Wednesday, January 18, 2017

SKYWALK Chili 4 S and XS

SKYWALK Chili 4   (The powerful package) 
Yes …..They were a bit late to arrive !
 Two SKYWALK gliders with an EN-B certification. One is the S size (85-105) and the other the XS size (75-95)  Both are the new CHILI 4 as a high-end B glider which will replace the floatable Chili 3 !
Lets see what SKYWALK did with the Chili 4 who took quite a while in development. I was very curious to see what are the benefits on the B category and i was keen to see if SKYWALK did manage to keep the excellent climb of the Chili 3.
Looking closely at the glider showed a trendy approach with a shark nose, a  pure 3 line configuration, with very small minimalistic and finely tuned line width ! Some lower lines are sheathed and the higher ones are unsheathed. Putting all the lines on one hand, feels indeed very small, it looks smaller than the Mentor 4 ones.
Launching the Chili 4 XS at 92 all up is an easy task with no delay or shooting forward. A simple glider to inflate.
In the air…and already smiling… The brake pressure is exactly to my liking. Not as hard as the Mentor 4 one, nor as soft as the Rush 4 one. It has a moderate pressure with immediate short response. I could put the glider exactly where i wanted with a linear travel !  It isn’t as agile as the Tequila 4, but close enough! I can say that the Tequila has a playful handling, as it dives on quite playfully when you pull hard. 
The Chili 4 has a Joyful efficient handling. It doesn’t dive but has a “flat” corkscrew ability  :-)  !
The pilot can steer it with a much more flat performance turn ! At my all up weight, i was able to core the inside of any thermal. The agility ressembles the Rush 4 or the Swift 4 which are excellent handling gliders.  
With it’s short, linear, responsive and agile character, SKYWALK managed to fix the old Chili 3 handling problem for good !
I’m going to write now a bit about the brand new S size (80-105) flown at 100 all up versus the Mentor 4 S (80-100) flown at 95 all up. (This Mentor 4 S has only around 50 hours) And still in a very good shape and wasn’t flown beside testing and comparing in XC conditions.  Both sizes are flown 5 kg less than the top certified weight.
Gliding along the Chili 4 S with the Mentor 4 S showed a similar trim speed. Probably the Chili 4 S has a 0.25 km/h faster. Comparing the trim speed of the Chili 4 S at 100 all up and a Cayenne 5 S at 100 all up will give the Cayenne 5 a little more speed at trim . (Just for infos only) 
The top speed of both the Mentor 4 S and the Chili 4 S loaded as mentioned above has the same top speed with a slight 1 km/h more for the Chili 4 S.
What are you waiting for ?  ;-)  The glide ? .. or the climb rate ?  :-)   Lets see…
The climb rate in weak and difficult conditions gave me the impression that the CHILI 3 DNA is inserted deeply into the CHILI 4 ! 
But i think it’s much, much better…The Chili 3 was pitching back a bit before entering. The CHILI 4 has a super stable pitch entry ! I was flying for the last months the Zeno, and when the Chili 4 arrived, to be honest i was worried that i have to loose some flying days testing it…as i thought it will have this B feeling in thermal searching and performance feel  !
  I was wrong! The ability of the CHILI 4 to (slide, sniff, surf) the airmass is amazing, just like flying a higher rated glider. When all is calm above your head, you could hear the vario…Bip, bip, bip… It gives the impression to grab every bubble without the leading edge pitch and movements.
It doesn’t attack and search forward, but it climbs slowly and peacefully.  
Flew with my Mentor 4 S near the Chili 4 S, and i felt this edge in float ability as if my friend was flying his Cayenne 5 S ! Each time the thermals weakens the CHILI 4 floats better.
For sure it’s an efficient climber and here again SKYWALK has managed to keep the excellent climb of the Chili 3. 

The glide in calm air at trim and accelerated at full speed is very ,very, close to the Mentor 4 …but… 
In all the testing I have done before on the Mentor 4 and other gliders, I was always certain that if any glider could beat the Mentor 4 in glide it would be pretty awesome! 
especially in moving air !  
For example, I was pretty close to the Cayenne 5 S which eventually had the edge in overall conditions. 
Lots of pilots nowadays still ask about the glide in moving conditions… Well IMHO, it’s the BEST way to see the ability of gliders to surf the airmass efficiently…and it’s not done on a single glide where one can get a lift and other will loose it, it’s done on frequent glides, felt and seen, frequently on tip to tip glide comparisons. 
Doing those glides against the CHILI 4 S was obvious to the eye that the edge was now on the CHILI 4 side !!! 
In overall conditions, the efficiency of the CHILI 4 was tested, felt, and validated, to let me conclude that the CHILI 4 with it’s narrow edge is now the benchmark for the high-end B gliders. 
The problem for SKYWALK now is to create a more competitive Cayenne ! 
Flying in some moderate turbulence, the tips flutters a bit without any consequences. The CHILI 4 moves in turbulent air like any high-B glider.It’s not a super comfortable glider nor a difficult one to manage. It ressembles the Iota, Mentor 4 ability to control. 
Big ears are stable with and without accelerator. They open immediately without touching the brakes. 
If you pull two lines on each side, for much bigger ears, it will be un-stable (a bit). I must find something…  :-) 

