The key to life is not accumulation. It's contribution. Hands that serve help more than the lips that pray.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Interview with OZONE R&D Mr Luc Armant ( 12/12/2019 )

I asked OZONE R&D, Mr. Luc Armant, a few questions concerning some interesting future designs.
Please find below his kind answers.

Ziad: 1- Will the new Delta 4 be certified this spring?

LUC ARMANT: Delta4. We aim to certify it this spring. However, we only release a glider once we are fully happy with it, so we can never be sure of the date. Remember that it's evolving research work, weather conditions, humans, politics. So there is a lot of uncertainty in the equation. The only thing sure is that an Ozone paraglider model is only released once it's superior to the previous model.

Z: 2- Will it have a moderate aspect ratio? Like its predecessor?

LUC A: Delta4, moderate aspect ratio. Yes. I believe it's still possible to have the best performing glider in the C category while maintaining relatively low aspect ratio, which helps for safety and manageability.

Z: 3- Will the use of the collapse line be used in the new C class? And on the D4?

LUC A: Collapse lines. There is an amendment to the current norm that needs to go through a formal vote. If I understood correctly and if it's accepted, it will only be in an application for certification around June 2020. 

Z: 4- Can you please comment on the strong points of Zeno 2 you are focusing on? Will it have sharper Handling?

LUC A: Zeno2. of course nice and sharp handling is important. Zeno1 does not have bad handling, but it is very sensitive to trimming, so the pilot needs to trim his Zeno1 regularly to make sure it's at his best. I personally love the Zeno handling when the trimming is set to slightly positive (per group, from 1 to 3 around 4-10-5mm)

Z: 5- Will the Zeno 2 get the same sizes as the Delta Rush series? Example 75-95…etc. Or will it follow the Zeno 1 pattern? 70-90…85-100…etc.

LUC A: For the moment, I'm making research prototypes in the same ML size than the Zeno1, for comparison sake, but we can adjust the size once we're happy with the final result. We'll see. 

Z: IMHO, and personal feel, I think seat board harnesses got lost over time, and there’s a big gap in pilot feel that was lost with them.
Seatless harnesses have great back support but lack precision versus the seat harness ones.
6- Will Ozone invest in a 3 kg, or 5 kg state board harness series with a back fairing?

LUC A: light seat board harness with back fairing. That's the Forza2 project. work on progress. 

Z: 7- What’s your personal philosophy toward the future of 2 liner gliders? Will the internal structure evolve in such a way, that even lower aspect ratio gliders could have fewer attachment points and still be very solid and homogenous in rough air? Is my thinking far a bit? From your perspective?

LUC A: 2 liner gliders future. I think that there are many things possible in the future. It's been only 10 years of developments by only a few companies until now. But I think interest and developments will grow up for this sort of design. 

Z: 8- As the products, being lighter, (harness and glider), Even a 70 kilos pilot will find himself on an XS or S glider…. With 80 or 85 all up weight. Will art be possible for a manufacturer to produce special sizes with special line diameters for this class in order to maintain the gap of performance with the bigger sizes? Or will it be too costly?

LUC A: Yes, it's possible for a manufacturer to produce a special size with a smaller line diameter on smaller sizes. To do so, it's basically costing the manufacturer a complete load test certification (one or two prototypes wasted + certification cost), so it's a question of how much the manufacturer expects to sell off one particular size and how much it may increase the performance. 
However, please note that even after adapting line diameter to match at best the lighter weight, most of the gap performance will still be there. Several scale effect phenomena are responsible for that. I see so many small pilots unhappy about that, but unaware of the real reasons that it's always good to remind the physics behind. 
a- line strength is related to line section, while line drag is related to line diameter. So when you multiply a line diameter by 2, the strength is multiplied by 4, while the drag is only multiplied by 2. That's an advantage for bigger sizes. 
b- stitching size, and stitching surface imperfection size are constant. The smaller the size, the bigger the relative drag. 
c- Reynolds number. also, a scale effect that affects flight performance down for smaller sizes, especially for the thick profiles used in paragliders. 
d- pilot+harness drag (a very big part of the total drag). Pilot+harness drag does not increase as much as the weight when you increase the pilot's weight. Another scale effect that can be simplified as Pilot+harness being a sphere. When you increase the diameter of a sphere by 2, its volume, mass or weight increase by 8, while it's frontal area and drag only increase by 4. 

