Coming soon: Advance SIGMA 10

Advance SIGMA 10. This new cross country wing is the result of an exhaustive development process. A fresh technical environment was set up to completely free it from the previous model. The performance increase is said to be mind-blowing. “Pure flying fun is guaranteed.” First deliveries end of April. 

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Coming soon: Nova MENTOR 5

For many years the MENTOR has been setting the standard for XC-intermediate wings. It combines impressive performance with a high degree of passive safety and it encourages you to exceed your boundaries. Using strength analysis optimisation and flow simulation, Nova have elevated the MENTOR 5 to a new performance level. Sizes XS, S, M and L sizes have been certified as EN/LTF B.

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Freeflight: Byeways and Skyways

Paragliding over the South Downs. England’s countryside is covered by a network of public access walking paths, leading to many hidden sights. Sometimes, the sky promises more.

Companion SQR 220 (tandem reserve parachute)

Companion revealed the SQR 220 tandem reserve, ​adding a fourth size to the SQR range. With an unrivalled weight of only 2.37 kg for ​​61.9 m2 the SQR 220 sets a new standard for tandem reserves​, despite being made of robust regular materials.​​

SQR stands for Square Round, a fusion of round and cross canopies.

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Catching the Drift: Thermals and Wind

Holding on to a drifting thermal can be very challenging, but improving this skill can yield exponential gains in airtime. Due to their buoyancy, thermals want to rise straight up. At some point the prevailing wind will overcome this inertia and tilt the thermal column. The winds at different altitudes can vary in direction and strength. The thermals therefore follow a wandering tilted trajectory as they rise, which can be difficult to map in three dimensions.

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Wingtips: Thermaling With Others

When thermaling with others, try to follow behind pilots not to the inside of their turn. Rather slow down or widen your turn until they are on the opposite side of the thermal, so you can both help each other with maximising your climb rate. Read more

Gin Explorer demo wings land at Flybubble!

Holy Cow, Batman! Is that your new Gin Explorer demo wing?

We got our first new Gin Explorer demo in early January and Carlo managed to get out and have a brief play in light winds on a very beautiful sunny winter’s day.

First impressions of the Explorer are that the build quality is excellent, the wing has a very clean shape, the launch characteristics are well-balanced, and handling is responsive and moderately dynamic. Like a lightweight Carrera+ but with a slightly more compact feel.

The wing inflates and comes up easily, without any marked sticking point i.e. I didn’t find it showing a tendency to ‘pause’ or hang back on inflation, with or without risers. In light winds I didn’t notice the Carrera’s tendency to ‘reward’ a poor pilot’s inputs with the good ol’ pluck n plonk, but the real test of this will of course be in strong conditions.

As with the original Carrera and Carrera+, the Explorer requires some finesse to get it to come up straight, however if you do bring it up skew then this is relatively easy to correct with good technique.

Another similar trait to it’s two siblings is that the Explorer is quite reactive to relatively short brake travel, yet still tolerates relatively deep inputs and gives good of warning before the stall point is reached, giving it a performance class feel with XC class demands in this regard.

As well as a good bit of ground handling, some kiting around the hill, about a dozen launches and a bit of scratchy soaring, I had opportunity to throw a few small wing overs. The Explorer responds smartly to inputs, builds speed quickly and converts this speed efficiently into energy – excellent for wing overs, again very similar to the Carrera and Carrera+.

We’ll need to fly it more – a lot more – to be sure however first impressions are that the Explorer is a very similar level of glider, with similar levels of pilot demand, to the Carrera+ i.e. a bit less demanding that the original Carrera.

More to follow as soon as possible…

More about the Gin Explorer.

Want to try our Gin Explorer demo? Contact us to arrange a test flight!

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