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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Air Cross U-Cruise M

 Air cross ( U-Cruise M )

My last glider from Air cross was the U cross EN-C glider.
The U-Cruise is their new 5.6 aspect ratio intermediate B glider.
I flew the M size (75-100) from 94 to 98 all up.
I felt that 95-97 could be an efficient option in all conditions.

The U-cruise features a shark nose, thin unsheathed lines on top and regular covered ppsl lines on the bottom like the ones on the modern gliders like the M4, Rook 2…with a 3.5 line configuration.

The risers are thin and sporty, the speed lengths on the risers on the M size I’m testing is more than 15 cm long !
The overall construction is really nice, with plenty of details like the leading edge with the little half moon openings to the stabilo's of the U-cruise which  holds a complete rod to make it stiff in the air.

Launching the U-Cruise is smooth in weak or even in strong air for a B pilot.

First thermal and first tun showed an average pressure on the brakes which is slightly more than a Sprint 3 but with a more agile turn that could resemble the M4 one. Strong input on the brakes does get you in big wing overs and you will experience high energy coming from the glider.

The U-Cruise has the same excellent comfort in the air as the Nyos from Swing. It gives a more solid feel than the Iota or even the Mentor 4 ! I felt that the glider is extremely pressurized ! As it felt like an indestructible rock solid structure above my head ! Some pilot wouldn’t like but some will…I just saw today the certification report of the M with plenty of A’s, that confirmed my flying feel.
In entering thermals the U-Cruise has a slight tendency to bounce slightly back. But as I said the Roll and the pitch movements are dampened for an intermediate B glider.

Flying the U-Cruise in strong air does in fact give the (high-end B)  pilot a high degree of comfort ! This pressurized, tough structure does in fact dilute the feeling in weak conditions, and the pilot underneath must open his complete senses to feel those tiny bits of thermals as they are completely erased by the U-Cruise, that led me to feel that it’s not really a floater rather than a cruiser…

Flying next to a reference high-end B gliders, showed me that the gliding power are good on-board the U-Cruise which could place it exactly between the Base from BGD and the Sprint 3 from GIN.
The U-Cruise is “slightly” faster at trim speed over a Mentor 4 or a sprint 3 similarly loaded !
The top speed of the U-Cruise I have for testing is really fast…I think I could see for many times 16 km/h over its fast trim of 40 km/h taken at 1000 ASL. I think this is a fast one !
Big ears are a very good way to get down ! they are very efficient and reopen quickly by themselves.
Wing overs are super high, and they need a special attention for pilots who are not use to throw them around.

Conclusion: Again this is my personal opinion after test flying the recent B glider available and I am sure that each pilot will find his own preference after his test flight.
-The U-Cruise has an interesting fast structure for the pilots who likes a feel of a (Turbo Rhino) design :-) structure over a nimble agile small Gazelle like the Rush 4 for example. The comfort over the Rush is enhanced and also the glide and speed ! But the sensitivity and efficiency in small and very weak conditions goes toward the Rush.
In Alpine conditions I can imagine many pilots on the U-Cruise getting some serious XC distances with the extra comfort this glider delivers. The overall usability and especially the top speed are really good for the B category.