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

Thursday, September 29, 2016

U-Turn (Ernst Strobl) Interview

Mr Ernst Strobl is the chief designer and founder of U-Turn and has been designing gliders and was a competition pilot since the first paragliders emerged !

Ziad: Hi Ernst, can i ask you a few questions regarding U-Turn new gliders for 2017 ?

[Ernst: ] Hello Ziad,
For 2017 we have:
Motor Glider:
- PYLO , competition motor race glider.
(Technical Data and video attached below )
- PROGRESS , intermediate motor glider, technical Data in the email. Very easy start and landing, good performance and efficiency with engine! Awesome handling :-) . The glider is make for right after the School…
- Close to finish is a small Tandem Hike and Fly, 120-175kg Start weight, EN/LTF-B, 4,85kg. We don’t have a name in the moment :-(
A good name for that wing… ? :-)  , yesterday we have past Shock & Load test with DHV.

Ziad: Sure ! I hope we will also get some pretty names from the guys on the forum !  :-)
What can you tell us please about the Blacklight 2 ?

[Ernst: ] Long story… a lot of prototypes, finally we decide to go for a middle EN-B with the flying characteristic.
We have done a parallel testing with an high B, aspect ratio 6.0 and the middle B with 5.65. Finally the performance of the high B was not that much more in comparison with the flying characteristic to the Mid. B … so we decide for the more easy flying!
But we have get a lot of knowledge with shark nose… so this was our base for the next step… :- ) …

Ziad: Any new gliders in the C category?
If so, can you please elaborate a bit on what to expect ? High aspect ratio C? or moderate C for B pilots upgrading?

[Ernst: ] Finally the final sample we plan to use for certification is in production.. In 3 weeks I can tell you more.
Passion 2 project, Certification High-C, aspect ratio 6.8, Performance Top of the C range and will go deeply in the D-Performance… the results of our tests so far
  ;-) …

Ziad: What’s your opinion about having lots of cells for a glider in the low B category. Ex: NOVA Phantom.

[Ernst: ] The glider have a good flying characteristic, easy to start, very good performance in this segment, for me the handling can be better… Personally I’m not sure if this is the way… this concept works only with the very light material, we know all how expensive the material is and how long it will stay stable… so what is when the glider is 2-3 years old, how much the pilots will pay for this used gliders… so it can be a big lost in 2-3 years, very hard to say how the market will act on those concepts.

Ziad: You have been designing wings for a very long time. Do you think there’s lots of potential for improving safety and performance? Are we waiting for better materials? Cloth?lines? or new concepts?

[Ernst: ] my competition glider from 1994 have the same performance as an Emotion 3, EN-A, So I think it will go continues forward with performance and safety, a part will be new materials, new concepts, the race is still not at the end… as you can see in the latest development in the competition scene… Impressive to see what Ozone is doing there.

Ziad: Thank you Ernst !!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NOVA Interview (Philippe Medicus) R&D department

A few questions for Philippe medicus head of NOVA R&D department .

1-Ziad: Do you consider the new concept of the Phantom an open gate for future glider designs?
Philippe Medicus: I don't think, that the Phantom is going to stay the only wing of its kind.

2- Ziad: What are the benefits of this concept on higher aspect ratio gliders? + 6, 7, 8 AR?
Philippe Medicus: Current competition wings have a similar cell count already.
Adding the complex internal structure of the Phantom would decrease weight and increase dimensional stability.
But compared to the advantage of the concept in the "Low-B Class", the benefit would be a lot smaller.

3- Ziad: Does implementing this concept will increase the speed, the stability, or only the performance?
Philippe Medicus: The concept does not increase the collapse resistance, but the dimensional stability benefits a lot. So the wing stays closer to its intended shape, which increases performance.
A high performance glider tends to gain more speed when pushing the speed-bar with a certain travel, than a wing with less performance.
So it's no coincidence, that the Phantom is a faster than an Ion4 on bar.

4- Ziad: NOVA enthusiast will be able to see a new Mentor 5 with this concept? Any dates?
Philippe Medicus: Currently we are not developing an other wing with this concept. So the Mentor 5 won't be a "Phantom-type" wing.
Sorry - no dates yet, but certainly not this year.

5- Ziad: Will it have an impact on the handling ? Turning ability?
Philippe Medicus: It does have an impact on the handling: The Phantom handles more precisely than any other Low-B glider we have flown. And - to a certain extend - the performance of a wing directly affects the handling. When a glider converts speed into height well, pilots say that you can "feel the performance". That's what the Phantom does more than other low AR wings.

6- Ziad: Could they also see a new Triton “C” with lots of cells? 
Philippe Medicus: We haven't decided yet.

7- Ziad: What do you see in future glider design?
Philippe Medicus: Detailed predictions of the future turn out to be false most of the time. :)
So I won't bother you with any guesses.

8- Ziad: The Bion 1 was almost indestructible! Can you please describe the new Bion 2?
And what will motivate the professionals to fly the Bion 2?
Philippe Medicus: The Bion2 has a lighter bottom sail than the Bion1, which won’t affect the longevity unless landing on a tree... The Bion2 will be just as durable as the Bion1.
Easy take off, easy handling, and good flaring ability for landing, longevity.
Further more it's quite fast with open trimmers and has a lot more performance than Bion1.

9- Ziad: One more question please. Can you describe the new Bion 2? The Bion 1 was a very tough tandem wing, almost indestructible !
Why would the professionals be interested in buying the Bion 2 ?

