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

Thursday, April 4, 2024

AirDesign Volt 5 S


I’m not the only one who is noticing, I think...! Something is interesting at AIR-DESIGN. 

A cooler approach toward the pilots with their marketing ads and cool videos, funny and unique. They seem to cook magical recipes on their private planet.
All this shows highly creative teamwork. 
For example: They released the first certified 2 liner C category (Volt4) in Feb -2022 
They now released three new gliders B-C-D at the same time!!!  including the  Rise 4 EN-B (1st B glider with the new fashionable winglets)  and the 2nd generation of a 2-liner C glider the Volt 5! And last is the Hero 2 as a 2-liner D class. 
Indeed on a different planet! :-) 

This test is about the Volt 5.
which is built with light Dominico double-coated 25 g/m2 fabric. The S size weighs around 3.75 kg. 
I flew the Volt 5 (80-92) from 87 to 92 all up. I think 90 is ideal in all conditions. 
Take-off is straightforward, no shooting forward. Very easy to launch. 

Flying the Volt 5 S with NK Arrow harness and later on the Advance Impress4 harness. 
From 90 to 92 all up, the Volt 5 has a neutral pitch when entering thermals. The reactions are smooth for a 2 liner C glider. The roll movements are also very well-balanced. Probably slightly more roll than the Volt 4 but still super comfy to fly.  The roll movements are less than the Photon, and the Trango X.  My C comparison is updated. The feel of structure homogeneity under it is between an Artik-R and Bonanza 3. 
The first turn in thermals showed me a very nice coordinated handling!  In strong turbulent air, it moves a bit more in itself (structure) like the Artik-R/Trango-X.  
The brake pressure is on the moderate to slightly firm side (more pressure than Photon) but with short travel to give you a lovely direct and linear reaction, that can quickly initiate a turn.  
Coring thermals is a pleasure under the VOLT 5 as I could readjust the turning radius efficiently inside a core to get the best out of a lift with the possibility of tight narrow turns. Lovely handling! 

When flying the Volt 5 at 87 in strong windy conditions, the handling remains nice, with direct handling, but a bit slower to react, and also the reactivity to turn the glider in those strong conditions. 
Later, I found out that at 90 all up, it would be a sharp tool for nice XC days yet very efficient even in the weakest thermals.

In very weak air, the Volt 5 has the ability to catch those tiny thermals, and with its direct handling, it would help a lot to stay in the core waiting for another thermal.
In this respect, the Volt 5 joins the best 2-liner C’s for the climb rate efficiency.

The speed bar pressure is on the moderate side. Not too light nor too heavy. While holding the speed bar, the B handles are efficient in keeping the glider on track. Top speed over trim is around +15-16 km/h

Doing some glides next to a loaded Photon MS sometimes in a headwind and in lift lines, showed us that the Volt 5 is a fierce competitor! 
In those glides, the Volt 5 showed an efficient profile while surfing the airmass. Next to the Photon, at trim speed and even at half the speed bar, it copes quite similarly to the Photon with the lift areas without losing the glide.  
We were surprised by its gliding efficiency.  The B steering has moderate pressure and it is efficient in keeping the Volt 5 angle in accelerated mode. 

Wingovers need slightly more application to build higher inversions. I think it seems to soften the turns which is a good sign of self-balance after collapse, I think…

AirDesign surprised me with the Volt 5! A truly competitive EN-C in climb and glide, while being comfortable, and smooth to fly. The handling and turning abilities deliver a pleasurable feel. 
An interesting 2-liner EN-C for test flying if you are looking inside that category.