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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

ADVANCE Sigma 10 (Authenticity at it's best )

ADVANCE Sigma 10  25  (Authenticity at it’s best) 

Here’s the new Sigma…How times go fast…I still remember my flights on the Sigma 4, 19 years ago !!!! high above ‘Cheval blanc’ in Saint Andre…Conditions were rough!  was a bit lost… heavy turbulence…Great memories  ;-) 
But that glider turned on a dime ! It was a dhv 2-3 at the time, and was pretty dynamic in frontals, but what a dream handling it had!
Back to the future now, with the Sigma 10 in size 25 ready to take off finally. As usual, the construction, the sewings, the finishing details of the Sigma 10 is similar to a Ferrari. Don’t expect less.

Launching the 6.1 aspect ratio Sigma 10 is smooth, easy, and without surprises. The take off is immediate.

First turn and my eyebrows are already lifted! The brake travel is very responsive, accurate, precise, direct, and linear. Much better progressive feel over the S9. I flew the Sigma 10 in different conditions, from the sea spots to the higher Cedars range, and i never felt anytime that it was reluctant to turn in any kind of thermic conditions. The Sigma 10 responded to my commands whenever i wanted regardless of what conditions is around. A super obedient glider and a pleasurable one to fly.  It can be placed exactly where the pilots wants.
This excellent brake authority is coupled with a very well structured glider. Whatever it is…optimized Sliced Diagonals, 3D Diamond Shaping, C-Wires…I really don’t know, but i’m very sure that the internal structure of this Sigma 10 is super solid, super coherent, and very efficient in turbulent air. I didn’t noticed any wrinkles on that surface…It seems flawless…Or i could be getting old and needs glasses  ;-)   

i flew the Sigma 10 ,25 from 93 to 97 and it was the optimum weight for any kind of conditions. This coherent solid feel was always present like a guardian. 

I also flew next to my reference glider in the C category, the Cayenne 5 XS at 92 all up. Doing many glides in active air together showed at first a similar glide at trim speed with a very slight edge in trim speed for the S10. The difference was more visual at 40 % of the Sigma 10, red marker. At that speed, with the Cayenne 5 XS matching it also, the Sigma 10 showed me a better glide by a small margin in calm air. In active turbulent air this margin was bigger. For me it was a first. Not one C glider before yet out-glided the cayenne 5. 
Full speed on the Cayenne 5 with the Sigma 10 matching that speed, they showed same glide again. Now the Sigma 10 similarly loaded has +3km/h more top speed. Pushing that speed in front of the Cayenne 5 for a while and releasing it. When the Cayenne 5 reached the Sigma 10, they were again at the same level. 
The best glide for the Sigma 10, size 25  is around 40 % over trim ! 

Climb rate in weak condition less than 0.5 m/s were slightly on the Cayenne 5 which seems slightly a bit floatier. As the thermal are more punchy and powerful, the Sigma 10 shoots quickly upward!  It’s a 6.1 AR, but it does really go up very fast reaching the top of gaggles.    

I noticed that each time the conditions were more turbulent, the Sigma 10, showed more it’s potential by cutting through and moving forward like no Sigma has done before. That’s why, i can confirm swiftly that this Sigma 10 is the best Sigma ever made when it comes to true performance!

Wait…That’s not all ..  :-)   
The Sigma 10 delivers a high comfort in active air ! This swift handling, the solid structure, will let the C pilot control it swiftly and accurately in active air. I can say any Good B pilot could easily upgrade on the Sigma 10 after two seasons on his glider. At it’s optimum weight load, this profile doesn’t pitch back in turbulence, neither forward. It just goes trough turbulence and move forward, letting it’s pilot comfortably relaxed. It’s an efficient glider in headwind or valley breeze, especially for 6.1 AR C glider. I’ll update my C comparison soon, but be prepared to see the Sigma 10 among the most comfortable ones.

There’s one more :-)
The Sigma 10 has one of the most efficient C controls a glider can have. It doesn’t react as a 2 liner, but really close :-) .  
I mean this glider is much more stable than higher rated ones, therefore, when on bar, this efficient C control, will help a lot by reducing any surge movement in active air. So stepping on the pedal is very easy and accessible.

Big ears with outer A’s move slightly but i can say they are stable enough and reopen by a small dab on the brakes or sometimes calmly by themselves. Big ears pulling the B3 and the stabile line works well also, but it’s better for this method to push the bar before pulling them. They reopen swiftly!

Conclusion: Advance has done a marvelous job on this Sigma 10!  They didn’t stretch the aspect ratio, keeping it simple and authentic as it should be. They worked hard on the inner structure and other details and they succeeded to deliver accessible ‘TOP’ performance in the C category. 1- 90% Comfortable, 2- 95% agile, 3- 90% efficient and usable top performance, plus fast enough for a C !  

Happiness emerges from the most simple things in life. The Sigma 10 approaches that philosophy with excellence. 

