HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!
We fly for peace! We fly for freedom!
An incredibly beautiful flight today, ending this year !!
Wishing all pilots blessed and wonderful flights!
HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! 🌟 ✨ 🎉 💫
I already reviewed the Delight 2 and 3. Here’s the fourth version with …finally a nicer aerodynamic look with a fairing.
When I flew the old Delight3 and as I always fiddle with my equipment after the test has been made, I made lots of adjustments, like inserting a foam from the upper part to reach the lower back and that made more support to my lower back with a comfortable sitting position and also rewired the line settings of the pod to reach a nearly no pressure on the tight and natural leg support while maintaining a correct pod alignment into the airflow. But the Delight 3 was targeted as a first pod harness with a good stability of its ABS system and also of its reclined position.
The Delight 4 has a seat board.
Now here’s the Delight 4 in the same M size I can confirm that they didn’t change the recommended size for the pilots. So the old D3 M size and the Delight 4 M size are targeted to the same pilot size.
The weight of Delight 4 is around 4 kg and similar to the D3 weight. The ABS system is exactly the same, but ….! to my surprise, SUPAIR has made the exact modifications I did on the Delight 3 to have much less pressure on the thighs and more comfort on the lower back, and nearly natural leg support in the pod, but also made lots of other things much more interesting that we will talk about.
At first, there’s a left attachment point to prevent slipping through the harness if by mistake the pilot didn’t buckle properly. This buckle SUPAIR said that it holds around 120 kg.
There’s a relief hole on each side of the pod. The instrument holder is now attached with a buckle that keeps it above the chest strap, if it contains heavy materials, and will prevent it to flip blocking your view. Now it will stay fit in place.
The zip that opens the instrument holder is in front which helps much more reaching into it. The zipper of the instrument holder of the Genie light 3 is on the back and I found it best to have it on the front side for accessibility.
The openings of the air inlets that inflates the fairing are smaller and softer than the ones on my X-rated 6. Those inlets have some plastic inserts that keep them in shape. On my X-rated 6, they broke a lot of times, and I couldn’t change them easily without a sewing machine… But on the Delight 4, they can be changed easily and the insert is made from a softer plastic material.
The harness has lots of adjustments comparing it to the D3, and they added a more efficient one for the hip position and comfort. The pod straps have 3 adjustments on each side to make a more refined tuning.
Of course, there’s also a place for the camelback with a pocket to insert it in the back. The main back storage seems really large. Larger a bit than the Genie 3 light, and larger than the Woody Valley GTO.
The back protection as you will see on their website is made from two parts in order to open the two parts for more compact packing.
With my 1.81m and 72 kg, I felt completely ok on the Delight 4, which is my size.
As I always mention, it is a super difficult job to describe or define comfort (for the back, hip…etc) for a certain harness, just because many pilots with the same height and weight have different leg or shoulder measurements.
Let's talk about the harness sizes first :
So for me personally I felt that the Delight 4 in M size has the same measurements as the ADVANCE Impress 4 M, Supair Delight 3 M, Ozone Forza M, GIN Genie race 4 M,
The Genie light 3 M felt very slightly smaller but I’m also just ok with it.
About back comfort and body pressure,
The Delight 4 has much better comfort for the body than the Delight 3. On the Genie 3 light, the legs are slightly more supported, and I think the ABS system on the Delight 4 cannot give you less pressure on the thighs and be efficient in roll movements. On the Impress 4 which is the most relaxing to sit in, the roll control for the little movements and feedback is not as precise as on the Delight 4 or Genie light 3 for example. For the 4 to 5 kg category harnesses, the Delight 4 is more comfortable to sit in than the WV GTO, M size for example.
Roll feedback and comfort in the air: From 1 as max roll and less comfort to 4 as max comfort and less roll.
1- Lightness 2, Impress 3
2-WV GTO, Forza, Genie 3 light, X-rated 6, Lightness 3
3- Impress 4, Genie race 4,
4- Delight 3, Delight 4
The Delight 4 has an ABS system that blocks higher roll movements. Some pilots would prefer it, others would prefer a much more roll-inducing harness like the Genie 3 light, or even more like the Lightness 2, etc… Each pilot has his own preferences.
I felt that pilots could add a small ball with an elastic band attached to the inside of the front pod foot holder, and that ball could be inserted on the shoe laces, in order to make it simple to enter the pod after take off.
Conclusion: Light, robust, practical, easy to pack good harness for traveling, good comfortable harness in strong air, looks nice in the air…and is nicely comfortable for the sitting position. That’s the Delight 4.
And surely, a test flight could be the best way for each individual to see if it fits his requirements.
The B category is a very wide and the most purchased category. In this one category, you can find gliders with a real aspect ratio from 4.8 to 6.3 ! which gives a huge gap in usability and performance.
BGD Epic 2 65-85
The Epic 2 is BGD's new low B glider for 2022-23 with a real aspect ratio of 5.2 and 3.8 projected.
