High Hopes in the French Alps

First Flight on Advance Alpha 5

Inflating the Alpha 5

So this morning, the majority trapsed up to Chamonix, it was looking windy, so it was not going to be an XC day, as the winds have steadily been increasing. I decided not to go to Chamonix this morning, and would prefer another day when it would be possible to XC without getting thrashed about! so I gave it a miss.


Dennis was meeting Gavin down at Bois du Bouchet to take possession of another recent acquisition for the ‘school’ a brand new Advance Alpha 5, – 26. Which I’d be able to fly, although I’d be on the light end as usual. Anyway, Dennis flew it in Chamonix, and had fun on it, so I was on the phone wondering what was taking them so long to come down here to meet me at Chedde, so I could give it a go.

I drove down to Chedde, where Hugh had been waiting patiently for us to drive up to Plaine Joux, but he said that after waiting for some time, not one person got above launch, and that it was so still, flat and stable he decided it wasn’t worth it so he went back to Annecy. Meanwhile I was quite excited to fly a new glider, and after altering my Kama Sutra, by taking off the pod, and re-attaching the stirrup, to make it an easy to play harness instead of investing in another harness purely for fun flying and fly downs after work 😉  I  decided to keep it for this purpose. I’ve sold my Kanibal Race, because it was just too heavy to carry! It was lovely to fly though, and I miss it…

Anyway, I attached my Kama Sutra to the once flown (by Dennis) Alpha 5, and prepared to have a swift flight. But what a lovely glider! I was so surprised, not expecting much of a glide for an EN-A (DHV-1) but it was as sweet as a nut! Beautiful climb characteristics, and a glide that I did not expect at all! It was just a delight to fly. It launched with ease, and I was up, off and above launch in no time.. (the first one, all day apparently). It’s so nice to fly light, with just a helmet vario, and no other instruments.  I had a delightful flight, on the new school wing, and remembered all about ‘fun!’ It felt just so solid, I may end up flying this a bit more than I expect! It leaves me feeling a bit reluctant to want to let a new student give it any rough treatment! It’s such a sweet natured thing…

June 28, 2012 - Posted by | Flying, General, Guiding

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