High Hopes in the French Alps


This morning we were fog free, a clear autumnal sky was a pleasure to behold. No low level clagg, so we knew we’d be flying at some point today. This time of the year there’s no rush to get out early as it doesn’t get interesting until much later in the day. We were out after midday and took a ride up to launch, I was happy to be able to fly the Omega 8 again, as this is the last day we’ve got it, before it’s sent off to it’s next demo destination. I was quite excited at the prospect, and was not working

Gary, totally unassisted and free launching into oblivion!

Up on launch the objective was to fly light and take out and off any excess baggage, to fly minimum weight, check out the handling as well as decide whether or not I liked the feel. Although it’s October and the thermal activity is mild, there was quite a ratty inversion which was a good example of what it could feel like in roughish conditions. I have to say flying light, it was a different glider, I felt I had to work much harder on turning, it was not nearly as responsive as it is weighted, which is to be expected, I suppose. Having said that even though I was flung about a bit the glider was solid and I did feel happy on it. It was certainly stay-up-able and in fragmented themals it was ok handling, I managed to remain positioned in disgruntled lift, enough to maintain and climb. I didn’t enjoy it as much though.

Second flight, added my regular ballast and took off, this time Dennis was flying my small Mantra and was zipping about all over the place. I really enjoyed the Omega 8 ballasted. It was solid, clean and turned with much less brake input requirement. Once in an established turn we stayed there happily climbing without any exagerrated disturbance. It felt like it naturally blended with the air and merged into the set motion with smooth stability. Mathieu was out on his O8 too, I had a lovely climb out, and he came and joined me for a few turns.

I do like the swivels on the brake handles, which the Mantra doesn’t have, this is due to the lower brake line being thicker than the Mantra M3 so can take the abrasion of the swivel, methinks.  ‘Big Ears’ was easy to apply with a bit of a tug, but needed some assistance on release but both application and exit was easy enough. On bar the glider is unwavering and has a gainful glide. I enjoyed a very happy afternoon’s flying and have to say that I am sorely tempted by this wing. It is soundly constructed, and makes me feel it is thoroughly trustworthy. There is only one minute niggle for me, and that is the launching, it does launch easily enough, but can be just a tad lazy. It feels much heavier to initiate, although maybe that’s because I’m a little woman.

There are so many great gliders out there at the moment it was an opportunity for me to enjoy the flights I’ve had on the O8, and all I can say is that it is a really strong contender. I’d still like to try the Ozone, Delta though?! In fact there are so many great gliders out there these days it’s almost like choosing a shampoo!

Dennis got on ok with my Mantra, although felt being overweight on it was not always beneficial,  and Gary is all but signed off for his CPC now, a good day.

October 12, 2010 - Posted by | Flying, Tuition

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