Flew the Apus for nearly an hour at Lennox. Definitely the way to go for speed wings. Awesome in the air and quite easy to launch and fly. The shape is based on the Mistral 6, and since I have one of them, I was quite at home stepping into the air with the Apus. This one is a 19m and I weigh 80kgs. The wind was about 15knots up the face, the strength about when the Hangies start flying and a bit after normal paragliders are grounded. Just pulled up like a normal glider and launched easily (actually lifted me up and I just flew out). I say to people that my Mistral 6 handles like a Ferrari, the Aupus handles like an Formula 1 car. Very responsive and hugely fun. The turns are easy to gauge, eg., if its getting to tight it eases up nicely with the letting up of break. Turn tight and it banks quite alot, so much so that I noticed my head was in a new position as I was turning, looking as far behind me and down as I could as I initiated a tighter turn, because it came around so quick you feel like a pilot in a fighter plane looking upside down or where ever because your rolling all over the sky. Quick but smooth, no diving to the ground in turns like the normal speed wings. This one is not made for map of the earth flying keeping you close to the terrain down a slope, the Aupus in made to stay high, which is good, cause high is safe. The wind had some west in it, so it was slow in one direction and very fast in the other. It should be quite quick in traversing along the cliffs on a normal North wind at Lennox. With the West wind were a few turbulence, but the wing felt good, just a bump here and there, no collapses, which should be the case with the wing highly loaded. Speedbar felt much like the mistral 6, and on third bar even seemed to have as good a glide, as I made it against a headwind across the venturi (which is huge with a NNW) to the other headland.
Andrew would have to work out the skill level needed, but I would say, that if you fly an en b, you should take to it well. As I texted to Andrew after my flight: “Spectacular, and user friendly”
I am also trying the Hybrid Sport, which has less arc in the wing and lower aspect ratio which means once banked it will dive and pick up speed rapidly. The result is a insanely twitchy wing. Also the one I am trying is only 15m. Very small, and therefore a lot of wind needed. With higher wind comes increases rotor and turbulence, I forget the math, but twice the wind strength is not twice the rotor it is like 5 times it. I took it to the lower hill here at Lennox, because the wind was blowing a gail. I ground handled it (very difficult in the strong wind and turbulence coming up the hill, and a twitchy wing) and was lifted off and tried to soar the lower hill. This size of wing I think is a whole other area, and needs someone very experienced in ground handling. If you let the wing get a bit behind you it will snap you back and up… quite scary. The wind may have been too strong, so I gave up. I will give it another try when I have someone ready to help in case I get dragged back at launch. The wing has great potential, it has trimmers and a speed system. I have the feeling, however, that flying such a small wing, and in the windstengths that you must fly in, and the associated increased turbulence, make flying it a dangerous proposition. Might be wrong, I will see, or Andrew will …first.