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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Niviuk Artik 5 - 24

Niviuk Artik 5 size 24
In the C category, Niviuk is introducing it’s Artik 5 for 2018 with an aspect ratio of 6.3.
A friend gave me his wing for testing.

The construction details are really nice, with Nitinol rods on the leading edge and a shark nose.
All lines are unsheathed with a balanced thickness that goes toward longevity and probably to avoid getting out of trim.

I flew the Artik 5 24 from 90 to 95 .
Launching the Artik 5 24 in nil wind require a steady pull. In a more stronger breeze, this characteristic enables the Artik 5 to be well controlled and launches in a gentle manner. Inner A’s are best in strong wind, All the A’s are best in Nil wind.

Flew this glider in multiple conditions, from weak to slightly strong, and sometimes turbulent with some sharp 7m/s thermals. To understand this glider better i was alternating on the same day, landing and flying the Alpina 3 MS and the Sector XS.

In turbulent air the Artik 5 gave me the impression over my head of a solid , compact, comfortable Glider. In the same turbulent conditions, the Artik 5 moves less and needs less pilot control than an Alpina 3 MS at 92 which is know for it’s very good comfort.
Explanation: The movements under the Artik 5 are at first a slight roll feel but limited and very controllable. This small roll feel is a plus for inducing the turns which i’ll comment later on… The comfort underneath the Artik 5 is really high for a 6.3 AR C glider. There’s no pitch movements whatsoever. When hitting a thermal, the Artik 5 loaded at 95 just climb vertically with a slight pull toward the core. It feels like a complete compact structure. At 90 all up and in strong air it does also behave quite ok, with a little drift and needed to be loaded for excellent results.
In moderate conditions, the Artik 5 loaded at 90 is still compact and very homogenous.
In the same air, the Sector XS at 85 gave me the most feedback and workload, then came the Alpina 3 MS at 92. The less workload was on the Artik 5 24 loaded from 92 to 95.
The Artik four had two lines per side, and some pilots commented after two seasons that it was a bit difficult to master in turbulent air sometimes. The Artik 5 with 3 lines per side and of course a new design has completely erased that problem. The A5 is the other side of the coin compared to the Artik 4 with a much tougher structure that stays coherent in turbulent air.

In strong air, i would have preferred a slight feel of what’s the air is doing, to that structure, in order to assist and be present without any surprises. I had some minor tip collapses that i didn’t feel them coming.

Handling maneuverability and climb rate :
The Artik four could be turned really tight in moderate conditions, but as soon as the air is a bit tricky it would be reluctant to turn sometimes. The Artik 5 turning ability is toward an efficient flat turn for XC use rather than a playful freestyle wing.
In moderate to soft conditions:
At first the brake response is short, precise, direct, and fairly agile toward an efficient flat circle. After flying next to my reference C gliders in that matter, This handling feature on the A5 showed me in weak thermals an astonishing climbing ability for the Artik 5. Each time i encountered a soft thermal, the Artik 5 would float upward much better. After many attempts, I’m convinced to put it right on top of the Category in terms of efficient climb rate in weak.
In strong cores:
In strong thermals, i found out that flying the Artik 5 24 at max weight would be more beneficial in entering without delay those cores. But again at max load the Artik 5 climbs peacefully like a beast !
And the result for overall climbing is also right on top of the C category. The handling and the way to turn the Artik 5 24 at 95 "in turbulent cores" needs some body and brake implication as the A5 tends to flattens at mid turn, inside a thermal. That slight roll ability on the A5 is good for leaning into the turn and applying more brake to stay in the core. On the same day, the Alpina 3 MS at 92 and the Sector XS at 85 would stay easily inside the core with minimum input.
In those conditions it’s slightly less agile than the Alpina 3 and the Sector. In strong but turbulent choppy air, it need more implication to stay inside the core. In homogenous thermals, its quite agile and cores easily.
The brake pressure is moderate to slightly hard after 20 cm of travel. The Peak 4 has nearly half the pressure on the brakes.
The Artik 5 can be steered with 5 to 10 cm of travel in soft air and 30-40 cm in strong air.
In that day, the less brake pressure was on the Sector XS, then on the Alpina 3 with a more playful character in thermals.

Gliding power:
I have made some glides with my new reference C glider, the latest Alpina 3 MS. If both gliders are similarly loaded, they have the same speed at trim and at top speed.
The glide angle at trim and at top speed of the Artik 5 24 that was made in real air, and repeated many times showed me that Niviuk has succeeded also to place the Artik 5 at the top of that category in terms of glide angle. The difference after many kilometers with the Alpina 3 MS is insignificant and practically the same, with a slight edge of float-ability for the Artik 5 in the rising air we encountered.
I found out also that it’s best to load the A5 at max weight in order to dig efficiently in strong air and thermals like an Alpina 3 MS loaded at 91.
My comment toward the top speed will be that i was pushing hard with my feet to engage the second bar. The first bar has moderate pressure on the feet with my X-rated 6 harness and the second bar is hard to push.
The less pressure that day was on the Sector XS which was really low, and then the Alpina 3 MS.

Controlling the Artik 5 using the C risers has an average efficiency. The pressure on the C’s are a bit light at trim and slightly more on bar. 

Ears are stable and a good way to loose altitude. Induced asymmetric and frontal are easy to control. The asymmetric collapse are very easy to maintain, to counter steer, and open vert fast.
Ears open with a slight pilot input.
Top landing is easy for pilots in that category with slow flying characteristics.

Conclusion: Apart from the nice construction and details, the Artik 5 size 24 at 92 impressed me with it’s outstanding performance package and especially it’s high comfort in turbulence for the C class.

The Artik 5 could be flown at mid weight easily, but to be very efficient on strong days, i think that loading it at top will be more beneficial to slide through the airmass without any loss in weak conditions. In fact low saves will be common on the Artik 5. A very interesting glider to test fly in the C category. 
C comparison updated:!/vizhome/C(shrinked URL)rComparison/CGliderComparison 

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 !