The key to life is not accumulation. It's contribution. Hands that serve help more than the lips that pray.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Ozone Forza 2 M size


Harness comparison ( Update)
Test flying harnesses are the most difficult and sometimes highly inaccurate, as each individual even with the same height and weight shares a completely different anatomy. This test is to get a 50 % idea of what to expect, and it is more important to test-fly a harness than it is to test-fly a paraglider. Testing harnesses consist of sitting in a harness for more than 20 minutes if you can, adjusting it, and feeling if there are any hard points on your body. Then a flight could give you a higher idea of the roll feedback you wish to receive and cope with.
As harnesses are a very personal choice for each individual for roll, and especially for body comfort, this pre-test before buying is very important as it will surely maximize your future flights and acheive your expected potential with no stress on your sitting position or leg support concentrating on the task ahead. Any pilot can cope with any of the above harnesses in roll. It is only a matter of training and getting used to it.
Please consider that a moderately stable harness that combines stability and a pleasurable roll feel, is very different for each individual from a 15 to an 85-year-old pilot. Finding your own “balance" will also reduce energy consumption while keeping the lovely flying spices! Wink
Happy and safe flights.

Most comfortable seated harness. As 1 being most comfortable “ONLY for the seating position”.

1-Impress 4 / Impress 3 /Lightness 2/3
2-Forza 2 / Arrow / Nearbird Vibe
3-Genie Race 2 / Exoceat/ Genie race 4/ Genie light 3 / Delight 4 /Submarine
4-X-Rated 6 / Genie Race 3 / Genie lite 2 / Gin X-Alps/ Woody Valley GTO 2
5- Woody Valley GTO 1

Most comfortable in roll (In roll stability ). As 1 being most comfortable.

1-Ozone Exoceat/ Delight 4/ Delight 3/ Arrow/ Forza 2
2-Genie Light 1 / WV GTO 1 / Forza 1 / Gin X-Alps / Nearbirds Vibe X-Rated 6 XL / Genie Race 3 /Genie race 4
3-Impress 2 + / Genie lite 2/ Ozium 2/ Lightness 3 /Genie light 3
4-Genie Race 2 / Ozium 1/
5-Impress 3/ Lightness 2

Harnesses that deliver a naturally supported leg in the pod.

—— Exocet / Forza 1/ Impress 3 / Lightness 1/2/3 /Nearbirds Vibe/ Arrow M & L / Forza 2/ Delight 4 /Submarine

Conclusion: Manufacturers are trying to deliver more easy-to-fly and stable harnesses for the majority with better leg support and a two-rescue option.
The Nearbirds Vibe is a complete harness that fulfills those criteria while being comfortable. As a semi-light harness, I prefer the NK Arrow for its versatility, ease of use, and beautiful shape. I will be receiving an Airy Vibe to test fly…
I am also waiting for the Forza 2 L size to get a much better idea and feel, to decide if I am going to keep it as an X-rated 6 replacement harness or not… as I need to fly a slightly heavy harness for my tests (+,-) 7 kg.


Friday, October 13, 2023

PHI Scala 2 19 - 75-100

PHI Scala 2  19 -  75-100 

The Scala 2 from PHI is a 2-liner, certified EN-C with a 6.8 Aspect ratio, normal cloth, and full rods all the way.
The manufacturing process is very neat.  
The lines are unsheathed and quite reduced to deliver less drag. 

Launching the Scala 2 with my x-rated 6 harness at 93 all up needs a steady pull, as the glider feels a bit heavy on pull. But still inflates evenly and I didn’t notice a surge, just a bit slow to rise.
In the air, the brake travel is short with moderate to hard pressure after 15 cm of travel. After flying nearly all the latest 2 liners, I felt that the Scala 2 felt a bit heavier to steer in the air at 93 all up. The Scala 2 as an EN-C glider, has to moderate and acceptable agility, and is easy to induce a turn in moderate conditions.
The Scala 2 feels very compact and in turbulence, it doesn’t require a lot of pilot control, like the Photon. It moves as a whole block. It is a comfortable glider to fly for the aspect ratio, but also, you can feel that you are flying a higher-rated glider, by its ability to search the air. 
Climbing in weak thermals less than (-1 m/s), isn’t the Scala 2 strong point. It needs a bit of time to rise up. When thermals go more than +1.0 m/s The Scala 2 has no problem climbing with the best C’s.  
We felt that the Scala 2 is a glider that enters quite efficiently the airmass going forward, rather than a floater that gains altitude but stays slightly behind. 

