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

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

AD Hero 2 S

After test-flying the EN-C VOLT 5 from AD, here is the review of the new 2024/25 Hero 2 in the 2-liner EN-D category.

The Hero 2 is a light hike and fly, XC, and competition wing from Airdesign. The construction is very light with around 3.5 kg for the glider. 

Take-off is super easy even in little wind. The Hero 2 rises smoothly and evenly and I think it is as easy to inflate as the Omega ULS or the Zeolite 2 GT. 

In the air, at 89 all up, with my Impress 4 harness, the brake travel is short with moderate and smooth pressure, and a linear feel. Between the light 2-liner D’s I think it resembles the Klimber brake travel, with slightly less pressure. 

I could describe the brake feel as short, very direct, linear, and smooth. A delight to fly! I had a really nice time flying the Hero 2 for the amount of handling pleasure it delivers. Tight turns need around 10-15 cm with very good agility. 

The whole structure is very homogenous, and the glider moves smoothly as a whole without parasital movements! The Hero 2 is an easy 2-liner D glider to fly. It resembles the Omega ULS in comfort. A very sweet glider to fly in strong air for the D class. 

The Hero 2 doesn’t have a positive nor a back pitch when entering thermals at 89 all up. It just slows a little before entry but still goes slowly forward. The brakes can place it accurately inside any small core, and that delivers a nice climb rate. The feel on the EN-C Volt 5 is a slighter pitch forward upon entry. The Hero 2 has another feel.  

Doing some glides next to my reference gliders showed me a glide similar to the Klimber 3, Omega ULS.  The speed bar has a moderate pressure that gets you around 19 km/h over trim, and it is very usable with a solid glider overhead. The B steering is quite efficient in controlling the pitch while on the bar with also moderate pressure.  

Ears are doable with outer B’s. Easy and efficient. Wingovers have a lot of energy and fun to make. Landing is a non-event with low stall speed. 


Test flying that nice machine is a must for any pilot aiming for a light easy EN-D with nice handling and a pleasurable overall feel.



Thursday, May 2, 2024

GIN Genie Race 5

Genie race 5 size M

Once released, I received many emails to test fly the Race 5, and I tried to purchase one, but GIN replied that they have lots of orders at the moment… ;-)... 

So I waited for a friend to lend me his harness, and Milo was so kind to offer it for a short flight. 
I already test-flew the NK Drifter 2 which is a hybrid harness(Not inflatable) and also the Submarine which is similar to the Genie Race 5 with an inflatable envelope.
At first sight, the Genie Race 5 has an impeccable finish! It is a very clean harness for the sight! The workmanship on the Genie Race 5 is the top you can find today. The materials used on the outside envelope are sturdy and more tear-resistant than the Submarine.  Again, all the lille sewings and finishing details are excellent!
The front-used zippers are large and seem indestructible for normal and daily use. 
I liked the cockpit placement! It is quite clear in front of the pilot's face and looks like a conventional pod harness, not inserted inside the harness…So that feature is really nice! There are also two side pockets on the chest just between the cockpit and the pilot's face! Easily reachable in the air. 
Legs are naturally supported, and no matter if you pull the side straps for a relatively normal (lying/upright) position, (like on conventional pod harnesses) The back fairing still is streamlined to the air, and also the center of gravity is perfect with a streamlined harness all the way. 
Under the cockpit inside the cocoon, there’s also a ballast pocket for 10-12 L, that sits independently from your body. More details on the GIN website:

Two rescue systems on each side. 
A fairly large back pocket inside the cocoon for the bags and water. 
There’s also a small place under the seat for ballast. The 9 cm Koroyd protection is installed. Once in the air, when fully inflated, I reached with my hand to the lower part of the cocoon, to feel the protection, and there was still 3-4 cm 
of air to feel the protection. Maybe GIN could have installed a larger one easily with the same cocoon shape, but GIN is quite convinced about that protection. 

Sitting inside the Genie Race 5 was immediately comfortable. It is not a complicated harness to adjust. There are two leg adjustments from each side. One back adjustment, and one seat height adjustment. So easy to get yourself in a good sitting position.
The sitting comfort for my height of 1.81 and 74 kg is the best I could find from the other mentioned competition harnesses. The seat width fits me perfectly like a glove. No pressure on the sides. Just perfect. 
The back support is very comfortable without any hard points for the hour I flew.  

The main front strap is fixed and slightly narrower than the Submarine in width. The roll movements are quite dampened and the information is excellent, without getting too chatty. I think flying high aspect ratio gliders under the Genie Race 5 will give a balanced feel between good maneuverability and high stability. 

Getting inside the harness and out is easy with a nice zipper system. 

Conclusion:  This small test is just a small idea, as I didn’t fly it much. 
But, I think, even daily XC pilots could easily fly the Genie Race 5 for its easily understandable setup. 
Clean, beautiful looking, and very well made, the Genie Race 5 has the most complete package for comfort and streamlined competition performance if you need it.