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Axis Pluto 2 Review

AXIS Pluto II Review

 

The Axis Pluto II is an ideal wing for the beginner pilot fresh from finishing their training course. The Pluto II is a great allrounder and the performance like glide and speed is good, with very high passive factor and is very predictable and assuring in turbulence. The wing is easy to ground handle making launches simple. It turns and thermals very well and you don't get left behind when flying with wings with higher aspect ratio. What I like in particular with this glider is its longer break travel before it stalls, making it difficult to accidentally stall the wing or spin it as many beginners do when approaching a tight landing area. I have found particularly with top landing approach many students who move up from a student wing with there EN A B (DHV 1) ratings and then buy a glider with EN B C D (high end DHV 1-2) rating apply too much brake on landing and either spin the wing or stall their wings low to the ground. This is a forgiving wing and is a low end (DHV 1-2) but is far from a bus to fly and steering is medium and precise. This is the Wing for beginners and it's one that they will not grow out of too soon; if ever. I recommend this wing to any school as it is the ideal wing for the transition from Student to Basic Pilot .

 


Long Soaring Flights

Long Soaring Flights

Warning long soaring flights are the order of the day. One can soar for 5-6 hours and will need sunscreen, water and food to survive these lekker flights. Yesterday we ridge soared Kleinkrantz to Gerrickes in great conditions with guys crossing to and fro between Kleinkrantz and Beach Hotel side. This week coming looks like serious ridge soaring and I hope the Skywings pilots are going to rack up some points for the League. Summer sea breezes have arrived, Ayoba!
 
I was disappointed not to see the grandpa brigade out in full force but I guess they were taking their afternoon nap and resting their falsies in a glass or something.
 
Summer is here even though yesterday I froze my butt off. The sun remains high in the sky and is now setting over the sea for a change. Time for those sundowners of rum and coke and such like to roll out!
 
Have fun now.

Kortel Kuik tandem passenger harness

Kortel Kuik  tandem passenger harness

 
This is a well put together harness with nice strong stitching. What I especially like is the big zips at storage pockets. I don’t like the carabineers – maillons as I think it wastes time to screw them shut and they look a bit fragile for tandem use .I put proper stainless steel carabiners for easy attachment without the abrasion from the screw thread of the units that came with the harness when hooking into the spreader hoop. The passenger easily slips into the simple split leg system but I would have liked the leg straps to be a bit longer. There are only two leg straps that attach quite high on the harness that makes the chest strap not needed. There is a minor chest strap but is not weight bearing but more to keep shoulder straps on. The back protection is adequate and the material of the harness is hardy and should last a while.
 
The passenger sits with their legs quite far apart with the design but the harness is comfortable and easy to get into. The passenger sometimes has difficulty getting out and leaning forward to run and so must be briefed properly to lean totally forward on landing.
 
Overall it does the job and is very well constructed and robust.

Axis Sirius Tandem wing

Axis Sirius Tandem wing

Axis Sirius Tandem wing is the best Tandem wing I have flown yet and being a commercial operator who flies between 300-500 flights a year you need a wing that is versatile and meets the demands of safety and performance. What I like about the Axis Sirius is the wing has very good handling and speed which is nice for our coastal conditions with strong wind launches . Its also a a massive performer in thermal flying and likes the weight range to be more the top of the weight range as it performs better there with good speed and glide . The glider handling is great and one gets good feedback and turns easy and with precision . The new trim system is a dream and gives you extra speed what feels like a turbo when releasing the trim tabs for maximum speed . The Tandem enjoys some high energy stuff and wingovers and spirals are easy to enter and with relatively easy exits . What surprised me with this wing is the wing area of just 40 sqm is really good in light lift and can stay up in small and broken lift as good as a single wing . If you buy this wing you can go wrong as it gets a thumbs up in all departments .

