Saturday, July 2, 2011

Target first session


This Saturday I was the first at Salettaz slope at 9:15. It was quite fresh because of a cloud stuck against the Dent de Lys and the thermals were still unborn. There was 4 m/s NE wind.
I had a first nice 45 min. flight with my red Cyril "2". After the landing, Christian joined with his three huskies and prepared his flashy Viking 2. Around 11:00, Richard and Alex joined us on the slope. Wind was below 4 m/s quite often, but thermals awakened, saving us from being stuck to the ground.
It was time to maiden my Target! In the preceding evening, since I had no settings from the builder, I had programmed the machine based on settings from the Tanga I destroyed this winter. I thought it would be quite rough, just good for a first flight. Since it is a second hand glider, I even took up the CG as it was delivered!
Well, there we go. Christian launched (so I had fingers on the sticks just in case), and there she went, as straight and smooth as if I had already flown it many times! Climbing was fine, attitude was as I like it. With thermal switched on, it had a little too much up elevator compensation which once in a while brought the machine to a gentle stall soon to be recovered. CG was perfect and 45 degrees dives were as straight as I like them. Elevator seems fine as is. I brought the glider into difficulties only once in a quite slow turn with full elevator and full ailerons. The latter are really reactive. I wanted them more reactive than on my Cyril "1", and on the Target the RDS setup enables quite a lot of negative flaps without limiting crow brakes. Speed and start settings were fine too. So overall, the settings are really not far from what I want. Even the nose down attitude out of turns is there as I want it. Maybe the only thing I'll still have to work on some more is the differential, which makes the glider barrel quite a bit during rolls. But since the attitude in F3F turns is good, I wonder if I'll try to get better rolls... Of course, the crows tested with some altitude soon indicated insufficient elevator compensation. Since I knew it, I was prepared to compensate manually on approach and landed without problem. Happily, the crows are quite efficient on this RDS machine.
After having corrected the elevator compensations for thermal and brakes, I went for the second flight for which I loaded 300 grams to try it out. Wind was 3 m/s or less and thermals were scarce. The ballast didn't bring much to the flight in this low wind, except some more inertia.
The third flight was empty again and went very well too. I must say that after those ca. 3 hours with my Target, I feel it is not only an excellent machine, but, more important, it is a glider with which I felt almost immediately confident. Although I do not know anybody who flies the Target in F3F, my impression is that it could be tailored for F3F in light to middle conditions. It has a very good climbing rate after launch, it is very reactive on ailerons even in light air, it retains speed in the turns, renders speed very well i descent and has excellent penetration, and it is very stable in trajectory due to its somewhat larger wingspan. Finally, it is fast even when flying only at 2100 grams.
So for me, the goals I had in mind when buying it could be achieved. Let's wait until I can fly it in one of the upcoming F3F contests to see if I'm fully right or not. In the meantime, I'll enjoy flying this beautiful "new" ship and do the essential tweaking of the settings.
Today, Richard made some nice pictures which are all to be found here! Thanks Richard!

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