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Friday, March 11, 2022

DRIFT Hawk S 70-92

DRIFT Hawk S 70-92

Drift is a new paragliding company.  

If you want to know about the designers and team, please follow that link:  

Hawk is their high EN-B. 

The construction details are very well made. Skytex 32 and 28 were used on the Hawk with Liros and Edelrid lines with very few lines and width. With a shark nose (beak) the glider looks like it was designed for performance. The weight of the Hawk is a bit less than 4 kg and could be narrowly packed. 

In this test, I will compare it with some B’s, and mainly with a Base 2 Slight.

Launching the Hawk S from 89 to 92 all up is very straightforward without any hardpoints to delays. It resembles the Base 2  light launching behavior which is really easy with its lightweight and very simple to inflate even in nil wind.

I flew the Hawk (S size) from 89 to 92 in weak and strong thermals and could do some XC in our current winter condition. 

The brake pressure on the S size at my all-up weight is on the moderate light side. Not as long light as the Swift 5, and not as short as the Rush 6 for example. It could be a bit similar to the Base 2 light in brake length and feel. The Hawk can be steered on a narrow core. So I think 35 cm is needed to crank it in a small core, after the 8 cm brake gap. Overall, I can say that the Hawk is a glider with good agility and could promptly be steered into the lift. The Base 2 S size simply loaded could have a slightly narrower radius in turns. But still, the Hawk has very good agility.

In weak thermal conditions, the Hawk seems to be quite efficient, perhaps like the Mentor 6 efficiency if both are loaded the same. In strong cores, it climbs also very well. 

In strong and turbulent air, the Hawk S is an informative B glider. It moves a bit more in roll and slight yaw than the Rush 6 in strong turbulent air.  The feedback comes from the risers, and some pilots would find it quite interesting rather than boring. 

I’ll update my B comparison table for the little details if needed. 

Gliding through the calm morning or evening air, I can say that the Hawk has an outstanding glide angle similar to good B’s. Doing some glides in moving air when low against a valley breeze, the Hawk in S size slows a bit and needs slightly a bit more time to enter the airmass. So I think loading it at 93 could be a good option to move forward a bit better.  It will still retain a good glide like the Base 2, Mentor 6, Rush 5.  The C steering is quite efficient in controlling pitch movements. I think it is one of the nicest C steerings on the B’s. Moderate pressure, linear pressure on the C handles to receive and give good control.  

Pushing the bar on the S size gave me around 10 km's over trim with a good and competitive glide angle at that speed. The pressure on the bar is moderate. 

So overall the gliding in most conditions is very good and could be also very similar to the Base 2 light S I have over here. 

Big ears are very stable and efficient. They reopen very quickly. 

Conclusion: Today’s high B category is loaded with lots of impressive gliders. With the Hawk, DRIFT has created a relatively high B glider with good overall performance that fits well in the top 10 of very well-made gliders.

 It needs active pilot control in strong air, as I’m test flying the S size. The More L would differ.  The handling is sweet, as you can turn it inside any core. 

I’m sure that a test flight would be more than anything is written. So getting a demo is always the best way to see if it fits your requirements.