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

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

PHI Allegro X-Alps 20

PHI Allegro X-Alps 20 

PHI has released the light version of the Allegro with a simpler line layout and 2 lines per side. It is called Allegro X-Alps. 

The glider comes up easily even in nil wind.  In inflating the glider I already sensed a different feel of the structure.

I flew that glider at 90 all up, and I realized later that it is better at 95 in order to get a more compact feeling in strong air. 

In the air, the X-alps version moves in itself a bit more than the normal one. The normal version felt much more compact. That’s why when flying it later at 95, it enhanced that feel for a more compact structure.

The brake and the authority of control have also changed under the X-alps. The brakes are slightly longer, but I can still say that the agility is still there but a bit less than the original version. The brake feel has moderate pressure, quite agile in homogenous thermals, with nice coordinated handling. When encountering turbulence and strong thermals, the X-Alps version must settle before delivering the authority for turn control. The original version brake control was prompt for action even in turbulence.  I think pilots will need a little time to adapt to it, then they will feel at home. 

Climbing next to reference C gliders, showed me that the X-alps version resembles the original one with a little more breathing when surfing the airmass.  At 90 all upon the 20, it climbs like the original version.  The glides at trim however felt slightly also similar. Probably the X-Alps version floats a bit more in lift lines.

The C steering is quite efficient and the feel of a pressurized C handle like on a 2 liner!  I could stop the glider surges efficiently with that C steering. A very powerful tool! 

The speed bar is long, efficient and I think that the X-Alps version glide angle at speed is slightly more efficient.  

Ears are big, stable, and reopens with a little help if lightly loaded. 

Conclusion: The Allegro X-Alps with its Harmonica bag can be packed small due to fewer rods inside that glider.  A cool companion for hike and XC fly.  I think loading the X-Alps version will be best for a more compact feel, as the original could be flown at mid-range easily.  Try both versions to see your preference. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

NOVA Ion 6 XS 70-90

NOVA Ion 6 XS  70-90 

I could finally get my hands on the Ion 6 in XS size.  I flew that glider at 86 all up.

The construction and finishing details are excellent! Lots of stuff coming with the glider as seen in the picture.

                    It is easy to launch the Ion 6 in 10 km wind, without touching the A risers!  Smooth rise with no surge or delay. 

In the air, the brake travel is relatively short with moderate pressure, to react but long and forgiving if pulled. But I only used 15 cm of the brake travel in most conditions. I flew in some strong and turbulent air and the very high comfort under the Ion 6 delivers an immense feel of passive safety. The feedback under the ION 6 is accurate but very polite! delivering a comfortable ride with the necessary feedback to enjoy every moment. 

Usually, I find some low B gliders to be boring by the very restricted and dull feel under them. But not under the Ion 6, which gave me the pleasure I needed to fly it with a relaxed smile. 

The gliding power of that low B is surprisingly good for achieving long XC’s. I had some low saves also, and the accurate brakes helped a lot in getting the weak ones. The ION 6 climbs also well. 

The speed over trim is around 11 km/h. Ears are stable, efficient, and reopen alone. 

Conclusion: I think NOVA managed to create an impressive package of “performance, comfort, pleasure” in a single glider. I’m mostly certain that in some good XC days, the pilot under the Ion 6 will achieve his goal while having fun, and still with plenty of energy left in him. Test flying the ION 6 XS could be highly addictive!