Monday, July 05, 2010

Windtech Zenith, first flight tests

I've recently purchased  a new wing: Zenith, made by Windtech spanish paragliding manufacturer, actually this is the first Zenith wing flying in Romania. It is unfortunate that we've got bad weather in terms of potential for flying, either nil wind, either stormy days. Due to this reason only a few tests have been made so far: one in almost nil wind and several in strong and gusty wind.
Zenith has a glide ratio of 10 and is a very fast glider, manufacturer claims 40 km/h trim speed and 59 km/h top speed which makes it faster than most wings. Lines are very short and canopy shape is elliptic with an aspect ratio of 6, this will give Zenith an unique and unusual aspect which also reflects in fly behavior: lazy turns if turns are not initiated by weight shift, well dampened pitch oscillations and strong left-right shakes in turbulences (pilot is very close to the wing). Speed and glide ratio should help Zenith jumping between thermals resulting in a  very good performance in XC flights, I couldn't test this because of weather. Dampened pitch oscillations would help penetrating the strong thermals and together with high speed makes this wing a good choice for strong conditions (strong thermals and/or strong wind). In turbulent conditions this glider is very talkative, left-right shakes will give you the impression you are flying a DHV class 2-3 wing although Zenith is rated EN B, this could be surprising however I've found the glider to be very stable in turbulent air. In the short video here you could see Zenith flying in almost nil wind (at the beginning of the movie) and in strong wind (30-40 km/h, the other two wings almost stay still cause of strong wind while Zenith is making a nice slalom). On ridge soaring, Zenith flies faster but lower than most wings (Zenith size S 70-95 kg and my total in flight weight was 80 kg ), the true potential of it will show only on XC flies. I'm eager to test it in thermals, only if weather will help me...

Other Zenith flights: 1 2 3 4 5


Unknown said...

ooks like the Zenith is fast. What were the other gliders, looks like an Advance Epsilon, maybe? Any more updates on your impressions of the Windtech Zenith? Thanks. Doug

atreyyu said...

The other wing was an Advance Sigma 6. Yes, Zenith is very fast, I still have to adapt to it and the weather hasn't been good enough to make real tests. You could watch how Zenith climbs in thermal at this post here :