Philippe Medicus: The Bion2 has a lighter bottom sail than the Bion1, which doesn't affect the longevity. (Except you damage the bottom sail, by landing in a tree)
But besides such an incident, the Bion2 will be just as durable as the Bion1.

> Why would the professionals be interested in buying the Bion 2 ?
Easy take off, easy handling, and good flaring ability for landing. And of course the longevity. Further more it's quite fast with open trimmers and has a lot more performance than Bion1.

Thank you Philippe !

Monday, September 19, 2016

OZONE (Luc Armant) interview

Questionnaire for OZONE R&D designer and Team pilot Luc Armant.

1-Ziad : A new concept of gliders with many cells is emerging with low and high aspect ratio. What are your thoughts about this concept? Especially on moderate aspect ratio gliders ?

Luc Armant: The idea from Nova of proposing a glider for richer intermediate pilot is making fully sense. Any other serious mechanical sport industry is having such product. I have no idea what size is that market for paragliders. High cell number concept: for sure things are not simple like the higher the better. Zeno versus Enzo2 is a nice example showing that not only cell number count (78 vs 101). Not enough cells is not good and too much is not good too, even for performances. What we have experimented is that there is an optimum number of cell for a given design, and that optimum can be very different from one design to another.

2-Ziad : Almost every pilot is talking about the Zeno… The Manual is clear. Since you have flown both now, many pilots would like to know the difference in flying demands and feeling compared to the M6 and the Enzo 2. Can you also elaborate on brake response and dynamism?

Luc Armant: Flying demand and comfort is much closer to M6 than Enzo2. I still find that the M6 is a good wing, relatively safe, performant and without bugs, but the Zeno has more character, is more pleasurable, more exciting to fly. All that is without talking about the gain in performances.
Gliding on the side of an M6 or any other END wing, gives you an extra blast. Brake pressure is much lighter than M6. That’s my favorite brake pressure, and you kind of feel the thermal through your fingers a bit like on the Delta2. It can answer fast to roll input and turn in tiny radius with still nice climbing efficiency.

3- Ziad : Now that the Zeno is finished, any news on the Delta 3 project?

Luc Armant: No news yet, apart from the fact we are still working on that project, amongst other projects. But for sure the longest project ever in ozone !

4-Ziad : I know you already answered the following question but just to answer some pilots questions…Will OZONE see an advantage of building a high cell count on a Delta 3 for example? Or a Rush 5 ?

Luc Armant: Ozone will not see an advantage of building D3 or R5 with more cells than optimum for their design.
We try to build product with only necessary stuff.
It does not mean than the Delta3 will have 20 cells only !!!

5- Ziad: Some pilots said that the M6 and Enzo tendency to cravat are high after a collapse ,So did you make any re-arrangement for the Zeno design ,not to have cravats? or may be less...
Any comments?

Luc Armant: I’m not sure about that comment. And I would need to know what sort of cravat they are talking about. Pilots use the word cravats for many different things.
After collapses, sometimes the M6 or the Enzo2 does a small wing tip knot that you can remove by pulling the stabilo line.
I did not make special arrangement but the Zeno is not cravatting easily. For that reason we decided to remove the stabilo line.
Like on any wing, depending on the air and your piloting, you can have a collapse going to the front (sideways air flow), resulting in the collapsed part of the wing blocked by the air flow in front of the lines. But in that case usually two or three deep asymmetric pumping is enough.

 6- Ziad: Anything you want to add concerning the future of glider design?

Luc Armant: Like always, I can only talk about present and past. The future is still to be created.

Ziad :Thank you Luc !


Thursday, September 8, 2016



The Leaf (nice name for a paraglider ! ) is the first Supair certified as a B glider and intended for a larger group in this segment.
The take off is super easy for a B with no hang back or shooting forward.

I flew the Leaf in different conditions from weak to rough conditions and i have now a solid idea about it’s behavior.

In rough turbulent thermals the Leaf resembles the low B category gliders ex: Ion 4 by the comfort it delivers and ease of use.
Inside the thermals, the Leaf S (75-95) loaded at 92 is a real pleasure ! The brakes have moderate pressure similar to the M4 or the Ion 4. A little more pressure than the Swift or the Rush 4.

The brakes are linear, precise and direct, delivering a superb maneuverability!
I could place the Leaf exactly where i wanted even in the roughest of air. The Leaf reacts like an extension of the pilot arm. I re-discovered flying pleasure on board this colored ‘toy’ !

Climbing with reference gliders showed me an impressive climb rate ! I could easily stay near the excellent Swift 4 ! and in rough air i could out-climb easily many high end gliders. For sure the climbing ability of the Leaf puts it right among the top gliders in the mixed B category .

The speed system is easy to push with a moderate pressure, less than the Mentor 4, a bit harder than the Swift 4 pressure. The top speed of the Leaf is around 10 km/h over trim .

Doing lots of glide i noticed a nice trim speed in calm air for the Leaf slightly more than the Rush 4 . The glide however puts the Leaf in the first part of the mixed B category .

Big ears are stable, efficient and reopen by themselves.

I enjoyed every second flying the Leaf. It was nice to feel like a ‘leaf’ again  :-) .
The climb rate and the handling will draw smiles bigger than the pilots faces !  :-)
The Leaf is a moderate B glider just in the middle of this huge B category. It is not a very low boring B nor a lively high B. It’s a balanced well behaved mid B.
The Leaf glide angle will share the first part of this B category.
I think the Leaf with its sheathed lines all over was created not to drag race the top B contenders with a knife between the teeth…. but to deliver comfort, ease of use, excellent climbing, pleasure and a lovely handling.