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

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

ADVANCE Interview

I asked Mr Valery Chapuis of ADVANCE a few questions. He was so kind to reply.
Ziad: Any new releases for 2019 ?
Valery: A new EPSILON 9 coming early next year, in 5 sizes, all B certified ; a new X-Alps 3 coming in the middle of the year ; a new ALPHA 7 coming in the end of the year, in 5 sizes, all A certified.
Ziad: What month could we order the Lightness 3 ?
From October, the first deliveries are expected before the end of the year (Rolf will be in our factory soon to check the latest details).
Ziad: Any new D class project?
Valery: No new D project, only our research prototypes. But in case we think we have the best wing in this category, we’ll think about a serial model.
Ziad: Why the Lightness 3 is without rear fairing?
Valery: Because the weight and volume are priorities with the Lightness 3, even if we can make a light fairing, it will be heavier than without. It will come with the Impress 4.
Ziad: Any Impress 4 with rear fairing soon?
Valery: Yes, coming next year, maybe before summer. We are testing a lot now.
Ziad: Are Advance considering a harness with both possibilities of seat and seatless option in one design?
Valery: No, it doesn’t make sense, to complicated, and it’s much better without seat-board…! But we understand and agree that some pilots may prefer with a seat-board.
Ziad : Anything you would like to add?
Valery: Yes, we thank a lot all the pilots who trust us and made the success of ADVANCE and we tell them Happy Birthday, Happy 30 years…!
Ziad: Thank you very much for your answers ! 

UPDATE and more comments.
About OXA 3 and Impress 4. 
We made different prototypes to develop the OXA3 and nothing is definitive. We have 2, 2.5 and 3 liner protos. Aspect ratio around 7. We still have time to test and the final version will be decided next year.

About the Impress 4, it should come with a seat board, the final decision is not made yet, but our protos are with a seat board.

I cannot be more precise now, it’s too early as these products are still under development.

Friday, September 21, 2018

UP Meru SM

UP Meru SM

After the beautiful Trango X-care, here’s the new 2 liner from UP. The Meru smallest size to date is the SM with a weight range of 85-105.  For me it’s a big glider, and i have to add lots of ballast with my X-rated 6.

At 100 all up the Meru inflates quite nice in 15 km/h wind.  The inner A’s are enough to pull the Meru in a steady and moderate launch without any shooting forward in moderate wind. 

First turn, and i could feel the nice brake authority on the brakes with a very nice handling for a 2 liner. Much shorter than a Zeno in response, and slightly more agile.  The Meru cuts nicely into wind, and it showed me a very efficient glider in that matter. In fact the trim speed of the Meru is slightly higher than the Zeno one, if both are similarly loaded. 

The Meru brake authority is quite nice, but surely doesn’t match the Trango X-race one. Overall it has a linear and precise brake input in order to place the Meru inside cores. The Meru feels well tough and doesn’t really move in the air like the Zeno. It feels calmer in moderate conditions. In strong air, the Meru jumps swiftly and dynamically slightly more than the Zeno and of course a good 2 liner pilot will have no problem flying it easily. It just to mention that it’s a 2 liner after all. But a very well accessible one.

In terms of float ability, i could sense that the Zeno seems slightly floatier in weak thermals. In strong air, the Meru climbs really fast ,and i think with the same pilot level, it could have the edge over the Zeno, just because it doesn’t pitch back on entry, and the handling is sharper.

Cruising from 50 % to 75 % of the speed system is really nice as the B controls are efficient and will keep the Meru effortlessly above the pilots head, in moderate air…

Big ears and ears are difficult to induce. I have tried to go up high and pull the outer A’s but it has lots of pressure and if they tuck after many attempts, the sink rate is still around -1.8 m/s. Pulling the outer B’s with my foot on the pedal, deforms quite high the extremities and  after some attempt, it seems to stall the whole glider rather than tuck…It’s not an easy task…and better to skip it i think…
360’s seems the only way to get down.

Gliding with a Zeno SM and same loadings, showed very close performance in XC conditions, with some float ability to the Zeno and some efficient digging through the airmass for the Meru. 

Conclusion: I had hoped for a smaller size in order to fly it more and more…12 kg of ballast over my X-rated 6 (already 10 kg) is not really nice for every day flying in a hot country… 
Overall, i found out that the Meru is an interesting EN-D 2 liner form UP, that can be a first 2 liner after one full season on a regular high aspect ratio 3 line D glider ( ex: Mantra 6, etc…)  
I had hoped for an efficient big ears descent…but it’s not available.  Other than that, the overall performance and efficiency in climb and glide is simply amazing.

