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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

UP Summit XC 3 S

UP Summit XC 3 S

Laying on the glider is UP new 6.3 aspect ratio B glider.
Seven lines per side all are unsheathed + brake line, Sporty looking risers, with a shark nose profile…or whatever they call it today …
It has everything of today’s innovations and requirements…

Launching is straightforward, easy and take off couldn’t be easier on a 6.3 ar glider !
First turn in a thermal showed that the XC 3 has a moderate to light pressure, linear, precise and direct .The thermalling ability is nice and a joy to fly.
Climbing felt as good in efficiency as a Mentor 3 S loaded at 96 all up.
Surprisingly, the 6.3 ar XC3 felt much more comfortable than a Carrera S at same loadings. The XC3 is much more coherent with a solid structure.The roll movements that i felt on the Carrera S were nearly absent on the XC3.Even the pitch movements are very dampened.
The internal structure feels very solid and i couldn’t sense i am on a higher rated glider…It feels like i am (nearly comfortable) on a Mentor 3 S.

Trim speed at 93 all up on the S 80-98 size is around ± 40 km/h .
Just ± 0.5 km/h more than a Mentor 3 S (80-100) at 96 km/h .
Doing some tip to tip glides at trim first next to the same M3 S at 96 , with a 15 km/h head wind showed a close or similar glide angle .
Pushing the accelerator at full bar on the XC3 (Pulleys overlapping) and racing the same M3 for a 3 km glide showed that both have the same top speed with also very close glide.The M3 was finally ± 5 m higher at the end of the glide which is very small.
The glides were repeated 2 times with same results.

Like the exceptional M3 the XC3 cuts forward through the sea breeze better than a Blacklight or a Lightning.

Conclusion : Flying the XC3 felt very easy …Ears are stable and -3m/s were reached with bar. They open quickly.Wing overs are nice but needs some input to throw them around.It shows that the XC3 is a calm glider for the given aspect ratio.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Advance Sigma 9

ADVANCE Sigma 9 25
Test flying gliders and putting my personal findings into words is the most difficult thing to do.
Even flying the gliders in different conditions i can only give my personal opinion.
But if i don’t write exactly what i felt and seen, then why should i write tests anyways !
Here’s what i found flying the Sigma 9 25 (75-100) from 92 till 97 all up.

Opening an ADVANCE glider is always a moment of excitement. The quality of workmanship, cloth, sewing, are beyond a doubt the best you could find.
The Sigma 9 has a mild shark nose profile ,3.5 liner, all lines are unsheathed with small relatively diameters that resembles the best C gliders.
Launching the Sigma 9 felt very easy from 5 km/h wind to gusty 30 km/h .The glider rises smoothly and stay above the pilots head showing its docile behavior even on ground handling.
In the air, the Sigma9 gives immediate feeling of confidence.It gives the sensation when flying it at mid weight or near max weight of a very coherent and solid, compact glider !
First day in weak thermals at 92 all up and first turn .The brakes could be described medium to short, not that light after 30 cm, not really linear…but direct. The Sigma 9 respond calmly and turn on pilot order.
Very weak conditions are not the Sigma 9 strong point even with -8 kg from top weight. I found it difficult for the Sigma9 to breath in those small conditions (-0.5 m/s) thermals.
The next day i took the Sigma 9 to a spot in the north were the dry season gave strong conditions with sometimes +30 km/h on take off, making the day a good one for evaluating a glider.
I flew the Sigma 9 25 at 97 all up, and getting upward like a sling-shot, i still felt surprisingly a very comfortable ride under it ! The glider became even more compact on my wing load and wasn’t even wobbling or shaking…as if i am on a lower rated glider.
The structure felt very solid and coherent ! That’s the strong point of the Sigma 9.
Even in broken lift, the direct brake contributed to a clean turn.
Thermals were easily cored by the Sigma 9.

My observations were that the Sigma 9 was pitching back remarkably when entering strong cores. It doesn’t surge forward at all. In strong valley breeze, it struggle a bit to go forward.

The trim speed is visibly reduced and the only way to give it a boost is by applying the bar which is actually an efficient tool.
Some B gliders in these head wind conditions even on bar will still be stuck, but the Sigma 9 accelerator is changing the equation.
Doing some glides with another reference C glider shows an excellent glide (in calm air) for the Sigma 9 !
It is in difficult and head wind conditions that places the Sigma 9 in the middle of the C category in terms of glide angle.
Some new C gliders have the ability to cut through more and go ahead.
The Sigma 9 is not a floater rather than a fighter (for strong conditions).

Wing overs are quickly built, and 360’s are a fun way to go down.
Ears are very stable and a good and easy way to descend.

Conclusion : From all the Sigma’s that i remember, the Sigma 9 is the most solid and coherent, as the Sigma 4 was the most agile.

Pilots coming from the low B category (2 seasons) could in fact get a Sigma 9 as a first C glider. In fact i think that it is the only C i have tested that could pass for a B rather than a C…hope you know what i mean ;-)
But i leave this to the authenticity and philosophy of ADVANCE.

Friday, June 13, 2014

U-Turn Lightning S

U-Turn Lightning S
Having had some happy times flying the Blaklight S and SM size, here is the Lightning in size S ,a light version of the Blacklight for a test flight.
Of course lighter cloth…It weights around 4 kg risers included.
The risers are very thin and the line attachment point are covered with neoprene and linked with a thick Dyneema line.
Taking off with 88 all up on the S (70-90) is simple.The glider rises quickly and need just a small brake pressure to keep it overhead.The launching is fast.
Turning behavior is among the best i have flew.Like the Blacklight,the lightning is agile with very linear and crispy handling to keep the pilot in control of every movement inside the thermal. The Lightning can be steered very precisely in the core for an outstanding climb !
(The reference) in the B category until now.

The slight pitch back in entering the thermal of the BL has gone and replaced by a neutral pitch that slows the glider a bit in entering.Much better than the BL. It seems that the light cloth + the red plastic long inserts have done this small improvement.
The roll movement of the Lightning is the same as the one on the BL S.It is a lively glider ! It jumps in the turbulence to find it’s place ,and needs a good pilot under it.
The glide seems very good at least the same as BL but in some long lines the less pitch movements gives a better glide angle.
The speed bar can be pushed easily at full with a solid and pressurized glider. The C riser become a bit light but can be used for preventing any pitch forward in turbulence. Speed gain over trim seems over +13 km/h at 800 m ASL.
Ears are stable, nice way to descend,as there only two lines on the A’s .
Conclusion :
Light, superb performance, climbs like a devil ! Handles beautifully…Needs a "skilled approach" in turbulent conditions ! A floater !
That’s the Lightning.