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.