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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ADVANCE Omega X-Alps 2 size 23

ADVANCE Omega X-Alps 2 size 23 

After the excellent Sigma 10, which is as i said a complete C glider with 6.1 aspect ratio, here’s the Omega X-alps 2 in size 23 test flight.

Harness: X-rated 6 (my usual harness)  Total weight of 95 on the OXA 2 size 23 (80-97) 

Launching is easy for an aspect ratio of 7. Homogenous and steady rise, in 15 km/h with no overshooting if the pilot slightly control it by the brakes.

The days conditions were a bit shaky, and i must say that the X-Alps 2 is a relatively easy to control glider. Could be slightly more demanding to fly than an LM6 size SM loaded at 94 and less demanding than the Skywalk X-Alps 3 size XS at 96 all up.  
The Omega X-alps 2 slows a bit before entering the thermals even hands up. It only pitches back slightly on strong thermals.  But even when it slows down before entering, it slips through the thermal quite slowly. In the same air the Skywalk X-alps 3 surges forward with faster reactions. 

The handling and the way to steer the Omega X-alps 2 could be described as fairly agile. The OXA2 responds to pilots commands quite nicely, and it’s the feature that can give it’s pilot the authority in strong air staying in the core and being more controllable. 

In weak lift under 0.5 m/s ,both the Skywalk and the OXA 2 have similar climb. Between the three gliders, the LM6 seems floatier in very weak lifts. 
It doesn’t mean that the OXA 2 and X-alps 3 doesn’t climb…like many could misinterpret, and it’s not a question of better pilot also like some will comment later…It’s just that at the same weight loads, and same pilot skills, the LM6 hover slightly more in those very weak lifts, giving a slight floaty edge to reconnect to a slightly steadier thermal. 
It’s just the same case with the Delta 3 and Sigma10 in weak lift at the same loadings and pilot skills. The S10 will have that super slight ‘floatable edge’ hovering a bit for a better window to a slightly stronger thermal. But that’s too precise to hang on to…

The OXA2, climb very well in steady +1 m/s and over…thermals, and in fact the OXA 2 and the X-alps 3 will have the edge over the LM6 in quick climbs and surges. 

Gliding at trim speed, the OXA 2 has a slight faster trim than the LM6 but with a slight better glide angle especially gliding through a head wind. At bar, they seems similar. 
The C handles are a nice option to control the glider in turbulent air, and they are quite efficient in some moderate cases. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

SWING Arcus RS size S

Swing Arcus RS size S (75-95)

The Arcus is Swing 2017/2018 EN-B model with RAST system.
I was excited when I heard about that new technology and wanted to fly a glider with RAST, just to see how it feels. Here it is.
I flew the Arcus RS size S at 92 all up. First day, conditions were really good !  With 1500 m gain above take off I could go anywhere, and stay as long as I wanted test flying the Arcus. And that’s what I did. In fact, I flew on the Arcus nice triangles that were previously done on higher rayed wings. Of course the conditions were exceptional, but I must say that I was feeling at first amused underneath the Arcus, because it was nicely and smoothly delivering !  If i knew that before, i would have brought the cheese and wine ;-) 

Take off in 10 km/h wind is really easy…I mean I could inflate the glider without touching the brakes. The Arcus inflates smoothly and it’s very controllable without any surges whatsoever.

Take off is immediate. After some thermal flying I was impressed by the amount of comfort the Arcus delivers ! I mean it’s really comfortable ! No pitch behavior, no useless movements, just the necessary super polite feedback coming from above. The glider feels very homogenous, and compact. 
Now my favorite part (handling) was already fulfilled from the first turn with a large smile on my face  ! The Arcus brake pressure is moderate, Not too short, not too long, with no pressure points. It has a linear response with agile characteristics that enables the pilot to put the Arcus exactly and precisely into the thermal. This authority should be welcomed in higher rated B gliders… I was super happy in the air placing it inside any core. 

Gliding the Arcus feels like on rails through bumps. The glide efficiency is really nice and could be placed easily with the best (mid) B gliders in the category.  I think the climb rate is also very efficient for a low to mid B glider. 

I don’t know if RAST gave this nice homogenous feel, and also that quick brake response and of course that easiness in flight…But there’s surely something new that was felt over here in overall stability.

I tried to make large asymmetric collapses, but the Arcus RS behaved like an A glider…No change in course, no issue in collapsing…Its like there’s no collapse.  Big ears are doable and very stable, efficient with and without bar. They reopen smoothly and evenly by themselves. 

I can put the Arcus in ease of use like the Epsilon 8 for example, and possibly easier…

The speed system has around 10 km/h over trim. Wing overs builds really well, and could be quite impressive !

Conclusion: Flying different gliders every day in the B,C, D category, I was happy test flying the Arcus RS. The overall handling, and the ability to steer the glider with very good precision into the core is really nice. 
The overall comfort under the Arcus is high. In fact, I think, if this glider is flown in strong days, it will deliver a big comfort rate for the pilot. 

PS: Please consider that other sizes and different load could lead to a different feel. Please fly your gliders at +70 % of their weight ranges if possible.