This season I sold my 2011 T2C for a brand new all-options 2016 T2C.
It’s a very different machine!
Compared to my 2011, my 2016 is noticeably lighter weight. ODL04 sail cloth and the carbon front leading edges are expensive, but they do reduce the weight a tad.
In flight, I would say that my new wing glides notably better; I’ve been saying the new glider isn’t a hang glider at all, it’s a space ship- it just goes and goes! Sink rate is improved as well- as measured by flying the same site in the same conditions with all the same people I’ve flown hundreds of hours with in all variety of gliders.
Handling is better without a doubt. In the stock tune configuration, which is how I generally like my gliders, I would not say the roll or pitch pressures are much reduced as compared to my 2011 model. But I would absolutely say the wing just seems to “behave” a lot nicer. It does what I ask it to better, without talking back as much. Flying a slippery high performance glider, there is always a degree of instability in the wing. Thermalling requires a bit more pitch input than say a Falcon, and climbing with some VG on requires a bit of high siding. I’m finding the new wing does what I want it to with less input or effort. Not lighter control pressures, per se… but better behaved. This more compliant and docile nature of the wing really shows itself when coming in to land. I have a Falcon and T2C and fly both pretty even amounts… and the new wing seems to be more similar to the Falcon in the forgiveness department. My 2011 model was a great glider, don’t get me wrong, but I kind of knew in challenging conditions I had to be completely on it, and if I had to make corrections during final, I then had to manage the yaw that comes with roll inputs. The new one doesn’t feel so eager to spank me for being off my game. I still have respect for it- it’s a high performance glider, which means it still trades forgiving tendencies for performance efficiency… but, compared to my 2011, it’s just better behaved- no other way to say it.
If you have an older T2 or T2C, you might be asking if it’s worth it? That’s only a question you can answer! How much do you fly, how often will you use this new toy… versus whatever else you might spend the money on? How important is flying to you… and how badly do you want to incrementally improve your enjoyment of your flying? I will let you do your own cost/benefit analysis… but if you want to know what I think… you already do- I bought a new one, didn’t I?!
Conclusion: The 2016 T2C is more than just a little better than a 2011 model… it’s very notably improved in what I consider the most important places- more go, more fun, less work, more forgiving (still a high perf topless though, for all the newer pilots reading this and hearing it’s “easy”… that’s a relative and comparative statement!)
I’m as guilty as anyone; We get caught up in trying to get higher, go farther, and faster. We’re scrutinizing over reducing drag, and increasing glide performance. Perpetually studying where to find and how to maximize lifting air.
And all of that is fun. Damn fun! But it’s not all there is to flying, and that path can take us farther and deeper down the rabbit hole, distancing us ever more from hang gliding’s roots.
This special day, flying the South Side of Point of the Mountain in Utah, was without doubt some of the MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD in a hang glider. And, if you don’t know me, let me just say… I have had a lot of fun in hang gliders! 😉
I hope you enjoy the video: This is How We Float!
Pilot: Ryan Voight
Glider: Wills Wing Falcon 4, 195 sq. ft.
Harness: Wills Wing Flylite 3
Site: Point of the Mountain South Side Flight Park (Lehi, Utah)
The youngest person to fly from Telluride, Colorado. September 16, 1988.
Launch is over 12,000 ft above sea level, and we climbed to almost 17,000 ft- the landing zone is around 9,000 ft. Check out the tandem on a double surface glider (Wills Wing Sport I think?). Dad still nailed the landing, of course. #respect #thanksdad! #experienceofalifetime #noonebeforeorsince #rememberitalways
A fun Throwback Thursday video:
My first year working at Deer Valley, I was a videographer (NOT! a ski instructor).
Best compliment/insult I got that year? “You ski like a really good PATROLLER. It’s all wrong, but you look great doing it”
After becoming an instructor and pursuing certification… that comment is all the more funny, because I see exactly what they mean!
Just goes to show- there’s plenty of fun to be had even if your technique isn’t great… that’s one of my favorite things about skiing! As I became more and more focused on technique, a lot of the fun got lost… but now that I’m out of the biz, and only ski a couple times each year… damn I have a lot of fun again!
