Firebird Spider First Flight
I am an average pilot at best. Only at CP level and only flown a medium DHV1 Tempus. Getting a little frustrated with being at the top of its weight class and wanting somthing that did what you asken of it, I bought a second hand Firebird Spider in size Large.
Yesterday for the first time I took the Spider for my first flight. Top launch from Shining Tour. I am flying at 112kg all up, on a 100kg to 120kg glider.
The reverse launch was easy. Found it easy to hold on the ground in a 10mph wind by the brake lines only, despite it being a large wing. It was easy to stablise overhead and on launch it was very stable, with no diving or wanting to turn out of wind. Not what I expected from a larger and more dynamic glider.
I found that in flight the Firebird Spider was great at managing turbulence. Very stable and would sit quite happily without pilot input. Turning was quite slow and required a positive brake input and weight shift. Speed bar was positive with good penetration into wind.
Big ears were easy, if not a little small. The ears also popped out easy. No pumping and smooth. With ears applied it was not dramatic! It would not take much to cancel out the increased rate of descent. So have a look at other ways to lose height if you have one of these. Like big big ears, and learn to do wingovers to shed those feet of height.
The biggest problem I found with the Firebird Spider was getting it down. This wing wants to fly! On final aproach the last 30 feet just kept on going.. and going... and going... to the point that I was so low that I could not "s" off any more as I was so low, but still took half a field to touch down, and any brake input to slow your speed took you back up again.
All in all, a great wing. Soaring is easy and steady. Very stable (even more so than my DHV1 Tempus) and I love this wing.