Gliding with the Scala 2 19, at 93 all up, next to a Photon MS at 93 at trim and top speed is almost identical. 
The Scala 2 has an impressive glide angle and probably a slightly faster trim speed (0.25 km/h) than the C’s I tested. 
The top speed is also the same as the Photon MS loaded at 93. If you load the Scala 2 near the top…it surely be faster.  

I gave the Scala 2 also to my friend and we did almost an 4 hour flight tip to tip, and we noticed that the Scala 2 kept close all the way in glides with the photon, but sometimes needed a bit more time to reach the Photon in the climb. My friend’s usual glider is an XC Racer 2 and later he told me that he felt that the information for thermal searching sent by the Scala 2 is very close to his glider but with more comfort.  He was happy flying it.   

The speed bar has a moderate pressure and steering with the B risers is quite efficient in moderate turbulence with a calm glider to control. 

I like that riser setup! 
Wingovers are quite impressive and deliver nice stored energy. 
Ears with outer B’s are large and quite efficient.

The 2-liner C category, holds now many new releases, and the Scala 2 adds to the category the flavor of flying a high aspect ratio glider but with a comfortable package. I missed that exceptional nimble feel of the beautiful Maestro 2 and the pleasurable handling of the sweet Allegro! 
With Its 6.77 aspect ratio, the S
cala 2 is created to glide, and the promise is reel. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Ozone Zeolite 2 GT. MS 

Disclaimer and reminder: 
With respect, there are many types of pilots:  Some search for the smallest detail, others just grab any glider and fly, and others even the thirsty ones, just like to debate on a simple glass of water…  
My testing passion is totally free to share, and I’m still having a lot of fun flying newcomers. Hope it lasts…

As I am writing this test, the ultra lighter version of the Zeolite 2 GT is now available with around 750 grs !!   less on each glider. 'The Zeolite 2’ . 

As I already flew the Zeolite1 GT  MS, Zeno2 MS , Photon MS, Klimber 3, and Omega ULS, I will try to write the differences in feel of flying the Zeolite 2 GT.  
Ozone uses a new cloth on the Zeolite 2 GT which is on the top Surface Dominico 20D / 10D and on the Bottom Surface Dominico 10D. It gives a slippery feel and it is quite light. Not as light as the one used on the Klimber 3. The weight of the Zeolite 2 GT  is around 3.75 kg. 

Launching the Zeolite 2 GT is straightforward and easy without any hard points. I flew the Zeolite 2 GT with two harnesses WV X rated 6 and the NK Arrow. The first 5 hours on the X rated 6 at 94 all up, and the next 6 hours on the NK Arrow at 90 all up. 
Later, and after a few more hours, I felt that it flies nicely near 91…92  all up in overall conditions and doesn’t need to overload it. In both configurations it climbs really well. The leading edge even at 88 all up seems quite solid. The overall structure moves slightly in itself, more compact feel than on the Klimber 3, and feels more compact. I described the first Zeolite to dance the Samba…I think the second version is much tamer, and close in comfort to the Photon which feels slightly calmer. The Zeolite 2 GT has probably a bit more and sharper overall movements in strong air. To place it correctly for you, the Zeolite 2 GT sits in comfort between the Omega ULS and the Klimber 3. 

