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 !


  1. Hi Ziad
    How would you compare handling with supair leaf
    Best regards

    1. Hi,
      Leaf is more agile and dives in turns if pulled far.
      Ion5 searches forward more and has a different handling toward a more performance one especially upon entering thermals.

  2. Thanks Ziad for another very nice and useful review!

    Can you say something about the speed on bar of the Ion 5? Is it similar to the Ion 4? The designer Philipp Medicus says the top speed is slightly higher than on the Ion 4, but Flybubble say in their review that full bar only adds about 8 km/h over trim, which would be a bit disappointing.

    1. Hi Christian, The top speed is around 9 km/h for the S size over trim taken at 1000 ASL. Cheers,

  3. Hi Ziad
    Thanks for your test and all your work!
    How would you compare the handling and the glide of the Ion 5 to the Phantom or the Mentor 5? And maybe you can also say a word in comparison to the PHI Symphonia... ;-)
    Cheers & always happy landing!

    1. HI, The Phi Synphonia is more agile, and it moves slightly more (overall)
      I found out that the Ion 5 can surf upward efficiently facing the sea breeze.

  4. Thanks Ziad, me and others were impatient to hear this review. Thanks. Would you mind to comment briefly on Ion 5 and the 777 Knight?
    Thank you so much again.

    1. HI, The Knight needs more active piloting and seems to be slightly float-able in very weak lift. The glide angle seems very close...Cheers,

  5. Ziad, how do you think the XS would hold up closer to max weight? I’m 86/88kg these days, so a bit light for the S, but pushing the top of the XS when fully kitted out.

    1. Hi James,
      It would be very good still at 88. From 84 to 88 its still ideal.


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