ST. PAUL, MINN — Back home in cold country after a couple delightful months in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. Soon the season will heat up… and so will the soaring. News surrounds that pleasant development. ••• Moyes has introduced their version of the topless phenomenon that appears to be sweeping the entire design world. The down-under company will call theirs the CSX, saying it is based on the Super Xtralight SX series. • "Due to its use of carbon fiber," Moyes says, "[it] draws upon the technological leaps and bounds made by the massively funded America’s Cup yachting industry." They explained further saying, "The CSX’s center crossbars and divesticks come courtesy of one of the foremost yacht-makers who have been utilizing composite fibers for years." • Moyes also says it is using "Sail Propensity, or SP," which they define as, "an exciting new sail twist innovation which alters the sail’s wingtip loading based on the glider’s angle of attack." • While most glider builders do all their fabrication in house, Moyes continues to outsource work like the carbon fiber parts and even sail making. They say they "prefer to contract out [this work] to companies who are solely grounded in such highly-specialized tasks." They admit this raises their production cost, but feel it also "ensures the high integrity" of their gliders. • Full of announcements, Moyes also says that the CSX uses springtip battens that fit into enclosing pockets of the trailing edge, decreasing drag. In combination with the Moyes Deflexor System, they claim the springtip battens will extend high speed glide. • Though they are obviously enthusiastic with the topless CSX, they say they are still committed to the complete SX line, both CSX and SX. ••• Thinking of Australia, you’ll read the definitive report elsewhere, but I wanted to add my congratulations for fine Pre-World Meet performances by Nelson Howe (second!) in his Laminar ST, and to Ryan Glover, who managed ninth place in his first year of competition flying. Brother David — manager of the Wallaby Ranch — brags of his sibling that, "Ryan’s only been competing for nine months, yet he beat all other American team members except Nelson." Sure enough, even long distance king, Larry Tudor, came in 22nd in a strong field of top international pilots. Congratulations also to an old friend, Frenchman and La Mouette boss, Gérard Thevenot, who won on his Topless. ••• Among accessory products, I’ve had a couple looks at Greg Black’s APLOR tow system. The Automatic Pre-Lock-Out Release is intended to stop a lock-out from ruining a tow launch. The adjustable arrangement pins off the line if a glider gets too far out of line. I didn’t get a chance to use it, but it appears a workable system. Some aero towing enthusiasts don’t see the need while others applauded it. In my experience, towing equipment — considered highly personal gear by most pilots — can generate more "expert opinions" than virtually any other accessory item. • Black says "The concept is out of the mind of our paragliding instructor, Phil Hirst." Greg refined it and began building it at his Mountain Wings shop for the towing operation they run at an airport where they recently gained access. He says it can be used with any release system as long as it attaches to both sides of the harness, whether at the shoulder, waist, or leg strap area. It can be used for both PG and HG, he reports. "To set the automatic release point, you simply tighten or loosen the knots in the 205 leech line attached to the release pin and bridle. The shorter the lines, the quicker or sooner the off-line situation will release you," Black says. For more info, call 914-647-3377 or E-mail at MntWings@aol.com. ••• Mark Mallett of Mallettec fame continues to refine his tiny little vario. Now with Surface Mount Technology (which gets better production reliability, he says) and new circuitry to slightly increase the volume, the Mini Vario nonetheless still remains a paltry $169 with a great two-year warranty. • The Mallattec is ideal for hang gliding, Mallett claims, by "eliminating any chance of damage to the instrument during landing, unlike bar-mounted, more expensive flight decks." He advises you use the Mini Vario for winter/recreational flying and as a backup during the summer/XC season • In an interesting side note, Mallett says he has adapted the Mini for use on hot-air balloons. Built in an "inverted" mode, the upsidedown Mini helps alert balloon pilots — who can become engrossed in XC flying duties — of an increased descent rate. The unit is basically an "audio ‘down’ variometer," says Mark. For info, see his ad or call 714-966-1240. ••• Before I close, I should tell you (since I work for the company… it’s my job, y’know) that BRS has experienced two new parachute "saves" of interest to many hang glider pilots. Last year, not one but two Dragonfly tugs used their on-board BRS ‘chutes. Nearly all D-flys have them installed and given their workhorse duty, this appears to have been a very wise decision by designer, Bobby Bailey. Flown hard in tow after tow, the Dragonfly is pushed harder than most ultralights, so it may be no surprise that one particular plane, based at Wallaby Ranch, has now recorded it’s second save on the same canopy. This is a unique experience for BRS saves: One canopy, one airframe, two parachute deployments, both successful. ••• Hey, outta room again! So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Or, V-mail to 612-450-0930; E-mail to CumulusMan@aol.com. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine