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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

BGD Punk M

BGD Punk M
The Punk is BGD replacement for the Base in the high B category. 
Got to fly this one from a friend.
With an aspect ratio of 5.4 the Punk has a nice line configuration and width to match current high B gliders. The overall construction is well made with a shark nose.
Launching the Punk is easy for a high B. It inflates quite fast in nil wind with no hanging back. The launching is immediate.
I flew the Punk M (75-95) from 90 to 94. It’s quite flyable in 90 all up in moderate conditions. In small punchy thermals i found it best to be at the top weight in order to cut through, and turn immediately on command.
The brake authority are quite nice with moderate pressure. The handling and the way to steer the Punk M at 93 all up is really nice for the category. It gave me nicer and more fluid turns than a Rush 5, or a Mentor 5. 
I can describe the handling as more linear inside a turn, and the Punk is quite obedient to place it in turbulent small thermals swiftly if loaded. 
It can be similar to the Rush 4 (four) brake authority but with slightly more pressure. 

Flying the Punk M in different sites with some close to the sea (turbulent this time of year) to the Cedars range at 3000m which gave some strong conditions, showed me that the Punk movements in the air are slightly more than a Rush 5 or a Mentor 5 but quite manageable, and easy to understand. For a high B glider i found that the Punk is an overall comfortable glider to fly.
Comfort will also be better when the brake authority is good on a glider, especially for the keen pilot who will be able to have a good control trough the brake length which the Punk is providing.
Entering strong air, the Punk M at 90 will slow a bit pitch slightly back a little before entering while the Rush 5, Chili 4, slips through.   
If loaded at top, the Punk M pitch behavior will be reduced and will be ‘slightly’ more efficient upon thermal entry. 

Climb rate:
Next to a Rush 5 similarly loaded, i found out that the climbing ability of the Punk M is really good. Entering the thermals the Rush 5 could slip through faster as it surfs slightly better the airmass, but when inside , the Punk has a very good and competitive climb with the best high B’s. The authority on the brakes as i mentioned before will let the pilot place the Punk exactly where he wants to if properly loaded. 

I flew the Punk M with an X-rated 6, next to a Rush 5 MS with an Ozium harness loaded at top, and found out also that gliding tip to tip on seven long glides in tricky air and in calm air, showed at first the slightly faster trim for the Punk and same top speed (updated). For the high B category, i could place the Punk glide angle at the middle plus. I’ll update my B comparison soon.
The Mentor 5, Chili 4, Cumeo, Iota 2 being on the top of that category, with an edge for the Rush 5. 

The pressure on the speed bar is moderate and easy to use. 
The C control have moderate control as all the B gliders in that category.
Ears are stable ,efficient, and reopen quite fast. Induced lateral collapses are very easy to counter steer. The glider stays on path, even without counter braking. 
Wing overs are quite dynamic, build up quickly, high and fun.

Conclusion: The Punk is a pleasurable to fly glider in the high B category. Excellent climb rate, good gliding properties, very nice brake authority, and a good comfort for the category.

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

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 !