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#402968
2018.03.24 - I test flew an initial version of the Wills Wing Sport 3 Race model at Sylmar on Saturday before it was tuned. I later tuned it to my liking and flew again from Regionals late the following afternoon and was very impressed for the types of X/C, task and recreational flying I do. I will try to get the video from the next flight edited soon. The only available set of raked tips was being used on another glider however, the handling and performance clearly indicate that I wasn't missing anything. When I get a chance to fly this version with either the WW factory raked tips or with my own, I'll report back. I build my own tips that are tuned for my own flying and will make a set to fit this model glider before my next flight.

#402971
Lucky_Chevy wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:37 pm
Nice test piloting skills. Good work surviving the flush.
I'm curious what you changed about the setup of the wing to dial in the feel you were looking for. I'd love to see some of your wingtip designs. I'm thinking about making a couple of sets for my U2...
Thanks Dan,
When I returned the glider to the shop, I ran into Pearson and Greblo in the middle of a conversation and we discussed the topic of tuning. What I did with the glider is exactly the same as what WW would have done if it were going out for delivery. In my case I grabbed it at the LZ and took it home after only the second factory test flight then flew it myself after only adjusting 3 battens. Later, I made what I deemed the appropriate changes that any pilot or dealer could have done. I don't want to cause confusion by saying what I did, but it was all very straightforward and proved very worthwhile on the next flight. Delivery gliders will be fully tuned before being released to local dealers or shipped.

Most if not all manufacturer manuals of recent gliders contain information on tuning but it may not always address an issue that a particular glider is having. Even harnesses may require as much tuning as gliders. There aren't enough pilots and dealers who understand as much as they could about tuning and we were discussing how this could be improved.

I know pilots who never hesitate to consult with their manufacturer first when they aren't happy with their glider's handling or performance. The first place to begin is to read the manual and then look on the website for updates to the manual or other advisory memos. If that doesn't help then call or email the manufacturer. I have a local friend who gets up at 3AM to call Manfred at Icaro2000 with questions. I know other who consult with Kraig or Jonny and more who contact Pearson as needed. Internet forums are not always the right place to start unless the manufacturer no longer exists. Anyhow, I am confident that the S3 manual should address anything a pilot/owner would need to know within reason.

I need to update my raked tip photo album. I know pilots who have had excellent results adapting my basic designs to different make and model gliders: http://imageevent.com/aero92/tips You're welcome to give it a shot. Please let me know the outcome.

Cheers, JD
#402973
Thanks Jono,

The information that ships with Wills Wing gliders has a bit of information on tuning but it's really simplistic compared to Moyes and tends to focus on correcting turns. That said, I've never had any issue flying Wills Wing gliders in their stock configuration and have never had a reason to deviate which is why I was curious.

Thanks for the info on making wingtips.
#402974
Lucky_Chevy wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:35 pm
Thanks Jono,

The information that ships with Wills Wing gliders has a bit of information on tuning but it's really simplistic compared to Moyes and tends to focus on correcting turns. That said, I've never had any issue flying Wills Wing gliders in their stock configuration and have never had a reason to deviate which is why I was curious.

Thanks for the info on making wingtips.
We discussed getting more dealers, mentors and pilots better trained in tuning. I have seen good information in Aeros and Icaro2000 manuals as well as Moyes and WW manuals and blog posts. But even with printed tuning guidance I still overhear complaints by pilots about their gliders from any manufacturer. When I used to ride a road bike I'd see people on expensive bikes that were ill-fitted and offer to make a few simple adjustments on the side of the path. Afterwards they'd say how their pain went away or how much better the bike handled or rode. A lot of this is the same. Even though everything you'd ever want to know about tuning and fitting a road bike can be found online for free, there may be an absence of riders using the available information. I think it helps if pilots or cyclists are walked through the process either in person or by video and get comfortable with the idea.

Obviously, there are different degrees and risks to this process. There are repairs, inspections, modifications, trimming and tuning. Each aspect of change to a glider's settings or components involves a different degree of consequence or potential improvement to performance and handling. Risk/Reward if you will. But the process could be demystified better.

Remember, the most perfectly tuned glider can easily be mis-assembled and turned from a masterpiece into a headache by the smallest error. That's just the process of glider assembly/pre-flight and nothing further. I made two minor errors on my last flight when I neglected to put the pitot tube into my vario and had no airspeed indicator as a result. I also neglected to clear the zipper rope pulley inside my harness when I installed the boot cone extender. For the first few minutes I could not close the lower zipper in flight but eventually got it aligned by yanking the rope. I didn't really need the airspeed to fly but needed it for evaluation documenting.

I guess there is a certain about of risk by publishing too much information on tuning then having pilots make the wrong adjustments as a result. It's good to have a friend, dealer or club mentor who can evaluate a glider and either trim or tune it to suit the pilot or at least give some feedback on it.

BTW - A friend of mine used my pattern and materials to build raked tips for his RX 3.0 and loves what it did to the handling and way it flew at every speed and VG setting.
#402977
Flex wings have a certain mystique about them. Designing them and tuning them is as much of an art as a science. I'm an aerospace engineer and have worked on the designs and construction of several aircraft but really don't know much about the process of designing a hang glider. I think I'm just starting to be a good enough pilot that I can detect and access some aspects handling and performance.

I've flown several Wills Wing U2s and noticed that some fly sweeter than others. By "sweet" I mean the handling is lighter and thermalling is much easier without a huge tendency to roll in or out of lift. I've studied the wings I've liked and couldn't really identify anything different.

I've talked with Steve Pearson a couple of times and I can tell there are a lot of factors at play behind each of his design decisions. When tweaking his designs to improve one aspect of performance he often references making very small changes like changing the nose angle by a degree or two, changing the unsupported distance between battens by a fraction of an inch, or adjusting the tension of the sail. I hope we have a younger generator of designers working with these masters.

Great review of the S3-Race. Looks like that wing has a lot of performance and light weight. Are you buying one to add to your quiver?
#402984
Lucky_Chevy wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:17 am
....Great review of the S3-Race. Looks like that wing has a lot of performance and light weight. Are you buying one to add to your quiver?
Thanks. The glider really gives me what I want at this stage of my flying. I plan to order one after I've test flown some more fabric combinations. That's an ongoing process and as you have said, it's as much art as science.
#403232
The glider NMErider so efficiently reviewed, tuned, and flew is in good hands now. I was fortunate to purchase it after Lookout Mountain owner twisted Steve Ps arm to let it go to me instead of showing off all over the US! Ha

NMErider is much more knowledgeable than I will ever be with the technicalities of design and tweaking... I just fly em! And what a beauty this Sport 3 Racer is!

I just obtained this week, and in a couple flights have around 4 hours so far. The last flight was an upwind 33 mile xc flight from Lookout Mountain to Henson’s Gap (Dunlap TN), a not for the “faint of heart” flight that entails crossing a wide gap of rivers and gorges with no landing fields for 12-15 miles.

I was lucky enough to be flying the S3 on my 2nd flight that day, and could honestly tell big league improvements in glide, speed range, and amazing handling compared to my 1 year old Sport 2C. Landing was identical in the S3R vs the Sport 2C. By the way, the VG improvement is phonominal. The raked tips? Not enough time to tell yet, but they do look extremely cool !

I actually didn’t need a new glider, but want won out over the need. Am I glad I made this change and purchase? You betcha! Wills Wing has a major hit with this model, and knowing the experience and expert knowledge of NMErider with his evaluations made this a no brainer decision for me!

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