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

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

AD Rise 4 S (72-92)

AD Rise 4

The Rise 4 is the new 2020 high B glider from Air design with an aspect ratio of 6. 
Launching the Rise 4 S (72-92) at 90 is immediate and straightforward, as the glider has some light materials with a weight of around 4.25 kg.
The turning radius inside the thermal can be very narrow, due to the short, precise and agile behavior of the wing. The brake pressure is on the average side, with a linear brake response. 
The movements in turbulent air are dampened for a glider with that aspect. In the comfort zone, it resembles the Eden 7 which is also very comfortable to fly. 
The climbing performance in (no wind, no sea breeze) is excellent !  as the Rise 4 floats inside that thermal without losing it. It’s just when there’s a wind factor or a valley breeze, that things changed a bit. I tried to fly the Rise 4 at 86 and at 92 and in both cases it’s a bit reluctant to dig in and climb as some higher rated B’s.  
I had the feeling of being slightly pulled by the back…I think the older Rise 3 was giving me a good headwind penetration…
Facing the Valley breeze, pushing the bar still feels a bit glued even loaded at the top.  But surprisingly, as soon as I found myself in the higher layers, away from the wind effect, the Rise 4 really climbs very well matching the best ones! 
Doing some glides in smooth air, next to the best high B’s of the moment, I could only say that the Rise 4 is truly impressive, with a glide that matches the best ones in that category.

Pushing the bar with pulleys overlapping, I found some 11 km/h over the trim speed at 1000 ASL. I also felt that the leading edge flutters a bit and looses slightly some pressure in a slight turbulent air, but the reactions if I kept pushing and pushing hard on the speed bar is a soft collapse from one side that opens very quickly, like an A glider. 
Inducing some frontals, the rise 4 makes a slight horseshoe but recovers also very fast. Overall it feels less demanding than some 5.4 AR high B gliders in their reactions after a collapse. 

Ears are fairly stable, reopens after 3 seconds with no intervention. 

Conclusion: The difference between the Rise 3 and 4 is that the Rise 4 feels much more comfortable and easier to handle. 
I could describe the Rise 4 as an agile high B glider, with top-end glide efficiency, and great comfort. If only it could have more pitch into the airmass… but probably other sizes may differ. 
With an aspect ratio of 6, the comfort level is high on the Rise4. I have to add that the authority on the brakes is very good on that glider delivering a nice pleasurable feel while circling in thermals.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Interview with Mt Philipp Medicus NOVA (R&D)

Ziad: 1- Why are you aiming to release the Phantom 2? And what level of pilots it’s targeted for?
Philipp: There are many happy Phantom pilots, who like the performance and the handling behavior of the glider.
That's why we never really considered making the Phantom a "one-time thing".
The development isn't finished, but the target group is identical to the Phantom 
We think, that that's what made it so successful: It's easy to fly.
2- Can you describe the intended performance in active air toward the upper classes?
It has to be competitive against current EN-C gliders. (Except top speed, probably)

3- Are you intending to release a D glider in the next 6 months? or earlier?

4- I have flown the Mentor 6 normal cloth and the light version in the same size. I felt more connected via the light cloth. It seems different and more enjoyable…
How can that difference in feel?
I think the lighter cloth can affect the feeling in three ways:
1.) The reduced mass itself: The mass reduction is not more than around 10%, because you have to add the air mass inside the glider. But that should be enough to be noticeable in terms of less (mass-)damping.
2.) The light cloth will not only differ in weight but also in stiffness. That will unavoidably result in a certain change in the flying characteristics.
3.) A third effect is subjective: You can hear certain deformations better on many lightweight materials, than on many heavier cloths. So even if two wings do exactly the same, you will get a very different (acoustic) feedback from the two gliders.

5- And new tandem coming soon? and will it aim more for performance as the new releases?
Yes - we are working on a new tandem wing. It's going to be rather light, with good XC-potential. It won't be a direct successor of the Bion2 therefore.
We haven't started working on the Bion3 yet.
6-Will NOVA invest more in harnesses in the future?
Yes - certainly!

