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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 !