Davinci Classic Review

 
Hi guys, I thought it worth to put together a small review of this wing. I am the Davinci importer for the UK, but nevertheless, I would not want to claim BS and have angry customers afterwards, so the review will be as accurate as possible. I have been flying since 2008 and got through an odd series of wings, from Apco Presta    to Delta 2. First thing about flying a new wing is how “at home” you feel beneath it. With Classic, everything seemed right, and I felt that there are no hidden “surprises” waiting for the first opportunity to bite me by the arse.
So, without further introduction, here is my review.
Construction:
The South Korean manufacturer teamed up with Flow Paragliders and come up with a beautiful designed 3.5 liner (the upper C’s splits in C’s and D’s) with AR 5.11 and and a number of 50 open cells with 10 closed ones. There are 4 sizes available covering a range from 60 Kg to 120Kg all up. All sizes are EN-B certified. Risers have good quality pulleys, and the brakes have swivels installed. The material for the canopy is the PU coated 39g/m2 ripstop fabric from Dominico Textile Co. That has been used for both upper and lower surfaces.
Ground handling:
The Classic is sporting a shark nose, that makes it wants to fly with any opportunity, therefore, the second part of the rise must receive a tad on the brakes to keep it nicely above you. The wing is standard when it comes with the weight – the tested M size is 5.8kg. Despite of the normal weight, it feels light, as it can catch every blow and become active. You can keep it on the ground with the leading edge inflated combined either with brakes, or if the wind is stronger, with the C risers. When decided to fly, usually just a release of the brakes or rear risers combined with a step backwards is enough to have the wing rising progressively. Moving with the wing above the head in any direction is easy, climbing the hill using the wing as a kite, as well. It just sits in the position you put it, obviously using the correct inputs.
Take off:
Take off is normally a non-event, as the lift is produced at very low speeds. The pilot is lifted from the first steps, and no surge or descend occurs after few meters of flying. I have seen this odd behaviour with other wings, and I have developed the good habit to remain out of the harness until I was well ahead of the slope. With Classic I looked a bit dumb, as the wing just continues to fly maintaining the same internal pressure. The speed is picking up, but the lift increase is not ruining the trajectory of the wing, nor the angle of attack. Very nicely predictable.
Steering:
I was expecting a very long brake travel being a mid B and all, but the Classic is able to pick up the smallest impulses. I am normally flying with half of a wrap, and keep the thumbs pressed to the brake line for a better feeling. The steering behaviour is linear, you get as much as you ask for. One thing to mention is the end of the brake travel. I have been in very narrow thermals several times and I had to almost completely release the outer brake whilst braking heavily the inner one. You rich a final point where the brake simply “stops” being so hard to go further. However, the pressure in the wing is not jeopardized, no spinning signs, nothing. You just reached the end of the brake travel, but you are still doing fine. The wing is turning fast, it is banking a bit, and stays like that for as much as you want it to. I find it better to control the turn by playing with the outer brake, and keep the inner one on same position, that made it very easy to center the thermal core.
Thermalling:
I was flying with a Mipfly ONE GPS vario, as I wanted to test this instrument as well. The thermal assistant on the vario shows you where you had the strongest lift and makes finding the core very easy. But this chase for the biggest bubble on the screen must be possible only if you can change the direction fast and safe. The Classic is not banking hard backwards when it hits a strong lift, and with minimal input you can keep it above your head. Also, I was able to chase the core, without thinking too much about the wing. It was just doing whatever I need it to do. Entering the thermal as said before is easy, the wing is not pushed away, neither sucked in the thermal (like the Delta) but just behaving well and listening to your commands. Easy to turn either flat or banked, a perfect balance across the range. I had a massive lee side thermal behind Twin Peaks after a 1h of hopeless scratching and I was able to test just how “alive” the wing is. Despite the strong air, the wing was in complete control all the time. I had no collapses, although I found myself braking down to my… rear for several times. Exiting the thermal is again easy, the wing is not surging forward too much and the height loss is minimal. I was able to grab the rear risers and position myself for transition in the harness right after the exit. That brings us to the transition behaviour…
Transitions:
Testing this wing in Algo was a good decision, as the days were crapp. 😊 . Well, not as bad as it sounds, but there was not a single cloud on the sky for the whole period (one week). In those conditions, finding the lift line for transitions is crucial. Also, not finding it and encountering sink, is also a matter of being able to get out of it as fast as possible and with minimal height loss. I had both, good lift lines and massive sink. I was accelerating the wing throughout the whole range, and even when I was at 100% on bar, I haven’t noticed a very bad glide. The theory that say to stay below 50% bar on this wing class can be pushed a bit further with Classic. I will say even at 70% the GR is not degrading massively. All in all, I was among the first to reach the next thermal all the time, and I was very fast on transitions arriving with very good height. The crowd I was flying with was very mixed, from pure beginners under A’s to hot shots with D’s. All those days, I was part of the first gaggle and leaving together, the D’s had an obvious advantage, but here we also talk about very good pilots. As for the C’s, they were not able to create a noticeable difference, since from one thermal to another we were constantly close, leaving them in the same time.
Manoeuvres:
Big ears are easy to induce and they come out by themselves without pumping. Vertical speed increase with approx 2m/s. It is possible to perform wingovers with the Classic, although the amplitude of them is subject to the pilot ability to weightshift. I was quite tight snugged in the harness so I could do some wingovers, but not as high as I could have with a more permissive harness. Spirals are easy, the wing is “convinced” that this is what you want after a complete 360, although if coming from wingovers, one can proceed with spirals quicker. The height loss is considerable, so this manoeuvre has to be performed with a good clearance from the ground. The Classic is exiting the spiral with just the inner brake releasing, and the surge that follows is not something that can stall the wing. A smoother exit will work better rather than an abrupt brake release, that being a good advice for any wing we fly with.
Landing:
For landing a good double wrap is recommended as is quite hard to get the energy out of the wing. Flaring is a dream, and one can stop the Classic almost completely with plenty of pressure left in the wing. With the proper combination of speed and flare, the landing is beautiful and very safe.
Conclusions:
This wing, although it is not good to learn how to fly on it, it is perfect for the fresh ambitious pilots who wants to start the XC path, but do not want to sacrifice the passive safety for this. The Classic is an active wing, which is flown best with active piloting, as this will get the most out of it. It is a wing that will put you safely on the ground, with a big smile on your face. I personally love it, therefore I am selling my Delta 2 and will happily fly from now on the Classic (my 1 year old daughter might have influenced the decision as well, but all in all, I do not feel that I make a big sacrifice on the fun nor on the performance).
Thank you and fly safe.
Here is a short film of one of my flights, please excuse the sound track… 😊

Algodonales!

Gepostet von Cătălin Benea am Montag, 20. Mai 2019
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