7- I always wondered about NOVA forethought in the release of a 2 liner or entering competitions? Any comments? 
We are working with 2-liner prototypes for a while now. From today's perspective, we won't release a CCC 2-liner.


Thank you!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

BGD Cure 2


It seems that I’m also BGD villain…  ;-)
I couldn’t get a hold of one as our dealer received again, (a note) No Cure 2 for Ziad!    
Cooldown guys !!  :-)  It’s the 21st century! And my last 2 BGD’s were purchased from abroad! …   
Gliders sent only to a “controlled” environment is an underestimation of the good pilots out there in the world, especially with the presence of a large social media network. 
I really regret BGD approach!
I wouldn’t want the dealer to have any problems, so I waited until the demo was finally sold to a friend (Northern Eagles Club) flying in the north part of Lebanon. I visited him, and he was so kind as to lend me his new toy.      
I really hope that BGD will have more faith in the future!

BGD Cure 2 M (75-95)    (The edge) 

BGD is a new company, created by the world champion, Bruce Goldsmith, that works with beautiful designs, cheerful colors, and with passionate young people working as a team.
The Cure 2 M launches easily in nil wind without any hardpoint. If the pull is heavy, the Cure 2 surges forward rapidly but can be swiftly stopped by the brakes. In a strong breeze, the pilot must anticipate and stop the surge. A good C pilot won’t have any problem. 

The Cure 2 in size M (75-95) feels slightly big to fly it at mid-weight but quite manageable in weak conditions. In strong air, I found it best at 94, 95 all up. The trim speed is fast for the C category. A bit faster by one km than the Q-light S, the Fusion S, and 2 km/h over the Delta 3, Alpina 3. 
 Flying with an X-rated 6 harness, the Cure 2  has a nice feel in the air!  Like the Cure 1, the Cure 2 is an agile glider, with slightly longer brake inputs than the Cure 1.  

 The brake travel is quite moderate and smooth, not short and not too long. After 10 cm of slack, 30-35 cm is needed to steer the glider in any thermal. The Cure 2 reacts smoothly, and accurately, to the pilot's controls. It has a linear response throughout the brake range. It feels similar to the Mantra 7 in terms of brake feel, and time response, with a slightly more agile turn.

In thermals, the Cure 2 can be steered tightly into the core. The turning radius is clean and the Cure 2 stays on its path during the climb. It feels like sniffing the thermal and it gave me a nice feel while coring. It doesn’t get out of the turn inside a thermal, and while pulling more or less brake, the Cure 2 reacts well, to position it inside the lift. 

In weak conditions, the Cure 2 seems to cope well with the best C’s of the moment despite its high trim speed. (You can see my C companion updated for the Cure 2 if you need to see the smaller details).  A little adaptation is needed to keep the Cure 2 from diving into a turn in weak conditions. A little brake pull is needed and the Cure 2 will climb effortlessly.  I can confirm that the Cure 2 floats well. 

The information is sent smoothly by the risers, not the brakes. The Cure 2 has a tamer feel is weak conditions, much like the M7 is that matter. The pilot must pay attention to the glider movements in order to feel those small 0.2 m/s lifts. But the Cure 2 can grab those tiny lifts with a good pilot underneath. In strong thermals, the Cure 2 moves a bit in yaw visually, but that doesn’t affect the pilot at all. I couldn’t feel the movements that were shown upward. It filters nicely the useless movements. When entering the strong lift, there’s a slight pitch back, when hitting the thermal, and slightly before entering, and then all you can hear is a screaming vario! The Cure 2 climbs really well and fast without too much control. 
In turbulent and strong air, it needs an active good C pilot, just because the moderate brake pressure is less sharp than the Cure 1, the Delta 3, or Alpina 3 for example.
Flying the Cure 2 in moderate air doesn’t feel like a block over the pilot's head, I felt it is a smooth and comfortable glider as it works by itself.  As the conditions liven up, the Cure 2 needs slightly more control power to keep it leveled or slightly more adaptation for the light and slightly moderate brake travel.  I felt the shooting forward is more pronounced than a Delta 3, Alpina 3, Fusion, Lynx, for example…But nothing difficult for a good C pilot. It’s easier to fly than the Trango X-race. 

