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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Felipe Resende (FLOW) Interview

Dustoftheuniverse:  Felipe, Can you please tell us about FLOW's new releases? 

Felipe Flow Para: 1- This year alone we have released 5 new gliders. Cosmos 2, Panorama 2, XCRacer2, Cosmos Power2, and RPM2 - we are just about to release the 6th, on the Mullet. 

It's the biggest glider release we have done since our conception.

We finally have a factory we can work with and not hold us back. We had many problems in the past with the manufacturing facility in Thailand. The owner was really making our life hard.

Now we can do everything we want with the proper support, so we will be keen to release exciting products in the future.


Can you please elaborate on each glider?

Felipe Flow Para: 2 - The cosmos 2 is based on the Cosmos 1 but we improved a lot of is a low and basic B for new pilots and cools to use. We already improved the handling, so the handling is more direct,.version 1 had long brakes, but the Cosmos 2 is very responsive and more fun to fun, more direct, and requires less brake travel to thermal.

We used the same risers as the Freedom 2 ones, so pilots can practice rear riser steering, and it's more solid on the bar, so the new airfoils are a bit more collapse resistant.Cosmos 2 is a big improvement to Cosmos 1

The Cosmos Power2 is a completely different glider from the Cosmos 2 while having the same name, but the power is a dedicated PPG wing that has a dedicated airfoil and a different Arc, and a different line plan.

The Medium is an intermediate glider for the new pilots and the smaller sizes are for advanced pilots because we have 19 with higher wing loading for more experienced pilots this glider versus the older version, we improved the top speed with a new airfoil, even though you pull the A lines the glider doesn’t collapse and it is extremely collapse resistant, and extremely pitch stable,. It gives good efficiency at a low angle of attack. It's like a reflex airfoil but extremely efficient. The same applies to the RPM 2 but with a higher aspect ratio with further back attachment points in the full-speed configuration when you have trim open and full-speed engaged, basically, all the load is on the A lines,  and it is almost impossible to collapse it. 

.And lastly, we have one final glider we are about the releases and that’s the Mullet and that’s a glider that can change the angle of attack just by moving your hands up and down. It flies the same as you fly a hang glider. Here in Australia, we have lots of coastal sites, and traditionally the glider flies in the morning and hang-gliders fly in the afternoon as the wind increases, so the hang-gliders can do amazing dives, the paragliders are just watching, and everything changed with the mini wings, but now also everything changed with this new concept/technology. There are lots of manufacturers that have one in the market already, our is similar, so the difference is the feel, and we use the same airfoil that the PPG  has as described above. You can pull the A lines but you couldn’t collapse the glider. When hands up the glider dive, and you need an extremely collapse-resistant airfoil that can tolerate negative angles without a collapse. We understand that pilots would fly that glider inland on strong wind days, but we are confident that on this glider we can push in thermic components, and it flies the same as it flies on the coast. You can dive and convert energy back to height. It is an incredible experience to fly like that, and it is a game changer. Once you fly a glider like that in strong id, you can’t fly anything else again, cause it’s way more fun to fly gliders like that compared to mini wings or normal paraglide

Dustoftheuniverse:  What about the XC -Racer 2? 

Felipe Flow Para: 3 - The XCRacer2 is definitely easier to fly. Nice turning and handling into thermals, one can use more brake input and be more in control and feel more comfortable when conditions are turbulent. Somewhat the brake input is more precise and intuitive, one can definitely notice it offers more refined handling. Also at speed, the glider feels more solid. rear riser steering has similar pressure and feels to version one.

It obviously has better performance and glide at speed and higher top-end speed in comparison to the previous version.

During our competition season here our pilots noticed that for was easy to stay on top of the gaggle waiting for the start gate, so it is a good sign the glider climbs well and offers good "float-ability"

Dustoftheuniverse:  Did you name your next C, 2-liner? Any release dates?

 The EN-C 2 liner has two names and we still didn’t decide on what name we are going to go XC yet … The glider is basically finished and we just finishing all the paperwork. We have just released 6 new gliders this year, so we have lots of things to catch up on, including manuals, marketing photos, certification paperwork… there are a lot of things before...

We started the 2 liners EN-C in 2019. So we have quite a few prototypes and we just have the final version. It is good that we have some extra time because we fixed the airfoil for the XC racer2 and I’m using the same airfoil for the EN-C 2 liner which is an incredible airfoil with similarities to the PPG glider that doesn’t collapse on the tips as it shows a strong airfoil.

Dustoftheuniverse:  Anything to add for the panorama 2 characteristics versus the first version? Two sizes?

Felipe Flow Para:  The main feedback we had on the Panorama1 was that it had excellent launch inflation and landing, but it could be more dynamic and fun in the air.

We believe we kept good qualities of launching and landing but improved the handling in the air, it's now more fun and exciting for the pilot to fly... The feel is of a solo wing.

Also, we managed to certify with a weight range of 90-220kgs for the size 41. So now many professional tandem pilots only need one size to fly with kids and light passengers as it is now certified at 90kgs

We are now using more Skytex38 on top surface without compromising the overall weight of the glider which remains similar to the previous version, an incredibly light yet durable tandem at 6.8kgs