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

Sunday, April 29, 2018


OZONE Rush 5 MS 

Ozone 2018 high EN-B has arrived. There’s a mild shark nose, barely visual. The cloth on the Rush 5 seems heavy duty, and the lines are similar to the Rush 4 ones with a bit more diameter on the Middle A lines. 

I flew the Rush 5 in MS size (75-95) for 3 consecutive days in good conditions. Flew it in turbulent, sometimes weak, and sometimes strong and difficult. 

My take off weight was from 90 to 93 all up with an X-rated 6 harness. At that weight i never felt that i needed to be heavy on it. It worked fine. 

Take off in nil wind is slow on the Rush 5. It doesn’t have a hard point, but it’s slow to reach overhead. In stronger breeze, it launches beautifully without any surge forward which is a plus and comfortable launching behavior for a high B wing. 

The last tested Ozone high B was the Rush 4 MS size. I flew that glider sometimes in this past year and i still remember the light brake pressure, the good manoeuvrability and the slow trim speed. 
Some pilots commented that the Rush 4 needed to be loaded at top in order to bump less into thermals. 

On the Rush 5, the trim speed is as fast as the Mentor 5 or the Chili 4. There is slightly more pressure on the brakes over the Rush 4. I personally like that better feel on the brakes. 
The agility in turns is very slightly less than the Rush4, but still, i can say that the Rush 5 is a fairly agile glider that can core any weird thermal, but with a very efficient turning radius. 

I flew next to a Mentor 5, Alpina 3, and some good gliders in their respective categories, in still and also in moving air. 
Doing some glides in still air, there are no difference in glide between the Mentor 5, Chili 4, and the Rush 5. But when conditions get more tricky, and in XC conditions when i was flying in real air, it seems that the Rush 5 gave me the most complete package for performance efficiency even by a tiny margin. It's like those magic gliders that can always deliver. 

I mean that the Rush 5 has very good comfortable movements with great ability to cut through without minimum loss of altitude in moving air. 
I also think that the Rush 5 thermal ability is really impressive, putting this glider at the ‘very’ top of the high-B category, in weak and also in strong thermals. The Rush 5 doesn’t really dive in turns. The turn is a performance oriented one, very balanced between agility and efficient climb. 

In weak thermals, i can confirm that the Rush 5 MS is indeed a floater. In strong cores, the Rush 5 doesn’t pitch back at all neither pitch forward aggressively. It does cut through every thermal with ‘peace’, enters and climbs without delay in any core ! That’s ‘la creme de la creme ‘ when it comes to a balance thermal behavior for a high B. 

In turbulence, i felt that the Rush 5 need less active piloting than the Rush 4, just because the Rush 5 ability to auto stabilize itself, with a non event efficient flying, that i think many pilots would be surprised by it’s serene ability to deliver top performance for even week end pilots. 

Also, i think higher rated pilots will find a very cool, super efficient tool, much easier to fly than the Alpina 3, which is easy for a C, but with all the performance package. The difference in overall performance in active air between the Rush 5 and the Alpina 3 is very small, and will be felt only in head wind long glides, by a little margin. 
What was felt in difficult conditions, could only be understood by good pilots. The Rush 5 behaves in efficiency, like a higher rated glider in cutting the airmass efficiently and climbs up and dig forward, like going on stairs but with a huge comfort over the higher rated ones. 

The pressure on the bar is higher than the one on the Rush4 and the top speed is around 12 km/h over trim. 
The performance at full bar is also very impressive at the top of the B category. The use of the speed bar is easy in turbulence and very efficient. 
The Rush 5 filters the air, cut through, glide with a very solid leading edge. 

Ears are stable, and a good way to get down. Wing overs builds quickly. Inducing an asymmetric collapse without even touching the opposite brake, the Rush 5 behaves like an A glider. Frontals tends to make sometimes a front rosette, but it opens fast with no loss in altitude. 
The slow flying characteristics are available to land accurately in tiny places with a forgiving brake length. 

Conclusion: The new generation of pilots are super lucky to fly today’s B gliders. Those performance were never seen 10 years ago, even on a competition glider! Adding the excellent comfort and the ability to surf the air. 
The Rush 5 is an excellent choice for people upgrading after two seasons on a low or mid B glider. I cannot consider it as 'demanding to fly' for a high B...But for sure Ozone placed it into that box. 
In the High-B category, the Rush 5 is a "comfortable and accessible high B, with top overall performance" in that category in turbulent and active real air with usable and very good performance! 
For all that complete package with probably a tiny edge... IMHO, the Rush 5 ‘could be’ the best B glider ever created till this date. 


