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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 !