Thank you very much for your kind answers!
Best regards,

Thursday, October 10, 2019

FLOW Fusion M

FLOW Fusion M

Flow is the new Australian brand. The XC racer is their EN-D 2 liner glider, and they released a beautiful new CCC, the Spectra.
The Fusion is their new EN-C glider.
My friend, lend me his M size ( 80-103 ) to test fly it. At first glance, I opened the package and saw a minimalistic line distribution, with a sliding B riser, and C control steering. That amount of very few lines means ‘performance’….Let's see…
I ballasted up to 99 all up on the M, with my X-rated 6 harness.
Launching the Fusion with its 6.3 aspect ratio is a piece of cake. Steady pull, and no surge forward, after a small brake input.
Launching is immediate. I had already shortened the brake lines by 5 cm. That way only 7 cm of the gap remained when the brakes are released.
Full bar is achieved without any tension on the brakes.

The Fusion was flown next to an Advance X-Alps 2 M, Mantra7 MS, Delta3 ML, Q-light S, in order to understand how it performs in the same conditions.
The brakes have light pressure on the first 10 cm, then slightly harder when pulled beyond 35 cm. The agility is on the average side but ok. In mild conditions, the Fusion can be turned quite tight inside the thermals. The precision of the brakes are good in mellow conditions and slightly less in turbulent cores.
In stronger and turbulent air, I would have wished for more precise control, and slightly better pilot authority on the brakes, in order to put it exactly where I wanted. But as you know, I’m a bit sensitive toward brake authority when test-flying a new glider.
My friend ‘Amer’ who is a Rush 5 pilot, flew the Fusion and commented that it was one of the best handling gliders regarding sensitivity.
And my other friend ‘Sayed’ who is a Cayenne 5 M pilot, commented that it was mellow to his taste and was missing some little spices.
So different opinions for different tastes...regarding the brake authority.
I found it slightly less agile than the Delta 3 MS, and the Q-Light S, but turns flatter! and has this new ‘search, grab and hold’ feature to never let go of a thermal!

I was also very surprised about the mellow feel under this 6.3 aspect ratio glider! It’s really a very dampened C glider. Probably one of the most pitch stable and overall stable glider in the C category! In average conditions, and high B pilot would find it very easy to fly, as my friends ‘Amer’ and ‘Sayed’ both commented, that its a faster and more performant ‘Rush 5’ with practically the same comfort under it in moderate conditions…
Of course, in stronger air, it needs an active pilot control as the authority on the brakes diminish a little.
But IMHO, any good high B pilot will be welcomed under this C machine.

Now the interesting part is the performance in climb and glide. Flying next to those gliders mentioned above, I can confirm a good climb rate for the Fusion M. To be even more precise, i think in smooth weak conditions it floats nicely. Not the best one in its category but a very good one. The strong point in the Fusion climb rate is when there’s an influence of little wind or valley breeze. Even in weak thermals, the Fusion surfs the air and grab that thermal. The more valley breeze, the more efficient the Fusion is for a C glider. When the climb is well built, the Fusion climbs very nicely. There’s not any pitch movement in moderate conditions, to the point of wondering how the hell it is searching for that lift and climbing!

After trying some good glides with reference gliders in the C and D category, I was very impressed by the glide angle of the Fusion!
Not only the Fusion is trimmed fast but it surfs the air without any pitch behavior to deteriorate that glide. On the contrary, it searches smoothly and calmly with a positive vario the lift in the airmass. To describe it best, it looks like sitting comfortably in a (TGV)!
Flow has created its best glider so far concerning glide efficiency. The Fusion scores the best glide angle in the C category at trim speed and could match some recent D gliders, except the M7, and close to the best C’s at full bar!
I’m waiting for the S size, which could be hopefully more agile. Let's wait and see…

The top speed is around 12-13 km/h over trim, with pulleys overlapping.
The C controls have a slightly moderate to hard pressure, but efficient to keep the glider in control in overall conditions.
ears are stable, slightly efficient and reopen with a little pilot input.

I don’t know how they did it…But I think Flow has forged the Fusion with aboriginal magic! 

An excellent glide angle for that C glider, and a high level of comfort.

