Supair LEAF: first flights review (by Nancy Elliott)
Many manufacturers these days have two wings in their range certified EN/LTF B: a ‘low B’ (Progression Class) wing catering for school-leavers, and a ‘high B’ (XC Class) wing for top performance. With the LEAF, Supair have aimed for the middle ground–‘mid B’ (Progression Class)–and designed a wing for everyday use in all conditions aimed at pilots who want flying to be simple and safe yet fun.
There has been much debate recently about the perceived dangers of hang glider and paraglider pilots sharing the air at some sites. This is not a new development; it has been addressed many times and features prominently in BHPA Club Coaching courses, the BHPA Pilot Handbook and in most clubs’ sites guides.
The Advance Alpha 5 was an outstanding first wing that took beginners well beyond the school environment. The updated design boasts less weight, fewer lines and double 3D shaping at the leading edge that is bound to give it more performance. The Alpha 6 also promises 'air scoop technology' that increases the stall resistance when flying slowly. With all these improvements, is it still suitable for training? Does it meet the needs of adventurous beginners and recreational pilots?
Like many paraglider pilots, I’ve been a big fan of the Red Bull X-Alps ever since the event launched in 2003 (with only 17 participants and a small audience). This incredible hike and fly race embodies much what I love about paragliding: a wonderful light flying machine that fits in a bag, which allows you to launch into unknown adventures, and challenges you to make the most of the day’s given conditions.
I was following the classic X-Pyr route that runs the length of the Pyrenees from coast to coast, so I flew in to Bilbao then took the obvious bus to San Sebastian. The next link to Hondarribia was a bit trickier to find but was shown on an ordinary bus shelter timetable.
Nova Mentor 4: First Flight Review (by Greg Hamerton)
The Mentor 4 is an update of the Mentor series which dominated the XC class for a long time. It gets its performance from being very steady in the air – it doesn't roll, shows limited tendency to yaw, and pitches only slightly as it moves through turbulence.