Competition Perfection

Competition Perfection

What a great day , the weather was great and the turn points were challenging . The conditions was a southerly wind and a inversion around 150 –200 m above TO ; with a shift now and again to South East and then it shifted to a decent SSE –SE . I was flying tandems and completing tasks slowly but surely and watching the single wings doing there thing with a certain envy as coming to top land and take of again disturbs the rhythm somewhat . Yet my brain and moved into competitive mode and seeing my best friend the Stoney Steenhuizen back in action and performing as normal took me back a few years . To say my competitive juices was simmering is a mild understatement . When I found out that a Mark Sofianos was leading with a nice flight up to Groenvlei gave me motivation to get my Vega 3 out and fly with a little better performance above my head . I was the lone ranger as most had stopped flying as conditions were quite bumpy and strong and I headed out for some distance towards Groenvlei . The air near the lake was interesting but interspersed with good thermals so I almost made the turn of to Karatara then came back with some gusto and my wing talking to me but the Vega performs very calmly in some of the roughest air I have experienced at Sedgefield for a while . Then 3 telephone calls and 7 text message started to wear down my resolve to go over the back just when the inversion was weakening and I had the highest climb of the day of 350 m above . Damn work but money pays those bills . So after a half hearted attempt to get to Gerrickes I headed back to landing . The conditions were improving but alas work was calling and I had a great day as did many . Well done ! Mark Sofianos on your nice flight . It was a really nice fun Competition with many locals taking part and one of them was Alen Wilkinson a sprightly 74 year old . The object was achieved fun and pushing the skills a little . I hope to see more of the locals from other clubs and local members like the Maurits brigade who have some really talented young guns in that family . The next competition is serious ( not ) and runs on the 16-18th a long weekend so get some practice in and lets rock . There will be medals , trophies and prizes and more divisions like ladies . We missed a certain miss K today and hope she joins us next time . Thanks to Urs and Werner for putting together a lekker competition and cant wait for the next one . cheers see you boys and girls in the air .

The Season Has Started

The Season Has Started

Hi there guys last few days have been great flying in the Garden Route and Sedgefield in particular with good strong high climbs . There have been days for good XC potential but work is holding me back . Friday flew with a Tandem to Cola beach and carried on ridge soaring for a few kms down the ridge to return and land near Pili Pili . These strong thermals some 5-6 m/sec climbs and high cloudbase is due to the high lapse rate as the air is really colder the higher you go and the ground really heating up . Naturally there is more turbulence and one cant sleep on the job as you may have your wingtip slap you awake . So guys don't be goldfish and go up done on ridge all day take the opportunity to explore and fly a little XC now again the satisfaction is immense . Spring has arrived !

Paragliding Tours to South Africa the best out of 2 weeks

Paragliding Tours to South Africa the best out of 2 weeks

Hi there all pilots who are eager to travel to South Africa and have some quality flying and also to see some of the main tourist attractions . The start of your journey should be the wonderful city of Cape Town and once you settled into Backpackers , BB or hotel then best thing to do is to contact a guide or school who can give you advice on where to fly . Cape Town sites can be notoriously fickle and dangerous if you not aware of the local weather . Its worth the money to find someone who has local knowledge as a good flight from Lions Head , Signal Hill or St Lowry’s pass can be a mind blowing experience . The flight from Lions Head with the view of the Apostles has got to be one of the top 3 views in the World .There is also Hermanus which is about 70 km away but normally about 2 hours drive and has some of the best coastal soaring – thermic conditions and views in South Africa . This site works well in the light- moderate  South and South East winds .
 
Besides Paragliding what is the must do Tourist attractions ?

My top 5 are

  1. Cable Car to the Top of Table Mountain
  2. Trip to the point .
  3. Chapman's peak drive
  4. Walk in Kirstenbosch gardens
  5. Sailing trip for sundowners from the Waterfront .

There is many many more but due to the average trip duration of 2 weeks its not possible to fit everything in . The nightlife is good in Cape Town central and quite safe with the main action in Long Street .
 
After 3-4 days of Cape Town and Hermanus you are now ready for some serious Cross Country flying in Porterville . Porterville is about 140 km away from Cape Town and one can find nice lodging at Flyers lodge Porterville with the local instructor and guide Rob Manzoni . The site is wonderfully easy to paraglide and recovery is easy for those Cross Country flights . Average distance is about 40 km but over 140 km is possible . The views when high are magical and the mountains are supremely majestic especially the rugged Cedarburg in the distance . The ridge is from Dasklip take of point 40km to the south and the 40 km to the north with open flatlands as well .
 