The glide part is here…
Gliding next to the top C’s of the moment, I was really surprised by the abilities of the Cure 2! I have tried many times, next to the newest and best C’s of the moment, even next to the Mantra 7 ! just to be sure, but to my surprise, the Cure 2 arrived higher than most C’s I have as a reference! 
We all were very impressed by that glide, at trim, at first bar, and even at top speed. It seems that BGD has a new developer, as I have read on their website, with a new software tool for the R&D. I think the glide part is so obvious that any of you out there will notice it next to any C glider, or maybe this Cure 2 that I flew is magical!  :-) 
The glide next to the Mantra 7 was so close for the 7 km run and was repeated again and again, and sometimes facing a sea breeze…The difference is only around 10-15 meters less for the Cure 2 ! The M7 is more stable when hitting turbulence and stays on the path without loosing in movements. But that’s a very good D! 

The speed bar has a moderate pressure and while using it, the Cure 2 can be controlled quite efficiently by the C risers in moderate air. The C controls have more pressure than the Fusion or the M7 which has a light feel. The pressure on the Cure 2, C controls is on the moderate side.
Using the bar, the Cure 2 cruises efficiently in headwind conditions, and I could feel the speed and glide efficiency!  

Big ears also surprised me by their efficiency! With a half pull on the speed bar, I could reach easily -4,5 m/s!  The ears don’t open by themselves, and sometimes it’s nice to get your hands off the outer A’s and still getting a -3m/s sink. A slight bar on the brakes and they reopen. 

The top speed is around 16-17km/h over the actually fast trim speed.

Despite BGD's poor judgment toward my tests, facts will remain solid facts IMHO.  It’s pretty simple to switch off that ‘free to read page’ as fast as possible. No one will get hurt! :-)  
I’ll say again: When the 6.75 AR Cure 1 and Lynx were released, they were really pleasurable to fly, and I personally liked them, but there was some lower aspect ratio, C gliders that could have an edge over them in gliding power. BGD latest Punk, is also an adorable glider to fly, fast, climbs really well, but not on the edge of gliding performance in the high B category.    Who cares? I don’t.   But these are facts! that manufacturer must apprehend with a deep breath to cool down. 
How could it be possible for every manufacturer to have “all” his creations better than the competition in “everything”?  
That’s why underestimating the pilot's abilities and comprehension should be a thing of the past in 2020. 
I believe that choosing a glider only for its glide angle is wrong. I personally choose gliders that have a swift, sharp and better authority on the brakes.  The more pleasure I get is the way I personally choose. That’s me. Every person has his own demands and that’s the beauty of it. My friend adores the M7, and speak about it every moment. The other chose the Lynx and hammer his comments in my ear every second!  :-) 

Now with the 6.4 AR Cure 2, the leap over the first version is truly remarkable, as the BGD R&D team, has reached a new level in the C category having the edge in gliding power! Congratulations! 
 The gliding performance of the Cure 2 is second to none! The handling and the way to steer the Cure 2 is good for the C category and gives enough pleasure. I would have wished for shorter and more direct brake control. But that’s me..I’m too picky…Many will love it. The climb is weak is also quite good.
I’m sure that the Cure 2 will deliver some epic XC flying with the right skills for that category. I already updated my C comparison for the little details. 
In creating the Cure 2, BGD has outdone themselves. I really don’t know how they pulled it off, but that’s a solid fact and it’s already available for every pilot to experience it. 

I found out later that flying the Cure 2 at top weight will be more efficient in the overall homogeneity and more authority in turbulent air, while still being good in weak. If you fly the Cure 2 at mid-weight the authority of the pilot will be diminished. Better to stay on the very top!