Flow Fusion S (70-92)

After flying the M size, I flew the S size from 88 till 92 to find that the optimum weight for the S size was around the top weight. At 90 the Fusion still climbs well, even in weak conditions.

At 92 it surfs well the air and the glide headwind in amazing for the C class! The authority on the rakes for the S size at top weight is better than the M size at 100, as I found it slightly more agile. To place it accurately in terms of feel, the brake travel and the precision of the turn are slightly less than a Sector, Cayenne 5, or Queen 2 for example, but still very satisfying.
The Fusion transmits the glider movements by the risers, not by the brakes.

In turbulent and jumpy conditions, you need a long pull to control it overhead, but the overall movements are soft.
The leading edge has a strong tendency to avoid frontals. When trying to shot forward the leading edge intentionally, the Fusion leading-edge resist to collapse, and frontals are well delayed.
The brake travel is long before the stall, with brakes under the seat, the Fusion also resist well before stalling.

Big ears are stable on the S size and reopen with pilot input.

Conclusion: Flying it at 90-92, I found it well balanced without being flown heavy. It seems that you can float nicely even flying it on top.
Like its bigger sister, the S size is not trimmed differently. It is a true balanced S size C glider, with lots of performance, and especially good passive safety for the category, and gives a relaxed feel under it. It is more agile than the M. As I described the high level of comfort under it, I have to point out that the Fusion S is an agile glider, with a medium brake-travel.

Monday, September 23, 2019

PHI Maestro X-Alps 19

PHI Maestro 19  X-Alps

I have already flown the normal version. 
The X-Alps light material is super easy to launch. The handling and the way to turn the X-Alps 19 is super agile.  

The glide angle seems on top of the B category for sure. The climb without a wind or breeze component resembles the normal version which is very good also. (I’ll update my B comparison for small details) 

The C steering has a moderate efficiency and it’s a bit hard to pull but doable.  The top speed is also high for the category and fully usable.

In windy days, or facing a strong valley breeze, the Maestro gave me a hard time surfing forward this difficult airmass, the X-Alps 19 pitch back, roll, move in all directions, and I needed to push the bar a bit in order to dig into those difficult thermals. 
The best way I found, is to push the bar a bit and use the brakes inside the thermals. It's weird, but it's better!  The Maestro at 40 % of the bar is more efficient than at trim in entering the cores and keeping in them! That’s funny…but that’s exactly how I felt. 

In other conditions where the thermals are steady, and no wind is present, the X-alps 19 enters and cores nicely.  
There’s a big difference in flying quality between size 19 and 21. For my personal taste, the normal 21 is an excellent and efficient tool. I wish I had the X-alps 21 to test…

Conclusion: The Maestro X-alps 19, is a performant light glider for experienced B+ pilots. 

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Advance Omega X-alps 3 size 22 (70-87)

Advance Omega X-alps 3  size 22  (70-87) 

Chrigel Maurer won the 2019 X-alps an OXA 3 size 23! So, already the OXA 3 23, showed an exceptional potential in the hands of one of the best paragliding pilot in the world. 
Nothing can be really added over here, 
In this test, I will only share the differences in feel and behavior in flight for the size 22, regarding the Zeno S and the Leopard.

Launching the OXA 3 22 at 85 all up is super easy and it resembles the 3 liners in that matter.  In windy take-offs controlling it by the brakes is a must to keep it from overshooting which is normal for that level of gliders.

I flew the OXA 3 22 with three harnesses. Skyman X-alps 2019, Delight3, and Ozium 2. The roll movements in turbulent air are slightly over the Leopard and the Zeno but the structure is very compact and resembles the Zeno and Leopard. The OXA 3 21 gives more information about the air but in a solid structure.  On my first flight, in some really turbulent and strong air, after 10 minutes from take-off, I had a complete loss of pressure while holding a slight pressure on the brakes. As soon as I looked up to see that frontal, it was already reopened. 
Perhaps the lines were still new and needed to get in place…I flew it for the next three days that were also turbulent and tricky, and all went very well without a simple flutter on the tips. 
Overall it seems well sorted with good overall compact feel. 

