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

Friday, March 18, 2016

GIN Genie 2 light


Mac Para Eden 6

Mac Para Eden 6 .26  (The magical flying carpet)

There are many gliders popping out each week/month in every category. It’s very rare to find a flaw in today’s gliders. As a reviewer I always search for those tiny flaws if occurred… But it’s becoming more and more difficult! 
Companies are doing their best to give us the best possible and magical flying carpets J

Here’s one…
After test flying Mac Para EN-D, The Icon, here is the Eden 6 in size 26 for a test flight.
I flew the Eden 26 from 93 to 98 all up.
Take off is quite straightforward for a B, despite the high aspect ratio of 5.9, the Eden 6 inflates as a block and very easy without any delays or even shooting forward.
I had some nice flying conditions for three days and I was lucky to fly next to High end B’s all that time in order to feel and see the differences.

What does it feel in the air?

The Eden 6 is a very different glider from the 5th version.
The Eden 6 is tuned for performance flying with an efficient flat turning radius and a nose that searches for thermals rather than bumping into them.
The brake pressure is moderate with a linear response and the Eden 6 could be steered around 35 cm of travel.

The Eden 6 is a fairly agile wing trimmed toward an efficient turn rather than a diving turn.
To be more precise, I think the Eden 6 agility is well balanced between a gentle fun side, and an efficient XC use.

The Eden 6 26 could be flown easily at 90 but I found out that flying it at +75 % of its weight range is optimal (95-96)
Climbing ability:
The Eden 6 has similar climbing capability in weak lifts as the Eden 5, which was very good. In stronger lifts the Eden 6 dig through those thermals more efficiently for a better climb.
Gliding power:
Flying the Eden 6 26 in the company of the Swing Nyos M, the Mentor 4 S and the Rook 2 M showed me after many attempts a superb glide angle for the Eden 6 putting it right on top next to the best one in this category!
The gliding at top speed is fully usable and also very competitive like you would expect from the best B’s out there!
The Eden 6 26 at 96 all up has a fast trim speed .The speed bar pressure is moderate and the gain in speed is ±15 km/h.
What are the benefits and differences (Eden 6 over the Eden 5?)?

-Eden 6 needs slightly more active piloting
-Glide at trim and at top speed is well improved!
-Efficiency in head wind glides
The Eden 6 is as comfortable to fly as the Rush 4.
Big ears are stable and easy. They reopen smoothly by themselves.

Spiraling down is efficient but the pilot must get out hyper smoothly…to prevent a tuck on surges.

The Eden 6 is a new breed of Mac Para gliders. There’s something different in the making.
The glide angle is the best you can get .The climb rate is very good! The handling is pleasurable. The Eden 6 is fast!
For sure, it’s a small step over the Eden 5 in piloting but ok for an experienced B pilot looking inside the high B category!
There’s indeed something new over here…

Thursday, March 10, 2016



After test flying the Nexus from Swing, here’s the new EN-B Nyos in M size for a test flight.
The NYOS has a mix of sheathed and unsheathed lines with an average width comparing to other B’s . The construction is neat and its what you would expect from a 2016 glider, to the last detail.
The NYOS with it’s 5.8 aspect ratio is in my opinion the best looking B glider to date. It doesn’t really look like a B glider and my friends frequently asked me if it’s a new C glider.
I flew the Nyos M (80-102) from 92 to 98 all up.
Launching the Nyos is quite easy and smooth with no hard point or even any surge.
At both loadings the NYOS M has a relatively medium to short brake travel with a firm pressure rather than a light one. All that with a fairly nice agility resembling the Nexus way to turn into thermals. The NYOS is tuned for XC use rather than a freestyle use. But the agility is moderate to good !
In the same days flying it, i was top landing and switching to other B gliders (Eden 6, Mentor 4) in order to feel better what glider can offer the most in the conditions of each day, not to mention my flying friends who were also helping on those gliders.
After some flying days i can firmly confirm that the NYOS is a very comfortable glider, that offers sweet and relaxed flights like sitting on a VIP luxury seat and people all over are taking care that you are not being disturbed ! Smile
Well that’s exactly how i can describe the feeling under it !
The climb rate in very weak conditions (0.5 m/s) is not the strongest point of the NYOS, but i felt its just a slight step over the NEXUS in that matter. It hovers a bit and the very comfy leading edge is like a Buddhist monk in a meditation process…Nothing will bother him, without the slightest bite in those very weak lifts.
As soon as the thermals are well homogeneous (+1m/s), the NYOS will climb like any other B around and even if the lift gets punchy , it might get upward quicker !
Gliding power !
After test flying the NYOS, i really don’t know what to believe anymore …Its seems to me, like we are swimming in the marketing river of today's hype and tech stories…
Shark nose…No shark nose…Thin lines all over…Thin Dyneema lines…or no…pure 3 liner or no…I’m really puzzled !
After many glide attempt with the company of the well known Mentor 4, my friends eyebrows are mine were exceeding our foreheads!
Considering that the NYOS doesn’t have a Cleopatra nose, and it’s lines are thicker than the M4 ones, with 3.5 line attachment to the under-surface, and it looks quite robust in construction …Believe me, I have seen a lot of B’s… !
The NYOS is faster at trim speed than the M4 S by 1 km/h , similarly loaded, or even if lightly less loaded (+0.5 km/h ) !
The glide at trim is very similar, the glide at 52 is quite similar…the top speed of the NYOS is 2 km faster…
It looks like the NYOS strengths in glide is the pitch movement ‘self’ control on glides…Cannot say it’s a floater, but a real weapon in compensating the movements in turbulent air, and staying focus on the way ahead!
The speed bar has a moderate pressure, and stepping on it gave me the feeling like when i close the door behind me after coming from a loud party. I like that silence ! Smooth ride in a limousine !
Big ears are easy to induce, they are stable with or without bar and quite efficient.They don’t open by themselves but with a small dab on the brakes they reopen very fast.

