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Sunday, November 22, 2015

NIviuk Peak 4 23

Niviuk Peak 4 23

The replacement of the less fortunate peak 3 for the easy D segment is finally available.
My friend got himself a peak 4 23 and we flew together on good days and i have flown this wing at 98 all up for the 85-105 Peak 4 23.
Here’s my impressions versus the Mantra MS, The Avax XC 5 26, the Icepeak 6 23, the Peak 3, The Triton 2 S, UP tango XC3…Etc…

I’ll try to be as clear as possible concerning this wing in describing what a pilot will expect flying it among regular D gliders or high aspect ratio C’s.

Launching the P4 23 is easier than the IP6, a little more difficult than the M6, XC5, Trango XC3. But all in all its easy for the regular D pilots. It doesn’t have the pitch forward behavior of the IP 6 , but surely a D pilot would find it quite manageable, even in light or in strong breeze.

Turning ability:
I guess that’s one the most important glider character for my personal taste.
Immediately after take off, first turn and first smile…The P4 has light to moderate brake pressure, and reacts after the first 15cm of slack with a super wonderful agility ! This high aspect ratio glider can be turned very tight at a very small radius without the dive !! Only 15 cm after the slack are needed to steer the glider gracefully !The feeling and authority on the brakes ,even in turbulent cores are impressive! I never flew a glider with 7 aspect ratio that can be turned like a 5.5 aspect ratio one !
The P4 is more agile in turns than the M6, Triton 2, Trango XC3, and relatively similar to the XC5.

Climb rate:
We flew this glider in some very weak to strong windy conditions and sometimes we flew in moderate to slightly turbulent lee side conditions enabling us to get a more global idea about the P4.
In very weak conditions (less than 0.5 m/s) where lots of pilots would not give a chance to stay in the air, the IP 6 23 at 98 all up would float nicely and communicates those tiny lifts to the pilot showing him the way to turn. In those weak conditions the P4 23 at 98 all up doesn’t give those informations to the pilot and after many attempts where the IP 6 could exploit those light lifts and gain some altitude, the P4 hovers at the same altitude.
Once the lift gets above 0.7 m/s the P4 will gracefully climb and could easily match the IP 6 23 climb rate. In strong thermals i think the P4 will have a slight advantage over the IP 6, due to it’s superb brake authority to place it precisely into the core !

This is surely very picky from my part, I cannot say that the P4 is a floater, but in order to be precise I’ll give you an idea, of similar wings like the P4 with same efficiency in those conditions .Ex: The Gin Gto 2 S at 93 or the Avax XC 5 26 at 92 .
The M6 MS at 95 all up is slightly more efficient in the very weak, as the Artik 4 25 at 90 al up.
The P4 23 at 98 will out climb the M6 MS and the surely A4, in windier and more difficult conditions showing the P4 ability to surf the air efficiently without back pitching, and climbing away.

Glide and speed.
After several glides at trim ,half bar, and full speed, the P4 23 at 98 all up, showed me exactly a similar glide ratio as a freshly line checked IP6 23 at 98 all up. It is slightly possible that the IP 6 23 has some insignificant points in full speed glide…But this is may be that in turbulent air the IP6 23 felt more stiff and solid on bar .On the P4 23 at full bar the leading edge is solid , but not as the iP 6 one. The B risers are slightly harder and more pressure are needed to feel the glider in the air. But i really liked those black rubber grips !

Comparing the P4 23 at 98 all up and the M6 MS at 95 all up, the trim speed is the same but the full speed is slightly on the P4 side, and the overall gliding performance is also slightly on the P4 side.

I have tried to induce big ears by the split risers, however i pulled my arms very far to pull in the lines .At first it looks like i’m pulling the stabs…Because the ears has lots of pressure.They fold in finally after pulling approx ±1m of lines, and pushing on the bar, but i don’t think they are very effective. I’ll try later the B’s…and report back..Releasing the ears opens very fast and quick and no line was stuck in the tips like the M6 use to do.

Comfort and usability:
I’ll be more specific in comparing gliders with similar aspect ratio..It’s better than talking only about the certification label.
I found that the Peak 4 23 is relatively a comfortable glider for an aspect ratio of 7, and it’s similar to the M6 comfortable behavior.
I felt a neutral pitch behavior in the same conditions where the M6 would pitch back in entering thermals. It has also the same comfort found on the Avax XC 5 and may be less work under it than the Trango XC 3 SM where the Peak 4 felt more block solid and coherent in it’s structure.

360’s and wing overs are a delight. It’s really an agile glider !
I will try also the Peak 21 in a week and will post my comments. And of course any updates about both will also be written.

Beautiful handling, and brake authority, Top gliding performance in the D category, with comfort and accessibility.
Missed that IP6 weak thermal ability, but i’m sure that the Peak 4 will surely win many hearts as it’s impossible to be indifferent having this agility ;-) 


Ivan said...

