Thursday, March 16, 2017

UP Summit XC 4


UP Summit XC 4 SM 
After my beloved Trango X-Race :-), here’s UP new B glider the Summit XC 4 in SM size.
I took a bit of time to write this test, but finally here it is.
The XC4 has a aspect ratio of 6.3 with an EN-B rating !
Honestly i wasn’t a fan of the XC3 SM when i test flew it…The overall performance and usability didn’t convince me at the time.
Today with the Summit XC 4 i took my time to explore it a little bit and finally managed to get a Carrera plus SM to complete my comparison.

Launching the Summit XC 4 is like any mild 6.3 aspect ratio glider. It’s easy to launch…Not like the 5.4 aspect ratio gliders…But it has a homogenous and straight launch.

Once airborne, the Summit XC 4 gave me the same brake feel as its bigger sister the X-race ! with a slight more forgiving and filtered feel. But the Summit XC4 strangely has the ‘same’ DNA ! 

With a medium brake pressure, the XC 4 has a moderate to good agility, A very nice coordinated feel, performance oriented turning radius. The movements of the air is transmitted through the brakes. Much like the X-race but slightly less feedback coming from the brake lines, and also more comfortable in turbulence than the higher aspect ratio Trango X-race.
I must say though that it does move around a bit in turbulent conditions for a high B glider.
The climb rate next to my reference glider showed me a very competitive climb rate in moderate conditions! 
In entering thermals the Summit XC4 SM at 95, have a neutral pitch behavior. 
In very weak stuff below 0.5 m/s i think my reference glider is still floatier, but with the Summit XC4 faster trim speed, it still has a moderate float ability in very weak stuff. 

The last day, i flew in some weird air, with turbulence, and really unpleasant. In those tricky conditions, the Summit XC4 showed a character and behavior of any moderate aspect ratio C glider (up to 6.5 AR). For sure it is not intended for those low B pilots coming to the higher B category. I could say rather that High B pilots with two seasons on their gliders would be welcomed on the XC4.
The Summit XC4 needs active piloting like the some higher aspect ratio B’s or some C’s. 
To be even more precise, the Summit XC4 needs slightly more active piloting than the Summit XC3. I already updated my B-comparison (see blog) to give you an idea of the overall XC4 placement inside the B category.  

Now i have tried to make some glide comparison with a Carrera plus SM (80-95) loaded at the max(95) , and i was 95 on the Summit XC4 SM ( 75-100). I was really curious to see how it will perform.
To both our surprises the XC4 came out really nice ! It is not that i wasn’t expecting it to be that good…but i wasn’t prepared to see and feel that improvement !

At first with the mentioned loads, the Summit XC4 has around 1.5 km/h more trim speed. And the glide was slightly better for the XC4…The glides were made in some difficult headwind conditions, and the Summit XC 4 surfed the air quite impressively. That does conclude that the XC4 with its B rating has now reached the top performers for the best glide/ efficiency ratio. 
The speed bar has a moderate pressure. The controls on the C risers have a moderate pressure, a bit less than the X-Race ones, and they are more usable in limiting the pitch of the glider in gliding through turbulent stuff when applying the bar. 

Ears are stable, and reopen easily.   

Conclusion:
B rating gliders goes to this delicate box…The Summit XC4 has been rated a B certification. Ok. That doesn’t mean that any “new comer” to this category will find that the 6.3 AR, Summit XC4 will suit him. 

The new comers to this category won’t be able to assimilate the benefits and the bags of performance plus the feedback the Summit XC4 has to deliver. Its like driving a two wheel bicycle for the first time. IMHO, i think this B rating should be understood as a psychological ‘peace of mind’ idea for those who already fly C gliders.  Or high B pilots having a full season in different conditions on their moderate aspect ratio glider, wants to upgrade to a higher aspect ratio glider, and don’t want to leave the B class, then the Summit XC4 is a very interesting tool to move forward on long XC’s with all the benefits a C class glider has to offer. 







34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot... Doubting about the XC4 SM or X-Race SM... Have a full Season on the Lhotse S @90 (or even a bit +)... Love the lightness, agility, brake pressure, and even glide for such a glider... Just lacking a bit of performance to do real XC... Like you I love the UP-feeling... Looking forward doing some more testing... Had some short flights on the XC4, performance is a lot better just the agility seems a bit dull compared to my Lhotse S... Curious about the X-Race...

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  2. Me too!!! I can't wait to hear your opinion on this wing, especially compared to the Chili 4

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  3. I already made my choice, ordered and waiting for it to arrive.
    Yet, I really appreciate your opinion and the review service you provide to the global paragliding pilots community.
    So am very anxious to read your review.

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  4. Ziad, good morning! Do you have any pretensions in testing the Sycross of the Sol paragliders?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ceir, Unfortunately, i don't have any plans for the Sycross... Cheers

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  5. Helloziad .ive been flying the sm size for 2months in mex. want to hear your opinión. When will you write a review?cheers.

