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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Windtech BALI, S EN-B

Windtech BALI

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 time.

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.


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