Hello Ziad, thanks for your test flight report of the Peak 4, I didn’t expect to get it so fast. If possible, I would like to have some precision about your ‘’tricky’’ comment concerning the climb rate of the Peak 4 in light thermals. You are talking of weak lift of 0.5m/s, do you really mean that the IP6 is able to climb at 0.5m/s and that the Peak 4, in the same thermal is just capable of hovering at 0 m/s? In anyway, if the IP6 is capable of outclimbing the Peak 4 in weak thermals, that would mean that the IP6 has a better sink rate at low speed and/or is a better thermal sniffer (even if we know that the IP 6 is not has sniffy has other gliders like the M6 or Trango XC3 for example). On the other hand, the turning ability of the Peak 4 seems so nice that you can optimize the thermal core but the wing isn’t showing you where the light lift is, so this explains why you did not be able the catch up the IP6, is this right?

I was also a little bit surprised by the fact that you are comparing the Peak 4 23 with smaller size gliders like the M6 MS or Gin GTO 2 S, those two gliders have a maximum TOW of 95kg not 105kg like the Peak 4 23. So I guess that if you had to compare the Peak 4 with the M6 ML or GTO 2 M, the results would have been bigger in terms of performance in light lift, right?

And then comes also another point, have you read the Peak 4 instruction manual? Because Niviuk present the Peak 4 has a high level En D wing, not indented for regular En D pilots, that is how I understood it, at least when I read this (taken from the manual): With its new profile, the PEAK 4 was born to high competition challenges or this: Pilots should be able to fly at competition level to control this glider in order to guarantee their security.

If you have any comments about this, I am sure many of your readers will appreciate.

I am convinced that the Peak 4 will be a great performer for mountain flying in alpine condition has it is fast and turns very nicely, my point is just to point out some particular characteristics has I am mainly flying flatland and have some doubts about the fact that the Peak 4 will outperform my M6ML in those conditions.



Ziad Bassil said...

Hi Ivan,
No one can describe it as you did ! :-)
It's perfectly that. It doesn't sniff out weak thermals as the M6 MS loaded or the IP6 23 at 98 all up.
The Peak 4 has the ability to surf efficiently forward .Those tiny bits of thermals won't be efficient in letting it climb more than the IP6 at 98 or the M6 MS at 95. The size 21 that i flew a bit today at 87 felt also the same, with slightly more difficult overall handling. These are D gliders that were made to get you the best into-wind glides. And if you encounter a more pronounced ,compact 1m/s thermal, they will climb and surf upward very efficiently ! But don't expect the float ability of the the IP 6 23 at 98.

Greg said...

Hi Ziad,
How demanding is the Peak 4 compared to a C glider?I fly a Factor 2.I feel myself convinient in all conditions with it.Would it be a good choice as a next step?(I'm a little affraid of a 2 liner)

Best regards,

Ziad Bassil said...

Hi Greg,
It's for sure more difficult to handle than a C glider...but ok if it's a logical evolution going to the D category .you will of course experience incredible performance increase in all performance levels.
Go easy for the first flights and you will know it better

Unknown said...

Hi Ziad I am a Peak 3 pilot. How the 4 is in respect to the 3, I expect it to be a bit more demanding due to the larger aspect ratio. Comparing my P3 to M6 it was clearly outperformed. But the P3 is very solid and compact also in hard alpine conditions and I could control it easily.

Ziad Bassil said...

No I don't think it's more demanding than the p3. The difference is big in climbing and performance for the P4.
You won't regret getting one.

Igor said...

Spend many hours on peak 3 in a few comps and totally get what you saying. Peak 3 was outperformed by many in a weak climbs. Compared over and over again, tried just about everything. (Flat turns, only weight shift, only brake, opposite weight shift, all sorts of fun experiments) But once conditions got strong it sing and stay right inside the core and not a chance outperformed by just about any wing. High performance wing were usually spit out here and there, flattening before turning back in to the core. (After a few comps it was obvious) Perhaps those characteristics are still in peak 4 DNA but much improved. Definately not a floater, I feel like it was traded for bullet proof performance. (My guess/feeling is that it's trimmed a bit more forward. So when you in a strong thermal or turbulence it does not hesitate to reset. It bites, but In a light lift that trim does not allow it to sit back and relax. The only solution for me was to not breath, not move, not sneeze, pull very gently and don't let it bite or move forward. Ozone delta2, alpina, lm5, m6. (Many others that I did not register) always challenge me in light stuff but we're sure outperformed when climbs got strong. I'm very confident after your review that it is a peak 3 improved and not icepeak 6. That makes an easy transition for me. Can't wait to get mine;) thank you!

Unknown said...

I can not find the test videos and test the size 21. Where can I find them?
Thank you

Ziad Bassil said...

There's only one video for the 23.
I didn't upload the 21 video still...
The only difference is the more dynamic feel under the 21. The performance and speed are similar.

Unknown said...

hi, i fly with a peak4 21 and it is a real nice dynamic wing.
I love it ;-)