The OXA 3 21 moves as a block. The pressure on the brakes have a medium pressure and in turbulent punchy conditions, the small dynamic glider needs a constant control to keep it leveled. The movements in the same air for the Leopard are slightly tamer (Landing and swapping gliders, on the same harness). But I can confirm that the OXA 3 is easy to fly for a light 2 liner as it moves in one block. I think because of the authority on the brakes that enables the pilot to put it accurately and precisely in moving air. 
The handling and authority on the brakes are way better than the Zeno S and slightly sharper than the Leopard S.  
The climb rate next to the Leopard is ok, and perhaps I felt that the Leopard is slightly floatier.  The glide however of the OXA 3 22 is the best I could find on a D, especially at full bar! 

Conclusion: A light 2 liner. Compact, agile, dynamic, but still easy for a 2 liner with good authority on the brakes, and with a superb glide angle, is how I can describe best the OXA 3 22. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

NOVA Mentor 6 XS light

I already test flew the normal version of the Mentor 6 in XS size earlier. There are some differences in the light version.
The brake pressure on the M6 XS Light is ‘lighter’ in power compared to the normal version. The handling and the way to turn the M6 Light is smoother and very agile. 
With little action on the brakes, and crisp, linear brake authority, I could turn the M6 light in a dime!
I was super satisfied test flying the Light version, and I think I’ll keep that one especially for my personal pleasure! 
The overall movements in turbulent air are also smoother and more comfortable than the normal version. The overall performance in climb and glide seems identical and match the best ones in the high B category.  
The trim and top speed match the normal version which is excellent for the category. Surprisingly the flapping ears disappeared from the normal version! I flew the M6 light is some turbulent air, and never got any wing tip collapses! 

As I always mention, that today’s high B gliders are super close in overall performance, and either one will get you super far XC flights. 
To define a newcomer I must slightly point to the little differences I felt, either in comfort or handling.
My best high B gliders are already mentioned in the high B comparison table, which I will amend very soon, and will deduct the old ones… New version :-)   
For example, I choose to differ, the Swift 5, Rush 5, Maestro, the Eden 7 and some more…for their overall comfort and performance. 
So what’s the difference with the M6 Light?

The difference :
Slightly more speed in entering cores than the Swift S, with even very good climb rate! The feel is like biting and searching forward for the M6 Light. In turbulence, the shorter brake travel than the Swift will keep the pilot more in control.
Slightly more efficiency in cutting through ‘strong’ valley breeze than the Eden7 24, (A B glider will struggle in those conditions, but some will creep forward slowly, moving forward without being ‘stuck’!
Like the excellent Maestro! 
The Eden 7 24 with 6 AR feels slightly more dampened in turbulent air, like the Rush5 SM for example. 
More pleasant and balanced authority on the brakes than both, as the pleasurable and swift handling, is clearly above the Rush 5, and the Eden7. The Swift 5 is agile but with longer brake inputs than the M6 Light.

Except for the Maestro 19, flown at 84 all up, which is even more agile (acro feel) but also more demanding as it rolls more in turbulence. 
Slightly more float ability than the Maestro 19. (Probably an insignificant amount more, but still they all climb very well !) 

Nevertheless, all those mentioned gliders are superb with very close or sometimes similar overall performance! 
Still with the excellent Chili4, and Cumeo, the smooth Iota 2, the sharp handling and efficient Maestro…etc…I could pick up any of those high B’s and do the same flights. 
The ears are stable, efficient and reopen quickly. The top speed is +15 km/h over trim. The glide at top speed is usable and excellent! 

The Mentor 6 XS light offers a comfortable ride while being very agile, pleasurable to fly with nice coordinated handling, and a very efficient wing for long and difficult XC conditions.  

Friday, August 2, 2019

UP Kangri size M 75-100

The Kangri is UP’s high-end B with an aspect ratio of 6.3. A mix of light materials is used. 32g and 27g Porcher Skytex. UP says it’s light but also durable. The M size weighs around 4.0 kg. 

The lines used are a mix of Aramid- and Dynema-lines. They are exactly like the ones used on the Trango X-race. 

I flew the glider at 95 all up with an X-rated 6 harness. Launching the Kangri is straightforward without any delays.  The test is written after some series of flights in mixed conditions from light to some turbulent ones, and one flight with the company of a Swift 5 size SM 75-95, and another one with a Bonanza 2 EN-C size  (75-95). Those reference gliders in the B and C category were flown by very good pilots and gave me a complete idea about the performance ability of the UP Kangri M. 