The brake pressure on the Zeolite 2 GT is moderate, similar to the Klimber 3 or the Zeno 2 in pressure. The brake travel is short and largely different from the Photon which is a bit long. After the 10 cm gap, if the pulley lines are horizontal, I could steer the Zeolite 2 GT in 10-15 cm brake travel. So it is short and precise. Probably the Zeolite 1 GT was a bit more precise and a bit sharper to turn, slightly more agile, like the Klimber 3 that is also similar to the Zeolite 1 GT turning abilities, but still, I can describe the Zeolite 2 GT as a fairly agile 2 liner glider, and I could place it even in some bumpy air in any core, insisting a bit on the turn.  
  The smallest details if needed will be updated in the C comparison table. 
After the first 5 hours, and doing a few 360’s and wingovers to let the glider settle in, I sensed that the brake line gap after the pulley is now only 5 cm. So I have lengthen the brake lines by an additional +5 cm, and continued my days flying it.  I have now the normal +10 cm gap after the brakes which allowed me to push the speed bar all the way without having a pressure on the brakes lines, like I had before I lengthen the brake travel. 

Zeolite 2 GT… A sweet glider to fly? 
Flying the Zeolite 2 GT gave me a more direct and connected response than the Photon which needed to be steered for efficiency and fast turning, at +40 cm of the brake travel sometimes to get that narrow turn. Now with the Zeolite 2 GT, all you need is just 15 cm to turn it into thermals. If you pull a slightly +5 cm more, you get a nice tight turn into a thermal that under a Zeno 2 you cannot achieve the same tight turning radius in very narrow and especially weak cores.  

I flew the Zeolite 2 GT next to my friends on the OXA ULS 23, XC racer 2 S, Zeno 2 MS , Photon MS, Klimber 3. 
Any of those gliders can get you to the place you are aiming at. But here's what we found

Climbing in weak to moderate thermals, the Zeolite 2 GT at 92 all up, showed us a really competitive glider! It floats nicely while moving forward. A really nice glider to get the most of the lift! We definitely had an edge on that glider. When the conditions get stronger, with a more agitated air mass and stronger breeze, then the upper 2 liner D’s like the Zeno 2, XC racer 2 will have the edge in cutting faster and moving forward into the rising air mass, which is logical, with their heavy full rods structures. But I just wanted to be precise about that. 
The Zeolite 2 GT has a long speed travel. The first part has a moderate pressure, and the second part is slightly heavier with a very fast top speed matching the Klimber 3. In both harnesses, and just before 2 cm from touching the pulleys, I felt that the Zeolite 2 GT rolled a bit and I needed to stay well centered in my harness. The top speed is around +18 km/h over trim.  
When my friends and I fly together in 'testing mode', they are certainly the most noble friends you want to have, just because we all stick next to each other in XC mode following tip to tip in every situation that the weather throws at us. That way we all can see clearly who has the advantage in those conditions, and it all be repeated for three days sometimes. ( My tests wouldn’t be available without their help. They are a blessing to fly with)  Sharing thoughts after each flight is the best way to get a clear idea. 

Gliding with the mentioned gliders, in XC conditions, showed us that when it is a "moderate to smooth" glide, the Zeolite 2 GT has the upperhand along with the Zeno 2. 
When gliding through tougher air, the Zeno 2 and XC racer 2 have the edge over the light ones, and showed us that they are from a different category of “F-22 Raptor” but the Zeolite 2 GT comes next with impressive efficiency. Holding the speed bar at 60 % in turbulence is as easy as on the Omega ULS, and corrections can be swiftly made while on the bar. The pressure on the B handles is quite moderate, linear feel, and very efficient, like on the Photon. In this matter, trusting the glider's ability by flying it more and more on the bar increases your performance at high speed. 

Ears are stable with outerA’s they are a bit hard to pull, but ok. They reinflate with pilot help. Ears are easy with outer B’s, and around -2.5m/s  with speed bar is achieved. They reopen quickly.  Wing overs show the high energy stored in that 2 liner ! They build quickly. 

If you have skipped to the conclusion...
All you need to know is: 
The Zeolite 2 GT holds the most complete package of handling/performance for a 2 liner pilot looking for a light glider.
For hiking and fly, or even local competitions. The Zeolite 2 GT will deliver.
Most of all, for a pilot coming to the D category, after two seasons on a 2 liner C, or a competition pilot stepping back, I think it would be a really nice performance paraglider to help you get the most of each day while keeping the pleasure of flying.