The Skywalk TEQUILA 5 (EN B) is intended to be a Progression class wing (‘low B’) which can be accessed by both flying-school graduates and pilots moving up from their First wing (EN A). It replaces the TEQUILA 4 which we reviewed here, a fun and sporty wing with outstanding performance but with more turn energy than usually found in the class. What does the Tequila 5 do differently? Let’s find out.
Skywalk TEQUILA 5: Construction
There’s some clever engineering evident in the leading edge, with angled seams, shaped cell openings and a shark nose, combined with a higher aspect ratio and more cells, all aimed at delivery the promised increased performance. The reinforcing rods have some memory (meaning they didn’t spring into perfect shape after tight packing) so need some time to settle into their perfect curves. We’ve noticed this on many modern wings from various manufacturers. Although some claim you can pack them any old how, we recommend using a concertina bag to keep the leading edge rods protected and folding around something soft (pillow/jacket/harness) to prevent a tight bend.
The brakes are spongy neoprene and comfortable in the hand. Secured by poppers, they feature a swivel and line protector. The risers are slender and well-finished.
Skywalk TEQUILA 5: On the ground
Launching is simple. It sheds power during the pullup arc, most noticeable in strong wind launches. The amount of ‘pluck’ is reduced, and it does not pass ahead of the pilot much either. This combination makes it much easier to control on the launch site (better than the TEQUILA 4) and should result in you getting more airtime by solving the challenge of small hills that are only soarable in strong wind (typical for the UK).
In light conditions I felt it did hang back a little, so you need a slightly longer run.
Controlling/kiting the wing is very basic.
Skywalk TEQUILA 5: In the air
The T5 is calmer and more dampened than the T4. The wing doesn’t respond as much to weight shift or brake, and putting in more brake had an elastic feeling that prevented sudden corrections.
As I flew it more in hard-hitting conditions, the benefits of the mild nature became more apparent. The wing remained calm, even if I jammed in some simulated nervous over-inputs. It absorbs the aggression of the air and the inaccuracies of the pilot, and leaves you with a stable aircraft that responds to steady commands. You can turn it adequately with light inputs, and given time you can sense light general feedback from the wing.
It does not pitch ahead of the pilot, preferring to hang back a little in gusts then return overhead. This is very reassuring, but it does lose some altitude before continuing, in contrast to a more pitchy wing that would cut forward into the lift instead. This pitch-stable behaviour is less demanding and is better suited to this class.
Because of this characteristic, active flying inputs are not really required, or at least, you can get your timing a bit off and still be safe.
When thermaling, I found the low aspect ratio allows for a tight turn radius that was easy to adjust and adequate for effective climbing. Low feedback, low energy, but manoeuvreable with a light and happy feel.
Skywalk TEQUILA 5: Safety
On speedbar it felt positive, with a standard acceleration for the class, but I did lose a tip in turbulence, showing that the angle of attack should not be abused. Big ears were easy to induce, stable, and required a gentle pump to clear. Stall point is reached at a normal position after a decent delay, and it recovered easily and fast. Induced collapses were benign, producing no energy build-up and reinflating positively with little directional change. Wingovers and pitches were dampened.
Skywalk TEQUILA 5: Who’s it for?
The TEQUILA 5 is perfectly suited to the Progression class (low EN B). It offers you a calm companion with a light feel that allows you to explore all kind of conditions. The easy launch, low energy and mild turns combine to make a wing that will allow you to access the stronger stuff without fear and because of this you’ll likely see a rapid progression in your flying, because you’ll build a lot of airtime.
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