At first, I can describe the handling as fairly agile for a 6.3 AR B glider. The brakes travel is medium to short with a linear and precise response. It’s not a Trango X-race handling, which remains ‘the’ one and favorite C glider regarding handling. But the Kangri reminded me a little bit of that handling with a more forgiving feel. Not as sharp as the Trango, and well placed in the B category in that matter.  I could describe the agility as a bit close to the Bonanza or the Artik 5.  The feel under it is slightly better understood than on a Delta 3 SM for example. But still, the Kangri is more tamed than any of those C’s described above.  Nevertheless, I could feel the aspect ratio, and I cannot put it in terms of feel next to a Mentor 6, or a Swift 5 for example. Those B’s are very tamed to compare. The Kangri feels like in between of those 2 categories, and that’s the best way I can describe it in terms of accessibility. The Sigma 10 and the Artik 5 are more demanding to fly. So I think I have placed it well for you to know  :-)

In terms of climbing ability, the pilot on the Swift 5 flew it at 90 all up ad he was climbing I think better than any CCC glider!  :-)  But in glide against the wind, he was penalized and a bit slow. The Swift 5 must be flown exactly at top weight or even 2 kilos more. (Just to be clear).  In terms of glide angle, the Kangri showed me a super nice gliding power that places it among the top 3 B’s in that matter.  But I needed to get a solid confirmation and flew it against a Bonanza 2 (EN-C) in some tricky and turbulent glides against the wind. After many attempts, the Kangri nearly matched the Bonanza 2 glide, but the C glider still had the edge. 

In weak climbs against the Bonanza 2, the Kangri did very well and climbed next to it. Probably the B2 has a slight edge in float ability and climbing in very weak thermals.  

The trim speed is similar to the B2 and the Kangri has around 13 km/h over trim taken at 800 ASL.  The glide at the top speed is also similar to the top B’s. 

Ears are stable, efficient, and reopen quickly.

Conclusion: The Kangri is an interesting glider for XC with a very efficient package. Its definitely not a detuned C. The feel under it is never boring for those B pilots that need that extra C feel, but also less demanding in turbulent air than many C’s including 6 AR ones. 
Good handling and authority on the brakes, good speed, nice overall package.  Any pilot wishing to step to the C level in feel with plenty of performance, but needs a B rating, the Kangri is the way to go.  

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Monday, July 8, 2019

GIN Leopard S

GIN Leopard size XS  75-88

The Gin Leopard is the 2019 new 2 liner from GIN with 7.12 aspect ratio.
I have the XS size (70-88) and I flew it at 88 all up.
Launching the Leopard in nil wind needs a steady pull to reach overhead. In a strong wind, it launches perfectly. 

In the air, I immediately felt at home under the Leopard. The pitch movements are very dampened and the leading edge tends to get slightly back upon entering the lift on this XS size. It has a very neutral pitch behavior apart form this very little or may I say “slight delay” to pull you inside the core.  Some pilots will find this feature amazing but some would prefer a slight pitch forward. It depends on pilots taste.
For instance, the Zeno S (70-90) size at max weight also tends to have a neutral pitch with a very slight pull forward sometimes, when the thermals are a bit sudden and strong. The Leopard felt more tamed in pitch feel.
In roll, I also felt that the Leopard is a comfortable glider to fly despite the Aspect ratio! The roll also feels more dampened and could be similar to the Zeno S.
In strong air it needs a good D pilot.

There are no yaw movements, and the Leopard feels like a whole very solid structure flying above your head.
The brake authority on this Leopard S size is truly nice! It has a short brake response with very good authority that enabled me to core practically a wide range of different thermals, especially very small ones. For an aspect ratio of 7, the Leopard can be considered as a very direct and agile glider. For sure the overall handling and brake authority is a step over the Zeno S and I really was very pleased to fly the Leopard in thermals. I can describe the handling as linear, direct, precise.


The climbing ability of the Leopard is nice for the category. But I felt that this exceeds of comfort in pitch sometimes get you a slightly delayed entering into those mellow 1 m/s thermals. I must insist that the overall climb is very good! and even in a strong and sudden lift, the Leopard S will pop up very quickly. It’s just in those small thermals that you feel that you need that extra forward pull from the leading edge…
Comparing it with a Zeno S, I felt that the Zeno could have a slight edge in float ability in those very weak thermals.

