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Friday, March 31, 2023

GIN Bonanza 3 S (85-100)

GIN Bonanza 3  S  (85-100) 

The GIN Bonanza 3 is the 2023-25 new EN-C, 2- liner glider that replaces the Bonanza 2 which was a 3-liner with a 6.4 aspect ratio. 

The Bonanza 3 only has one A and one B. It is a pure 2-liner with a 6.3 aspect ratio and equipped with GIN’s new wave leading edge that was implemented on their CCC glider the Boomerang 12. 

GIN uses on the upper surface leading edge:  Myungjin MJ40 MF and Myungjin MJ32 MF and on the Lower surface: Porcher Skytex, 27 g/m².

The lines are a mix of:   8001 / 050 / 070 / 090 / 130 / 190 / 230 / 280 / 340  (unsheathed aramid)  

The overall construction and details are really nice with excellent workmanship. 


The Bonanza 3 launches easily in nil wind and the rise is straightforward, without any hard point or delay. In stronger air above 20 km/h, it is also very easy to launch and quite manageable in correcting it if needed, and the take-off is very quick. 

I flew the Bonanza 3 from 94 to 97. In all those weights it will behave very taught and forgiving.  The B3 was flown in weak air to some stronger air, and finally, the feedback from my friends and I was unanimous by the easiness and high comfort of the Bonanza 3 in active air. It resembles the comfort of the Alpina 4 if any pilot had a run on it.  For a 2-liner it has similar comfort as to the Volt 4 with an even more coherent and solid structure. 

I found out the stall speed is very low as if the glider is telling you or informing you that you have a little more to hold…And in tight turns, when you apply a bit more brake impute into a turn, the Bonanza 3 informs you that you also have a margin before a spin! It is for me a new feel under that glider, and I can only say that the wave leading edge has something to do with that specific feel, never felt before on any other wing. 

The stall and spin will eventually happen, but there’s something that delays them if you listen carefully to the glider. 

 The turning behavior and brake travel feel exactly similar to the Bonanza 3 which was excellent, but without the excessive movements that were on the B3. The brake travel is short to moderate with a more forgiving length. The Bonanza 3 responds well to pilot input in all conditions, even in nasty ones, and the authority on the brakes is really high giving the pilot that extra feel of control in moving air. The brake could be described as, linear and responsive thought out the range. To give an example, it resembles the Alpina 4 brake response but with a more linear feel.  Overall it is quite agile.

The Bonanza 3 doesn’t have pitch behavior at all. no back pitch nor front. The roll also is very balanced without being dull or dynamic. That’s why it is so comfortable in thermals. In strong cores, the Bonanza 3 slows a bit before entering, slightly more than the Artik-R but climbs well when it enters. Some gliders surge through the thermals and climb going forward. The B3 is a calm glider in that matter.  Flying it at 100 could improve the faster entry in stronger air and windy days. But even at 95 all up, it climbs well in overall conditions. 

Climb rate:

One of the strongest points of the B3 is the climb in very weak thermals, as it showed me a very good float ability in those small thermals. I think it is as efficient as the LT2 in that matter, putting it among the top gliders' efficiency in weak thermals. 

It feels as if the B3 holds into the weak thermal and embraces it. 


Another strong point is the comfort level it offers. It could be probably that wave leading edge, that gives you a feel of a very secure and strong passive safety.

The difference over the Bonanza 2 other than the overall performance of climb and glide angle especially at speed, is the amazing comfort of that 2-liner C. 

Glide angle:

I did many glides with the Bonanza 3. glided with the Zeno 2, which I will immediately say that the Z2 is from another further level of glide efficiency. Of course, I am not comparing it to the Zeno 2! But it is just an idea to know.

I also did glide with the Artik-R same size and wing load, and also with the UP Trango-X also the same size as the B3 and the same load. The glide angle at the trim and at bar is very close to the new 2 liners like the Volt 4 for example. I will update my 2 liner C comparison for the little details. But as far so good for the overall package it offers. 


Ears are doable with outer A’s, and also with outer B’s. In both cases, they are efficient and easy to use with a little more pressure if you use the A-lines. But with hands high and a bit more persistent, it will close well. The opening is sometimes without pilot intervention. 

Pleasure under the Bonanza 3:

The moderate brake pressure and brake structure offer very nice agility and authority on the brakes giving the pilot an enjoyable ‘cool’ experience under the B3 making it pleasurable to fly for that specific category.


Please keep in mind that it is not a high-B glider…The Bonanza 3 is a 2-liner C model, for that specific targeted group of pilots. But it will require no more than a C pilot under it. 

For example, a Bonanza 2 pilot would find it easier to fly than his old model.  Pilots on low-rated B gliders would be better to get a season or two on their high Bs before going for the Bonanza 3 which is logical for a safe evolution. 

B steering:

The B steering on the B3 while stepping on your speed bar is a nice experience with that efficient tool to keep the glider overhead. The pressure is moderate and balanced without being hard or soft. Just what it takes to have long XCs without being tired. 


The trim speed is close to the Artik-R. The top speed is very usable, with moderate pressure on the speed bar delivering around 12 km/h over trim at 1000 ASL with a solid leading edge. 


Again, manufacturers are trying to deliver easy 2-liner C machines for newcomers to that class without being overwhelmed by excessive feedback. The Bonanza 3 follows that path with its pleasurable and comfortable feel.   An EN-C pilot would feel at home under it. 