Pulling one riser and holding it, doesn’t get a high sink rate and it requires a good weight shift and a little brake control to keep it straight. But so easy to handle for a high B.
Induced frontals are hard to pull in. It’s like the feeling of a two liner. Heavy pull is needed to collapse it. The reopening is average to good.
At full speed, the Chili 4 has around 13-14 km/h over trim and the leading edge still feels solid as pulling the riser doesn’t quickly collapse it.
360’s are efficient and the glider stays quite some turns to exit, so braking a bit the opposite side helps a lot.
Conclusion: What can i do when i feel satisfied with a tested glider beside a large smile ? I’ll happily write about it for you to experience my findings ! 
The CHILI 4 with it’s technical line configuration, need a good B pilot to master it efficiently, like any high end B glider and a careful approach to prepare in bad launching areas, with stones and roots. I found it best to fly the S at 101-103 all up and the XS at 91- 93 all up with no worry about the climb in weak.
Apart from that, the CHILI 4 gave me the sensation of a pleasurable flying machine with nothing but ’top’ overall performance, efficient and agile handling, amazing climb and gliding performance!
All that with a 5.65 AR (4.2 AR Projected) !   A very powerful package ! 
I’m very sure that some serious manufacturers are also aiming for excellence. For now the CHILI 4 has strongly earned its place among the best. Lets see what the future brings.
Beside doing competitions with speed tasks, I always wonder why we always look for higher aspect ratio gliders when a low AR good B can offer us tremendous amount of performance, swift handling, good passive safety, pleasurable feel and a deep happy satisfaction !   
Happy landings  :-) ! 


Unknown said...

thank you Ziad, a great review as always. Keep up the good hard work.

Bert said...

Hello Ziad, thank you for the review.

I recently ordered my Chili 4. Sorry for not waiting for your review!

Anyhow, I hope flying my new wing will put a smile on my face as big as after reading your review :-)

Unknown said...

Hello Ziad,
what do you see as the biggest differences between Rook2 and Chili 4. Your opinion means me a lot as I can test only Rook2, but I wish to buy a Chili 4.
By the way, your blog is awsome.

Ziad Bassil said...

Hi, Thank you ! The difference between a rook 2 SM and a Chili 4 XS is the shorter brake response of the Chili 4 ,the climb rate and the overall glide ratio. All are slightly improved ! The Chili 4 needs a slight more active piloting in strong air. Cheers, Ziad

Life said...

Any thoughts on how much of a move up it would be if I'm used to flying an Arriba 2 to go to a Chili 4? I'd like to get better glide and a little more agility. Thanks.

Ziad Bassil said...

Hi, Well it's a logical evolution if you already have mastered the Arriba 2 with lts of flying in strong conditions. Cheers, Ziad

cloud surfer said...

Hi Ziad,
Thanks for your review!

My all up weight is 97-98 kg. Do you recommend getting the S size with 105 kg max weight or overloading it 2 or 3 kg with the XS size with 95 kg max weight?

Happy landings,

Ziad Bassil said...

I think the S at 100 would be fine.In strong days 102 would be better.

Baptiste said...

Hi Ziad, many thanks for your great blog, and your passion. I fly a Mentor 4 Xs@87-88 with a WV Xalps GTO. I wonder if the Chili 4 is more precise and direct on break control because I find the M4 a little bit blurred. On that point do you think a low C is a better choice than a high-end B? Best wishes

Ziad Bassil said...

Hi Baptiste,
Thank you.
Yes I think if you can handle a low C, you will find a more precise break control. The Chili 4 is nice thought...but the Cayenne is better on that specific point.

Baptiste said...

Many thx, what do you mean by "if you can handle"? I'm wondering if the Chili 4 or a low C like the Elan would be more readable in thermic flight...

Ziad Bassil said...

If you fly the M4 then a low C is surely manageable for you like the Elan, Delta, Sigma etc. Their feel through the brakes will be slightly sharper like you are aiming for...the Cayenne 5 has a nice sharp handling for a C also.

Unknown said...

Hi Ziad,

I have the impression that the Carrera+ still has the upper hand over the Chili4 in terms of preformance when it comes to XC flights, is it in your opinion too? and how would you rate the gap in terms of pilot activity in a good thermal day ? ie if you consider a 6h flight, is the added performance not ruined by a more tired pilot ?

Love your test :) thanks for your work :)

Ziad Bassil said...

Thank you.
I think both require active piloting in turbulence.As the aspect ratio of the C4 is lesser than the C+, then it could react slightly better in recovery after collapses than the C+. The performance is very close...Choose the one that's easier to handle will have more co.fortable hours to spend...

Baptiste said...

Many thanks
Have good flights !

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lars said...

Hi Ziad, I’m thinking about moving from my Tequila 4 (M) to the Chili 4 (S). Do you think this will be a big step in terms of certification?

Thanks, Lars

Ziad Bassil said...

It depends on the place you fly..and on the hours per year...its also a logical evolution for a 70 hours per year pilot.

Lars said...

Thanks for taking your time to react.
Unfortunately I don’t fly too many hours a year :-(. It’s a bit the answer I did expect ;-), though I’d like to know if it’s a real big step in terms of difficulty in handling the wing. I’ve got the idea that a lot of (lower rated) wings tend to get more and more save to fly, although they can often compete with the higher rated ones. I would like to expand my xc ambitions a bit more but again helas without a bunch of flying hours (maybe not realistic?). That’s why I’m looking to the Chili 4.... If you think there’s a other wing out there that would answer more to my ambitions, I’m very keen to hear! Maybe the Tequila 5, or the BGD Punk or....?

Thanks a lot again,

Ziad Bassil said...

Hi Lars,
Sometimes a mastered low or mid B can get you the best xc distances..while handling a high B with hesitation could get you to land sooner or the same day...
Try a mid B...type Ion 5, Uturn Crossrock is nice...
Swing Nyos RS is a high B but quite mild...