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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 !