First impressions of flying the PHANTOM

First impressions of flying the PHANTOM

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Luckily, I got the chance to test our new PHANTOM. A lot of people asked me about my impressions. Here we go – truely subjective, of course! But I want to point out that it is my honest opinion.

The conditions

I flew the PHANTOM in size M and found myself more or less in the middle of its weight range (90–110 kg). The thermal conditions were average, with increasing wind at higher altitudes and rather strong valley winds. I flew the wing for about two hours in East Tyrol, sightseeing at Großglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. My paragliding background: I have been flying for more than 30 years now and love XC. Being pretty much of a wimp I don’t dare any acro manoeuvres and stopped flying EN D- or even CC-category wings.



I took off twice without much wind – and didn’t notice anything unusual. The PHANTOM fills and rises smoothly, stopped above my head and carried me away quickly. I couldn’t feel any differences between the PHANTOM and the ION.

Thermal flying / handling/ feeling in the air

The PHANTOM reacts very precise and quick on brake inputs. While circling it conveys the impression of freshly sharpened edges of a carving ski. The turn radius can be changed very quickly and precisely – it doesn’t matter if you want to bank steep or flat. This fact made it rather easy for me to centre thermals quickly and efficiently. I already enjoyed this attribute when flying the MENOR 3 and 4 – but the PHANTOM makes this even better.

I wouldn’t dare to say that the wing prefers flat or steep turning. It does both very well.

Generally, the PHANTOM feels very solid and coherent in the air. Nevertheless, it is far away of being a hard and stiff wing, which kind of kicks your ass in turbulences. The canopy communicates a lot with the pilot and tells you in a decent but clear way, what happens around you.


Let me compare it with a car to outline my impressions in a better way: On the one hand, you have a Citroen 2 CV or a Renault R 4. Both are very comfortable cars but extremely unprecise to steer. On the other hand, you have a real sports car with a wonderfully direct and precise steering. But you can feel every little piece of gravel on the road… The PHANTOM would be a car, which delivers both: Precision and agility PLUS very high comfort..

When entering a thermal, the PHANTOM does not suffer from the same shortcoming pitch as other EN-B wings: Whereas many EN-B gliders lose their kinetic energy because of a deformed wing or kind of stay behind you (or even both), the PHANTOM cuts into thermals like a warm knife through butter: It transfers its kinetic energy into lift (particularly efficient when hitting a thermal sideways).


I didn’t provoke any collapses or something like that. I am too scared for this. I can only say that flying the PHANTOM is very comfortable. It requires definitely less “active piloting” that any of the MENTORs.



I was flying with two friends, Andrea on a Sigma 9 and Bernd on a MENTOR 4 light. We all fly more or less on the same level and the one who hits it best is usually the one who climbs fastest. During this flight, I could “outclimb” my friends. However, I can’t judge whether it was just some luck or the wing. We didn’t compare our gliders wing to wing, so I can neither state how good the performance actually is. But I noticed during the traverses from one ridge to the next: I had to adjust my planned route various times, because I reached all of them higher than expected.

Stunning: While flying full bar from the leeside of a ridge into thermal, I noticed that the PHANTOM stays very calm, whereas the MENTOR 3 or 4 tend to shake quiet a bit in the turbulent air.

Generally I found the stability during the accelerated flight impressive. Compared to the MENTOR 4, the PHANTOM is much easier to fly in bumpy air on full bar. It got the feeling that I could have accelerated even more – if the wasn’t the roll on roll limit.


When flaring you notice that the PHANTOM has a lot of performance! Interestingly, the wing somehow wanted to stay above my head instead of just “falling from the sky” – even without any noticeable wind.


The PHANTOM flies really, really well. Being so comfy and solid, it does not cause a lot of stress for the pilot. It is precise, agile and gives good feedback to the pilot – without being over-sensitive. YES – I have decided to order one!