I flew the Epic 1 and will share in this review the differences between those two, and will insert some low B wings to compare.
Launching the Epic 2 size S (65-85) at 84 all up in no wind needs a slight pull, no hard point, no surge forward, just an easy glider to inflate. In windier take-offs, the inflation is calm as if the Epic 2 is waiting for you to be ready.
In the air, the Epic 2 has a relatively long brake travel, with a moderate linear feel for a low B. The brake travel is aimed to be forgiving. It also turns well in thermals with an agility a bit similar to the Epic 1.
The roll movements are very smooth and stable, and the pitch behavior felt also quite tamed. It enters thermals quickly, and the climb is straightforward. In turbulent air, I felt that the tips are softer than the center. They lose some pressure without any consequences, and a long pull on the brake refills them.
One day, I had on my side a friend which is a very good pilot on his brand new Rush 6 size S with the same load.
The Rush 6 is a high B that I honestly consider, among the top high Bs in terms of overall efficiency. But, I thought …why not share this flight and see how the low aspect ratio Epic 2 will hold on…
Flying together in weak thermals, I was amazed by the capability of the Epic 2 to float quite well! I think I had a tiny advantage in very weak stuff…But that doesn’t really matter, only that I can now confirm that the Epic 2 is a great climber in weak thermals.
In some strong cores, and when I completely ease up on the brakes to let it fly through the rising airmass, I think we both have the same climb also. But for sure the ability for the high B, R6 to dig through the airmass faster is logical and it shows when thermals are above 3 m’s.
The slow turning behavior of the Epic 2 in strong cores requires a bit more time to place it inside the core than an Ion 6 for example, but its quite ok, and I consider it fairly agile.
The overall efficiency in thermals and getting through inside them is clearly much better than the old Epic 1 !!!
The trim speed of the Epic 2 similarly loaded as the brand new R6 with the same size and load showed me a faster trim speed for the Epic 2 by 1 km/h!
The Epic 2 is fast at trim speed for a low B glider!
At the full bar, I got 9 km over trim, with locked pulleys.
The glide at trim on the Epic 2 seems also very good! Of course not like the Base 2 and the Rush 6, but still an interesting glide, and after some comparisons, I can surely put the Epic 2 near the best ones in that (low B category). It glides really well!
ears are stable, and efficient with -4m/s when using the speed bar. Induce asymmetries are very soft and very easy to recover.
Conclusion: BGD released a very easy low B that can be a logical move after school but with a high-performance package for that category. Going far on an XC day while flying the Epic 2 will be an easy task for weekend warriors! Try it to see if it fits your piloting taste and requirements :-)
GIN Avid, 75-95
I already flew the Explorer 2 https://ziadbassil.blogspot.com/2021/07/gin-explorer-2-size-s-75-95.html
Now GIN released the AVID which is a more robust version of the Explorer 2 and the use of new cloth. GIn quote: The Myungjin MJ40MF and MJ32MF fabrics are intended to withstand harsher, more abrasive environments.
Flying the Avid in different conditions and most variable ones ! from 90 to 95 all up with my grated 6 harnesses as usual… That way I can describe the feeling of that glider versus any other glider I flew for the past 6 years easily having still the same harness!
I think flying it at 95 all up, is the way to go on the Avid.
Launching the Avid is super easy without any delay. very straightforward and easy to take off in all conditions.
Once airborne I could feel the very high degree of comfort underneath the Avid that I also flew in some nasty places and in dry mountains. Despite the aspect ratio, Avid is tamer than many B’s with a lower aspect ratio. It delivers smooth feedback without being too demanding to fly. Probably a little more than the Chili5….and possibly less or similar to the Maestro 2 or Rush 6. Overall an easy B to fly.
It feels exactly like the Explorer in terms of pilot demand.
The turning ability is quite good. With 15 -20 cm and moderate pressure on the brakes, I could turn the Avid inside any core! Very efficient and again (Smooth) turning behavior.
What surprised me is the climb in weak to marginal conditions. This Avid really climbs well! It shares the same climbing properties as the Explorer 2 which is excellent!
It is indeed a floater like no other Gin the B segment. It is difficult to land first while flying the Avid unless you make a mistake!
In good conditions, you quickly find yourself at a cloud base! The Avid climb well! confirmed!
Gliding will take a bit more explaining:
Doing some glides in calm air, without any wind, or sea breeze the Avid has a nice glide angle similar to the Explorer 2. which is also very very good!
What surprised me is when doing some glides in windy, difficult conditions, while I’m at 95 all up, I didn’t feel I was efficient that much in going forward as I should be… I felt a bit pinned. Pushing the on the bar didn’t really improve my digging forward through that tricky airmass also. I just felt like sliding a bit. I did many glides in different areas when low in some valley breeze and the result was as felt before. I think flying it a bit overloaded could be better… But I don’t know…
While pushing the speed bar, the C controls are really nice, they can stop and control the surges while being efficient and having a moderate feel. Quite nice!