Doing some glides with an M7 S, just to get an idea, showed me that the Leopard has a very slight edge at trim, but especially better in headwind glides and of course at the bar. If we match the top speed of the M7, the Leopard has a very slight edge.
I found a 20 km/h over trim took at 900 ASL with overlapping pulleys.  There’s a medium pressure while pushing the bar. A slightly more than the Zeno, but quite ok. 


The B controls are slightly harder than the Zeno ones. I was able to keep the glider easily overhead while at bar in moderate air. In fact, it felt that at bar the Leopard gives a more taught and comfortable feel.
Ears with outer A’s are small but stable. Funnily, if you pull them quickly and release, they will be stuck in nicely, exactly like on the M7!  They can get you around -2 m/s with bar…The ears with outer B’s are is also doable and efficient with -2 m/s coupled with half bar.
The leading edge is very solid. There’s a lot of pressure!

Conclusion for the XS size 75-88 :
The S size might react differently as smaller glider are sometimes trimmed a bit different.
It’s amazing how technology is getting us more accessible high aspect ratio gliders.
The good authority on the brakes enables the pilots to control better the Leopard, and it could be considered a comfortable 2 liner for the intended category of pilots. 
Good overall performance, a bit close to Zeno, nice top speed, very homogenous and taught feel.  


Friday, July 5, 2019

Axis Venus SC size S 72-92

Axis Venus SC size S 72-92

My favorite Venus at the time was a Venus 2 RX, size Small. It was indeed a superb glider. Then I tried once the Venus 3 and didn’t blend in.
This is the new Venus  SC for 2019. 
The launching behavior is quite easy with an easy pull and the Venus comes up without any hard point. The takeoff is immediate.

I flew the Venus SC from 90 to 92 to discover that it's really nice at that weight. 
The climb in weak thermals is super nice and is similar to the Best C’s.  Going on glide with a Q-Light S showed me a little faster trim speed for the Venus SC with an impressive glide angle that also puts the Venus SC on top of the C category.
Despite the aspect ratio of 6.6, the turning behavior in thermals is exquisite. Good authority on the brakes and good agility.  Could be similar in agility as the Artik 5 for example, with lighter brakes and also precise travel. But the piloting level under it needs a slightly more pilot workload than an Artik 5. It moves a bit in turbulence and work by itself a bit in a small yaw and roll movement. 
The C steering control must be handled with care. The C is not attached to the B riser but offers a fair authority to stop small surges. 

Ears are stable and need a slight pump to reopen. 
Conclusion: Axis has made their masterpiece in creating the Venus SC! Glide and climb are among the best ones in the Category. In turbulent and active air it needs a good C pilot. 
But that pilot would make long and efficient XC flights. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Mac Para Eden 7 24 (70-90)

Mac Para Eden 7  24  (70-90)   
I asked MacPara to purchase that glider like usual. Then I got an email that a demo glider was already sent, and I have to return it afterward! 
After lots of delays at our customs office…like usual, the Eden 7 was released. Mac Para wanted the glider back for the Kossen exhibition, but I only flew it once and felt something different and I emailed Macpara that I must purchase that glider as I need more time on it, there was something very interesting! but they replied that they are sorry… and they prefer to get the glider back!  I kept the glider for another 3 flying days and…(to be continued…**) 

The test: 
The Eden 7 is MacPara 2019 high B glider. With an aspect ratio of 6, good mix of thin sheathed unsheathed lines, nice risers with C steering ability, the Eden 7 is a beautiful looking glider with a racy look.

Launching the Eden 7 is super easy for a high B glider. The take off is immediate. 

I flew the Eden 7 24 from 85 to 91 all up to discover the best spot at 87 all up.  The Eden 7 was flown with a Delight 3 harness and compared with other B or C gliders flying the same harness. 

I flew that glider in mixed conditions from weak to turbulent. Despite the aspect ratio of 6, I never felt it was more demanding to fly than any 5.4 aspect ratio B gliders. In fact, I can say that it seems quite easier to fly than most High B gliders with a lower aspect ratio. The movements of the Eden 7 in turbulent air are not really dynamic for the 6 aspect ratio glider.
 I’m not saying that it resembles the low B category. It needs a high B pilot, but the Eden 7 felt like a very well balanced high B glider that works well in itself.
 There weren’t any unnecessary movements coming from the glider. Just good, well-balanced feedback, that was exactly needed for the high B category. The Eden 7 feels like an educational high B with the exact amount of “relaxed” feedback for the XC pilot. 

