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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SKYMAN Cross Alps S

SKYMAN CrossAlps S

Super-light gliders…Here i come…
The CrossAlps for SKYMAN is a very light glider with a very neat construction and full of small but very important details…
I think this glider was made with ‘LOVE’ because it bears everything a hike and fly expert pilot is longing for, weather he is committed to crossing big distances supported by the thermal breeze and cool fresh air or just a peaceful minded ‘bivouac’ aficionados !  :-)

The Attachment points goes directly to the canopy, the unsheathed lines and thin dyneema risers are very well built.
The leading edge bears some small stainless steel crampons to tuck them into the snow keeping the leading edge from slipping or getting down your feet if some back wind occurs in some remote and difficult takeoffs.

I’m not the right expert to talk about that hike and fly XC machine, but anyone can appreciate a red Ferrari :-)

The take off is super easy with no wind or even with light back wind.
 Flew the S size at 89 all up. The Cross alps with it’s 6.4 ar is not a dampened glider nor an alive one. It sits in the middle of the Delta 2 SM and the Triton 2 S in terms of roll and overall movements.
The brake authority in mild conditions are very good .I could place that machine precisely where i wanted, like a surgeon doing a delicate operation.
Every centimeter result in glider adjustment ! The brakes has a relatively moderate to slightly hard pressure on the loaded S size.
12-14 cm are just needed to steer that glider.
In turbulent and strong thermals, the Cross Alps energy is more present and the authority on the brakes could block swiftly all the glider sharp movements to keep it over head.

The authority of the brakes in those conditions is slightly reduced, just waiting for the wing to settle a bit, and then coring the thermal evenly.

The strongest point of the Cross Alps is the climb in the weakest conditions !
This glider even overloaded can in fact soar and soar the sky without loosing a thermal. It is a super tool for low saves !

Doing some glide comparison with the Cross alps, puts it in the middle C in terms of glide performance.
I know that the purpose was to made a super light and compact XC glider, but the glide was just for information and the Cross Alps has lots of other benefits to look at.

In strong conditions the Cross Alps need active piloting, but it seems a solid and coherent glider if the right amount is pulled on the brakes.

The other good point is the efficient ears. Doing some big ears with the bar, i saw -5.5 m/s !!
The opening needs some time and with a dab on the brakes it opens smoothly .

For sure, the Cross alps is a very interesting, super-light XC glider to test fly !