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Sensis review .pdf


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flight test Swing Sensis

Photo: Swing

STEVE UZOCHUKWU REPORTS

Swing’s history goes back to the beginning of the sport in Europe. Originally a Swiss company, the company
moved to Germany a while ago under German MD Günther Wörl. In terms of worldwide glider sales Swing has been
consistently at the top. They produce a complete range of paragliding and paramotor wings, as well as speed
flying and mini wings. There is also a range of harnesses and accessories. The UK importer is Snowdon Gliders run
by Brad Nicholas.
Swing has always catered very well for new
pilots and those progressing through the
system. The Sensis fits into a range that
has two gliders within the EN A category
and three EN Bs. With the Arcus 7 at the
lower end of the B category and the Mistral
7 towards the top, the Sensis sits between
the two as a mid-range B. Five sizes cover
weights from 55 to 125kg. The glider
supplied for the test was the M size (90110kg all-up), flown at around about 108 to
109kg. Swing paragliders have a three
year/300-hour warranty subject to the
servicing requirements being met.
The glider is of conventional construction,
but like a lot of others has no Mylar in
the leading edge. The leading-edge
reinforcement is achieved with Nylon
wire, assisting with the implementation
of ‘shark-nose’ technology. Lines are a
mixture of Liros and Edelrid in Technora
or Dyneema. All lines are sheathed, an
oft-requested item for EN B gliders as
more of the top-end ones cut line
diameter for performance reasons by
eliminating the sheath.
Riser webbing is 20mm Güth and Wolf.
Risers are colour coded red for A, blue for B.
All sailcloth is supplied by Dokdo; top
surface is 40g/m2 and the lower surface
35g/m2. The brake handles can be
30

SEPTEMBER 2015 www.skywingsmag.com

configured quickly and easily for three
levels of stiffness by removing the inserts
in the handle, which come out through a
small hole. The brakes are secured to the
risers with magnetic poppers, ideal in
strength for the job. Speed system pulleys
are top-quality Harken with ball bearings.
Two levels of cascade in the suspension
system make for quick and easy checks
before inflation. The stabilo line is on the B
riser in a different colour to the other lines.
Three risers go to three sets of line
attachment points, except on the Cs where
there is a very short C/D fork near the wing
itself. The trailing edge has a gathering
system to maintain the correct tension and
to present a clean edge to the airflow. The
47-cell glider has a flat aspect ratio of 5.23:1.
The Sensis is supplied with a rucksack – in
this case the Sherpa XL (200litre) version
capable of swallowing any size of harness –
and a concertina bag, compression strap,
printed manual and Swing cap. There are
four standard colour schemes.
The glider arrives already folded into the
concertina bag as per the instructions in
the manual, and this method works best if
you want to get an easy fold and pack
away. Folding from mushroomed does not
seem to work as well as the method Swing
outlines. As with any glider with Nylon

wire, avoid dragging the wing across the
ground as you pack it. When you are
moving around on the ground, ball it up
and carry it.
Once out of the bag the sheathed lines are
very simple to lay out and untangle. The
contrasting colours used for the lines make
checking a lot easier. The glider inflates in
the very lightest of winds, partly due to the
slightly lighter (but still mainstream) cloth
it is made from.
Ground handling is easy and intuitive.
Pulling up on the inner As via the riser
seems to give consistent and controlled
inflation, the only exception being the need
to take the inner and outer A on one side if
cobra-launching the wing. The glider rises
smoothly to the overhead position without
accelerating; in strong or gustier winds it
might lift you up but it has no inclination
to overfly. Killing it on the brakes or the Cs
is possible; for me the brake travel isn’t too
long to hold the glider on the ground but
the Cs are more effective when you feel the
wind is beginning to pick up.
I tend to take a good take-off run with
little or no brake, and as I turn onto the
ridge I tend to pull a little more. The
Sensis will convert this to height. In the
air the glider is responsive to the brakes

Specification
Model

XS

S

M

L

XL

No of cells

47

47

47

47

47

Span (projected, m)

9.0

9.5

9.7

10.0

10.4

Area (flat. m2)

23.1

25.7

27.0

28.5

30.8

Aspect ratio

5.23:1

5.23:1

5.23:1

5.23:1

5.23:1

Glider weight (kg)

5.4

5.8

6.0

6.2

6.6

All-up weight range (kg)

55 - 80

70 - 95

80 - 102 90 - 110

100 - 125

EN/LTF certification

B

B

B

B

B

£2,650

£2,650

Guarantee

3 years/300 hours

Price inc. VAT & delivery

£2,650

£2,650

£2,650

Photo: Steve Uzochukwu

stop. A stronger pilot
who got beyond that
would simply shorten
all three risers by the
same amount – no
further reduction of
angle of attack would be
possible. A minimal
push with one foot is all
that’s needed. The
speed system seems
very effective in the
first half – speed piles
on but without too
much loss of height. At
full tilt the top and
bottom cell entries
flutter very slightly,
with a little dimple appearing between the
reinforcements, but the wing still feels solid
and does not pitch about.

