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FLYING HAND-LUGGAGE

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					                                       Flown for you: Lightfex from Finsterwalder



FLYING HAND-LUGGAGE



22-Lightfex-kilograms: walk-over on the ground as well as in the air

In the age of mobility, the        Finsterwalder does not mean      runal is also used by other      been stored „long“ (5,3
short-pack gliders from            four metres - the Lightfex       manufacturers.                   metres). Rigging down to a
Finsterwalder remain firm          frame can be taken apart to      The sail is pulled onto the      length of 3,5 metres follows
favourites. They almost            a length of 1,85 metres.         frame over the nose plate, it    by separating the leading
qualify as hand-luggage            Due to several newly de-         is noticeable how much care      edge tubes and is just as
when traveling. As regards         veloped fittings, the additio-   and attention has been given     simple as with any other
                                   nal work time required to rig    to detail especially regarding   single surface glider.
packing volume and
                                   the glider, amounts to           the hardware. There are no       The Lightfex’ crossbar
transport philosophy, they         approx. ten minutes, even        sharp edges or corners that      swims freely over a roller and
come closer to paragliders         though the sail has to be        could damage the dacron          is secured in addition with a
than hanggliders. Lightfex-        removed each time.               cloth. Even the heads of the     steel cable. The buckle on
clients are light weight to        Damage to the frame can be       stainless-steel screws have      the strap that holds the top
middle weight beginner             immediately inspected. To        rounded edges.                   sail the correct distance from
pilots                             put the puzzle together          The rigging wires should be      the keel tube gives the
                                   amounts to child’s play. The     rolled up particularly when      impression of being stronger


W        hile in the past it was
         primarily mountain-
         eers who chose the
short-pack gliders, mean-
                                   tubes are clearly marked and
                                   are simply pushed into one
                                   another.
                                   The light-weight, thin walled,
                                                                    rigging the glider down short
                                                                    - this avoids any confusion
                                                                    when re-rigging. The rigging
                                                                    wires can be mounted one-
                                                                                                     than necessary.
                                                                                                     The longest of the perunal
                                                                                                     sail battens are telescopic -
                                                                                                     these would otherwise be too
while many others have             yet high strength perunal        handed and without the use       long to fit in the 1,85 metres
come to value the advan-           tubing has been mechanical-      of tools (as with all other      short glider cover. To mount
tages, especially when the         ly polished. This method is      connections) thanks to the       the last sprung loaded batten
glider has to be transported       more expensive than anodi-       new detent buttons.              onto the burl of the leading
in a cable-car or is to be         sing, however, recognising       The king-post hang in must       edge tube, it is best to reach
taken on holiday in an aero-       faults in the material           be mounted, and the sail         into the sail pocket. The two
plane. There is even room          becomes easier.                  attached at the nose and at      other sail battens on each
for such a handy package in        Finsterwalder took a pio-        the ends of both leading         side are supported by the
a smallish car, where the          neering role in the use of       edge tubes.                      free standing wash-out rods.
glider is protected from theft     perunal (relatively expensive    All of the steps mentioned       The nose cone gives this
and bad weather.                   in comparison to other           up to this point are             single surface glider a
Short pack in the case of          alloys) - in the meantime pe-    unnecessary if the glider has    professional appearance.


                                                                                                           drachenflieger-magazin 5/92


                                                                21
                                       Flown for you: Lightfex from Finsterwalder


Launch                                                                                         sive up to the maximum
The Aerosafe A-frame is a                                                                      speed of 73 km/h.
pleasant size even for smaller
pilots.                                                                                        Landing
The 22 kilograms sit                                                                           With decreased speed,
comfortably and well                                                                           tracking becomes very good,
balanced on the upper arms                                                                     imparting safety when
- this and the tight-lower-                                                                    landing.
rigging wires mean that the                                                                    Apart from the typical
wind on the glider surface is                                                                  features for this class of
felt directly.                                                                                 glider, such as minimum
Angle of attack correct, run,                                                                  ground effect and a wide
launch: the Lightfex leaves                                                                    flare window, it is also
the ground the way a be-                                                                       noticeable that the top of the
ginner’s glider should.                                                                        A-frame is fairly far back on
                                                                                               the keel, providing for plenty
Flight characteristics                                                                         of leverage when flaring,
Right from the word go, I                                                                      which is especially helpful for
had a remarkably good                                                                          smaller pilots with shorter
feeling, that the Lightfex                                                                     arms.
would do exactly what I
wanted, the steering cha-                                                                      Summary
racteristics are direct and                                                                    The Lightfex is a forgiving
smooth, however, it must be                                                                    glider suitable for novice
said that my hang-in weight                                                                    pilots weighing 70 kg and
was at the top end of certified                                                                less.
range.                                                                                         This short-pack glider offers
The handling for lighter                                                                       satisfying performance for
pilots is certainly a little more                                                              pleasure pilots with handling
sluggish, and therefore                                                                        that inspires confidence.
should not overtax novices.                                                                    The Lightfex costs 2690,-
The Lightfex guarantees                                                                        Euro which makes it one of
pleasant thermaling due to                                                                     the more expensive gliders
good roll stability, the wing                                                                  for this class.
displays no tendency to side                                                                   Given the high quality raw
slip.                                                                                          materials, the many
When shallow turning or                                                                        elaborate fittings, the addi-
flying near stall speed, it is                                                                 tional short-pack measure-
easy to feel the glider wanting                                                                ment of 1,85 metres and top
to straighten up.                                                                              finishing, the price is
The result is that the                                                                         certainly commensurate.
Lightfex has very little
                                                                                                                          !
tendency to yaw below a
speed of 55 km/h, and when                                                                                      Martin Jung
stalled, will only slip to one
side when provoked to do so
by the pilot.
The stall which occurs at           The cross-bar fixation consists of two connecting
approx. 23 km/h demands             elements and a redirectional roller: the Lightfex
barely any roll control. When       crossbar floats on a flexible cord ensuring flexibility
thermalling at low speed            when turning.
ranges, the performance is          Due to the positioning of the A-frame apex fairly far
very respectable, however, it       back on the keel tube, the glider rests neutrally on the
soon becomes clear at               shoulders; besides, the pilot has plenty of leverage
speeds of over 50 km/h that         when flaring (above). Main pitch line with
the Lightfex is no high per-        compensating roller at the to of the king-post
formance glider.                    (middle). The sail is attached to the leading edge tubes
The sink rate increases             by the use of pegs: this connection remains rotatable,
dramatically yet yaw is still       favourable for handling.
minimal.
                                    Loops for the fingers ease insertion (below left). 1,85
                                    m short-pack dimensions faciliate independence. Rig-
Bar pressure is very progres-       ging up is child’s play thanks to the special fittings.


drachenflieger-magazin 5/92


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posted:9/15/2011
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