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Monday, July 30, 2018

GIN Atlas 2 S

GIN Atlas 2 S size 

Five years ago, i flew the first Atlas in S size also. I still remember the crispy and agile handling, and the very good float ability into wind. Now i have the new Atlas replacement to see what are the changes. 

Launching the Atlas 2 at 92 all up, in multiple conditions showed me no hang back or overshooting whatsoever. It feels very balanced and super easy to launch. 

First thermal and turning inside the core is done with 25-30 cm of brake travel. The pressure on the brakes are not light nor heavy, just perfect. The Atlas 2 S response is relatively quick and the turning ability is good for the low B category. The precision on the brakes are also nice for the low B category. The Atlas 2 doesn’t have the tendency to dive in turns unless the pilot is aggressive on the brakes. It tends to flattens the turns but stays nicely in the core. The brake travel are slightly longer than the Ion 5 XS, and the agility or sharper brake authority is slightly less but still excellent for the low B category. 

In the same turbulent air the Ion 5 XS needs more active piloting than the Atlas 2 S. I found that all the movements coming from the Atlas 2 S are very comfortable and reassuring, and exceeding the ones on the old Atlas 1. Pushing the full extend of the bar in turbulent air is very usable and the Atlas 2 stayed very solid overhead without too much movements. The C controls can in fact control some pitch movements in turbulent air the Atlas 2 in full speed mode. Overall GIN made a glider more comfortable and easy to access than the Atlas 1. 

Gliding in turbulent air with a mix of gliders, including a Buzz Z5 S gave me an idea about the overall performance of the Atlas 2. At first the trim speed of the Atlas 2 S is slightly faster than the Buzz Z5 S similarly loaded. In still air the glide is comparable to some low B gliders. In windier or difficult conditions, the Atlas 2 S could be placed in the mid of the low B category in terms of efficiency and float-ability on glides. 
The Atlas one profile was more dynamic and probably could be a better ‘airmass surfer’ at the expense of much more movements. 

Climbing next to low B gliders showed me also good climbing properties of the Atlas 2 in multiple conditions with balanced and calm reactions in turbulent air. 

Top speed is around 7 km/h over trim. Big ears are stable and easy to use. They reopen without pilot intervention. 

Conclusion: It seems that GIN has created a more accessible low B glider than the Atlas 1. It behaves like a school glider. In fact it seems that this glider could be a first glider to talented students. 
All the lines, even the full brake lines are sheathed. 
A stress free glider to enjoy the flying sites with very nice smooth handling on a low B with an option for XC if the conditions are strong and consistent. 



This is only my opinion. Make your own !