Tuesday, April 27, 2021

SKYMAN CrossAlps 2 - 24


Skyman Cross 2 Alps 24 

Skyman released their 2021 light EN-C. The CrossAlps 2.  I have here the site 24 and I flew it at 93 all up.

The workmanship on that glider looks very neat.  The light cloth seems the same used on the first version. There are some stainless steel small anchors in the leading edge to prevent the glider is sliding on snowy take-offs. 

The construction looks perfect. The risers are minimalistic, colorful, and properly sewed. (see pic) 

There are 2 A’s, 2 B’s, and 2 C’s! 

Launching the CrossAlps is super easy, even in nil wind. It comes up smoothly and evenly. 

Flying the size 24 at 93 felt very good in overall conditions.  The Cross Alps despite its aspect ratio has a nice authority on the brakes! In this test, I will compare it with the Alpina 4 and mainly the Savage because of the same aspect ratio of 6.5. And will talk also about the difference between the first version and the new one. 

I found out that the CrossAlps can be steered narrower in thermals with a higher authority on the brakes than the Savage.  The A4 felt slightly more maneuverable than the CrossAlps, but it has an aspect ratio of 6.0.

The brakes travel felt shorter than the Savage similarly loaded, and similar to the Delta 4 MS in travel lengths. 

The CrossAlps is a maneuverable glider. My C comparison is updated for the little details if needed. 

In turbulence, the CrossAlps seems also more comfortable to fly than the Savage, and very close to the very comfortable A4 MS. Overall the CrossAlps seems very forgiving and quite manageable for its aspect ratio. The pitch movements are nearly absent, and the roll is very manageable and I could say quite tame for the C category. 

Climb rate> Flying the CrossAlps next to The Artik 6 which has an excellent climb rate, showed me that the CrossAlps is matching the best C’s, even in very weak thermals. I was impressed by the good efficiency of thermals. Probably even slightly better than the first version which had a very nice climb rate.  

Loading it at 95 would enhance the authority in turbulent air and with a neutral pitch, the CrossAlps will climb very well.

Gliding power> I made a few runs next to my reference Cs. The new CrossAlps 2 has I think a complete whole point or more over the 1st version at trim speed.  And close to the good ones in the C category.

 Pushing the speed bar at max, on the CrossAlps gave me around 11 km/h over trim, and could match the Savage top speed.  The pressure is moderate. The glide at trim and at top speed is also mentioned in my C comparison if pilots do want to look for smaller details. 

Big ears with the outer A’s are big, just because there’s only 2 A ’S. They are unstable and a bit difficult to maintain. 

Landing is easy and eventful with a nice flair to land it in tight places. 

Conclusion:  I think Skyman has made a much calmer CrossAlps than the first version. The authority on the brakes is also smoother, less sharp, more forgiving. The ears were better on the first version. The climb rate matches the first version, but the glide is very much improved at trim.  Overall the CrossAlps 2 is a more friendly user glider than the first version. Longer flights with probably 60% less workload than the 1st one! 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

ADVANCE Sigma 11 - 22 & 24

ADVANCE Sigma 11 24

I received two Sigma 11 in sizes 22 and 24. 

Launching behavior on the S11 22 at 85 all up, and on the S11 24  at 94 all up is about the same. The glider rises effortlessly in light wind and when the glider passes 80 % it accelerates a bit. A touch on the brakes to keep it overhead is needed and the take-off on both sizes is quick.

At first, let's talk about the size 24.

The S11 size 24 (85-100) flown at 93 all up, flies well at that weight in all conditions, and later I found out that at 97 would be great in strong air. The overall movements of the S11 seem more dampened than the S10, especially the pitch behavior. The S11 pitch seems very calm and neutral in 80 % of the conditions.  The roll movement is also quite more dampened than the S10. Overall its seems to give very little in pilot demand for the C category. I think after test flying the Alpina 4 MS, the S11 24 overall movements are even calmer in the moderate conditions I flew in.  

While the S10 had a little spice, the S11, 24 is calmer in moderate conditions. 

The brake pressure is on the moderate side, slightly less pressure than the Delta 4 and much less than the Artik 6. To describe the linear feel and brake travel to the other C’s, I could say, that the Alpina 4 and the S10 had slightly longer brake travel, the Artik 6, 23 has shorter brake travel, than the S11, 24.  

The brake authority is high on the S11, 24 as the pilot can swiftly carve the glider in the air, and it is difficult to miss a thermal core. 

In biting through the air the leading edge seems to slow just a little before entering at 93 all up, but it enters with high efficiency. At 97 I found that the S11 24 has even a better efficiency into the wind.

Gliding next to a Delta 4 MS at 93 all up, I could confirm that the S11 24 at 93 has the around 95 % the same gliding power at trim and even at the S11, 24 top speed with overlapping pulleys.  The Delta 4 MS had still one centimeter to push. Like the S11,24 goes to 100, and 7 kilos were missing!  then the top speed will increase if loaded at the top. 

Again and again, gliding with very good C’s confirmed my findings that the S11, size 24 shares equally the best gliding of the C category. 

The climb rate of the S 11 size 24 flown at 93, in weak air seems also very good, as I was also next to my friends on their C gliders trying to see if there are any differences. Under the S11 the movements in very weak air ( +0.2 m/s) are very little in roll and pitch, and concentration is needed to feel the rising air.

 In stronger cores, it seems that the S11, 24 climbs also really well, among the best C’s in that matter.   

S11 size 22, 75/87 flown at 85 all up with a Genie light 3 M.The take-off is very easy as the glider inflates really well even in nil wind. In stronger wind, it goes up fast and a dab on the brake is needed to keep it overhead. The turning behavior with the Genie 3 is excellent. An excellent turning ability I can say! I could turn very tight with high precision. The smaller size of course is more dynamic in turns. One day the conditions were really tough at higher altitudes, and in turbulent strong cores, I felt that the S11 size 22 has a slight front pitch and the controls on the brakes lighten a bit even when pulling them at waist height sometimes.  A good high B pilot reported that day when flying next to me that the conditions were quite demanding and weird. The S11 kept a solid structure in those bad conditions without even a single collapse. But it kept me busy in the air, and I could have preferred a higher authority and linear “harder feel” on the brakes rather than a light feel, to control it in those specific and strong conditions.  I thought that I must top land and take another C to compare, but I was high and far to get back. 

The C steering system is very easy to use and very efficient to hold the glider movements in a moderate active air while on the bar! The leading edge seems more resistant to collapse than the S10 and it felt so smooth. I let the glider fly in front of me many times, without any issues. The induced frontals and asymmetries on the size 24 are easy to recover. Big ears are stable and reopen alone on both sizes.  The top speed with overlapping pulleys is around 14 km/h over trim.  For more information, I did update my C comparison for both sizes. 

Conclusion:  The Sigma 11 doesn’t have long rods, yet it is compact enough especially the size 24 in moderate to strong air. The overall solidity is more present on the new version. The handling and overall feel seem tamer in moderate air. The size 22 needs a bit more pilot control in heavy weather.  The turning abilities are superb, and the pleasure feel is high. The difference in brake authority between the S 10 and S 11 is that the S11 turns quicker with the less applied amount of brakes. The overall feedback is slightly less on the S11. Overall, it is a smoother glider to fly. I need to fly the size 24 more on strong summer days in order to be more precise, but the snow is still covering our high mountain range.  A light, compact to pack, high-performance C glider is awaiting you to test fly it :-)