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Niviuk Artik 5 update

The Artik 5 in the test was one of the first released ones. After a few weeks ,Niviuk sent some lines to change this first batch ! 
There was 2 cm less in some C lines, and some brake adjustments.
I had the chance to re-test fly this last version. 
The trim speed is slightly slower on this re-trim configuration and the Artik 5 pitches slightly back upon entering thermals. It's still very efficient in climb and glide on top of the C category !
The handling is slightly better and smoother !
Everything else is still the same. Still hard on the second bar. 
I have liked the first version for it's biting and jumping into thermals, and it's fast trim speed ! 
When it's windy the first version was perfect ! in getting through the airmass.
The modified and final released version is still on top of the C category. The Artik is very well pressurized, very solid, very taught which leads to a comfortable glider in the air.
But the management is strong air needs a good high end C pilot. 



This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Supair STEP S (70-90) EN-B

Supair STEP EN-B  size S

The Step is Supair’s new high B glider.  The Step with an aspect ratio of 5.7, has a shark nose, and a refined unsheathed set on lines.  With this look and construction Supair looks serious about performance gain…Lets see…

The take off is calm, and doesn’t have a tendency to overshoot, unless the pilot don’t use a little brake. 

I flew the S size (70-90) from 85 to 90 all up. This test concern this size with the mentioned loadings. Other sizes ‘could’ be different and flying the S size in different loads at the beginning of the range ‘could’ differ. Just to be specific. This test is an idea . Test flying is best !

I also flew the S size with different harnesses, one GTO light M and one Delight 3 M. In strong air at higher altitude sites, the combination of GTO Light and the Step are very different from the Delight 3 /Step combination, in matter of roll movements and pilot correction when encountering strong turbulence. The GTO light allow to feel the sharp movements under the Step, and gave me slightly more workout than a Mentor 5 XS, or the Chili 4 if both flown with the GTO Light.
Flying the Delight 3 M size with the Step was completely different and the Step was very auto-controlled by that harness in sudden lifts and sharp thermals.  The Step felt a need to be controlled slightly more than the M5 XS. It feels slightly similar to the Chili4 S (75-95). 
The Rush 5, S (70-90) is calmer and tamer than the others.  
The Step handling and brake authority are more defined than the M5 XS which is a bit less informative and not as linear as the Step. The Rush 5 S is slightly harder, with less travel, and lesser agility.   The Chili 4 S is sharper, shorter in travel than the Step with close agility. 
Overall the Step is an agile glider with a linear and pleasurable feel on the brakes. 

Supair of course designed that harness with the Step, and i humbly recommend that you try the Step with the Delight 3 in order to feel that difference.  

The Step has a moderate to light feel on the brakes without any hard point. After the 10 cm gap away from the pulleys, the Step can be steered lightly with 20 cm of brake travel for swift but mellower turning radius.  Lowering the brakes at the carabiner level, will induce a corkscrew turn enabling very tight turns. This feature is not available on the M5, Rush 5, and even the agile Chili4 !  
The Step has the genes of the little Leaf in terms of turning radius !  The overall pilot level over the Leaf is a step and a half ! 

I flew next to a Mentor 5 XS (70-90) that has the same size as the Step, and we were similarly loaded. Best way to compare and comment. 

The Step climbs really well…Knowing that the M5 XS is a super climber, i cannot but confirm that the Step felt super competitive with an edge !  The ability for the Step to tighten the turning radius is an efficient way to climb in narrow cores. 
The Step has a very slight pitch back, sometimes un noticeable. I felt that i could be more efficient when i flew the Step at max weight ! the climb didn’t suffer at all, and i was still climbing like a spring without any pitch momentum. 

Doing some glides with the same mentor 5 XS , lifted my eyebrows over my sunglasses !  :-) 
The Step is a serious gliding machine, and we were both inseparable in glide at trim, at half bar, even at top speed. The Step has 13 km/h over trim taken at 1000 ASL. 

The handles on the C are efficient on this 3 liner in moderate conditions.  Applying half to full bar, in moving conditions, and controlling with the C handles, i was able to prevent most pitch situations. 

The leading edge felt very well pressurized. It was hard to pull on the A lines to induce a collapse at trim speed. St full bar the leading edge flutters a bit , but it feels solid.  

Big ears are stable. They have a moderate efficiency and they reopen quickly without any input. 

Conclusion:  IMHO, Supair has made their best glider till date for overall package it has to offer.  Climb like a devil, glide like the top high B, handles super well…fast enough for a high B…what can i say more…If you want my opinion….A demo should be considered as your next step   ;-)

This is only my opinion. Make your own !