Gin Explorer medium/large Glider test
I now have over 20 hours on my Explorer and I have flown it at 105-108 kg which is in the extended weight range, still EN B but lively and rather dynamic. Just the way I like it! I've flown it in everything from silky coastal air to good mountain lift, I've taken it for over a 100K flights in mixed thermic conditions as you'd expect.
Playful and safe and lightweight
The Explorer is lightweight and for the medium the scale stops at 3,9kg, the large tips the scale to 4,1 kg... Add a Gin concertina bag and it's pack volume is tiny! I use the Gin Light backpack 90 liters and I have plenty of space even though I fly a pod. Supair Delight 2 by the way.
Launching the Explorer is sooooo easy, it's lightweight and lovely. I really think it's rather sweet even in stronger winds! Meet the glider with a few steps and put on a little break and it stops nicely over your head. Normally a 6.1 aspect ratio wing will be more of a handful on launch. The Explorer is calm and intuitive. It just wants to fly!
Handling and Pilot fatigue
The Explorer medium is great for thermaling in strong and weak stuff, handling is the way You want it for all conditions. In stronger stuff it's easy to core it directly, not missing anything. In the weaker lift, you need to work it a bit more gentle and be efficient by flattening the turn...
That said, I now had a couple of flights (six hours)with the large Explorer as well. Hmm, very floaty and super sensitive in weaker stuff. I did some low saves that was more or less in landing mode. Feet out of pod! The Explorer large is not only good in the weaker stuff, it will in an uncomplicated way help you find the core without a heavy workload. My first flight with the large was four hours plus and shure my shoulders were a bit tired but not more than half the time on other wings... The floatyness on glide gives you a boost when aiming for next thermal. Hands up and it offers a monster glide for it's class! The bar is efficient, stable, and gives good information through the rear risers.
Turbulence and passive safety
I have gotten into a few situations where the air was rough, turbulent and nasty. The Explorer, both medium and large, are very easy to maintain control over in that stuff. I had to be on full bar in a valley breeze that was far from pleasant and no drama at all! It bites in and with some active flying it will stay open even in really rough stuff.
Talking about deflations, I've only done a few side collapses and some full frontals. They are all quite gentle and easy. Even big(70%) deflations wont give you much problems. Dive is slow and turn is not more than 90 degrees. It's easy to stay on course with 50-60% deflation. The Explorer is a remarkable EN B xc glider! It is all you'll need for safe, fun, long xc flights! This is the Clearly the benchmark for 2017 High B wings
Medium 85-105kg, (extended 105-110)
Large 95-115kg, (extended 115-120)
The Fred Gustafsson Files:
Skateboarder & Pilot & Instructor, been flying everywhere for over 20 years
Gliders of choice currently are:
Ozone Switmax Tandem
Last glider - Gin GTO