24 January 2015

SIV on Advance Iota and UP Summit XC3

A few days in the sun in January for Cross Country Magazine gave me first chance to try the high EN B gliders from UP and Advance. At Cross Country we are always looking for new ways to explore the gliders we fly. A day over the water at Monaco under the watchful eye of Russ Ogden gave us a really interesting perspective on these two fine wings.

My first stall on the Summit XC3
Not the best technique on show in the photo above - a hint of over-stall.

The peachy Iota
The Iota had different strengths from the XC3. It was a really interesting way to compare the wings. You will have to wait for Cross Country Magazine to read the full details!

For those who do not know Russ Ogden - he is one of the finest paraglider pilots that Britain has produced. Truely world class in the competition environment; long standing test pilot for Ozone and ace SIV instructor. Russell's approach to SIV is all about control and just like training with Flyeo in France you learn a lot about your wing and yourself! If I lived closer I'd be doing this type of training a lot more often than the once every 2 years that I seem to currently manage.

High EN B gliders are an interesting breed. Some believe they are the ideal compromise: good performance in a glider that performs well in the EN tests. Others feel they offer the worst of both worlds; not the sporting purity of a well sorted EN C yet potentially pretty demanding. My personal stance is somewhere in the middle, but many pilots flying high EN B gliders (from any manufacturer) are probably not really aware of how demanding this level of glider can be. Pilotage, glider control training and SIV really are a big help if you fly this level of glider. If you are not prepared to put yourself through the training maybe a low to mid EN B is a better choice.
Thanks to Hugh Miller for the photos.