NOVA Mentor 4 S
Upon NOVA statement that the Mentor 4 is a step forward in performance
compared to the Mentor 3, here’s the M4 in S size flown from 94 to 98
Launching is straight forward for the B category.
Once in the air the Mentor 4 feels more alive than the ‘3” and less than the ‘2’ version.
The brake response is direct and precise and puts the Mentor 4 in the
middle of the M2, and M3 version in terms of responsive character .
It is not like the M2 which was short and super direct, but also not like the M3 which lacked a bit of linear response.
NOVA nailed it with a direct and nicer handling and more performance oriented than the M 3.
Climbing in weak thermals ( 0.5m/s) at 94 all up on the M4 is average… I
cannot say that it has the best climb in the B category, but it could
be very close to the M3.
In punchier thermals and facing the valley breeze, the Mentor 4 shows
it’s potential to wipe out the M2, and M3 off the bench ! The M4 cuts
through and climb going forward like a high end performance glider !
This cutting and going through the airmass is the strongest point of the
M4 when loaded near the top weight ! Climbing in strong thermals
facing the valley breeze is enhanced on board the M4 and could be very
competitive with the class above.
The trim speed of the M4 is higher than the one on the M3 similarly loaded.
In turbulent conditions the M4 needs more active piloting than an M3 ,
and could be slightly less than the M2 or same in terms of pilot control
Now comes the interesting performance part….
To give you an exact answer about the Mentor 4 glide performance, I did
several long glides with some recent B ,C and last an ‘out of the box’
7.0 ar , 2014 ,very well known ,3 line, D glider !, in calm and in
Of course the climb rate and the floating ability of a 7.0 AR D glider
is un-matchable…but it was a very interesting information for me to know
how the Mentor 4 glides among today’s B,C and D gliders. And the
I can easily confirm now, that the glide angle of the Mentor 4 S loaded
at 98 is very ….very…competitive especially facing the valley breeze and
surprisingly superb at second bar !, and that would be a big surprise
for many after the test movies will be released …
NOVA has built a super ‘performance’ B glider. The climb in weak is
average to good for the category but the Mentor 4 will take you on dream
glides at trim…”or should i say” especially at full speed !!
Like it’s predecessors, the hard part is trying to beat this glider in glide !
UPDATE : 6/9/2015
First i do have to apologize for my test of the Mentor 4 S test
concerning the climb rate.I think it's slightly better than i said and
Even for an everyday flyer surprises can happen...But they are hopefully updated if felt otherwise...
Flying the Mentor 4 S at 95 all up does in fact need some 'different'
approach and reaction from the pilot to get it in a good climb inside weak thermals unlike all the B gliders i have tested in the past years...
Explanation: When entering a weak thermal it's better to let the Mentor 4
without any brakes at all, then when the pilot must turn inside the
little lift, weight shift (Distance between hang points ±47 cm for the S
) and apply ONLY a very slight pressure on the inside brake ( may be 5
cm of travel and less than 1 kg of brake pressure) with no pulling in
the outside brakes. (Let the glider float and surf the air ... )
When it's turbulent, block it and release...
Other B gliders can be slowed inside a small very "narrow" and weak
thermal, but the M4 doesn't like at all to be slowed for an efficient
climb ,(even in the narrow and weak ! ) as it won't be able to embrace
this 0.5 m/s weak thermal.
In this method i could get the Mentor 4 S to experience better climb even in weak thermals !
I learned that the Mentor 4 S liked to be left alone to surf the
air-mass even in weak lifts... So no braking is required to surf up-ward
After all those years I'm still learning, feeling the gliders and discovering new possibilities everyday !
Sorry for any mishaps...
Bali is the new 2015 Windtech EN-B glider . The size S (80-100) is the
glider I test flew from 93 to 97 all up with different harnesses.
The Bali has a few lines, with 2 thick lines on the A’s per side, with 7 lines /side and it’s a pure 3 line glider.
The construction that appears in transparency above me is well built with lots of work to support the fewer lines.
The brake lines passes through a very small ceramic ring, with very close diameter to the brake line !
Take off is fine, but I can feel the few supported lines by the reaction of the glider when kiting.
First flight at 93 all up with a Woody Valley X-Rated 6 harness
(slightly agile) worked fine for me. The turning radius was nice with a
moderate to slightly long brake travel, but in this configuration the
Bali was slightly more agile than an Iota I was testing at the same
The climb rate in weak conditions less than 0.3 m/s was average to good
at 93 all up as I was matching the climb of the Iota. The trim speed is
around 38 km/h and the top speed is only 8 km/h over trim.
In strong thermals the Bali pitches back a little for a second and climb
quickly in the core. It is efficient in the climb as the pilot could
slow it a bit and make a stationary turn inside the core.
Gliding next to the latest B’s showed a moderate to good glide to the
Bali that needs constant push on the bar to match the trim speed of the
latest B concurrence especially at that load.
Getting on a heavier Exoceat harness with 97 all up wasn’t really a good
idea in weak conditions, as the Bali doesn’t really like to be heavily
loaded. And the very stable Exoceat harness for higher aspect ratio
glider, was limiting the roll movements and swift weight shifts . I
wasn’t able to turn the Bali as it was on the agile WV harness. Some
gliders needs good weight shift and more alive harnesses.
The top speed, I got flying it at 97 was +9 km/h over trim.
Big ears with the outer A lines are big, stable and are efficient with the bar .They reopen smoothly.
Only in punchy and strong conditions, the Bali moves a bit and needs a
good B pilot to control it, much like some other high-end B gliders with
fewer attachment points.
Conclusion: Today’s B class is the fiercest class of all! It's the main
artery on which manufacturers feed ! Competition here is really strong !
In that particular period, i was test flying four new B’s. So every time
i swapped gliders, the feeling under was immediately noticeable.
The Bali has a fairly good overall performance to fit inside the high B
category. It’s better to fly it at 60% of the weight range and with a
good weight shift harness to get the pleasure pack with it.
Bigger brake rings would be slightly better for lesser friction, and more top speed would be welcomed.
But gliding at full speed is still very good ,and many pilots may be won’t need to use more.