Joined: 26 Oct 2005
|Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:37 pm Post subject:
|Today I test flew the Saturn 167 that will be auctioned during the Dahlsten Cup on Sept 29th. Here are my impressions:
First of all, I am lowering my opinion of the overall condition of the glider from very good to "good". The reason for lowering the overall rating is because the leading edge material has several dings in it that we could not see until the glider was fully set up. There are several "whack" type dings in the nosecone and leading edges, as well as a few dings on the upper leading edge that indicate that the glider has been flipped onto its back. I did an extensive preflight and found no dents or anything else in the frame or wires that caused me any concern. There are hard plastic wheels attached and the keel also disconnects to make a convenient kickstand. I took a bunch of pictures and will try to post them later.
The good news is the that sail is in very good condition and so are the main wires. They are coated with white plastic material and are in very good condition. I think the glider is safe and will remain so for years as long as it is treated right.
As for the flying - this 167 square foot glider is BIG. I hook in around 220 pounds and I think I would have been happier if I weighed another 10 or 20 pounds. On the positive side, this glider is a great FLOATER. It wanted to fly between 18-22 mph. Anything less was very close to stall and anything more required significant bar pressure input. I felt like I was floating above others with no trouble at all.
It has a VG that is about 2 feet long. It doesn't do all that much but does increase the glider trim about 2 mph and make the glider feel stiffer. I cannot honestly say that it made it fly more efficiently but I guess I would rather have it than not. It was fairly hard to pull but manageable if you got a wrap around your hand.
I do not agree with the person who wrote the review saying that the glider was easy to handle at a hook in weight of 185. I had to work harder than I expected at a hook I of 220 pounds. I flew a sport 2 175 that seemed to handle easier than this glider.
Also, like every other Saturn I have seen (this was my first time flying one) the sail tips flutter at anything more than trim speed. I pulled in fairly hard to get the glider to fly over 30 mph and the highest speed I was able to obtain was 41 mph. The flutter is not something noticeable in the mid 20's but definitely significant at 40 mph.
As for performance - it is better than a falcon but probably not as good as a Sport 2.
The landing approach was predictable and uneventful. The glider flies straight and the landing was easy. SO, If you are a BIG person who wants a good condition floater glider on the cheap, this might be an opportunity. I think we will probably lower the opening bid to $500 since it is not as clean as first thought.