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By wrender
#343647
How does the Perfex compare to the Falcon 4?

I was close to ordering a Falcon 4 this month but the tool-less short packing of the Perfex has distracted me.

Does anyone have any experience on how they handle, especially in tow situations?
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By TomGalvin
#343648
wrender wrote:How does the Perfex compare to the Falcon 4?
Save yourself(and us) a lot of heartache. Buy a used glider from your instructor and then when you are ready(18 months later) sell it for 80+% of what you paid for it, and then buy the glider you KNOW that you want next.
By wrender
#343649
Sorry for causing you heart ache.

However, I am about to spend some cash on a vehicle that flies and I figured it would be a good idea to ask some questions.

I am looking to buy a short packing easy to fly glider that tows well. The Falcon 4 comes highly recommended. I have only heard about the Perfex a little bit and recently it was recommended to me on this forum. From all the searching I have done the Perfex sounds nifty and would love to hear from anyone that has something they can share with me about it vs a Falcon 4.
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By psilyguy
#343651
You're in Toronto. How many dealers have perfex parts around here? None that I know of. Plan on being down for 1/2 the summer if you should need a replacement part.
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By adyr
#343653
Just buy it with some replacement parts and you should be ok.
A couple of uprights, a speed bar and an the batten no 6 and you should be fine.
The only weakness I know of is that the plastic parts of the battens are not so tough (but better to break those than the batten, I suppose), so get several of those for replacement, too (they are not so expensive).

This is my second flight with Perfex from a 'big' hill:
[youtube]
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This is no 14:
[youtube]
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As for a comparison with Falcon, I think it's quite hard to find someone who tried both. All I can compare it with is an old Spirale... not that there is a comparison to make, Perfex is clearly another class :)

Perfex is very hard to beat when it comes to short pack, though.
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By psilyguy
#343657
Have you looked into the Freedoms? You won't be dissapointed!

Why buy for the short pack option? My freedom can be put on any car or truck, our roads are smooth, we don't have mountains to climb, & a SOGA membership comes with free storage for your wing! You can also store it at high perspective. & I'm not positive, but I'm sure Instinct also has storage options. When I start traveling for flying, I'm sure I can find rental equipment, or travel to somewhere that I can. I just didn't see short pack as reason for purchase when I was looking to buy.

I have to agree with Tom. Not necessarily buying used if a new wing is what you want ( I wanted new equipment as well) , but the fact that Mark & Ryan ( if you're at instinct) or Michael ( if you're at High Perspective) will know what is the right wing for you.

Good luck and hope to see ya out there this season!

Don.
By UnleRico
#343659
First of all, I have a Finsterwalder funfex, and secondly I agree with Tom, please buy a used wing from your instructor and then sell it when you are ready.

That being said I love the short pack option on my Funfex. From my understanding (I am only a H2) the Funfex is a lot like a pulse or a pacific airwave mark IV, all three handle well and are suited for beginners but have a bit of double surface and thus a bit better performance than a falcon. So if you decide you really need a glider that can short pack then once you have spent some time on a used falcon or something like that then you can move up a half of a step to a funfex.

Don't just take my word on this, but I THINK that all of Finsterwalders gliders are designed to be towable and also able to be used with a powered harness. It seems like I read that somewhere when I did research before I bought my Funfex.
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By Bobfly
#343661
While the urge to buy a new wing is very strong, I'd have to agree with Tom on this one. All wings of a similar design will have somewhat different flight characteristics and every pilot will have a different "feel" on the same wing. Fly what you were trained on for 10 or 20 hours and then start flying other wings before you make that 4 or $5,000 decision. You will be much happier that you did.
By lesio
#343664
As the rest of people here advising you: fly one more season on club Falcon, perfect your skills, before jumping into $5,000. expense!
Also, forget about short pack - you will never use it, flying is about setting you glider safely in reasonable time, get ready and go up (and stay there)!
Next season buy yourselves Freedom, and you will NEVER regret it! 8)
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By TomGalvin
#343665
I want to apologize to wrender. My post was rudely expressed. Had a bad day at the VA. Not an excuse. I am sorry.
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By Tasi
#343668
Buy whatever you want and spend your money as you like!