Fly safe,

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dudek Colt 2 S

DUDEK Colt 2 S

This is my first Dudek paraglider to test fly. 
The Colt 2 construction seems very well done, with all unsheathed lines from top to bottom but with a moderate width if we want to compare it to the Cayenne 5 linewidth which has slightly more minimalistic lines. The color combinations are nice and the overall built quality from the lines, risers, cloth, finish is excellent. 

Taking off is fine on the S at 90 all up. The brake travel is long. Too long to my liking… the leading edge began to react after 10 cm of brake travel, but the glider needs more than +30 cm to get in into turns ,especially in turbulent cores. Its difficult to get it as fast as you imagine, and that wasn’t really expected from a manufacturer that makes very good acro wings.
In strong small cores, i got sometimes pushed away and i needed to be more persistent to hook them up.

I can say that the Colt 2 S is a comfortable glider for the mid C category. But it could be even more comfortable if the pilot had more brake control, to place it when he wants in turbulence and turbulent thermals.

Going on glides next to a Cayenne 5 XS loaded at 94 all up gave me the impression that the Colt 2 has a moderate to good glide angle. Not really similar to the Cayenne 5, but close. I can say that the climb rate and also glide are very good for the ‘mid’ C category. The trim speed of the Colt 2 at 90 all up is 0.5 km/h less than the C5 XS at 94 all up.  

Conclusion: I would wish that Dudek would be able to revise the brake geometry of the Colt 2 S, to be able to give it more authority on the brakes. Other than that, the Colt 2 S is a nice moderate C glider in comfort, climb, glide, and with very good manufacturing details.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trilple Seven Knight SM

Triple Seven Knight ( And shining Armour)

And the Knight came…
Back positioning system (Shark nose) , 5.4 aspect ratio, 3.8 AR projected. If you hold and look only at the lines and risers, you think you are on the 777 King. Unsheathed lines on top and regular on the lower part with exactly the same width! Impressive.
Triple seven messages are clear…at first sight, performance is ‘one’ important target.

The overall construction of the knight is super neat.
I flew the Knight SM at 93 all up in some turbulent air and strong conditions in our Cedars range.
Launching the Knight in nil wind is smooth and super easy. In strong wind, a dab on the brakes when the knight is above the pilot’s head will be better to control it overhead.

In the air, the Knight overall movements in pitch and roll weather in moderate or strong air, are super smooth and very well coordinated! It feels exactly like a low B in dampening feel with this exquisite little spice, which let the pilot, feels every movement of the air smoothly and very accurately!
I didn’t feel at any time that ‘dull’ feel found usually on the low B gliders…Instead the Knight delivers a very comfortable feel no matter how rough conditions are, with this little touch of magic, that informs the pilot about what’s going on in the air in a super smooth way!

Now my favorite part.
The Knight can be steered by a small amount on the brakes. I can describe the authority on the brakes as moderate to short, linear, precise, direct, agile…And I LOVE it! For a low B the Knight has the ‘dream handling’ Thermalling with the Knight is a real pleasure…I could control the turning radius by little precise brake inputs. Tight turns or large turns without that ‘common dive’ usually found on the low B’s. The turning radius on the Knight is very efficient. Flat turns can be made to optimize the climb in weak thermals. The knight has much better agility and more brake authority than the Rook 2 for example.

Trying to stall the Knight is difficult with hands lower than the seat board and lots of pressure. It’s really difficult to reach the stalling point.  

Efficiency in an important word in the paragliding world. Creating efficient gliders in their respective categories is the most difficult part. The Knight cuts through the air-mass without any pitch back, or even a pitch forward. It just cut through peacefully, efficiently, like any good B glider would do. I didn’t feel at any time that I was being pushed away or bumping into the air-mass. The Knight was delivering a smooth efficient ride through the air.

The knight climb rate is on par with the best B’s available today, even the higher rated ones!

The overall glide performance is right on top of the low B category, and could reach some higher rated B glider easily.
The Rook 2 has the edge in the top speed glide.

The difference between the Tequila 4 that I liked, and the Knight is the extra comfort and smoothness in flight the Knight delivers with very close authority on the brakes, without the dive in turns.

The speed bar is easy to use with moderate pressure. The knight SM has a long speed bar travel, and when the pulleys are overlapping, I could see a 12 km/h over trim taken at 2800 ASL.
At bar, +8 km/h over trim is usable in all conditions.
Big ears are stable and reopen by the pilot input. They are efficient in descent rate.
Induced asymmetric are easy to countersteer and reopen quickly. Full induced frontal makes a ‘rosette’ but a little dab on the brakes and it opens as fast as lightning.

Conclusion: IMHO, Triple Seven has created a ‘master piece’ for the low B category. The impressive cocktail of climb, glide, handling, comfort, ease of use, authority on the brakes, efficiency, is very rare to be found on a low B glider on the market today.

Written words on papers remain sleeping words…But I'm sure that the experience in ‘test flying’ the Knight will wake you up ;-)