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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Skywalk Cayenne 6 XS

SKYWALK Cayenne 6 XS 

One of my favorite gliders was the Cayenne 5 XS! It was an awesome glider! A spicy but balanced feel for a C, precise handling, and very efficient in weak conditions! Simply a delight! I kept that glider for a long time enjoying it. It had a special feel and I’m sure the Cayenne 5 pilots know well what I’m talking about.
Now Skywalk introduced for 2020 another newer version. The Cayenne6. 
I have one in XS size ready for take-off.
The risers are very well made.  A system for steering with the C risers. A new cloth material (TX light ) Skywalk says that it is a unique combination of polyurethane and silicone coating that makes the fabric extremely resistant to the aging process.
In this test, I will compare the C6 mainly to the C5 and will state the differences. I did fly it against the latest C’s and my C comparison is already updated. 

Take off at 95 all up on the XS is really easy, even in no wind. It inflates rapidly. 

First thermal, and first turn….The cayenne 6 turning abilities are very far from the excellent Cayenne 5.  The Cayenne 6 has a slightly longer brake travel, but without a prompt answer for the glider to core rapidly. So I opened my X rated 6 chest strap to +50.  Inside a turn, I had to lean well and brake in order to get that tighter radius! especially in small bubbles. 
 It was difficult to turn it sometimes really narrow, even with a wide chest strap.
After several turbulent and non-turbulent cores, I can affirm that the C6 is not as agile as the C5 was. In fact, it is not as agile as many C’s I have tested, especially in turbulent thermals. When conditions are homogenous, the turn is ok.
 That’s surely a Skywalk decision to deliver the glider with exactly that kind of agility.  Perhaps many pilots would favor it. It is a matter of personal preference. 

The climb rate in weak is good but I didn’t feel it as good as the C5. However, the climb in strong air seems slightly better.  
 The difference between the C5 XS and the C6 XS in weak thermals is that those excellent spicy movements that were on the C5 are completely erased on the C6.  Onboard the old C5, I was able to feel every bit of lift and the leading edge would bite them efficiently, and that was coupled with superb handling. On the C6 the pitch movements are nearly absent, and the information about the air is highly diminished.  
In strong air the C6 could be considered as moderately comfortable for a C, with some sideways movements sometimes, but not really annoying. 

Please note that it is important to know that comfort for a good pilot is always related to a good handling glider. I mean if there’s a dynamic glider but highly controllable on the brakes and with very good brake authority! Then this glider would be considered as comfortable enough for any stated category considering the level of the pilot, as it can be placed exactly where the pilot wishes. 

But if that glider won’t deliver a swift brake authority, then it is up to the conditions to place that glider in turbulent air and the pilot must work harder on his weight shift and insist on the brake controls to place and kept it above his head, or to put it in tight cores… Unfortunately,  the C6 lacks that direct handling that was available in the old C5.
Saying that the C6 remains more comfortable to fly in strong air than many “high” C’s. 

The gliding facing the valley breeze is very good for the category. The glide angle is much better than the Cayenne 5. It seems to surf the air more efficiently. In that matter, I felt that the Cayenne 6 could be inserted in the top 5, gliding C machines. It seems that the C6 has a nice ability to surf the airmass efficiently and move forward while gaining height in lifts. 
The C6 is slightly faster than the already fast Cure 2 at trim speed, but the Cure 2 has 1-2 km/h plus top speed.  The top speed on the Cayenne 6 is easy to reach with a moderate to light pressure.  
The C steering on the C6 is probably one of the best that I found on the C’s that resembles the Delta 4 one. The controls are smooth and the pitch control is highly efficient for a 3 liner! Good point here.

The ears are stable and efficient. They reopen slowly without pilot intervention. 

After the Tequila 5, here is another glider that follows the same pattern. The Cayenne 6 feels mellower in the way it informs the pilot, have less sharp handling and agility than the Cayenne 5, but with an overall increase in gliding performance over the C5 at trim and at full bar. The latest Skywalk gliders seem to share different concepts.  My personal wish is hoping that Skywalk won’t lose the excellent feel and feedback of the Chili 4 when they need to replace it. 
Everyone has his own preference.  That is why, test flying the Cayenne 6 is the best way a future buyer could do, in order to get a more personal idea. 

This is only my opinion. Make your own !