Ozone Rush 5 size S 
After the MS test, i flew the S size from 82 to 85 all up. 
The launching and the overall handling is similar to the MS size. 
Usually small sizes are different and could behave differently. Not the Rush 5 S. It feels calm and reassuring like the MS size. 
The ability to turn it is also very similar even at 85 all up. 
The way it sniffs the thermal at max load is impressive also.It's still efficient without any dive in the turn. 
Overall the Rush 5 S size is like its bigger sister a Gem for XC use. 
Using the bar in turbulence is very usable and easy. 
Ears are efficient and stable.They reopen without pilot input. 
If you have a very efficient 4X4 for everyday use, and also very comfortable in bumpy dirt roads...then it will be similar to the Rush 5. 

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Friday, April 27, 2018

Skywalk X-Alps 2 size M

Skywalk X-Alps 2 size M I received finally the new 2018 Range X-alps harness in M size. This harness has an inflatable protection with a very clever device.A bag that helps inflate the protection by compressing the air in a very ingenious and easy way. The construction of the harness is among the highest concerning finishing details. There are some nice videos on youtube showing the harness in details. In this below paragraph i will place it among the ones i have tested. I’m 1.81 cm and 73 kg.  
After flying the Lightness 2 size M, the Forza size M, the X-rated6 L and XL, the GTO L and XL, the Ozium 1 and 2 size M pod M, the Impress 3 size M, i can say : The X-alps 2 harness receive the feedback from any glider without any loss of information or lack of precision. In that matter, i think it delivers the information accurately without any delays. Therefore i can say its relatively the most comfortable harness to fly in turbulence among the Lightness2, the Ozium 1 and 2, and much better than the Impress 3 for sure. Those informations are very well balanced. No strange and unnecessary roll movements. Just the exact needed informations are delivered. I can also say that the feedback is delivered in a compact way. Nothing more…nothing less.
Now comes the sitting comfort position. I flew in the same day the Forza, which i consider very comfortable. After landing and flying with the X-alps 2, i found that the seating position and the back support are even more comfortable ! I really wasn’t expecting a really light harness to be like that ! But i felt completely relaxed with my feet naturally supported and it seems that this is the lightest harness and IMHO, the most comfortable one in turbulence and in back comfort.
Conclusion: Skywalk has created a super harness both in light and comfort terms. The best until now ! It’s for sure a delicate harness, to be carefully handled in places where there’s dirt take offs and stony ones. The materials are very light. With an inflated back protection, it’s very recommended not to put your harness on little thorns, if hotter countries have ones near take offs or landings. An option for a 3 kg version would be welcomed i think for everyday use, that will probably bear a harder material. But i don’t know if Skywalk is considering one.
Finally i liked that harness. Simply Impressive !

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Friday, April 6, 2018

U-Turn CrossRock EN-B size S

U-Turn Cross rock S (70-90)
The last U-Turn paraglider i test flew was the Black light2. Here’s the light version of the BL2 but it seems it’s a completely different story …
The Cross rock has a shark nose, unsheathed lines on the upper cascades, and normal lines on the lower part.
Launching the Crosssrock is a non event, very easy in nil wind, and doesn’t overshoot in strong breeze.
I flew the Cross rock S with two harnesses. An X-rated 6 with light cloth and equipment at 87 and on the Ozium 2 at 84 all up.
In turbulent air, and flying those different harnesses didn’t affect the glider stability or even handling whatsoever. The Crossrock turns well, stays calm, and climbs remarkably well.  
I mean the cross rock resembles the cool character of ‘Fillmore’ in Cars Movie !
Saying:  Hey dude …hang loose…man…  :-)
The Crossrock has a soft, cool, very relaxing character in turbulence. The brake response are direct, but the Crossrock doesn’t dive at all in turns. It has an efficient turning radius in thermals. The agility is good for the category. I can say it’s fairly agile and respond well on command. 
So overall it has a moderate to good handling, and quite an impressive comfort ! especially for an S size (70-90). 
Flying the Mentor 5 (70-90) and the Cross rock S in the same conditions and on the same harness and loads, showed me that i need almost half the workload to fly the Crossrock. 

