Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Flow cosmos S

FLOW Cosmos S size

Flow is an Australian company which offers a new range of gliders. In the PWC every pilot saw their new EN-D 2 liner (XC racer) which gave good competitive results.
Here’s their new mid B glider the Cosmos in size S.
The construction and details are ok. The lines are thick and i think Flow is being very conservative about their lines on the Cosmos. I don’t think those lines will move after heavy use. They are bigger than any Low B glider or even some A’s.

Launching the Cosmos S at 92 is smooth.The glider inflates quite steadily without any surge like an A glider.

In the air the brake pressure are moderate, and slightly long, but surely recommended for that category !
The brake authority on the S size are good enabling the pilot to place the Cosmos quite easily when desired. It doesn’t have a sharp brake response like the Ion 5 XS which was next to me all the flight, but it is surely easier to master than the Ion 5.

In turbulent air, the Cosmos S has a moderate to calm movements for the category. It doesn’t really overtake and it isn’t dull also. Just the necessary informations.
Climb rate of the Cosmos in weak and strong air could be very close to the Ion 5 XS which holds one of the best climb in the low B segment. Overall the climb rate is very good.
The brake authority lets the pilot adjust the turning radius of the Cosmos inside a thermal without excessive movements from the glider if the air is turbulent, which leads to an efficient climb.

Next to me was the Ion 5 in size XS and we made several glides tip to tip. The ion 5 was gliding a bit better at trim and at top speed. The Ion 5 line configuration and diameter are similar to the Mentor 5 ones, and they are half the diameters on the Cosmos. It was a bit obvious to see that glide difference.
At top speed when the pulleys were touching and after 4 seconds holding the top speed (pulleys at max) the leading edge on the Cosmos had a horizontal wrinkle after the A attachment points, the leading edge went down a bit with a reduction of speed, loss of pressure, and i release two cm before it collapses, all went to normal, with a speed recovery.
Tried the top speed 5 times with same results. 1cm before the pulleys are touching, everything is fine.

Ears needs a strong pull as the pressure on the glider seems high. They reopen without pilot intervention. Induced lateral collapses behaves like on an A glider.

Conclusion: The Cosmos is an easy B glider, with good handling, and climbing power. I see Flow are giving a good price on the Cosmos. If budget is your target, then the Cosmos has a good ratio of usability/comfort/longevity, for a B glider.

The Cosmos S was purchased and sent specifically for the tests in my blog. I flew it for a week, and wrote the test.
After reading my tests, i was told that the factory has installed M size risers on my Cosmos S by mistake and it was the cause at full speed for the loss of pressure.
The S risers arrived and installed in 15 minutes. The pulleys on the speed bar were shorter by 2 cm as stated in the certification sheet that i received later from Flow.

This week was really windy, but i was really keen to test fly the Cosmos S. The wind at the take off was around 30-35 km/h which is pretty strong for a B. Nevertheless my conscience was killing me, just to clear that mishap. Launching was easy and the Cosmos didn’t shoot at all. There was some turbulence in the air but the Cosmos behaved very gently. Applying full bar the Cosmos S with it’s original risers was delivering a stiff, taught leading edge, and the speed was 8-9 km/h over trim totally usable with No loss of pressure.
Now I’m glad, the mistake was cleared.

I really hope every pilot would understand that i’m just a pilot like everyone else. I receive a glider intended for the public, and i test fly it. It’s not my fault. I’m not and don’t want to be some pro, or representative of companies which they all have my deepest respect and appreciation !
And that doesn’t keep me from exchanging ideas sometimes but surely not during tests.

I apologies if any party was offended by my writings. Probably i should have contacted Flow…But how can i suppose to deliver a crystal clear image of exactly what i flew ?

Finally, the Cosmos S is like i earlier said, a very comfortable glider in the B category, with nice and forgiving handling.

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

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