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    Replies
    1. I have to compare it with the Careers plus...waiting for one.
      Cheers

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  6. Replies
    1. Waiting for the Careers plus...
      Cheers

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  7. Hi, I'm very curious about your test and opinion! Please compare it with the Gin Explorer.
    I'm flying an Ozone Buzz Z4 since 2014 and want to do an upgrade - perhaps to Gin Explorer, Summit XC4, ...
    I'm mostly flying in german flatlands.
    I think an High B it okay for me. I also tested Kibo and Nevada 2, both felt good, the Nevada 2 a bit "nervous" in turbulent conditions.

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  8. Hi Ziad,

    Any luck finding good weather to test fly the Summit XC4? Really looking forward to reading your review and videos!

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    Replies
    1. Yes..but I'm waiting for the Careers plus in order to compare.
      Cheers
      Ziad

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    2. Awesome! I will wait patiently ;)

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  9. Hi Ziad,as I have seen you all ready rated the XC4 in your B-comparsion. Overall I see not a big difference to XC3? I'm still waiting patiently for your flight report for Summit XC4. I don't find a glider Careers plus.
    Cheers
    Pet

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Trees a big difference.The comparison wasn't updated well.Now it's fixed.
      The report will be available in an hour.
      Cheers
      Ziad

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    2. Hi,
      this was very fast and now it looks better!!!
      Thanks

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  10. Hi Ziad, thanks for your review of this Summit XC4. I think it could be even more relevant to compare it with other C gliders more than other B gliders, don't you ?
    Cheers
    Sylvain

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sylvain,
      Yes .I'll try to fly it with the Mentor 5 and the Cayenne 5 :-)
      Cheers

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  11. Hello Ziad, I'm looking into buying a new glider this season and I was wondering which would be the best overall glider in your opinion between the Chilli4, Mentor5, Carrera Plus and XC4? I'm coming from a Carrera Plus.

    Thank you and keep up the good work

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    Replies
    1. Hi Daniel,
      It depends on your needs and overall weight. Both the M5 and Chili4 are nice gliders.look at the comparison tool to get a bigger idea of agility, comfort...etc
      Cheers
      Ziad

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  12. Hi Ziad,

    Taking weight range out the equation, any advantages on the Summit XC4 compared to the Chili 4?

    Both gliders seem great as High EN-Bs but are quite different regarding Aspect Ratio. Any advantages of one over the other?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Faster trim speed. More coordinated handling and feel. Close overall performance.
      Cheers

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  13. Thanks Ziad! Just to double check, more coordinated handling and feel for the Summit XC4, right?

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  14. Hi Ziad, first of all I would like to congratulate with u for your very interesting blog ... it's really helpful for us pilots to read unsponsorised and thus truthful reviews !
    I just bought Summit XC 4 and flown it some hours long and came basically to your same conclusions.
    I come from an advance Iota and I found this glider very very interesting .. fast, very powerful in light conditions and pleasant and funny to fly...however much more demanding in take off (probably due to the different aspect ratio 6.3 vs 5.5) and in flight.
    Iota was a very safe glider and collapses were very very rare events which basically happened in very very rough air .. I feel Summit eaven harder to collapse (in fact eaven if I have flown it in very strong conditions I never experienced a collapse) but .. I feel the glider call for a more active and precise piloting ... nothing happen if u do not .. but the glider call for it ...
    It's a very very interesting glider ... because it'very safe and in the meantime it's a training tool for other less forgiving machines !
    I am curious to read your review on delta 3 and sigma 10 ,,, as I am wondering if they will be less or ore active piloting demanding (their aspect ratio is in fact lower)...yes it's true those last two are c glider but as u say in the case of Summit the b certification looks more as a piece of mind then else ,,,
    BR and once more compliments for your helpful reviews !
    Stefano

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    Replies
    1. I am interested in a comparison to the Delta 3 and Sigma 10 versus the Summit XC4 as well. I have heard countless times of some Cs being "easier" to handle in normal flight than some High Bs. Of course, a pilot needs to have the necessary skills to make the right inputs on a C when things go wrong.

      I remember reading about the Alpina 2 being easier to fly than the Mentor 2 for example, which I admit seems counter-intuitive to the EN Classification. I have also heard the same about the Elan and Peter very clearly stated that he does not believe a pilot should choose a glider based on test reports, but instead to listen to the designer.

      I am flying a Chili 4 now and I am curious about jumping to a C this year, either Delta 3 or Elan 2 or Sigma 10. The weight ranges are great on all those gliders for me and who knows, these gliders may in fact be easier to fly than a Carrera or the Summit XC4... Hopefully Ziad's reviews may shed some light into this.

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  15. Ive flown sm size xc4 for 10 hours aprox. Coming from a gin zulu then hook 3./its a wild horse. Hook was buda xc4 is kim jung un or what ever his name is.

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  16. Good evening Ziad, if the XC4 is a Paragliding like EN C but with an EN B homologation, would not it be fairer to compare it with those approved in EN C?
    As EN B is one of the best but as in C where would you place it?
    Thank you

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  17. Hi Ziad,
    Any footage of this wing? Would be great to see it on glide against the M4,5 or Chili 4. I understand it's not always possible.
    Thanks for all your hard work!
    Tom

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