Plenty of news from Advance this year, provided to us courtesy of Valery Chapuis, including the PROGRESS 3 reversible harness, PI BI lightweight double-surface tandem wing, OMEGA XALPS 2 hike-&-fly racing wing, IOTA 2 cross country (XC) wing, Companion SQR Light 'square-round' reserve, and some fab new clothing…
PROGRESS 3 - reversible harness
Advance first introduced their new hybrid foam/airbag protection technology a few years ago with the AXESS 3 AIR, and now they have incorporated this into their new reversible harness, the PROGRESS 3. In theory giving the best of both worlds, this solution provides the volume of an airbag with the immediate protection of foam. For the PROGRESS 3, the hybrid protection will be easily replaceable.
Also benefitting from the development of the SUCCESS 4 standard harness, the PROGRESS 3 harness also offers more comfort, with a redesigned seat and a greater range of adjustment, plus repositioned reserve handle and narrower karabiners with a new locking system.
The backpack is bigger too. All this is expected to be available mid December.
Other harnesses in the planning and development stage are the LIGHTNESS 3 - a ‘Light but not ultralight’ harness released in Spring 2017, bringing improvements to the hugely popular LIGHTNESS 2, and the IMPRESS 4 - to be released in the Autumn of 2018. Aimed at top level XC and Competition pilots, it’s all about performance... There's no plan to produce the LIGHTNESS 2 XALPS 17 harness, as used by Chrigel Maurer and others in the 2017 X-Alps, as this was made-to-measure for X-Alps pilots and not durable enough for long-term use.
OMEGA XALPS 2 - the X-Alps wing
Released earlier in September, Advance bill the OMEGA XALPS 2 as being highly performant, made for speed and lightweight, all the characteristics one would hope for in a paraglider built to race over the Alps.
69 cells, 22 % fewer line support points than the predecessor and a significant reduction of line meters: the technical data for the OMEGA XALPS 2 (flat aspect ratio 7.04) speaks for itself. Additional features include improved stress distribution and refined spanwise curvature. The result is a sporty high-end cross country wing that stands out by its outstanding into-wind performance and high degree of pitch and directional stability.
Start your alpine adventure now!
Looking to the future, at the high performance side of the wings, there are still no plans to release an OMEGA 9 at the moment, since other projects have higher priority - and pilots already have the OMEGA XALPS 2, which fulfils the desire for a 'classic D' high-end XC wing. We also asked Valery if there were any plans for Advance to produce a 2-line competition wing. He replied that, whilst Advance have had various 2-line prototypes over the years, including some very interesting ones currently, there are no plans to release one at this time.
PI BI - lightweight tandem
The PI BI, a tandem version of the PI 2 which also incorporates technology from the BIBETA 6, is coming in late October. This new lightweight tandem wing, weighs just 4.9kg with a surface area of 37m2, giving a take off weight range of 100-180kg. Anyone who has had the pleasure of flying the the PI 2 and the BIBETA 6 will be expect great things from the PI BI!
The leisure market aiming of this wing is also clear with Advance stating:
‘...the light tandem’s handling and agility also remind you of an M size solo wing.’
It also looks very swish in the current signature colours or Orange/White/Teal. Sounds like fun to us. For two.
The PI BI is available to order now through Flybubble:
IOTA 2 - XC wing
The re-designed IOTA 2 is due out end of 2017 / beginning of 2018. The characteristics for the wing will be familiar to pilots of the current generation wing, giving the same pilot level as the original IOTA, but bringing more modern tech for more performance. Advance say the improved performance is particularly noticeable in turbulent air, and with a better sink rate in turn.
The handling is described as very predictable with an easy turn and light pressure.
Similar to the SIGMA 10, the IOTA 2 will come in five sizes with 'Seamless Weight Ranges' with steps of 10 to 15 kg. Since their weight ranges extend seamlessly through the glider sizes, without overlapping, every pilot will find their all-up flying weight being within only one ideal takeoff weight range.
"For the first time, the IOTA 2 is available in five sizes with a real extra-small size. The size 21, with a all-up flying weight range of 60 to 77 kg, was not simply calculated, but also adapted to suit."
"With 59 cells and a flat aspect ratio of 5.6 the IOTA 2 is unmistakably an IOTA. The performance boosting technologies of extensive SIGMA 10 development have been merged with the high safety requirements of an EN/LTF-B wing."
"Mini-Ribs, C-Wires, fewer line support points and lines, and Sliced Diagonals: as well as these high-tech technologies the IOTA 2 is exceptionally pitch and directionally stable in bumpy air, and has unmistakably good into wind performance."
We at Flybubble just happen to love the current crop of paraglider wings from Advance, entirely coincidentally currently Carlo, Greg, Simon and myself all fly them! As a current generation IOTA pilot, I can say the IOTA is still a very good wing but given a couple of years of progress it's no longer at the cutting edge of the class. It sounds like Advance recognise and are addressing its weaker points, so I for one look forward to flying one when it arrives...
Companion SQR Light - lightweight reserve
The light version of the Companion SQR has just been released, weighing just 973 gr for the 100 kg version (compared to 1208 gr for the normal version).
Advance are proud of it’s X Alps pedigree, quoting Aaron Durogati, double Paragliding World Cup Superfinal winner as saying:
“In the X-Alps every gram counts and the SQR Light is the lightest reserve worldwide. That’s why I’ve decided for it.”
Advance Logo Belt -
New colours of the popular waist belt with Advance lettering and metal clasp engraved with the Advance logo.
Advance Speedarms -
New colour, same great design and high quality. A popular accessory for cross country hounds and competition pilots!
Advance Tech Jacket -
A new, lightweight technical wind and waterproof jacket. Specially developed for paraglider flying.