Ears are stable, they reopen sometimes without pilot intervention.
Full speed gave me 11 km/h over trim.
The Avid is a calm, smooth B, not really demanding to fly, and could be good for upgrading after two seasons on a low B glider. I was hoping for an efficient cutting through the airmass high B glider.
However, this high aspect ratio B is very different from the Carrera series. It is much more forgiving. I flew that glider in strong air and it gave me a comfortable feel. The handling is very nice, as it turns as the pilot wishes with very good brake authority. And of course, the climb in weak air will crown you “Skygod’ of the day ;-)
In the end, a test flight is worth a thousand words. and words.
Triple Seven Queen 3 SM (75-95)
One of my preferred gliders in the C category was a Q-Light 2 S size. Handling, turning behavior, feel under it, climb rate in weak, glide, were all 90 % over 100!
Now Triple Seven introduced the Queen 3 in slightly different sizes than the older model. The SM size I’m test flying goes from 75 to 95 all up certified as a 3 liner EN-C.
Launching the Queen 3 is less than 5 km/h wind needs a few steps more in order to fill it with air, than regular C’s like Alpina 4, Elan3, Allegro…due to the small intakes on the glider.
In 25 km wind, it is easier than the mentioned gliders and slower to inflate without the surge. So what you lose when you take off in weak, you gain in windy take-offs.
I flew the Q3 with my X-rated 6 harness from 90 to 95 all up. The glider can be easily flown at 90, but to be faster when entering the airmass and to give it slightly more dynamism, flying it at 95 would be better.
The brake travel is relatively short, with probably around 10-12 cm after the 10 cm slack, you can steer the glider in moderate thermals. The Q3 needs just a slight pull to react. However the brakes are slightly harder than the Q light I had if you are flying in strong air, and you need to pull a bit more brakes around 25 cm and more. Considering that an Alpina 4 has a relatively light to moderate pressure, the Elan 3 with its moderate pressure feel, has slightly less brake pressure. But as I said the more you pull, the more pressure there is.
Flying the Q3 in moderate air, I felt that with the 15 cm gap, the brake pressure is quite normal. Some pilots prefer that solid feel that could give them a secure impression.
The first 12 cm brake range reminded me of the Artik 6 ones, while the Artik 6 has slightly less brake pressure and a bit more dynamic agility.
However, I consider the Q3 to be an agile glider similar to the Delta 4 and Alpina 4 but just very slightly slower to complete a 360 radius. The Q light 2 was quite remarkably agile and had more dynamic turning behavior than the new Q3.
I think Triple Seven wanted to create a much more accessible 3-liner C glider that can give its pilots a much higher (passive safety feel).
The feedback comes from the risers. In small punchy cores, the Q3 rolls a bit more than the Delta 4, but the pitch stays very neutral and comforting.
I flew the Q3 in various conditions, to notice that in weak thermals, the glider floats quite nicely and stays inside that weak thermal without losing it. The Q 3 is a good glider when conditions are weak and marginal. I can say it is a floater, with nice climbing properties.
Gliding in different air masses, I found that the Q3 gets inside any difficult headwind or airmass quite efficiently, but it takes time to enter. Not fast digging through, but slow and efficient.
Some 3 lines C’s would struggle a bit and lose their glide, some surges forward quickly, while the Q3 stays on hold, slows a bit, but maintain the height and slowly dig through ( Itsy bitsy ;-) …) That’s why I felt that at 95 things could go slightly faster without losing the climb.
Flying while pushing the speed bar, give the Q3 a very nice glide angle, and the C steering is quite efficient. In turbulent air and while pushing at top speed, I had a few tips collapse, that opened without any reaction on my part.
Ears are stable, they reopen with a slight brake pull. Induced asymmetries resemble a B glider, smooth and slow. Pushing the bar on the Q3 gave me around +13 km at 800 ASL.
Now to explore every point on the Q3, I saw that Triple Seven made a knot on the C’s called Cowboy loop …It reduces 1 cm of the C lines. For my own curiosity, I released it first by a simple knot and second without a knot.
In a single loop, things got much better, with a nicer feel through the air in thermals, in the airmass…etc but a 10 % increase in movements.
With no loops, the (new glider) felt more alive! It turned much better and is faster through the air, but requires some 35 % more pilot control, and when accelerated some small collapses occurred. So I think, it's better to keep the knot after some 50 hours, and to explore the possibilities…
Conclusion: Triple Seven stayed with a conventional 3 liner with a 6.2 aspect ratio, for now…to prove that it flies really well, has a higher passive safety, and is easier to understand than the Queen 2. The spices of feel and handling are slightly more tamed than the Queen 2 ones, but the overall performance is surely improved. The Queen 3 is a mid-C glider in terms of feel in overall conditions.
So I think after being one full season on a Rook3, the Queen 3 is a logical evolution to stay on the safe side of the C certification.