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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.

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!

Devils Dyke to Margate XC 6th August 2016

A very enjoyable paragliding cross country flight from Devils Dyke in East Sussex to Margate, via Ashford and Canterbury, in Kent.

Pretty tricky getting up – and then staying up – at first, eventually rewarded by a wonderful experience soaring up the side of some beautiful sea breeze front clouds. Then great fun gaggle-flying with a nice group of pilots to Lewes and beyond. Rather than shoot off ahead on our own, Mark and I decided it’d be more fun to stay with the gaggle and see how far we could all get together. Flying an Enzo 2 (competition wing), Mark was literally flying rings around us at times – like taking a collie dog out for a walk in the country! 😉

Lovely, lovely day! 🙂

See Carlo’s flight tracklog

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