The brake pressure are on the moderate side, not too light, not too firm. (The B comparison will be updated for all characteristics)
The crossrock doesn’t have a pitch forward neither back, it feels more toward a neutral pitch. The climb rate in weak is very good even among the high B category. I can say it’s definitely a floater.  In strong thermals and head wind, i think, this is the one of the best U-Turn glider that has an efficient nose to dig in surf the airmass quite gently and move forward with an impressive glide angle that is very close to my reference in the high B category. 
In strong air it doesn’t loose it’s ‘very soft’ biting power.  
On one crossing into difficult conditions and head wind, i was a bit low, and since that day my GPS was taking a day off …my shadow on the ground was barely moving forward and i thought ill never reach the narrow landing field, and i began to look for a place to land..but kept my feet on the bar to try to move forward…Honestly i know that path by heart, and it was very difficult to cross that day with that low altitude, but i was really surprised by the Crossrock efficiency to dig slowly and softly through, little by little. I thought it will never go through, but it did…and got myself a thermal just 20 m above the landing, and high again !  
Afterward, i flew next to a Mentor 5 and  i can confirm that the Crossrock has a good float ability in glides. 
The first part and the second part of the speed bar are very usable and super efficient ! It doesn’t loose on full bar ! the speed over trim at 87 is 10 km/h taken at 500 ASL. 
At top speed, flying also next to a Mentor 5 XS at same loadings showed me also a very competitive glide angle that places the Crossrock among the best ones in that matter. 
I also tried a glide on the Crossrock S size (70-90) with a Chili 4 S (85-105) in difficult conditions. The glide result with the Crossrock did also impressed me. In fact, the Crossrock had a very efficient glide that was very competitive and very close with the top high B. 
The Trim speed of the cross rock at 84 was slightly less than the trim speed of the Chili 4 S at 102 all up. 

Conclusion: U-Turn has created a really nice machine. Light, comfortable, high performance in both glide and climb, with good overall handling…The Crossrock accessibility and ease of flight is remarkable and i could place it in terms of piloting level among the mid B’s. This glider is a very good option for pilots looking for a light, XC companion for flying in strong conditions, in the B category.

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NOVA Ion 5

Nova Ion 5 
I flew both sizes, the XS size (70-90) at 84 all up, and the S size (80-100) at 91 all up. 

Launching the Ion 5 is nil wind is very easy without any hard point or delay. In moderate breeze, it’s even easier without surge.
The Ion 5 turns on every centimeter i pulled on the brakes. It can be steered with only 10 cm of travel, yet the long brake when pulling 50 cm are very forgiving. 
The difference between the Ion 4 XS and the Ion 5 XS with same load is that the Ion 5 is much more agile and more precise, letting the pilot at first enjoy every thermal with the ability to core it very narrow.
The feedback coming from the glider is more pronounced on the Ion 5 over the Ion 4, but in a more subtle and positive way.  Some pilots commented that the Ion 4 is a bit too stiff and has a heavy feel sometimes. 
The Ion 5 is more informative about small thermal movements, and nicer to fly overall , but still being a comfortable low B glider. 
The pressure on the brakes on the XS and S are moderate to slightly hard if pulled more than 40 cm, but i don’t think that much brake will be uses ,as just a little pull will initiate a turn. 
When flying in lift, i had the feeling that the Ion 5 embraces the thermal and the information by the brakes felt like a 3D picture on that particular thermal. I think many of you will feel that. 
Kind of pulling you gently into the thermal and grabbing it. 

I flew the XS (70-90) at 85 and the S size (80-100) at 92, and i think, this Ion 5 could easily be flown at mid weight range, and i didn’t feel the need to load it, but if i did, it will preserve the same feel.

The trim speed is similar to the Ion 4, but it seems that the Ion 5 has more float-ability into wind. Its seems to cut through much better with that searching for a thermal feature, which i really appreciate on a low B !
That feature gave a better glide in moving conditions. 
In the older…older …days, it was a blessing to find even on a DHV 3 certified glider (competition class) that can surf efficiently through the airmass…
Nowadays, the new generation of pilots flying low B gliders like the Ion 5 will find an easy way to push forward and go easy on long XC’s… 
Big ears are stable, easy to induce, and reopen without pilot input.  The Ion 5 could be flown at low speeds, with hands on the hips and can accurately top land on narrow places. 

After flying the Phantom, and Sector, it seems that NOVA is doing a little more work on the handling, which was needed i think at least from my part. The Ion 5 brake response, precise input, and overall handling on a low B is a cool step ahead, entering the golden circle of the nicest handling gliders.  
The climb rate in weak and strong is similar to the Ion 4 one. The Ion 5 feels is like an enhanced Ion4 in handling, glide, and overall feel. 
A pilot upgrading from the Ion 4 will enjoy the Ion 5 evolution upgrade especially in terms feel of thermals, swift handling and gliding performance in cross country flights.  
This is only my opinion. Make your own !