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

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Zoom X2C size 95

Zoom paragliders is a new brand, created in the Papesh GMBH group and designed by Alex Hollwarth, who began his journey at Skywalk and delivered in that time fine creations among the Cayenne 5 which was a really fine glider to fly. The first released glider from the manufacturer is the Zoom X2C which is a 2-liner C class glider.
I have flown the Zoom XC2 95, from 92 to 95 all up,
At first, the launching is straightforward, as the Zoom inflates easily even without any wind and no hard point. In stronger wind, it is fast in the second half of the rise, but also very responsive to your brake input to keep it swiftly overhead.

I flew the Zoom in weak, moderately winter-strong thermals, and later in some turbulent air.
The brake travel is moderate to short and with 10-15 cm, I could place the glider accurately inside the core. The Zoom X2C is a pleasurable glider to fly. Direct feel through the brakes, and direct control. The pressure on the brakes are on the moderate side, and well balanced. I could steer the glider with just 10-15 cm of brake travel efficiently.
Climbing in very weak thermals less than 0.5 m/s felt similarly efficient to the Scala 2 with the same size in that area. In a more solid thermal, the Zoom climbs well compared to the other 2 liner C’s.

In strong air, the feel under the Zoom is really compact, easy, and quite manageable for the 2 liner C category. It felt in overall comfort like the Volt 4 and Bonanza 3 which are quite accessible 2 liners.
As I already wrote, what I appreciated even in strong air, was the brake authority given to the pilot. I could play around under that glider endlessly, with complete control. The brake pressure is on the moderate side and the travel is short to moderate with a lovely combination of agility in thermals. After two turns in a wingover, you can feel the high energy stored in that glider! Lovely handling.
I think the Zoom is among the 2 liners that you enjoy flying, because of its playful and forgiving character.

The ability to core without pitching back or forward is present under the Zoom. It just enters thermals and moves forward in balance. I was able to do two long glides next to a Photon MS same size and load, and I was impressed by that glide! IN very calm air, I wasn't losing an inch in those two glides even at half the speed bar! Pretty good balanced glide for the Zoom. When gliding in moving air and lift lines, we felt that the Zoom shares the glide similarly to an Artik R, or Mint, for example.
The B steering is quite efficient in controlling the glider movements in turbulence while staying on bar, and the B pressure is on the moderate side with good accessibility.
The speed bar has a moderate pressure throughout the whole range, and full speed reached the same as the Photon with around 18 km/h over the trim speed.
Ears are stable and usable with outer B’s or outer A’s.

Please note that different sizes with different loads ‘could' have another feel. On the Zoom X2C size 95 at 92 I was happy test flying that glider!

The new Zoom X2C ticks all the boxes evenly. Nice handling, pleasurable to fly, agile to play around, excellent gliding performance, and good speed for a 2 liner.
If you want to get a high ratio of fun, comfort, and good performance, a test flight could be the right choice!

Happy testing,

Monday, January 22, 2024

NearBirds VIBE. L size

Nearbirds Airy Vibe L size

This harness is the light version of the VIBE. When flying it, it gave me a different feel from the VIBE. 

The Airy VIBE has a nice construction, and also lots of adjustments! 5 adjustments for each side to give you a complete tailor-made body shape. 
There are two open internal compartments on each side for anything you want to put from chocolate, apple, cellular, talkie walkie…etc…easily reachable. 
The materials used are similar to any high-end light harness in the market.  
There’s a ballast compartment underneath the seat, which can hold around 4 kg, but I was hoping for a velcro inside to hold the ballast ( next time hopefully) 
The pod closes sideways and it would be better to install a small ball with elastic to put in your shoelaces for entering better the pod after take-off (next time…) 
A three-step speed system is installed.  
The AiryVIBE has an inflatable back protection attached to a tube that goes up, near the cockpit to the right, to blow in, and it is very easy to inflate while in place. Once you release the security clip on the tube, you can release the air for tight packing. 

For my height of 1.81 and 75 kg, this L size fits me like a perfect glove!  Once fine-tuned there was no pressure point on any part while sitting.
The AiryVIBE offers high back comfort in supporting the body despite that the sitting area is not covered with smooth foam. This direct feel to the harness delivers excellent air movements with super precise and highly appreciated feedback. And it is comfortable! 
The ABS system delivers good comfort while keeping an excellent weight shift ability that when I flew that glider, my Zeolite 2 felt even more agile! 
That ABS feel doesn’t give you an excess of roll movements. I think the roll is similar to the Niviuk Arrow, which is a balanced roll. Comparing it to the Genie Light 3, the roll movements are slightly less but the weight shift authority is similar!
The back fairing inflates very well, without a single flutter in the air.  The aerodynamic shape is really good. Following a newly rigged Zeno 2/Forza 2,  the same size as my Zeolite 2 GT /AiryVIBE, both on bar for 6 km, in very smooth air, didn’t practically show any glide differences. So harness aerodynamics are working great! 
I have here the AiryVIBE with two rescue options. One in front easy to reach and another on my right side. When you pull the side rescue, the compartment opens very large like 4 times the usual area, and immediately and effortlessly the rescue goes out. 
I was impressed by the speed system's ability.  
Zeolite 2 GT on Forza 2 has moderate foot pressure. 
Zeolite 2 GT on NK Arrow has moderate to light and smooth foot pressure.
Zeolite 2 GT on AiryVIBE, has a ‘light' and super smooth foot pressure. 
When using the speed bar on the AiryVIBE, it is easy with roll stability like on the NK Arrow. 


IMHO, I think that the AiryVIBE is one of the sweetest harnesses to fly. After flying it, I enjoyed my Zeolite 2 GT turns even better!  
I always need three harnesses for my glider tests from very light ones to heavy ones. 
The AiryVIBE with an option for two rescues, and a moderately light weight near 5 kg, will be a keeper for my flights. 

Sometimes as you know, I get poetic...    :-) 

An instrument to dance inside the core? 
Sexy look, comfortable, and sweet?  
 Without getting a total bore!   
 Get into the AiryVIBE seat!  :-)