Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Like a kid on Christmas Eve -

That's me.  I'm waiting for my new Gradient Avax XC-3 to arrive.  The early reports are very positive and the performance is being touted as 'much better' than the XC-2, which I was very impressed with.  When I ordered the XC-2 (3 years ago) I was concerned that it would be too hot for me.  I was very happy with the handling and benign flight characteristics and it was perfect for my stage of development, as a paraglider pilot.

Now, I'm ready for anything that Gradient can get by the EN-D testing.  And I'm ready to enjoy the great handling I've come to expect from the Gradient team.  I won't be worried about competing against the ultra-specialized, exotic, 2-liner comp wings rolling off the factory floors - I'm a serial guy, and happy to be flying a little less performance with much better handling.

I didn't want to complicate my order, so I went with the stock blue colors.  It should be here within a couple weeks.  I plan to fly it in the US Nat'ls in Sun Valley in August, and the PWC in Chelan, WA in July.

The XC3 is advertised as having a better-than 10:1 glide ratio with a nice wide speed range that exceeds 60Kph accelerated.  The 6.8 aspect ratio is right between that of the XC2 and the Boomerang 5 I flew this year.   The 3-line configuration eliminated almost 25% of the line length (read drag) and it looks like the line diameters haven't been increased substantially, like they have been on the 2-line designs.

More info to come when I get a chance to wring it out -

Here's a nice video of the XC-3 in flight.

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