PHI Synphonia 22
PHI is the new brand of the well known and leading designer Hannes Papesh. The Synphonia is the first PHI glider to be released with an A certification.
I purchased the size 22 which goes from 75 to 95 all up and here what i found.
The construction of the Synphonia is very neat. The materials used are the latest in terms of technology from the cloth, lines to the sporty risers.
The Synphonia has a relatively light cloth, with modern thin lines and simple configuration. It is quite similar to the lines used on the Mentor 5 series.
A little pull on the A’s and the Synphonia launches gently and quite easy. No hard points. It just sits above the pits head.
First turn showed me an agile nature for an A glider. The brake pressure are on the moderate side, and the agility at 93 is quite remarkable ! A little pull will goes into a nice turn in the thermals with very good precision for an A glider, and even if we compare it to the high B’s in terms of brake response and agility. Coring thermal feels like spinning positively, much like a kids Top !
Flying the Synphonia felt a bit like flying some low B gliders in terms of pilot level, but the roll movements and comfort resembles gliders in the low to mid category in terms of thermal feedback.
Gliding with the Synphonia in super calm air, with no head wind whatsoever, showed me a very nice and interesting glide ratio. Even at bar the glider has a interesting flat polar. At full bar there’s a 7-8 km/h increase in speed over trim at max load.
Now facing the wind and gliding in difficult conditions, at trim or at full bar, the Synphonia will behave and perform similarly to some low B gliders in terms of efficiency and gliding performance.
Flying it against a valley breeze and hoping to slip through and dig forward efficiently like B category gliders is a bit optimistic on an A glider. The upper B category is designed to surf forward more efficiently. Beside…it’s an A certified glider and i certainly don’t want to compare it to the Mentor series…But it’s just to explain my founding as better as i can…
But for an A it’s surely one of the top performer.
Flying it at max weight (+95) could be more beneficial and better to get the leading edge moving more into wind…
The climb rate in weak and strong conditions even loaded near the top is very good for that kind of glider ! The Synphonia can really climb very well, and could be among the highest gliders in a gaggle even among some high B’s.
Conclusion: PHI gliders philosophy is well shown on the Synphonia and the message is clear and direct. The designer delivered a very nice construction with a fairly good touch of performance, especially for an A certified machine ! All that with a nice pleasurable handling and an efficient climb rate !
Now I’m keen to look out for Hannes specialty…the B class ! The future seems hopefully bright…