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.