After some exciting flying in mountains you will head up to the Paragliding paradise of the Garden Route and more specifically Wilderness . Here you can stay at the very relaxed Beach facing Flyers Lodge Wilderness which has two sites walking distance away and some of the best ridge soaring to be found anywhere . Wilderness is central to most sites in the area and we have ridge soaring and coastal thermic as well as real mountain flying within 20 km of Flyers Lodge . Your host Deon Borrett has 15 years local experience and will give you basic guiding so you will always fly if there is any spot that is working . There is many other activities to be tried if weather bad or some extra time is available and World highest Bungi jump is only  140 km  away . Locally there is hikes , kayaking , fishing , surfing , kite surfing and skydiving .
 
The Garden Route has so many good sites from Mossel Bay , George , Wilderness , Sedgefield ,  Knysna and Plettenberg Bay that one can fly a new site almost everyday and not fit them all in week . This is paragliding mecca of the world and the sites are easy to access by sedan and most sites you can top land ! The 4-5 days spent here will fly by but you will have a wonderful experience to remember all your days .
 
After having the time of you life it would be time to head back Cape Town which lies 450 km away and return home well rested and satisfied .The other option is to fly back from George which is 20 km from Wilderness .

AXIS Comet :: Review

AXIS Comet :: Review

I have recently received the Axis Comet which I will be using as my mountain wing . I took a small to reduce weight (5kg) but I weigh 72 kg and will fit easily into the weight range which goes to 88kg .
 

The Comet is very easy to inflate and forward launches are super easy . The wing in flight is nice and responsive and quite a dynamic wing . There is not much difference between the Comet and the big brother the Vega 3 . The glide and general performance is quite amazing and it means you dont have to compromise safety to get good performance anymore . That been said this is not a entry level wing but a pilot should maybe get 80-100 flights before flying this wing . This wing is pleasure to fly as it thermals sweetly and climbs with good energy . This wing is a good Cross Country wing and has all the goodies to do big distance safely .

The Comet also likes to play and is great for wing overs , spirals and pendulums over the dunes in Wilderness . This is a fun wing !I am still testing the Wing and hope to give some more feedback soon .

I have been extremely impressed by all of Axis wings due to the fact they fly like a  dream and in essence these are" real  pilots " wings and pilots who fly Axis are always satisfied with the feel of the wing .

2012 September , I have returned from flying some dunes and mountains in Namibia and all the take -off points were virgin sites and the wing performed well as it was easy to control and launch from site tight spots and when doing a forward launch it was very easy to get over the head and into the air . The glider has a good glide and general performance especially speed on speedbar its good for dune soaring in strong winds . Once again I feel the glider may not be for a pilot that has just finished training as will this be testing wing for a new pilot .Great glider like all the Axis wings I have flown .

 

You cant go wrong with buying Axis as it money well spent .

Deon Borrett .  

 

  axis-comet-2

AXIS Vega 3 :: Review

AXIS Vega 3 :: Review

I have been flying the Vega 3 medium for a few months now and am more than happy with the performance and safety aspects of this beautiful wing .
 
The wing is very easy to launch and settles nicely above the head after inflation without any overshooting tendency . While flying the glider is nice and responsive to steering input and the break pressure is about medium . There is a distinct cross over point when you about to go too deep with the breaks and the glider gives you ample warning you going to stall or spin . The glider loves light or strong lift and thermals clean and efficiently .The wing seems to enjoy a loading towards the top of the range as it actually performs better there . There is nice feedback on the wing when flying in thermals without making the glider to busy or twitchy . The wing gave me a sense of security when flying through some turbulence and has an predictable response . The wings tips don’t flap for no reason and the glider is very solid on speed bar . When pushing 100 % on speed bar there is a big increase of speed and the glide angle is naturally reduced .The best performance is hands up position .The wing enters spirals readily but also exits quite easily , its also responsive to wing overs and other high energy maneuvers .
 
Overall the glider is a stunning wing and its feels like you flying a wing with higher performance . This is a great wing for XC and general social flying .

 

Visit the offical AXIS website and lean more about the Vega 3 . Click here

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  • Celebrity Corner

    Sho't left for Sa tourism , Nico Panagio for Top Billing and Survivor have all flown with the winiing team of Dolphin Paragliding .