the Argos ML 85-100 at 96 all up.
Launching : Just a small pull and the glider rises without any hard point .In strong wind a little brake is needed to stop the glider from overshooting.Normal for a C.
In the air : First contact with a rough and turbulent thermal, and the glider has that very little pitch back in entering it.
In smoother conditions the pitch back is not felt.

Argos brakes has a moderate to light feel, and little more pressure than the Atis 4.
The Argos smoothly follow with a moderate to agile behavior.
In narrower cores the Argos needs slightly wider circle than the Atis 4, as the glider keeps surfing the air.
The Argos has a more pronounced roll response than the Atis 4. In strong thermals the pitch stability is very good without any shooting forward.
Sometime it slightly pitches back with a quick return and efficient cutting through.

The Argos feels like it is always surfing the air and the authority on the brakes doesn't quickly slow the glider inside the core, for very tight turning, so in weak conditions the pilot must be keen to prevent it from slipping out of the thermal.
Overall it is a good climber !

Now the part that impressed me the most with the Argos classical construction is the glide angle !
After many glides in difficult head wind conditions, i can confirm that the Argos with its 4 lines, no rods, no shark-nose ...stand surprisingly very close to the best ones in it’s category !
With the Argos, any C pilot would make the same flight as the more complicated or lesser lines full unsheathed new C machines.
The performance is there.

The Argos is not a dampened C glider as it require good skill for a C pilot, nor a very lively one, but exactly in the middle of it’s category in terms of comfort and until that moment among the top three in terms of glide performance.
Ears are stable and re-open by themselves.
The speed system has a moderate to light pressure in the first part and a bit harder on the second part.

Conclusion :
Some things in life makes you wonder…
Once again, the SKY designer has proven by taking a unique path, far from the trend and fashion of today's often followed concepts, that, simple and genius creations can be reached !

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Ozone Rush 4 SM
And finally, the long awaited glider came to my house this morning.
Being a Rush 4 SM ,i rushed to the take off to get a taste of its features.

Laying it on the ground and as an SM with 25 sqm, it looks a bit smaller than the Delta 2 SM which has also 25 sqm.

Today i flew at 92.4 kg all up on the SM size (75-95)

Launching : Reverse launching at 15 km/h wind on a relatively 30 degrees slope, the Rush 4 doesn't overpass it's pilots, and needs a steady but gentle pull all the way.

In the air : Once airborne and having flown the Delta 2 SM for the last days at 92.5 also, i can confirm a quick 'feel' of a more smaller but 'compact' glider.

The air today was turbulent and there was some 15 km/h North/west head wind with very poor visibility. I have flown many years into those conditions to understand better glider reactions.

The Rush 4 is not a tamed glider in the high-end B category like its predeccessor the Rush 3 nor it is a wild one.

It has a 'balanced' but dynamic feel and moves as a whole reminding me the Mentor 2 with ‘slightly less’ overall feedback but with a moderate spicy feel that some experienced B or C pilots downgrading will find this EN-B a cherry on the cake.

The authority on the brakes reminded me also of the Mentor 2 that i liked very much at the time. The Rush 4 has a relatively short and direct handling with a precise and linear travel. The turning radius at my loadings can be very narrow, so the pilot can core the thermals instantly without any delay.

Entering some rough thermals, the Rush 4 doesn't surge forward, but pitches 'very slightly' backward and immediately regain balance overhead.

360’s are easy to enter and they are a very efficient descent method when settled in, as the loss of altitude is very quick.
The exit is relatively energetic but still in the B certification.

Ears are made with the outer A's .They are stable with a -3m/s descent rate. If the pilot takes more lines for bigger ears, they will flap.
The opening of normal ears are very quick and sometimes with a bang ! They are very pressurized !

Pushing the speed system in rough air surprised me for its very solid behavior ! I really wanted to see if the leading edge would soften a bit being pulley to pulley. But it didn't ! The Rush 4 SM at my loadings was very solid and coherent .The foot pressure is similar to the Delta 2 one which is relatively medium to light.
Measuring the top speed at 1000 asl /temp 25 C/ humidity 80% gave me a 13 km increase over trim !OZONE RUSH 4 SM

Performance UPDATE :

Launching : Like any high-end B i found that the take off is very easy…and sometimes in nil wind a little steady push on the A’s is welcomed.

In the air : Flying the Rush 4 in different conditions from weak to strong with some glides made in head wind conditions, showed me a average comfort behavior for the high-end B category. There are some low aspect B’s that require more pilot input and some require less. So the Rush 4 is in the middle of the category in terms of comfort.
The handling is the strongest point of the Rush 4.It has a relatively short, direct and precise brake control that a pilot could place it exactly where he wants inside the core. On top of that the Rush 4 informs its pilot about those movements needed to locate a thermal letting him aware where the thermal is. Some high end B’s are too dampened in pitch that sometimes you loose a weak thermal by missing it. That’s not the case with the Rush 4.

Climb rate : Flying the SM at 93 all up showed me that it has similar climb rate to a similar loaded Mentor 3 S even in all thermal conditions …form weak to strong…to head wind thermal-ling…They are very similar in climb. (My M3 reference friend flies with me for the last 20 years)

Glide : We did in fact make some interesting into wind glide …
With similar loadings for both.

At trim speed the Mentor 3 S has ±1 km/h forward speed .To reach the same speed as the M3 i had to push the bar slightly. The glides are impressively the same at that configuration.

After many attempts of glide measurements :
The glides were made in moving air (Video soon) in 15 km/h head wind and on 5 km run.
I was on the Rush 4 SM at 93 all up, pulley to pulley to reach the M 3 S speed which has still 3 cm more pushing travel.
After some kms, we both agreed that the M3 is still one of the best contenders to beat in glide in the high-end B category by a little insignificant margin…As the Blacklight and Chili 3 are the best in climb !

The M3 pushed the full bar and had + 3km/h more top end speed.

What’s special about the Rush 4 ?

The thing is that the Rush 4 combine many features in one glider :
Superb handling, top end glide in the high end B cat, very good climb,
Overall very pleasurable to fly,
And that in « one » comfortable complete package.

Not to forget the solidity and the use of full bar is a fine achievement !
I was able to push the full lengths in some turbulent air and the glider was indeed « Rock solid » !

Conclusion :
For the last year and a half i never sold the Delta 2 SM.For me it was the best glider in the C category and i kept it as reference for comparing and above all for my flying pleasure !

With the Rush 4, Ozone has created close enough the same feeling under a glider that the Delta 2 had, but with a more compact and more solid glider to fly safely in strong conditions.I felt that +92 on the SM (75-95) is a good weight for overall (rough and soft ) conditions to combine good climb and glide.

My findings are personal and i recommend that you get a test flight on this nice machine to evaluated yourself !
Comparing ‘only’ very small performance gain is useless if the glider doesn’t give you the joy to fly…
I am sure that the Rush 4 will give a smile to many faces as it has many qualities to get any high-end B pilot the best XC’s he dreams about with the safety and pleasure he gets flying it.

More videos soon !!