Thursday, February 26, 2009
Slovenia part 2 and first flights with new Triton in Canada
Today I received my last missing bag. First thing was to unpack the Milka chocolate and Hariboo Gummibears. Second was to weigh the new wing. Guess how heavy the light version of the Triton 24 (large) is? 7, 6, 5 or 4 kg... It is just a bit over 5kg, exactly 5.1 kg. Well done Peter (manager for Nova productions), this is very light for a large glider.
Back to Slovenia, we had ideal conditions every day with about 10 km wind at launch and great soarable conditions mixed with some light thermals. We could climb up to 1400 m asl and flew up to 35 km x-country. I am not sure what kind of connections Brigitta and Dusan are having, but they seam to be working very well and we had great flights every day. By the way, the Nova Pilot team has a Photo Gallery and we have a lot of pictures about the meet at http://picasaweb.google.com/NovaTeamPilots.
One mistake I did going to Slovenia, was not taking my harness. As you all know, only change one part of the equipment and not all. So, at my first flight, I used the new "Globe" harness from Charly on my new Triton and it was kind of hard to have a real first impression about the wing.
Here is what I experienced. The Triton handles very nice with a short break travel and average break pressure. Launching is very easy, it thermals very well in light conditions and where the Triton really stands out, is the speed. It seams to glide best with little speed bar on and the faster you fly it does not seam to sacrifice to much on glide. Also an important fact is that the large Triton is only a EN "C" (for those who are not pilots, it means it is rated for intermediate and not for expert pilots). It only has a couple C's in not important flight characteristics (at least for me). Overall, the rest is either A's or B's (even accelerated). Now my Triton is build with extra light material making the wing even more tame and this makes the Triton in my eyes the perfect wing for the x-alps.
While testing in Slovenia, the only part I did not like to much is that the wing likes to get out of the bank after about 2 turns. We figured that this is due the stable harness and the Triton needs input with the seat board to stay within the turns. I also had the opportunity to fly the "Factor". What a great wing that is. It handles like a toy. Light break pressure and the wing can entirely be flown with the break lines, in other words you can use a stable harness and still have excellent handling characteristics. It seams that the Factor and Triton are performing the same in trim speed and in thermals. The main difference between the Factor and Triton is when you start using the speed bar. All I can say, both wings are a absolute wow. Well done Hannes.
While writing the blog, the weather seam to improve and checking the wind at Panorama ski resort, it did not look as bad as forecasted at NavCanada. So I packed my skies, the new Triton, my Apco AirChair and a medium "Sky" reversable harness from Jeff. First I flew with the Apco AirChair and wow, the handling is great and just as expected. Second flight I did with the "Sky" harness and the handling is excellent as well. The only difference is that you sit a bit more upright then with the apco AirChair, but it also could be that the medium harness is a bit on the small side for me.
I was very happy after these flights confirming that the harness is a big part of the equipment and should never be underestimated. Can't wait to get out for some big air now.