Nova and High Adventure (Coupe Icare 2016)
Carlo met Mik Broschart, Kristin Lamm and Andrea Heerd (Nova) and Urs Haari (High Adventure).
Pre-orders of the new concept high performance Progression wing have been very encouraging.
The S size has completed certification, and is expected to be available from dealers at the same time as M and L sizes. The XS will be certified last. There's about a 3 month lead time on orders.
Who is it for? Pilot's who don't want to compromise on safety, beyond the level of low EN B. When conditions get challenging, most pilots would be happier on a solid, low aspect wing. The Phantom promises 'as good as Triton2' performance, although you can't expect the same top speed. Although it's in the same class as the Ion 4, designer Phillip Medicus says it is an entirely different wing.
Even Nova were surprised at how much more performance the design offers. It has slightly more piloting demand than an Ion 4 due to the energy conversion, but still below that of the Mentor 4. Because it's much less demanding to fly than a traditional high-performance wing, you can keep speed on while pilots are 'backing off' on their speedbars in sporty conditions. Nova are very sure it performs: if you doubt the claims, check out the Kaiser Trophy writeup and watch the Doarama replay, where you can see Ferdi Vogel keeping up with the higher class wings on many transitions.
It's expensive relative to other paragliders, but it takes much more time to manufacture, due in part to the complex needle-eye ribs and multiple parts, and partly due to the precision required which demands that they can only use their most expert seamstresses for the job.
When you consider resale value, the advantage becomes clear. To get this level of performance, you'd need to buy a current high EN C or EN D wing. When you come to resell it in a few years time, you'll discover the appalling truth about high-class wings: they are worth next to nothing when old. Partly because so few pilots fly in the higher classes, and partly because these high-aspect wings with minimal lines don't handle ageing very well.
By contrast, the Phantom is likely to fare very well, because of all the reinforcing, and the tolerant low aspect aerofoil. Judging by the reports so far, the reputation is likely to be very good, and so you can expect good resale value. The true cost of a wing is the difference between the purchase price and resale price: it will cost about the same as current high performance wings, but you are flying with reduced risk.
It's a great concept from Nova!
Urs Haari says they have changed their production factory, and Beamer 3 sales are strong as a growing number of pilots see the benefit of having a steerable reserve with low sink rate and fast opening time. Urs also showed Carlo his new high-quality, functional, deluxe flying gloves, which look and feel very nice indeed.