The authority on the brakes at 87 all up is simply ”amazing”. It is not the most agile high B glider but still very satisfying agility with a short brake travel, precise to place it inside any core, direct to swiftly engage a turn without delay, moderate pressure that kept my hands quite comfortable all the flight. 
Those characteristics of handling and brake authority on the Eden 7 quickly won my heart! 
I never regretted test flying that EN-B in those good and rare flyable days this year.  
I would describe the overall feedback as “polite”. Exactly what should be felt under an XC machine for long flights. 

Loading the Eden 7 at 87 all up is very efficient even in weak thermals.  This high B is definitely a floater within its category.
In strong cores it also climbs ‘super’ well as the Eden 7 surfs the air forward like a very good high B, and it’s even very competitive with the class above in climb and glide.
Surfing a difficult airmass for a high B is a blessing, as some will bump and pitch back. Not on the Eden 7, as it never kept from surprising me in that matter. It does surf forward and climb like “higher rated gliders”. 

The Eden 7 glide at bar similar to the best B’s in that big category with an edge!  The edge was found on top speed!  It is quite fast for the category, and very usable. 
On my Eden 7 size 24 similarly loaded as a Mentor 6 same size (70-90), I was around +1 km/h faster at top speed! 
Its also faster than an Alpina 3 S and the glide at trim and at bar was over my expectations, to say the least! 
 While pushing the bar, the C steering is hard to pull, with a fair efficiency in turbulence.  

The trim speed is similar to the Mentor 6, and the Eden 7 has around 15..16 km/h over trim taken at 1000 ASL. 
I also flew next to higher rated gliders, just to see the potential of the Eden 7, and I can totally confirm my earlier comments that put the Eden 7 on the highest level! 

The ears are stable to a certain pull and reopen fast. Induced asymmetries and holding the A risers down are easy to counter steer with no big loss of altitude. 
Frontals make a slight horseshoe but reopen quickly.  Wing overs are nice, without any excess of dynamic and energy! 
I already updated my B category.   

In this large EN-B category, many manufacturers are really making huge progress to deliver us quite interesting gliders, and it's becoming silly to always write positive reviews, but i surely recommend test flying that one! No dull feel under it, rather than an educational one.  It’s like flying a calm higher rated glider with an impressive performance package.  

The Eden 7 in size 24 is a high B glider but an easy one to fly for the experienced B pilots, with superb handling and brake authority. 
It has a relatively calm and balanced behavior. The overall package of performance is efficient and very usable! 
For a high B pilot looking for an excellent creation, the Eden 7 fulfills every need and check every box. It would be very interesting to test flying one at its optimum load.  

**- Now to continue my story with Mac Para…I insisted to keep that glider. And I paid for it just because I couldn’t return back such a beautiful piece of a flying machine! and I also needed to keep it as a testing reference for this summer!  

Saturday, June 8, 2019

U-Turn Vision EN-B S

U-Turn Vision S (80-97) 

The Vision is U-Turn high B with an aspect ratio of 6 and relatively light construction. The S size weights around 4.6 kg. 
Taking off is super easy without any hard point. The Vision rises smoothly and stays above the pilots head.

I flew the Vision S at 94 all up. The brake travel has moderate travel, and pressure with very good agility. The Vision can be steered very tightly in small cores. Despite the 6 aspect ratio, the Vision is super far from the earlier Carrera from Gin for the extra comfort and smooth behavior in the air for the Vision. 
The moments in turbulence are very comfortable and I really asked myself many times if really the Vision has a 6 aspect ratio!  The overall movements in turbulent air are quite tame and showed me a super balanced glider. Some gliders with 5.5 aspect ratio that I have earlier tested, needed more pilot input in strong air. The Vision has surprised me by its mellow reactions.  
The pitch stability on the Vision is very high as it cuts smoothly into the airmass.
Inducing some asymmetries and frontals seems surprising to behave like a lower grade glider. 
The Vision cuts through the air like an efficient high B glider and the speed bar is very usable in turbulence. The C steering is efficient on the Vision for a 3 liner. Staying at bar, the C steering can control almost any pitch movements in 75 % turbulent air.  One of the most efficient 3 line B glider, for control ability on the C’s. 
The glide at trim and at max speed are like the very best you can find on a high B.  Gliding in a headwind or against the valley breeze is efficient on the Vision, especially at bar. 