 Please remember the C class requirements:

EN-C Certified Paragliders are designed for intermediate pilots who possess good “active piloting” skills and are quite familiar with recovery techniques. The pilot must fully understand the implications of flying a glider with reduced passive safety. Pilots should possess an advanced rating or certification, and have logged HUNDREDS of flight hours in ALL conditions (especially thermic). An “SIV” or “Advanced Maneuvers” Clinic should be completed by pilots flying EN-C Paragliders.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

NIVIUK Artik-R   size 23

If you already read my previous test about the Artik 6 , then you surely felt that I really appreciated that overall complete glider. Now as the C certification allowed the use of collapse lines and other changes, Niviuk released to the market their new C class model, with its 2-line version and with a 6.5 aspect ratio. 

I have flown the size 23 which is certified from 80-95, and NIVIUK recommends the optimum flying weight of 87-92.

I flew that glider at 88- 92- and 95 all up on my X-rated 6 harness. 

The Artik-R has a really nice construction and the finishing details are really impressive. I think NIVIUK has made it a step further in delivering a really neat high quality product which is clearly shown when you unbox it. 

Launching :

Pulling on the A’s on the Artik-R at 92 all up, gave me a little heavy feel at the beginning of the rise, than normal in the middle rise, with very easy take-off behavior even in no wind. The take-off is immediate without the wing surging in front.  In a stronger breeze, the Artik -R can be easily mastered by the brakes, and there is no surging forward for a C pilot, rather than an immediate take-off. Overall take-off behavior is quite nice. 

Pitch and roll stability:

In the air, and later in different conditions, the pitch felt very stable, getting inside the lift is super comfortable even smoother than the Artik 6 which had a slightly more positive pitch feel. The Artik-R slows very slightly when encountering thermals. The roll stability seems very close to the Artik 6. Overall they felt close in comfort with probably +10…15% pilot demand in turbulent air for the Artik-R.  It is not summer yet to be precise, but it feels quite balanced. 

 The Artik-R has a taught and solid leading edge. Trying to pull the A’s showed me a logical heavy pressure, as the A’s are far back.  

Climb rate:

I flew the Artik-R in a very weak lift (+0.3 m/s) with no wind influence, at 93 all up, and I was really efficient with the best C gliders, or even D’s, to confirm after a while that the climb is in weak is really good! The Artik-R could float really well! In stronger thermals or with more wind, the Artik-R behaves calmly in pitch, and needs slightly more time to enter, but with a fairly good climb rate for the category.

Gliding power:

For two days, I had the privilege to fly with my friends on 2-liner C gliders!  Yann, on a Volt 4 M size max 102, Elie and I  (alternating) Artik-R and LT2. 

After many glides, we all had the same conclusions! 

The Artik-R holds now the crown having the top glide ratio for the 2 liners by a small margin, especially at full bar which is impressive!  

So I decided to try another very good 2-liner EN-D glider. (A Gin Leopard. But a bigger size ‘M’ was only available! ).  I know it is not fair to try it with the higher class but just an idea for me and also many pilots suggested that I try…

To be precise, the glide in ‘calm air’ at trim is similar. The glide at bar seems also incredibly similar!  The Artik-R showed me a true gliding machine for the C category. 

In turbulence and wind, or in the valley breeze, the Leopard with its 7 aspect and thinner profile had the edge of course with a high capacity in getting through and moving forward and up easily which is logical. 

I will hopefully try the Leopard with NIVIUK’s new 2-liner EN-D, the ’Peak 6’. A wing of the same class as the Leopard. 

Handling and pleasure:

The brake length of the Artik-R is slightly longer than the Artik 6, but it still with good agility. Not as sharp as the A6 in turns, but still good enough to be satisfied. Smoother in turns than the A6, as I was able to core every single thermal easily. The Artik-R doesn’t dive in turns as the A6. It turns more efficiently flat without losing the core. 

Throwing wingovers, and playing around on the Artik-R could also be playful, but it was engineered to be an efficient XC tool, getting the most out of the present lift. 

Flying the Artik-R in XC and transitions at bar is very efficient for the class. The B controls have a moderate pressure, slightly less than the LT2, with a swift response making it very easy to keep the glider overhead.  The leading edge kept its pressure in all my testing, and I was completely satisfied with the complete package.

Ears are stable, and the descent rate with half bar is around -2.5 m/s… -3 m/s, they reopen with pilot intervention. I also flew the Artik-R at 88 all up to be able to comment. It flies and handles a bit slower. It is safely doable if someone wishes., but to be efficiently competitive, I personally prefer to fly the size 23 at +93 all up.  I personally like my gliders to feel more dynamic and also I need more connection in strong air.  

Flying the Artik-R at 95 won’t lose anything in weak thermals, and would be better in getting faster into the heavy airmass.

360s needs two turns to get smoothly into it. Getting out while keeping your weight shift inside the turn is smooth like any other C. 


Today, manufacturers are trying to satisfy a large group of pilots from the high B's to the high C’s but some are resilient to deliver a suitable and comprehensive 2-liner for the C category. The Artik-R seems to have filled that gap comfortably.  

But there’s no miracle! In the 2-liner EN-D category, the Peak 6 for example was created to give you more performance with a higher pilot level. 

With the Artik-R, you are flying a 2-liner with near the comfort of 3-liner C’s. Perhaps around a +12 % increase in pilot level in strong air.  

There’s no special flying technique for the Artik-R!  So a confirmed C pilot, or even a ‘confirmed’ high B pilot with two full seasons in strong air, would find the Artik-R to be a nice evolution to fill his goals.  

The overall gliding performance ‘in moving air’ over the 3 liner C’s ‘example Artik 6’  is increased by 10-12 % (just a personal idea) 

Now the clearer advantage is the top speed when overlapping pulleys gives around +18 km/h over trim at 1000 ASL.   

I’m sure a demo would be an exciting and interesting experience! :-)