Reviews will always be reviews…There will always be positive and negative points on each new glider, no matter what…It depend mainly on the reviewer personal opinion and taste. It’s up to you the pilot to feel if those written words apply to your skills and flying sites.
If the NYOS would be slightly more efficient in weak conditions…Hmmm
For sure the NYOS is and will be SWING biggest success to date, The NYOS is ‘THE’ glider for flying in the strong Alps with a big XC potential for the good level of the B class pilots.
What made me smile:
Glide angle at trim and accelerated
Smooth ride in turbulence
Smooth ride at bar
Speed at trim and accelerated
Easy to fly for a 5.8 ar glider
Beautiful looking glider

What made me Grrrr  ;-)  :
- The climb in very weak thermals (-0.5 m/s)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

NOVA Ion 4 S ( The tough )

NOVA Ion 4 S

I have flown all the Ion series from the first one to this new 4th version.
Take off on this low aspect ratio B is quite easy and spontaneous.
During the Ion 4 S test flights, i had the Buzz Z5 in SM size also for testing.
For three days, i was top landing, changing glider, again and again, with the company of friends to compare them also in the air.

I flew the Ion 4 S from 90 to 99 all up, to notice that the Ion 4 S can be flown easily at mid weight without loosing its energy. In rough conditions 95 all up could be well enough…For racing upwind, 99 is fast and very efficient !

The Ion 4 S from 92 to 99 has a medium brake travel, and the pressure on the brakes can be described as slightly medium to hard, but agile and precise, and it’s a small step in agility over the Ion 3 S.
The Buzz Z5 brake travel is similar in precision and response but slightly lighter.

The Ion 4 S can be turned very flat with little brake input coupled with weight shift. Stationary turns and coring small bubbles are a delight. Hard pull on the brakes and the Ion 4 will logically dive showing an agile behavior.

Climbing in weak thermals next to an Ion 3 at 95 all up showed a similar climb rate, but once the thermals gets a bit strong and punchy, then the Ion 4 S will show a clear advantage over the Ion 3. In company of a Buzz Z5 SM, in windy conditions showed that in weak thermals they are also similar in climb , but again as soon as the thermals gets punchier the Ion 4 S shoots upward, like a spring, even loaded at top !
I felt it has a tendency to cut through better the airmass and climb without bumping even more efficiently than any new low aspect ratio, B glider i have tested.

The comfort in the air reminded me of the tough Ion 1 which leads me to say that the feeling under the Ion 4 S can be best described as “indestructible" !

The Ion 4 S doesn’t have a pitch back in thermals nor a front one. It climbs peacefully, with a positive vario giving this impression of flying a performance paraglider.
  The roll movements are just present to show the thermals, rather than to shake its pilot.The overall comfort feel is present.

Doing some glides with the Ion 4 S showed an increase in glide angle over the Ion 3, and a significant one when using the bar.
The trim speed of the Ion 4 S (80-100) loaded at 95 is around 0.5 km faster than a Buzz Z 5 SM (75-95) loaded at 90.
The glide angle at 45 km/h is impressively on the Ion 4 side.
The Ion 4 has indeed a very good glide angle especially accelerated !
I was impressed by the amount of performance / accessibility ratio it delivers.

The top speed is around 52 km/h at 1000 ASL.
The leading edge stays solid and the speed is fully usable.
Ears are easy to induce with a fast opening.

The speed bar risers were installed on my Ion 4 S. They are a nice feature that pulls the C’s and B’s evenly without deforming the profile.
Using them in full speed mode is efficient enough but hard to pull.The Mentor 4 S ones are lighter in pressure.

Tough, fast, comfortable, superb performance for a low aspect ratio glider, good agility and climb.That’s the Ion 4.

It seems that NOVA fine tuned the Ion 4 for a flatter polar and toward a performance use for XC purposes.

