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Friday, December 29, 2023

Niviuk Ikuma 3 size 24/ range 75-95

Niviuk Ikuma 3  size 24/ range 75-95

I have already flown the first and second versions of the Ikuma. Here’s the flight test of the Ikuma 3 in size 24 (75-95), flown from 88 to 94 all up.
 The Ikuma 3 is built with a mix of Dominico cloth, with Liros and Edlerid lines. 
The visual construction and little details are impeccable on that glider. There’s something apart from the building quality and small details. 
At 4.5 kg the Ikuma 3 is a semi-light glider. 

Launching the Ikuma 3 even in no wind conditions, rises smoothly and evenly. The Ikuma 3 rises effortlessly in more windy take-offs and stays above the pilot's head with a little brake.

I flew the Ikuma 3 with my Arrow L size. First rising air, I weight-shifted a little, and I pulled  10 cm of brake travel, and the Ikuma 3 quickly got me that perfect turning radius! 
I was already smiling from the first turn! Sometimes, when I test fly a new glider, I worry a bit that it may not satisfy my picky demanding, and handling criteria…But this time that beautiful feel and maneuverability under that Ikuma 3 saved the day!   
With moderate brake pressure and a nice linear feel throughout the brake range, the Ikuma 3 will surely deliver a large smile on pilots' faces. 
The Ikuma 3 even at 88 all up, can core thermals very narrow staying in the core very easily. The combination of the Arrow/Ikuma 3 while weightshifting and brake pulling is nothing but excellent!   In a more strong thermals, and flying it at 93 all up, the handling is even better! and coring is even more satisfying! A piece of pure pleasure while thermal flying. 

I flew it 92 all up in some very weak air, the Ikuma 3 has outstanding potential in weak lift! It hovers and stays in that weak lift, waiting for it to become stronger. It is very difficult to bomb out flying the Ikuma 3 unless you have been unlucky, and there’s nothing left to turn! I think after a while it could have the efficiency of the Swift 6 in that area…I will update my B comparison later after more hours of comparison. But it surely can float! 
The Ikuma 3 doesn’t dive in turns in normal braking. And unless you lower your hands the turns are flat inside the core. But once you dig that brake down properly, you will have a playful glider to fly in the air! A real high B toy! Wingovers are super high like loops if you want from the second turn!  
The main thing I personally like about a glider is when the R&D team manages to give the pilot supreme authority on the brakes if he decides to turn it flat or immediately go into play mode. That exceptional feature is easily managed under the Ikuma 3. 
Yes…It seems that I like that feel under it ;-). So no more writing about the handling… :-)

The pitch is neutral and hands up all the way the Ikuma 3 enters the airmass slowly but efficiently. It clings to the thermal and climbs effortlessly. It feels like it guides you into the thermal. It doesn’t reject the rising airmass but seems to slide and cling to it slowly. All you need to do is let it fly, keeping the minimum of brake pressure. It floats nicely into the rising air mass. 

For the past 4 months, I have been test-flying many 2-liners C’s and D’s with a couple of new high B’s. When switching from a 2 liner to any high B, the feel of less speed and dynamic movements are strikingly more obvious. The high B’s are created to give you performance but with slower speeds and reactions when going XC. 
The Ikuma 3 as a high B falls in that category. It is a soft XC glider with top-end gliding performance to match the best ones in that high B category. I will surely update my B comparison later on for the little details. But It is already confirmed to have a very nice gliding power.  
If you want to go XC efficiently on any glider, you should load that glider at the top end. Many will still ask me why…It is because the faster you enter the airmass the more efficiently you move forward. 
And going XC is to move forward ;-) 

Some manufacturers have their own political decisions to certify gliders +5 kg from the recommended flying weight. It doesn't mean that the extended weight range is optimal for XC. Sometimes when conditions are really strong, they are okay, but after a bit…they will struggle in the weak. We don’t want to land... So a balanced glider for XC is when flying it at the recommended weight range stated by the manufacturer.

The Maestro 2 could be ideal at 75 % of the flying range, and also the same goes for the Mentor 7 as recommended. They are both superb high B’s.  
If you want a fast XC mode flying the Ikuma 3 size 24 (75-95) in strong Alpine air!  Go for 94-95 all up.  
In normal flying, the Ikuma 3-24 will stay very maneuverable and dynamic in turns at mid-weight, but the same-size Swift 6 will be a bit boaty at mid-weight. 
The excellent Swift 6 MS (75-95), is better to be loaded right on top at 95 in XC mode. 

The Ikuma 3 felt slightly easier to fly than the Ikuma 2. It felt a bit softer. The speed bar pressure is moderate even at full travel. The speed gain over the trim speed is around 13 km/h taken at 800m/ ASL.   
When pushing on the speed bar, the C riser steering with moderate pressure and easy handling, is efficient in keeping the cool Ikuma 3 on track. 
Big ears with outer A’s are super efficient like a few other B’s. 
With a speed bar and big ears, -5 m/s could easily be reached! They open without any intervention, or perhaps a very slight pressure on the brakes if they are very big. 
The Ikuma 3 seems very friendly and lets you make really big ears. Of course, like any other glider don’t pull too much to let the left and right tip touch! You could induce a stall under any glider.  

Even after many testing years, some gliders even in the high B category, still give me those happy flying vibes! 
The Ikuma 3 is one of them.  A very comfortable high B with pleasurable handling and top-end performance for the category. 
It is very clear, that flying the Ikuma 3 will firstly touch the sensitive handling pilots by delivering a high amount of pleasure feel. All that with very good brake authority. 
Pilots have different feel, and different requirements, but I can assure you test flying the Ikuma 3 won’t keep you indifferent!  

Happy flights.