Having said that, all of the guys I learned to fly with went off and bought the Finsterwalder wings.

The perfex and funfex are an 80's design, but they're so well behaved and fly superbly that even up to date not much has changed and are still produced in good numbers. Finsterwalder parts are not expensive to buy.

For the shortpack, for the people that live in apartments and don't have the luxury of a garage or a big living room or like to travel with the glider, the option is just an answer to their prayers :) think about it !

Either way, you can't go wrong and there is a resale value for both.
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By adyr
#343671
Dontsink has some videos on youtube about Perfex, too.

[youtube]
[/youtube]

Finsterwalder wings may be motorized, and they are certified for towing.
I did not tow my Perfex yet, but I'll do that this spring.

I'm surprised that so few people understand the advantages of short packing. I guess because they have plenty of storage space and do not have to carry the glider up to the fifth floor :P
Besides, I guess they have other means of getting to takeoff than using ski lifts.

Perfex mounting from short pack takes less than an hour. Probably less than half an hour if you have enough exercise with mounting it. It's not that big deal, you just mount it once in the morning, then for transports between landing and takeoff you can long pack it.
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By lostgriz
#343672
It makes a lot of sense to buy a glider that is locally distributed and supported.

Matt
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By lostgriz
#343673
It makes a lot of sense to buy a glider that is locally distributed and supported.

Matt
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By Dontsink
#343690
The Perfex tows great,no PIO at all.I've dived it to crazy speeds as a beginner and it goes on rails.It is a great SS glider.
http://www.hanggliding.org/viewtopic.php?t=27100

I sold mine sooner than i would have liked because i had problems rigging and launching solo in the strong winds i usually fly in.Here in Madrid it is very normal to have +50kph thermal wind on the takeoff.

If you absolutely must shortpack the glider daily i would recomend a Funfex.A bit more performance and it actually rigs from shortpack quicker than the Perfex.

The Falcon and Discus B are not meant for daily shortpacking,only for travel.
The Discus B is a great glider,but a big step from an SS.

Be warned that travelling by airline with an HG (shortpack or not) is a bit of an heroic endeavour.It is a big,heavy,fragile package.

If you don't really need the shortpack then my advice would be to beg/borrow/steal an SS glider for 40hours or so and then spend money on a sweet Sport2 or Sting 3.Everybody raves about them and it is a reasonable progression.

What are the conditions like at your home spots?.
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By psuguru
#343698
IMHO, the main things to consider when choosing a flying machine are the flying qualities.
Unless you absolutely have to short pack your glider, I wouldn't take that into consideration.
So, why would you consider a glider designed 30 years ago against one designed in 2012-2013?
I started on a Malibu188 and recently bought a Sting3XC168. The best glide angle of the Sting isn't much better than the best glide angle of the Malibu. It just maintains it across a wider speed range. The falcon 4 is slightly better than a Malibu in terms of speed and roll response so I'd carefully consider the validity of the idea that double surface gliders have higher performance than single surface.
As you'll be inexperienced, you should be prepared for bent aluminium. Round DT's are much cheaper than faired ones and are less likely to break your arms in a mishap. A locally (in continental terms) made glider will have spares more readily available than one made in small quantities several thousand miles away.
A Falcon 3 is a fine glider and there'll be plenty of good used examples at reasonable prices, available immediately.
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By Dontsink
#343706
psuguru wrote:IMHO, the main things to consider when choosing a flying machine are the flying qualities.
Unless you absolutely have to short pack your glider, I wouldn't take that into consideration.
Agree
psuguru wrote:So, why would you consider a glider designed 30 years ago against one designed in 2012-2013?
Because it manages to be lighter,has more glide,is more playful and just as forgiving as a Falcon.Plus it shortpacks,not bad for a 30 year old geezer uh?.
I've flown a Falcon 3 just once and it is very nice overall,but there is nothing "magical" about it.People in this forum love them dearly because most of them started on a Falcon,being US pilots.It is the apple pie of gliders.
psuguru wrote:I started on a Malibu188 and recently bought a Sting3XC168. The best glide angle of the Sting isn't much better than the best glide angle of the Malibu. It just maintains it across a wider speed range.
That's what we usually refer to when we talk about performance,pull the bar and accelerate forward and not down.It is kind of important when you want to get away from a hill,reach a thermal or make it to an upwind LZ.
People are racing and flying XC on the Sting 3 quite successfully so i find it quite surprising that you compare it to the floatiest floater around.
psuguru wrote: The falcon 4 is slightly better than a Malibu in terms of speed and roll response so I'd carefully consider the validity of the idea that double surface gliders have higher performance than single surface.
Most people who carefully consider that idea reach the inescapable conclusion that Double Surface gliders have much more performance than SingleSurface ones.Handling (including roll response) should normally be easier on a SS,looser sail etc..
psuguru wrote:A locally (in continental terms) made glider will have spares more readily available than one made in small quantities several thousand miles away.
Agree.
With one caveat.The basic Aeros Discus uses DownTubes made by Finsterwalder,and so did the NorthWing Freedom a friend of mine had.So you can buy a Discus/Freedom DT,cut it shorter and redrill to fit a Perfex.Only the drilling part requires some skill.Of course i'm not recomending anybody to do this,it is very naughty.
psuguru wrote:A Falcon 3 is a fine glider and there'll be plenty of good used examples at reasonable prices, available immediately.
Agree.
User avatar
By adyr
#343708
It is designed 30 years ago, but it has all things that a more currently designed SS hg have:

- faired uprights and kingpost
- floating crossbar
- kingpost suspension

The aspect ratio is typical for wings in its class. There are SS with higher aspect ratio, as Icaro RX2, but I think a Falcon has about the same aspect ratio.

Yes, it might have the old batten tensioning system, but I don't think that the change in a SS helps much with performance.
Or whatever. Maybe it helps a high performance hang glider, but on a SS I doubt one can notice a difference.

This http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_novelty alone is no good reason to pick anything, really.
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By psuguru
#343760
Dontsink wrote:
psuguru wrote:I started on a Malibu188 and recently bought a Sting3XC168. The best glide angle of the Sting isn't much better than the best glide angle of the Malibu. It just maintains it across a wider speed range.
That's what we usually refer to when we talk about performance,pull the bar and accelerate forward and not down.It is kind of important when you want to get away from a hill,reach a thermal or make it to an upwind LZ.
People are racing and flying XC on the Sting 3 quite successfully so i find it quite surprising that you compare it to the floatiest floater around.
I do understand the concept of performance, but there are so many aspects of performance to take into account that you need to consider what's relevant to you.

The best glide of the Malibu only occurs in a very narrow speed window, and that has you pulling in quite noticeably. According to the manual, that's at 24mph (fully loaded). The change in glide is very noticeable, at least to me, you can sort of feel the glider lunging forward and the "zero point" moves ahead. At that speed, the roll response is immediate and rapid. The control forces are well harmonised. The Sting however is very light in pitch compared to the Mailbu, so more attention has to be paid to the attitude of the aircraft to achieve consistent performance and turns require more visual cues for accuracy, rather than flying just by feel. The shorter chord of the Sting permits more rapid rotation of the wing during the flare, so for the first time I felt the harness decelerating me before dead stop landings. I found it difficult to get the Malibu to rotate as fully before meeting the ground. Energy retention of the Malibu is poor, IMHO, compared to the Fun 190 so the flare is made quickly after roundout, sometimes as one movement.
So, I would say that the aspects of performance exhibited by the Malibu more readily suit it to being flown by a person just out of training than a Sting3, particularly if it has to be carried any distance.
Hence my statement about carefully considering the validity of the comment about performance. No one in all seriousness would claim that the Malibu had better performance overall than the Sting but there are some aspects of its behaviour that I prefer.
By wrender
#343819
TomGalvin wrote:I want to apologize to wrender. My post was rudely expressed. Had a bad day at the VA. Not an excuse. I am sorry.
*Big hug

If I'm ever in Colorado we'll go for a beer sometime. :)

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