The race for performance will never end, but creating a low aspect ratio, easy to use, B glider that has the edge in overall performance especially accelerated, with an indestructible feel in turbulence is what makes paragliding even more magical.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Questions for designers...

Hannes Papesh Interview 5 March 2016 .

Z- What’s your opinion about :  "Softer leading edge do collapse often but they also recover faster and smoother, harder leading edge with a smaller AoA are very resistant but the collapses are more aggressive".
Do you agree? or no...and why?

Hannes: We're dealing with that issue since mid of the 90’s. During the X-act development we were trying to find an airfoil which is collapse resistant and in the case, collapsing very soft and unspectacular.
As "to collapse" is a fundamental issue of the safety concept of a paraglider, this scenario should be very well predictable.
During the very intensive discussion about folding lines (see attachment) I've been arguing with the "dynamic history" of a collapse: the airfoil should deform, loose air and fold in the middle, to create a soft collapse. In this procedure the static weak points are important. They are given by the suspension points and the airfoil shape (and some internals maybe). When you mount folding lines on new suspensions (where there is no load during normal flight), you're faking new static weak points.
So we should spend some engineering and development effort to find an airfoil / solution that can do both: to be collapse resistant AND collapse soft and recover easy.
-Not just make "a quick cheat".
-Some in the scene are specialists for that, as we all know!

Z-Do you believe for instance that in order to see the real thing, the exact collapse in each individual glider regardless of their construction is to remove the test pilot ability to 'pull' the A's...

Hannes: Pulling the A's is good.
Sometimes it's not possible without mounting some separate lines (in case of an A/B fork).
Important is, that you pull on a suspension point, which is highly loaded during normal flight.
Experience shows, that the static weak points in real flight are between the suspension points: there the airfoil kinks in the case of a collapse deformation.
The simulated collapses should show the same deformation behavior as the real flight collapse.
Putting force on the airfoil further in front does enlarge the "deformation arm": resulting in softer collapses.

Z-Another idea could be to send a paramotor or some machine to create heavy turbulence that passes exactly 10 m in front of the test pilot over a lake...That way it will be clear on the videos how much the glider endure the collapse and how it will react.
-Do you think that this could be an evolution for future test houses ? Can you comment on that please ?

Hannes: It is not easy to create the standard rotor.
And will be quite hard to do: but that kind of testing could offer some more real life results.

The general problem is the exclusion of cheating actions.
We all have had airfoils which were flying fine and collapsed late. But they showed a very nasty and hard collapse behavior.
But you need really some "cheating creativity" to get the idea to mount folding lines far in front to get softer collapses.
With that technique you can get every airfoil look nice.
Because of that possibility and the very bad experiences of cheating by one manufacturer, the WG6 working group decided to limit those folding lines (invented by the same manufacturer) to the D class.

My philosophy (specially in the low classes) is to have a wide "green area". No special "best case scenarios / techniques" are needed. The wing should behave fine however the collapse is produced.


Luc Armant answer to the question:

Z-What's your opinion about :  "Softer leading edge do collapse often but they also recover faster and smoother, harder leading edge with a smaller AoA are very resistant but the collapses are more aggressive".
Do you agree? or no...and why?

Luc:   I disagree. I don’t see that at equal speed airspeed or AoA. from equal speed, fragile profile can easily have much worse recovery than more solid one. There is no strong rule here. Add to that the fact that collapsing is always more dangerous than not collapsing. In Ozone, we are searching for the best “real safety” design. We want gliders that we assess will be the safest to fly for pilots making cross country. We don’t want to compromise that.

Z- What's the benefit that a Delta 2 pilot will get flying the Delta 3 in order to disregard the certification at accelerated mode?

Luc: Best benefit for a Delta2 pilot, should be slightly higher speed and more performance at speed. We will not make anything special to try to convince pilot about recovery and EN rating, apart from a notice trying to explain things. Like usual, we will release our product and the pilot will make their choice. But again, we know that if we release it EN D we would for sure lose sell because many pilots still think that EN rating is their best way of knowing which wing to buy regardless of what the manufacturer is even recommending.

Z- The Delta 2 and Alpina 2 are still in personal view 'legends' in the C category. Many new C's that came after were more difficult to handle in rough air, except the Carrera plus. Was this only related to the back positioning A's on the leading edge ?

Luc: Of course not even though it’s an important one. There are a lot of other parameters. Too much parameters !  We believe that Aspect Ratio is one of the strongest one .

Z : Now seeing that the Carrera plus has similar performance or very close to the Alpina 2, Delta 2,
that GIN aimed for a B certification as a marketing strategy that could lead to larger sales.With the D3 going in the D category, OZONE is going on the exact opposite way in marketing strategy. Which leads to the question:
With the D3 certified as an EN-D, how will Ozone convince the Rush 4 pilots to move on the D3 ?

 Luc: That would not be marketing strategy. We know we would lose significant sell because of that. But that’s the way it is. Good products are our priority.