but in a very smooth way. Feedback is well
balanced; lift and turbulence are signalled
well enough for active flying but you won’t
get tossed about.
Like a lot of the more fun B class gliders
these days, most manoeuvring is done in
the top third or half of the brake travel. The
brakes get very hard just before stall, and a
committed push is needed for a full stall
that empties the glider of air on landing.
The brakes are precise enough for flying in
very light lift, making it straightforward to
make small changes in direction without
over-correcting, but in big air the authority
to turn into the core is always there
without getting anywhere near the tip
curling back or a spin.
The speed bar is light and easy to use
thanks to decent-quality pulleys, and has a
clever way of preventing the pilot going
beyond the end stop by having the system
engage the C riser to provide a positive

The Sensis shows its real strength when
the time comes to work lift. The glider is
very easy to place, it responds to
commands precisely, and the word
obedient comes to mind. For this reason
it climbs exceptionally well. In ridge lift
its sink rate is good for the class, even at
the top end of the weight range, but that
is not why it climbs so well. The secret of
its superb climb rate is the feedback in
lift. In the weakest or the strongest bits of
lift the glider will always tell you where
the lift is and which way to turn, but
without shouting at you, bumping you
around or making you feel uncomfortable
– with the caveat, of course, that you are
not flying in dangerous conditions or
beyond your ability.

Photo: Steve Uzochukwu

Photo: Swing

UK importer: Snowdon Gliders, Yr Ynys, Mynydd
Llandegai, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BZ, tel: 07818
418780/01248 600330, e-mail: sales@snowdongliders.com,
website: www.snowdongliders.com.

Mapping thermals and making the most of
them is therefore something that gets you
up even on the more challenging days.
There is always a reserve of brake to
tighten the turn, and the brakes provide
feedback that let you know that you’re
biting into the core as you roll into the
turn. Weigh shift helps in turns but is not
needed; on stronger days I used it to give
me even more brake travel in reserve. In
gnarly lift and small bubbles and bullets on
high-pressure days the glider stays
together, feeling cohesive and indicating
the inputs needed. On small sites the glider
is agile enough to make the most of
smaller into-wind faces and work the
smallest bits of lift.
www.skywingsmag.com SEPTEMBER 2015 31

flight test: SWING SENSIS
Photo: Swing

Big ears are slightly sticky, but do not stay
in, and once they have started to unfold
they then do so with ever-increasing speed.
Weight shift is effective for directional
control and it’s possible to slide your hand
further up the outer As to increase the size
of the ears. There’s a marked initial
resistance when pulling them in, but this is
also the resistance that the Sensis displays
to tip collapses. In that respect it’s
comforting and it’s not a big pull anyway.
The marked stabilo line will also clear tip
cravats encountered on the ground in
switching winds or when inflating from
mushroomed in stronger winds. I didn’t get
to B line it but this is well documented in
the EN/LTF tests. Spiral entry and exit was
well behaved, but the opportunity to spiral
long or hard did not present itself. Spiral
dives are more a matter of pilot currency,
and the grades for the three tests relating to
spirals or steep turns are all A. The B line
stall is also graded A at both ends of the
weight range on the size I flew, but check
the reports for the size you are interested in.
Landing is straightforward. The
combination of a wide speed range and
brakes that go hard just before parachutal
stall makes timing a sharp flare in light
winds easy; in strong winds a firm pull
empties the glider of air as it touches the
ground. The lighter cloth’s potential for reinflation means that a swift dash off to the
side and bundling up promptly is
recommended, but the glider has no
surprises for anyone here. It can be held
down with wraps or C risers if needed in
very strong winds.

From the three levels of brake stiffness
through to the riser bag that is part of the
concertina bag, and the levels of finish in
stitching and lines, everything on this
glider is well-rounded or well-finished. None
of this is surprising when you consider the
experience of the main designers, Michael
Hartmann and Michael Nesler. A lot of
pilots might do better on this glider than
going for the very top of the class, as it is
easy to stay current on and very
confidence-inspiring.
If some pilots would not consider a test
flight on a mid-range B, this one would be
an omission on their part. The Sensis is
very pleasant to fly even for the more
experienced pilot, and would suit someone
who finds other commitments mean that
they don’t get out as often as they like. The
overall impression with the Sensis is of
flying pleasure, and this is the quality I will
miss most. This is a glider accessible to a
huge section of the paragliding population,
and for that Swing are to be highly
commended.
32

SEPTEMBER 2015 www.skywingsmag.com

Excellent ground handling, especially on the pull-up
Easy piloting
Excellent climb rate
First-rate flying pleasure

Nothing!

Photo: Swing

The Sensis is, with maybe an exception for
the pilot with previous aviation experience,
a second glider. By making a mid-range B,
Swing have made the step up from your
first glider smaller in terms of the level of
active flying needed, but with no
discernible penalty as far as flying pleasure
or usable performance are concerned.
Everything about it is consistent with a
mid-range B glider and the ease of piloting
is just one notch below the top of the class.


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