Monday, June 13, 2016

UP Kibo SM


After test flying the Summit XC3 and the Trango XC3, here’s the Kibo test flight in SM size .

The Kibo has a 5.7 aspect ratio and has a B rating. UP created the Kibo for B pilots in mind and should be easier to fly than the Summit XC3.

Launching the Kibo is super easy and smooth . No shooting forward or hanging back. Just a steady climb to rest above the pilots head.

I flew the Kibo SM (75-95) at 93 all up as i felt it is a good load on this size. The trim speed isn’t very high, just near 38 km/h as average for the B category.

I flew this glider in different conditions from weak ones to some turbulent air in our Cedars Mountain range. I could quickly confirm a very comfortable glider. The Kibo is a compact smooth easy to fly B machine.
No matter what you throw on the Kibo, the B pilot underneath is very well taken care after !! Or should i say the pilot under the Kibo feels like a VIP on tour !

The handling on the Kibo is exquisite ! The glider reacts to a moderate brake travel and pressure feel, coupled with a very nice coordinated turn and precise inputs !
I can describe it as a “politely” agile glider  :-)  ! 

Doing some performance comparisons with the recent B+ beasts puts the Kibo overall performance in the first half of the B category in glide and climb.

The speed is around 10 km over trim at my loads taken at 700 ASL with a relatively moderate pressure, and a stable glider with usable speed.

Big ears are very easy to induce, very stable, efficient, and fast on opening.

Induced frontal collapses and even some big asymmetric collapses are a non event and it felt strangely like on an A glider …The reopening are very fast and smooth.
I didn't feel like I’m on a 5.7 aspect ratio glider at all !
It seems that UP has done a marvelous job with the internal structure of the Kibo ! I wished this structure was implemented on the 7:0 aspect ratio Trango XC3 which gave me some “Kung Fu” hours in turbulence. So the gap in comfort between the Kibo and the Trango XC3 is like a 4 category cooler !  :-)

Conclusion: This glider gives its pilot an impressive comfort zone! Coupled with a very good handling ! Pilots upgrading on the Kibo from any lower category will find a very friendly B machine. The overall performance are within the B category, and will surely deliver a good pilot, some nice XC flying days.