Gradient Aspen 3 flown in Scotland
by Simon Lucas
Flew the Gradient Aspen 3 last week in initially light conditions. Amazingly manouverable, turns on a sixpence, easy to keep the turn flat, maintain smoothness and maximise in light thermals.
As conditions got windier we flew in a mix of broken thermals, ridge lift and wave. Very good feedback, easy to maximise broken lift and turn flat. Glide at least as good as Sigma 6, but not as good in punching out into wind as a Mantra 2 (DHV 2-3 so not a direct comparison).
Wingovers with the Gradient Aspen 3 are very easy, spirals very progressive. Easy to make really precise adjustments to bank, speed when in a spiral, turn reversals very precise as well. A pleasure to fly.
50% assymetrics very predictable and manageable, not much turn or dive. Accelerated 50% assymetrics also fine. The tuck behaviour seemed less dynamic than on the Aspen 2 which I flew in 2005, but I haven't had much Aspen flying since then so get other input if you are concerned about this.
Conversion of speed to height was also good, better than Sigma 6 I think.
Flew the Gradient Aspen 3 at 96 kg all up with Kortel Kannibal harness.
I'm a PG pilot with about 400 hrs, previous wings Sigma 6, Quarx, Xyon, Beetle Tandem.