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Paris Williams über seinen Combat 13.2 GT während der Forbes Flatlands 2014

veröffentlicht um 12.01.2014, 23:04 von Michael Husmann
..."Having good equipment: Finally, there's no doubt that having good equipment is a very important factor in doing well at a meet like this one. I was flying a 2012 model Combat GT 13.2, the same model I flew in Florida two years ago so it is slightly outdated (not having the most recent rib templates, etc.), but still doing just fine (better than fine) in this field. One thing that I've come to love about the Combats is their ability to thermal nearly hands off—simply set the bank angle and let it go, so even though I was flying 4-6 hours every day for 7 out of 8 days, I didn't struggle at all with muscle fatigue.

However, the Combats do seem to prefer a slightly steeper bank angle than the Moyes RX's (based on what I observed of others), so I did experience a little incompatibility in the denser gaggles in that I had to work a little to maintain the flatter bank angles which most other pilots here seemed to want to fly at (since about 80% of the field was flying the same glider—the Moyes RX).

Given that my model (2012) is approaching two years old, I was surprised to see how well I was gliding against most of the field, especially at the higher speeds. While most of us appeared to be gliding very similarly at the low and mid-range speeds, I clearly had an advantage over much of the field at the higher speeds (above about 45mph/75kph); but unfortunately, because of the weather conditions at this meet, we didn't do a whole lot of flying at the higher speeds, and so I didn't have the opportunity to use this advantage as much as I would have liked.

I will say that I flew all but the last day with ballast, so this likely played some role in my particularly good glide performance. I actually would have preferred to remove the ballast to sacrifice some glide for better climb, but as I fly in a second-hand harness not specifically designed for me, I have some CG issues with it (my head floats up when I remove the ballast which sits above my shoulders), so I had to leave the ballast in. Towards the end of the meet, however, someone told me of a way that I could fairly easily modify my harness to solve the CG problem, so I gave this a go and was able to remove the ballast on the last day, which was another weak, blue, windy day.

I did notice an improvement in my climbing, and I still had a good high speed glide (though somewhat less than what I had with the ballast), as was made clear when I was able to outrace Mike Bilyk (flying a Moyes RX) into goal by a few seconds on final glide.

One final word about the Combat models—the Combats come not only in a range of sizes but also in a range of aspect ratios (higher aspect ratios generally have the benefit of improving overall performance but make the glider generally handle and behave like a larger glider than you would expect for the given sail area). To date, they have just one super-high aspect Combat on the market—the 13.5 (with an 8.5 aspect ratio)—which I flew at the Worlds and was absolutely delighted with the climb and glide performance.

However, it is definitely a little big for me (I weigh 69kg/150lb), and while I found the handling just fine when flying on my own, I was struggling a bit with it in the dense gaggles (when having to do a lot of evasive maneuvering). Aeros has recently been putting a lot of effort into developing a smaller high aspect ratio glider (a 12.7, with an 8.4 aspect ratio), but unfortunately, it wasn't ready in time for Forbes, which is why I flew the 13.2. If only I had the 12.7 at Forbes, who knows, maybe I could have taken a day off 

Anyway, the expectation is that the 12.7 will be ready in time for the PreWorlds in about six weeks, and then ready for the market shortly after that. Aeros is also preparing to unsheathe their fully-carbon option (which I believe will be available for most sizes) hopefully in time for the PreWorlds (with full oval-shaped as well as conical-shaped carbon leading edges and even carbon sprogs and synthetic sprog cables—the oval/conical shape allows for a maximal balance of high performance and good handling). I can't wait!" 
(Quelle Oz Report http://ozreport.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35658)