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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ozone Alpina 3 MS

OZONE Alpina 3  MS size 

After test flying the Delta 3 in MS and ML size, here’s the Alpina 3 MS test flight, loaded from 92 to 94 all up. 

First impression, got when flying it, was as if i was flying the Delta 3 MS. I wrote that hastily, on the forum. 
But flying the Alpina 3 more and more, i saw some slight differences in handling that were felt on longer flights.

The launch ability is slightly enhanced over the D3, due to the light cloth. In the air the brake pressure are also lighter on the Alpina 3 and i could turn the glider quite precisely, with very little pressure with only 2 cm of brake distance ! 
The overall feel (feedback) under the Alpina 3 is very close to the Delta 3 with a bit more, positive comfortable feedback coming from the glider. 

After some flying hours, my hands were not tired on the Alpina 3 as they were on the Delta 3. With little less pressure, the Alpina 3 could be steered with very little effort.
The overall gliding performance in multiple conditions are exactly the same, like the Delta 3 MS. Even the climb rate in weak and strong. 

The difference between the Cayenne 5 XS and the Alpina 3 MS in entering thermals is that the C5 will have some pitch movements before entering while the Alpina 3 just enters without any movements in moderate conditions. It just slips though and climbs quickly. In very weak stuff, the pilot must focus twice more to feel the movements of the glider inside the weak lift. 

The handling and the way the glider talks to the pilot in thermal conditions, are more pronounced on the cayenne 5 while the Alpina 3 is 50 % tamer.
Applying the bar is smooth as the Delta 3 and very efficient, especially into-wind transitions ! 

Loading the MS from 92 to 94…95 seems optimum for this design.  
Ears are stable and with the bar it’s an efficient way to get down without flapping ears ! 
Wing overs could be very high…Lots of pressure inside the glider. 
Holding a 60 % asymmetric without brake counter-steering, the Alpina 3 MS turns gently toward the open side ! Which is quite nice ! 

Conclusion: The Alpina 3 MS design seem to give the pilot a comfortable feedback, with the optimum gliding performance especially at bar. All that with a very nice handling characteristics. 
Ears are stable and very efficient at bar.  The big difference between the Alpina 2 and Alpina 3 is gliding in difficult conditions and headwind where the A3 will be much more efficient especially at bar. 
True performance in active air !

In today’s C class, the Sigma 10, Queen 2, Delta 3 are really very efficient and competitive !  
The Alpina 3 offers also that exact top package with agile character.  Comfortable, easy to fly, top end gliding performance, very good climbing in thermals, good in weak conditions, agile, more precise in steering than the D3 and slightly lighter in pressure.  
The MS size suits my total flying weight of 93 with an 8 kg X-rated 6 harness and no added ballast, so I think I’ll keep it for now as the new reference in glide for the C category. 

ALPINA 3 S size.
Now i test flew the S size 65-85 at 85 all up.  The minimum weight i can get in winter…I flew the Alpina 3 S size with an Ozium 2 M.
Take off is immediate without any hard point or surge…Easy to get airborne. 
First contact on the brakes and quickly super satisfied ! …Swift, super direct, linear handling ! I could place the Alpina 3 S size perfectly inside any core. The pressure on the brakes are moderate to light, but very reactive.  The Alpina 3 S size has one of the most beautiful turning ability !! 
Flying the A3 MS size at 94, which is near the max, and flying the A3 S size at 85 which is at top also , is another experience !
The A3 S size feels more alive in active air, but still very coherent and taught.  
The handling is even more linear and very responsive in small narrow cores.  I really enjoyed the Alpina 3 S size in all thermal conditions. 
For a small glider, It does in fact has  the ability to get most of the lift especially into wind thermals, and would not bounce at any thermal whatsoever ! It just cut through very efficiently and climbs really well ! like the new generation of C gliders. 
 I think that’s a first with small gliders ! Usually they are trimmed a bit weird…to pass the certification. But that’s not the case of the Alpina 3 S size. It seems that the R& D team delivered a super nice and very competitive (into-wind) thermalling and gliding machine. 
The trim speed at max weight is less by 0.5 km/h than an Alpina 3 MS or a Delta 3 MS similarly loaded. 
The glide at trim and accelerated is really good like the MS size with slightly less  around 0.1 in L/D (Reynolds numbers). 
Ears are stable and reopen upon activating the brakes. 

Conclusion: A really powerful, very efficient, XC machine. The Alpina 3 S size will surely be appreciated for pilots who are looking for a sharp, agile, beautiful handling glider !