ME: One example is the holes cut into the diagonal strips near where they attach to the wing surface. The laser cutter also numbers the pieces as part of the process, with pinholes. PM: We also introduced new quality checks to make sure any errors are picked up. With a normal wing we inflate the finished glider with a fan for final inspection, but with the extra complexity of the Phantom we have introduced an extra check before the top surface is sewn on.
Nova Phantom review (EN B)
There are other issues as well — sewing the canopy takes about three times longer than sewing an Ion 4. A funny example of how even small things have to be thought about: we recently realised the cell width is too small to fit our standard porosity meter for the check-ups, so we will have to design an adapter to be able to measure the cloth porosity for when Phantoms come in for checking.
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Do you think there is a market for this type of wing? How many pilots do you think can afford a wing like this? PM: The cost of the wing is often just a fraction of the total cost pilots spend on paragliding if you consider the cost of travelling to different sites, holidays, technology etc. Wolfi Lechner managing director : Since we announced that we were accepting orders we have had well over a hundred orders, so it seems there is a clear market for the wing.
In fact our challenge is now not selling it but making sure we can meet the demand.
Of course there will be a few Ion or Mentor pilots that will buy a Phantom instead. Do you think other companies will follow your lead? PM: Actually I am pretty sure they will. PM: For now, no. I headed to Achensee with Nova test pilot Mario Eder, who took the very first medium Phantom off the shelf for me to fly.
This is by no means a full review, as we normally test wings over a period of time so we can try them in various conditions; it is a first impression from a single flight in good strong, thermic conditions. Just before flying the Phantom I took the Ion 4 out for a quick thermal to give me a direct comparison. By using lightweight cloth, the medium Phantom weighs in at just 5. The lower lines are sheathed making handling easy, and the rest of the riser setup is standard well-finished Nova. The Speedbrake risers that Hugh Miller tested with the Ion 4 are a recommended option for the Phantom.
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Flying the wing On launch the Phantom is as easy as any other wing in the low-B class. It comes up smoothly and easily, inflating quickly despite all the internal construction. I used a reverse launch in light wind. Right from my first turns, I noticed the sharp handling of the wing. As soon as you put pressure on the brakes, the wing reacts precisely to your inputs. It has that real flickability of higher performance wings — just roll the wrist to turn sharper. I could put the wing precisely where I wanted all the time.
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Its shape has a little less arc than the Ion, and the Phantom seems better controlled in roll. It feels like it is moving much more as a single unit, biting efficiently into the thermals. I discussed this with Philipp after flying as I thought it made the Phantom a bit more demanding than the Ion 4, rewarding precise handling. There is no doubt though that the sharp handling will reward your skills, allowing you to get the most out of climbs.
Performance I know what you really want to know is, how is the performance?
Does it really stand up to the claims Nova have made? It will take more than one flight and I was unable to do any direct comparisons with other wings. I am sure that as soon as production Phantoms are out in the skies, we will get plenty of performance feedback.
What I can say is the wing feels fast and efficient on glide. When I was on the Ion 4, following Mario on the Phantom out on an initial glide, he seemed to float through the bumps whereas the Ion 4 felt like it was being blocked more by them and losing energy. After a short glide the Phantom was ahead of and higher than me, but this is far from a scientific comparison so we will have to wait to see if the performance claims are true. Certainly the wing has great climbing performance and I was able to climb on the Phantom as well as anyone on the day. Collapses So what about passive safety?
Out over the lake at Achensee I took the opportunity to try a few collapses. I did the same tests on both the Ion 4 and the Phantom, and both wings reacted very similarly to fairly big induced collapses. I felt the Phantom had a little more energy as it came out, which it converted smoothly to height. Both wings re-inflate smoothly with very little turn or dive. Spirals and wingovers show that the Phantom holds energy well, but the precise handling means you can manage it easily. Coming in to land I was able to use a deep flare to pop it down exactly where I wanted.
In conclusion Nova have created an exciting wing! While its performance may be the headline claim, the handling and the way it drives through bumps is something special. I can see this wing will be particularly appealing for those weekend warriors that used to fly hotships but now want that bit more passive safety for their long cross-country days out.
The Phantom will give them the safety they want but allow them to still enjoy the sensations of a high-performance wing. A sword hangs above the mantle of the Trout and Truffles Inn where young Jeffrey Jefford tends to the family business for his sickly mother. His father went searching again for hidden treasure - this time with two very suspicious-looking men. After months of waiting for his father's return, Jeffrey sets out to find him, armed only with the sword and his black raven.
Along the way he is betrayed time and again, and must battle warriors and creatures from strange lands.
Jeffrey's fate is determined by the mysterious sword and one of six ancient coins that his father had hidden away. As an unwilling player in a role he didn't choose, Jeffrey discovers new friends and old dangers.
His destiny is divinely chosen - and fulfilled - when he believes that there is more to life than tending to travelers at the Trout and Truffles. He is the author of the Chronicles of the Host series, available in bookstores nationwide.
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