ST. PAUL, MINN — Continuing to ride the crest of a wave of popularity begun by the positive reaction to their TRX high performance model, UP is now preparing to introduce yet another new variation on the TRX planform. Last month it was was reported here that UP announced their XTR intermediate glider. Now the Salt Lake City area-based company is in the final stages of R&D on their XTC, an entry level glider. When completed, UP will have introduced three new gliders in a year! ••• The XTR, UP confirmed, is for Hang III pilots. Certification was underway as this was written. Price has been set at $3,795, or $3,495 without a VG system. The company says production was begun in December and that response has been satisfying. ••• The XTC is "an aluminum glider with a truncated planform, like the TRX and XTR, which has been designed to meet the needs of the entry level pilot." UP dealers will soon have a full line from the newly re-emerged glider builder. If interested, contact them at 800/COME-2UP (another manufacturer using a toll-free telephone). ••• A new rigid wing is causing some excitement in California’s Bay Area, and it’s another Swift. Different from the now-defunct Owens Composites Swift, this one emerges from Bright Star Gliders and principal, Eric Beckman. Another all-composite design, Swift #4 is flying with molded spars and skins mated to a chrome-moly hang cage, cutting the weight to 100 pounds. Bright Star claims L/D max on the 39 foot span glider should be 25:1 with the optional pilot fairing (a front and rear streamlining effort with open underbelly area to allow foot launching and landing). The company says "initial performance polars have revealed an L/D of over 20:1 even without the pilot fairing attached." With a lean 11.5 aspect ratio, inboard flaps are employed to allow heavier pilots to launch the 135 ft2 Swift in light conditions. The flaps can be deployed to 40¡, useful for landing approaches. Full-flying winglets do not have movable surfaces; instead the Swift relies on elevons and the flaps for controls. The pilot flies supine and uses a sidearm control stick to move the elevons while a rope & camcleat arrangement operates the flaps. No weight shift is involved. Though the stall characteristics are described as "docile," and the design spin-reluctant, the Swift uses "extended ‘training’ landing gear for transitioning pilots." The $9,500 ready-to-fly price tag includes a standard Second Chantz rocket parachute. Options include the pilot fairing ($300) and a carpeted cartop transport box ($500). Will this be the combination that finally ignites widespread interest in rigid wings? The company hopes so, planning on 2-3 gliders a month after HGMA certification. ••• Tellurider, Nick Kennedy, has announced the 1992 Nationals in his mountainous city, site of the country’s highest-drawing pilot gathering each year. In a communiqué sent in late December, Kennedy claims Telluride will have a "permanent soaring box that extends all the way to 25,000 feet." He continues, saying, "Negotiation with the FAA went very smoothly," and adds that the unrestricted airspace surrounding the area was valuable as was the lack of conflicts arising from two previous Manufacturer League Meets. If interested in preliminary info, contact Meet Director Kennedy at P.O. Box 1026; Telluride, CO 81435. ••• To conclude this month, Arizonan, Brad Lindsay, has introduced his Smartow winch system. The arrangement differs from the typical truck-based winch in that the whole system is mounted on a pivot arm which pulls against an adjustable spring so line tension is displayed (in addition to hydraulic pressure). The feature is said to be useful in crosswind conditions, allowing the reel to follow the glider. A thin profile hub (1.25 in) needs "no rewind mechanism… making the unit very reliable as there is only one moving part," reports Lindsay. The 23 inch reel can hold 5,000 feet of 900 pound Kevlar or Spectra line. It can be bumper mounted on autos or placed in a truck bed or on a trailer. Base price is $2,850 with 3,000 feet of Kevlar Fineline. For more info, call 602/863-9909. ••• Outta room! So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Phone/fax: 612/450-0930. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine