My new wing – Airwave Cobra XL

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Well what a day at tunk today!

I thought it might be one early  –  so I  got started early and left  home at about 9  I got to tunk  at about 10:15 ish  to find it WSW.  I waited and  enjoyed the sunshine    while the posse   turned up, but i wasnt the fitrst one there as  wayne  and his  cohorts had beaten me to it.

for the next hour or two there was a lot of standing around  –  we all realized it was  probably going to straighten up  and that it would be better at blowhole   but   no one could remember the way to get there.

we also considered  the bluff, but with such a big posse  the bluff would have been  a logistical nightmare, so  we waited.

jonno showed  us  how its done and set up first.  he had to  endure a few gusts, but eventually   he was geared up  and  launched and flying with eagles.

I  got  geared up   and then  launched knowing it was probably  going to be a sleddie – and i was right –  crappy launch too – I dont think I’ve ever flown  tunk when it was so WSW.    the  wind was so off  there was no lift and  I had to  turn  to the south and out of what lift there might have been  just to get some height.

Second launch was much better,

i dont know why , but i was the only one to  move around  to the SW and launch directly into the bowl.   it was a lot better.

Picture 016 After getting a feel for it in the air, I   wandered over to the  bowl to the west over the powerline.   I   was pushing into wind  and I made it   with a little bit of height to spare   and   I think the advantage of having a   better glide and ability to go upwind with a bit of speedbar  became obvious because  someone on an ozone wing  tried to follow and  bombed out.

( BTW – there’s so many new faces and new wings I have no idea who is who in the air anymore –  how embarassing! –  I used to know everyone’s wing at a glance! )

coming back I scraped  over the powerline –  (  i think I gave  Wayne a fright!  coz i was a bit close)

got back to the   front and  topped  up  with height.   i tried a few very mild wingovers and  realized that   this wing   rewards precision   flying  ( and  might punish sloppy flying ) –  I  decided  not to push my luck today with  big wingovers.

I saw that adam and simon were heading down to tunk head.  so I took after them.    jumping the  gap to the  left of lauch was easy and  as you would exepect   going downwind  to the nob was  fairly easy with almost no loss of height.  I met simona nd Adam  coming back  there  and decided  I’d turn and follow them.

It was obvious  the difference in wings right there.  –   Adam in his DHV 2/3 peak was  just effortlessly pushing back into wind,    not losing height ,   and just  left us for dead.

Simon,  was  low and scratching   forward   –   but  he  earns the  scratch and sniff award for today –   it was amazing  that he managed to scrape back all the way  back to launch. !!!! amazing!

My new wing was halfway in between.    I didnt have to scratch but I had to be  careful  with how much speedbar  I used – too much  and I was  down with simon.

I  made it back and after a boating about I  went for a secong trip down to the  nob.

This trip was harder! –    the wind had gone more  west  and i was forced to scratch   just like simon did !

Later on steve told me he was behind me scratching as well.  I  must admit that although I remember  following a red wing down there I forgot all about it when I started  concentrating on scratching back.

Steve apparently bombed out  where I managed to scrape around the  front of the   hill with the house next to it and  got back.

on the slope to the left of launch Adam  was there and we did some side by side glides –  and found that my glider is trimmed to fly a little faster than the peak.  and  they seemed to glide around about the same.  but as soon as we apply speedbar Adam ” leaves me in his dust “.

to get back in front of launch I tried out full speedbar –   which should give me a  forward airspeed of around 52-55kmh –  i wanted to see how fragile the leading edge was at that speed and   how  much sink I will get.

as is typical of a lot of   this type of wing   1/2 speedbar is  quite good and efficient –   full speedbar is almost as terrible as  a DHV 1/2 .

I lost  hieght punching forward ( the wind was picking up )  and  just as I got to the  fog tree  I  got   strange  rotory air –  the strange air that Helen warned us about  when its so WSW   caught me! –  the wind instead of  flowing up over the tunk launch was flowing along in front of it, and  when I went ot scratch up the  front I flew in to rotory air.

luckily It wasnt bad and I just  went and landed in the paddock.

So,  the wing  is what I was looking for.  –  I wanted  a wing like my  old  sport 2 –    but with lighter brakes and   better turn,  shorter brake travel, and   good launching characteristics.

I was also wanting to break  with tradition.  although i am happy  with the passive safety of  DHV 1/2  wings, I wanted  better handling and shorter break travel.  I   wanted to see if  a mild DHV 2  would give me a boost ing handling and performance   without sacrificing  too much in passive safety.

So far it’s looking good,  but I have yet to fly it in  thermic conditions.

They say that the  Airwave Cobra  is  the wing you should get if you are looking for an update to the Sport 1’s handling and performance.  – and I would agree with that.

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but getting back to the day,  –  I  think   it was a challenging day today,  flying tunk when its on with a consistent southerly is great but   sometimes too easy –  today    a lot could be learnt from dealing with the conditions.
I saw a  few blown launches and  one drag,    and   you can  now see that  skilling up in higher wing launches is something you need for coastal flying ! 🙂

anyway I’m still in a buzz about my new wing.

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