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 :-)