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!)