Thursday, July 16, 2020

PHI Allegro M (75-95)


The Allegro is the new 2020 
EN-C glider from PHI.

The Allegro is a semi-light glider, and launching even in nil wind is very easy. In stronger breeze Its as easy for a C glider.

I flew the Allegro in two sites, one at 800 ASL in moderate conditions, and on another site at 2600 m in strong conditions. I flew the WV, X-rated 6 at 92 all up.
I also flew it at 87 and found also that it flies quite nice at that weight! while keeping the homogenous structure.

The Allegro doesn’t seem to dive in turns when applying brakes in thermals. The turn inside the thermals can be described as an efficient, flat turn with excellent coring ability! It can be turned really tight inside the core!
The Allegro has the ability to let you make a stationary turn! So it's an agile C glider!
The brakes are relatively light in the first usable part while being precise with a linear feel. I just shortened them by 2 cm while keeping the 11 cm gap before the trailing edge reacts.
The Allegro enters in moderate thermals smoothly, without any pitch back. In stronger cores, the Allegro surges up really quickly! There are no useless movements that come from the glider even in strong air. I felt a certain high degree of safety under the Allegro while being not too dampened as my latest tested C glider. For example, the Delta 4 delivers more comfort and sometimes too much comfort! Everyone has his own taste for feedback. I personally would choose the Allegro for that feedback and felt! Simply excellent! Many of you readers know that I did church the Q-Light S for its handling. Now I’m an Allegro addict! Smile

On the Allegro, I was getting the right feel of feedback for an enjoyable flight even in turbulent and strong air. The Allegro moves in the air and let you understand every little detail, but with no excessive and useless movements. All those nice movements are coupled with a very efficient brake authority.

In the Cedars spot, I pass many times on the lee side with a dominant upper wind, just because it is sometimes the only way to get through those sections. With the Allegro informing me of all that’s going on, I was accurately placing it in the airmass with the brakes. Superb authority! I will say also that at all times, the Allegro stayed well inflated, and never a single cell collapsed. Only when I really was in some spaghetti stuff, a little tip finally whispered in my ear ”you’re deeply in the wrong place!”
I have to add also that the inside structure seems flawlessly homogenous. I didn’t feel any distortion or any snake movements in strong air.
The allegro is a dynamic C glider if you throw it around on wingovers..etc…but in XC flying it stays well above the pilot's head while informing about the air.

I flew the Allegro next to the Cure 2, and the Delta 4.
The climb rate in weak conditions is good, as I was always able to float and wait to catch the next stronger thermal. That feedback I was writing about, will save many pilots in weak air. The leading edge enters any lift without a back pitch. It feels like you are being slightly pulled upward and to the front.
In stronger thermals, it climbs really well! The allegro surges upward very efficiently in rising air.

In XC flight, the Allegro seems to surf the air quite well. When facing the valley breeze, it seems to cut through with the same character as the Maestro 21, but with more gliding into the wind.

Doing some glides at trim speed, I saw that the 6.0 Aspect ratio Allegro glides as good as the Cure 2, and super close to the Delta 4. At the full bar, the Allegro, and Delta 4 seem to have the edge in a similar glide angle!
The allegro M has a 15 km/h speed over trim, and at top speed the glide is amazing! The structure of the Allegro at full bar doesn’t seem to be affected. It just stays as solid with no visual fluttering of the cells.

My C comparison is updated for the little details if needed,!/vizhome/C(shrinked URL)rComparison/CGliderComparison

but I have to say that any pilot on the Allegro, and all the above-mentioned gliders, will surely make some nice and serious XC flights.
A pilot upgrading from the Maestro will find the Allegro a super easy C.

Ears are stable, efficient, and reopen quickly. They do not stick.

Conclusion: The Allegro with only 6 aspect ratio, delivers nice agility, a very good authority on the brakes, excellent gliding performance, especially at bar! Good in climbing, while having a large passive safety for a C.
I think a good pilot upgrading from a full season on the Maestro will experience a good evolution on the Allegro if he needs to upgrade.
I needed to find some minuses as many pilots commented that lately I only write good reviews…!
I searched to find any minuses…but I didn’t…sorry Wink Please do find something on the M size and pointed out!
Now Hannes must change his famous sentence (my specialty is the B category)! With the Allegro EN-C coming out, I think many of you will back me up after test flying that beautiful machine! Wink

Two videos soon Wink