Yesterday I met up with our local paragliding ambassador and all-around cool dude, Paco, for a tandem flight. He had a demo wing on loan, and was looking for some baggage to fly with… er… I mean, a willing pilot-passenger. There’s a pretty short list of people I will fly with as the passenger… but Paco is on that list. He’s a great pilot- but that’s not why. He’s smart, SUPER smart… he’s calculating… and he’s conservative. Flying “safely” is a fine art of blending self awareness, critical analysis, and brutal honesty with yourself… with managing decision making and flight choices that keep one *well* within reach of 100% reliably positive outcomes. In other words, know your limits, stay within them- and know how much you might not know, and stay at the very least that much farther within your limits. I’ve seen and flown with Paco long enough now to know- he “gets it”. And he’s a good pilot, flying good (docile and reliable) gear for that just-in-case “shit happens” scenario…
Anyway- it was a morning of great fun and many smiles. Lots of story sharing and general friend-finding that comes with the awesome people drawn to flying off mountains with kites.
If anyone in the NY area is looking for a tandem guy, or an instructor who really gets it, I can’t endorse Paco enough. He’s not really teaching or tandemizing as anything but a hobby… but that makes him even better, because it’s purely about the love of flight and people…
This was actually my first paraglider tandem… and with my tourist hat on, I couldn’t help but fly with the GoPro-on-a-stick 🙂
Short video Des took of me, from the Alta parking lot if I remember correctly… skiing the ridge (backcountry) that faces West at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Circa 2008 or so?
There’s something really special about hiking (touring) up a rugged mountain line, especially doing it alone. Yea yea, I know touring alone is dangerous and yada yada… but the special thing is where your mind goes, alone and in that setting.
There’s also something very, very memorable for this New York boy, ripping top-to-bottom first track fresh… Skiing in-bounds was never quite as sweet after this. And with this run, came the realization I could ski all sorts of unique places around the Wasatch! (Laziness and a strong self-preservation instinct shut down most of the lines I eyed over the years in Utah)
This has been, hands down, the best glider I have ever owned or flown! I’ve never had so many amazing, memorable experiences in such a short span of time as I have since getting this wing. It’s been a wild ride!
But, like all good rides, they must come to an end. In addition to flying, photography/video is a passion of mine… and I feel it’s time for a new “look”… I’ve debated just purchasing a new sail for the current frame, but this sail could get another season or two or maybe more if well cared for… so I’d hate for it to end up on a shelf in my basement. It’s too sweet a wing for that, and it’s been too good to me for such a sad early retirement due to ego-vanity 😉
“Sundancer” T2C 144, serial # 40410
Sail manufacture date 4/8/2011
- Sail is UVPT White (not the cool clear stuff, but excellent visibility in flight)
- Includes all the T2C standard issue goodness: Carbon aft LE’s, carbon sprogs, carbon-kevlar LE inserts, carbon speed bar (LOVE!) and 12mm battens.
- Additional upgrades: Carbon keel “stinger”, carbon fiber raked tip extensions, and “World Team” carbon downtubes (slightly narrower profile than even the Slipstream legs- very slightly more performance at speed, and lots more bling).
- Sail has no more than 300 hours on it, with plenty of life left in it. It’s always been super babied, and the UV-stabilized Mylars are lasting as long as Dacron these days- with the added benefit of 0-stretch. It still performs outstanding- I saw no disadvantage in glide flying side-by-site with Zac, Dustin, Jonny, et al last September… and this glider put me finishing 6th overall.
- All general maintenance is up-to-date; Side wires and tip wands were recently replaced.
- Original and one-of-a-kind (except for my matching Falcon4) sail colors look great up close and from afar. Photographs well and gets lots of positive attention everywhere I go 🙂
- Glider is located in Ellenville, NY and is available for test flight to serious buyers.
- I am willing to pack and ship (no charge to pack, buyer pays shipping)… but would strongly prefer not to!
- If you are interested or have questions I can be reached using the ‘Contact’ link above.
*I will not sell this glider to a new or unqualified pilot. If you’re not a H4 or higher rated pilot, and I don’t know you, please ask an instructor or mentor to endorse this transaction*
In a recent conversation with another pilot, he was stating that none of the land owners where he flies have asked or care about insurance. This isn’t the case everywhere, obviously… but this pilot’s experience isn’t entirely unique, either. There’s a number of sites that don’t have insurance, and are more-or-less unregulated…
I’d like to suggest a reason to insure a site, whether the land owner requires it or not.
There has been a lot of talk of supporting the RRG fundraiser, supporting USHPA, supporting free flight (hang gliding and paragliding). I’d like to introduce a different, much more personal, perspective… Being good people, doing the right thing, and taking care of the most important things in this world- our family and friends.