Two days on the MENTOR 7 light – First one good, second one even better!

Two days on the MENTOR 7 light – First one good, second one even better!

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Dear teammates and paragliding friends,

I had the privilege to fly the MENTOR 7 Light for two days recently. So, I thought it would be nice to share this experience with you with a few words and pictures. I got the wing from NOVA for the participation in the Zillertal Battle, but the event was postponed due to bad weather. Since I had already received the glider for the competition, I took the chance to fly a bit at home in the Czech Republic before sending it back to headquarters in Terfens.

At the take-off in Horná Súča

Luckily, I saw two good days coming up near my parents-in-law’s place where we just happened to be heading with the family. So, the plan was clear: taking the glider with me and getting the most out of these days! As it was Monday and Tuesday I had to reorganize work a little, had a few meetings online etc. I’m sure you all know what it takes to be a responsible paragliding pilot!

I flew size S in the middle of the weight range at about 93 kg using my Lightness 2 harness.

About to take off in Horná Súča

Day 1: Horná Súča, April 11, 2022

NW gentle breeze between 14 and 18 km/h, cloud base forecast at 2200 AMSL with –9.2 °C!

The first difference I noticed: Unlike my old MENTOR the MENTOR 7 has Fidlocks on the brakes. I really appreciated this when ground handling. I hate when brakes fall into the lines and get tangled while getting ready. Launching the MENTOR 7 Light was super-easy. No corrections were necessary. We had a breeze of around 3 m/s and while I was taking off, I overheard a few pilots commenting excitedly on the latest model of NOVA.

Flying over Trenčín, Slovakia

The conditions in the air were trickier than I expected though! Clouds were developing very quickly and there were showers visible to the east. At the same time, it seemed challenging to climb to the cloud base. These were the moments when M7 proved to be a very supporting companion with its eagerness to find a thermal or its core. If you like wings which are able to seek a thermal for you whenever you’re not sure, this is definitely one of them! Just let it fly and decide which way it feels a climb.

Around 3:30 PM with all my patience almost gone, I finally reached the cloud base. What a strange day it turned out to be… Twenty minutes later, when leaving a cloud base on its lee side, I experienced the worst turbulence of the day. It was a very sharp wind shear of climbing and sinking air, which caused a massive forward pitch and almost a frontal collapse. I did pull the brakes all the way down to my butt. Doing this I really liked the smoothness of the wing’s behaviour despite the really rough environment.

As often happens in paragliding, although the sky started to look pretty promising, it didn’t take too long before I found myself on the ground. :)

www.xcontest.org/world/cs/prelety/detail:vikiks/11.04.2022/10:49

Seems familiar?:)

Day 2: Velký Lopeník, Apr 12, 2022

SSE to NW light breeze between 7 and 12 km/h, cloudless sky, ceiling of boundary layer forecast at 1800 AMSL with –0.5 °C

During the first thermal right after take-off, it was obvious that the day wouldn’t be easy. Pretty turbulent spring air with a lot of bumps. The perfect wing for such conditions? MENTOR 7 light! :) :)

Flying over Vizovické vrchy in cloudless thermals

On purpose, I haven’t mentioned pushing the speedbar yet. It was so cold on the first day that I was forced to wear warmsleeves over my mittens and that made it pretty impossible to grab those beautiful HAC handles! I tried to control the pitch movement simply by pulling C-risers (pushing them back to be precise) but obviously that wasn’t very comfortable. Therefore, I was looking forward to enjoying that feeling more on day 2, which was significantly warmer. Although pulling the HAC handles wasn’t ideal while still wearing mittens, at least it was possible unlike on the first day. :)

Anyway, I really love that stiff feeling of the C-risers and having direct impact on any pitch movement. I felt directly connected to the wing. Besides, the immediate speed rise when pushing the bar is very satisfying indeed.

Isn’t it pretty?

Some patience was required. Therefore, the qualities of MENTOR 7 Light starving for lift came in handy again. After approximately one hour of flying, my friend on his Zeno and I happened to be at around 300 m AGL in flatlands. Unfortunately, my friend bombed out while I somehow managed to climb back and was able to continue the flight. I would say that this might be a key demand on any glider for me: the ability to use weak lift and stay in it until I find a stronger core. In the Czech flatlands where I fly, we find ourselves quite often in these damn-close-to-terrain-situations.

Along the way, I met another friend flying an EN-C wing and we spent around two hours flying pretty much the same lines. I must say I was a bit faster on bar and also my sink rate was better. But admittedly, this could have been caused by the fact that I was flying a brand-new wing.

Rain, rain, go away:)

In the end, we both managed to close our triangles, which was the icing on the cake after a perfect flying day. It left me pretty hesitant as I thought my next wing would certainly be the XENON once my size is ready. Well, I guess I’ll have to fly it first, write a review and decide afterwards ☺. I really like the MENTOR 7 Light a lot. Thanks to NOVA again for letting me fly it.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/cs/prelety/detail:vikiks/12.04.2022/09:47

More about the wing www.nova.eu/mentor-7-light

Cheers from the Czech Republic,

Viktor

(Photos by Martin Bzirský and Viktor Valášek)

With my friend Martin after landing:)