APCO LIFT EZ flight 805 806

The first flight was at Placida in 5mph breeze.

EZ Launch and better climb.  Probably because the density of altitude was much better than the first few flights.  I did see a post on the Big List where Dan Dimov has been flying a lift for about a year and mostly at sea level.  He mentioned he was not pleased with the climb when flying at 5500+ ASL.   It’s climb will be less, of course, but thats true with any wing.  It’s possible that the thrust of his motor had as much to do with change in climb as the wing.  Anyway he has moved onto faster more sporty wings
It would really be interesting to have him fly the EZ and comment on any difference he noticed with the latest generation of the lift.
The manual recommends that you fly straight for a time to gain altitude and speed before beginning a turn.  That could be a problem when the LZ is small and you have to circle the field.  Perhaps, that would be the time to apply the tip steering?  After 5 launches, 4 required some brake to take off  and only one (where I had a paved runway) was I able to get enough speed to launch without any brake pressure.  At negative trim the wing will not launch but it is acceptable to go “all closed” after .  I have not yet flown the wing with the trimmers “all closed”, but it will be interesting to see how much it slows down the wing and how it handles.  APCO states the speed range is three times faster at full reflex with speed bar than with trims all in.

The LIFT EZ features an innovative riser design allowing to slow down the glider to minimum speed without risking getting caught in deep stall.

The manual states, “in powered flight the Lift EZ behaves more like an airplane than a Paraglider, and it is a good idea to regard it as such.  LIFT EZ in a steep climb does not stay behind as much as a conventional glider.  The SRS prevents or delays a possible stall”.  So… Perhaps a little brake pressure is needed to get max climb.
I flew for awhile in neutral and discovered that a little more brake pressure made a lot of difference in handling shifty air…. No surprise there!….. I was just being too timid  with a new wing.  In fact, the latest generation of magnetic toggle keeper is so strong that I was startled when  the brake came off the keeper.  I thought I was applying minimal pressure to the wing but was just pulling against the keeper.  When it let go I felt the brakes go slack it surprised me.  Next time I’m going to experiment with using the brakes with increasingly open trim.  The question is… At what point of trim is it necessary to switch from brakes to wing tip steering?  APCO states that at full reflex, the brake input will require much more force and increase the possibility of collapse.  I’m guessing somewhere around 1/3 to 1/2 reflex will be the shift to tip steer.  They also mention flying with both brakes and tip steer which should be interesting.
APCO has designed the tip steer to form a wind scoop / drag parachute that produces drag without lift.  They claim it will make for agile and efficient turns with less input pressure and also cause more stable tips.  I might have to increase the length of the tip steer.  Next time I’m up, I’ll watch for the little pooch where the stabilo pulls the material together.
The second launch was that evening  at the intersection of Veterans Hwy and Peachtree.  The winds picked up as the sun was going down and we were forced into quick laps around the field.  I landed after about 20 minutes when I noticed the air starting to get gusty.  The landing was one for my memory book.  I was returning to the SW corner of the field downwind at 50 mph and decending  at 750 fpm.  As I approached the LZ I started turning into the wind and was on final for only a second or two before touching down.  Mike was saying to himself, “that’s going to hurt”, but it felt correct and in control to me.  I was in neutral and will try it next time with the trimmers fully closed.
After landing, Mike Otten showed up.  It was too windy to fly so we kited.  Mike tried out my wing and I had a good opportunity to see it in flight.
Nice looking wing.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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