The climb rate in weak thermal at 94 all up, is nice and relatively ok. The climb in strong thermals is smooth and rewarding by its comfort. 
The top speed is around 12 km/h over trim, taken at 2500 ASL. Big ears are stable and efficient. They reopen very quickly. 

Conclusion: A very well balanced high B glider. The impressive ratio of comfort, efficiency, and glide at speed. The Vision can be considered as an agile glider, and I think it could be the first high B glider with an aspect ratio of 6 that behaves and feels like a mid-B, even after collapses. The Vision overall performance package can easily challenge some mid-C gliders in XC conditions at trim and at bar. 
A must try in order to feel the high overall ratio of “comfort and performance”.    

B comparison updated 

Friday, April 26, 2019

NOVA Mentor 6 XS

NOVA Mentor 6  XS

And here is the new Mentor 6 in XS size flown at 88 all up.

The launching is simple, easy and very forgiving due mainly to the light materials used on this glider. It’s not completely a light glider, but NOVA used some light cloth on some parts on it.

Immediately after taking off and touching the brakes, I looked high up to see if it’s really a NOVA Mentor?  Yes, it was…I was completely shocked to see that big switch from the older series! Finally, something new concerning the handling and agility to talk about!  :-)

The brake pressure is toward the light side and moderates after 15 cm. The authority on the brakes and precision made me smile from ear to ear! ( It’s the first NOVA wing after the Mentor 2 that has a relatively short, precise, linear, and direct brake response worthy of delivering pure pleasure for the handling seeker! Finally, a Mentor that has a very nice, super quick and short turning radius.
I could really core the tiniest thermal available with infinite precision. I liked very much the authority on the brakes of that glider.

In weak thermals, the Mentor 6 even loaded is a revelation! After some hours comparing and comparing it to different top B gliders in the climb, I could definitely say that this latest Mentor 6 XS could be very difficult to over climb! I think that this one will stay on top of the stack period.
The Mentor 6 nose pulls you smoothly inside the core, and searches for the best lift! It is difficult to miss a thermal with that glider. 

The Mentor 6 XS communicates well the airmass and needs a high B pilot to master it in turbulent and strong air. Nothing more than a high B.
I’ll update my B comparison to place it accurately among others, but I need more time and also the S size (80-100) will eventually arrive in a couple weeks.  
The tips, however, flap in turbulent air without any consequences.  They do flap, because probably they are happy flying,  like the ears of a  puppy when you come home:-).

The midsection is very solid and I sensed that even at 90 all up the M6 XS will be even better inside the turbulent airmass. 

The trim speed is good, and I could say fast for the category.  Slightly faster than Swift 5 and Cumeo SM similarly loaded. The top speed is around 15 km/h over trim and very usable. 
The C risers control is hard to pull after test flying the light pull on the Mantra7 but could stop some moderate surges while keeping your foot on bar. 

The glide at trim and even at the full bar is also similar to the best high B’s with very good top-end speed for the high B category.  (See B comparison chart) 
For an efficient glide into the wind, the Mentor 6 needs to be loaded at the top for better results. It’s quite efficient for the B class.  It does in fact surf forward without any useless pitch. 
To sum it up, IMHO, this is by far the ‘best’ Mentor ever produced.  

Ears and big ears are very stable and very efficient. With the bar, I could get -4…5..m/s! 

Inducing some asymmetries and holing the A’s will result in a 90 degrees turn max, counter steering and staying straight is easy. 

Conclusion: Superb agility, impressive climb rate, top gliding power, good top speed for a B!  
Highly recommended for the high B pilots who thought that the older Mentor series were a bit boring to fly. 
Lovely, piece of a flying machine. The Mentor 6 is pleasurable to fly XC machine by excellence!  

I flew the M6 size M at 96 all up, and it seems that this size is very mellow and comfortable to fly. The handling and the way to turn it is slightly less than the XS which is logical. The clomb rate and glide are straight on top of that category, or even matching some C gliders...

A really powerful mix of high comfort and top-end performance!  A mellow to fly high B.

This is only my opinion. Make your own !